MLB Draft Day 2

This thread is meant to start today's discussion for Day 2 of the MLB Draft, which covers round 2 through 30 today.  I'm sure it will require an overflow thread eventually and hopefully someone else can handle that.

I was very pleased with the A's selection of Michael Choice at No. 10 overall yesterday. As soon as I saw Colon taken by the Royals at No. 4, I had a feeling that a better-than-expected talent was going to drop to the A's, and indeed it did.  I'm glad the organization didn't spend the pick on Zack Cox, despite Cox's pre-draft hype.

Signing bonus demands aside, what scares me about Cox is the lack of isolated power, even with an aluminum bat.  Too much of a risk that he hits like Sean Burroughs at the pro level for me.  I'm reminded of the Moneyball maxim that "power is the last tool to develop," but I also remember that logic was being applied to a young Jason Giambi in the book, and hindsight helps us realize that lots of young mid-90s slugging prospects saw their "power tool develop" for a different reason.

In the post-steroid era I have a theory that only the very best natural athletes are going to be able to generate legitimate, year-to-year home run power at the Major League level.  Carter, Taylor, and Choice all fit the bill.  They are very impressive physical specimens who can generate more bat speed and power than just about anyone at the minor league level.

I think the organization has made a conscious effort to target more athletic players in the last three years through the draft and through trades and Choice fits the profile.  This approach works for me, because ultimately the A's need to hit a home run on a few position players in the draft.  The best way to do that is to draft some guys that have high ceilings, despite their low floors.  I think we've seen the end of the Danny Putnam, low-ceiling, high-floor, "great pitch recognition and all-around average tools" draft picks at the top of the draft, and I for one am pleased about that.  You can find those guys in free agency at prices that even the A's can afford every year.  They need to draft potential stars, even with the high(er) bust rate of toolsy, low-floor guys.

Now, on to some Day 2 thoughts...

Today is rounds 2 through 30.  I'm not sure if there are compensatory picks from last year's draft in play for the next two rounds, but assuming there aren't, the A's first two picks today are:

Round 2, No. 60 overall

Round 3, No. 90 overall

These two picks are worth highlighting as they stand out from the other 27 selections the A's will make today.  Why?  Per Cot's Contracts:

  • If a team does not sign its pick in the first two rounds (including the supplemental round between the two), it receives a compensatory selection in the following year's Rule 4 Draft that is one pick after the slot of the player who did not sign.
  • If a team does not sign its third-round selection, it receives a compensatory selection in a new supplemental round between the third and fourth rounds in the following year's draft.

In other words, the A's could draft a high school player who is perceived to be "unsignable" in these next two rounds, and even if that player chooses to go to college, the A's haven't really lost much.  They've simply bumped that No. 60 overall pick in '10 to a No. 61 overall pick in '11, or bumped the No. 90 overall in '10 to pick No. 110ish in '11. 

Do you see where I'm going here?

Austin Wilson.

Wilson, a toolsy Southern-Californian OF with a very strong commitment to Stanford, was projected to be drafted in the first round yesterday, but remained unpicked through the supplemental round as well.  He was left off this list of "Day 2 best available players"; perhaps that's an author's oversight or perhaps it's reflective of his rock-solid college commitment, and perceived bonus demands that could reach $4-6M.    

No one took Wilson in Round 1 because of the greater opportunity cost.  It's really painful to not sign a first-round pick and wait another full year to add an impact player to the system.  But in Round 2 and 3, with the best top-tier talent off the board, it makes more sense to take a chance on Wilson, given that there's still that soft pillow to land on if he doesn't sign - the compensatory pick the following year.

Someone will take him in Round 2 or Round 3 today, in part because he's a great talent that's fallen, and in part because of the compensatory pick security blanket.  It might be a team that misses out on the player it was targeting in 2-3, or is low-budget, and consciously takes Wilson with almost no intention of signing him.

Should the A's draft Wilson today?  Vote in the poll, debate in the comments, and write about other interesting prospects you hope the A's will select today. 

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