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Amateur Draft Preview

The June 5th Rule IV draft is right around the corner and A’s personnel, from the front office down to the area scouts, are working hard and around the clock to gather as much information about thousands of high school and college players.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The A’s, since 2012, have turned their approach to the draft around: Advanced high school position players in the first/supplemental first round, whereas they used to go after advanced college position and pitching prospects. They put this strategy into use by drafting Addison Russell with the eleventh pick, and Daniel Robertson and Matt Olson with their two supplemental first round picks in 2012 and Billy McKinney with the 24th pick in 2013.

Unlike the 2012 and 2013, the A’s have a small draft budget ($4,778,300, good for fourth smallest overall) that they can work with. That’s because this year they don’t have any supplemental or lottery picks. Last year they had a lottery pick after the second round that they used on Chad Pinder and a supplemental pick after the third round that they used on Chris Kohler.

This year the A’s top 10 round picks, and their assigned bonus values, are:

1-25 ($1,898,000)

2-65 ($873,300)

3-101 ($519,200)

4-132 ($385,000)

5-162 ($288,300)

6-192 ($215,900)

7-222 ($164,200)

8-252 ($153,500)

9-282 ($143,300)

10-312 ($137,600)

The complete list for all teams can be found here

The draft gurus Keith Law, Jim Callis/Jonathan Mayo, Kiley McDaniel, and John Manuel/Baseball America crew, all seem to have figured out who the A’s will look to target once they are put on the clock on June 5th.

The Prospects!

Monte Harrison, OF

Why is he an A’s-type pick?

He’s a high school player who could be an up-the-middle type of player to start out in the minors, if not all the way through to the bigs.

What are his selling points?

He is an absolute beast of an athlete. He has a scholarship to play wide receiver in the fall and outfield in the spring for the University of Nebraska. He has at least the potential for four above average (>50 on the 20-80 scale) tools: Arm, speed, power, and run.

What are the concerns around him?

Prospects with football scholarships are generally assumed to have a high price tag, so if he wants an over-slot deal at the back end of the first round, the A’s don’t quite have the budget to accommodate that even if they go way under slot with some college seniors. How he’ll be able to handle professional offspeed pitches when he’s apparently having a tough time with high school breaking balls.

Which gurus have him on the A’s radar?

Keith Law, Jim Callis, Kiley McDaniels

Ti’quan Forbes, SS

Why is he an A’s-type pick?

He is an up the middle position high school guy, who if he has to move can move to another position that’s up the middle. Right now he’s a shortstop that could move to center field if that doesn’t work out. He’s very athletic.

What are his selling points?

His athleticism. He’s very fast and his projection is something to dream on. He’s tall and has room to fill and develop average power. His arm is at least average from shortstop. He has good bat speed that could lead to hitting for average and power. He’s very young for the class; he won’t turn 18 until August meaning he has more time to develop than someone from the high school ranks that turns 19 in August.

What are the concerns around him?

Right now, he’s ALL projection: His ability to hit for average, power, and his arm strength are all things that you have to hope develops. As Jerry Brewer said, his swing has a lot of movement and needs a lot of refinement.

Which gurus have him on the A’s radar?

Law, BA, Callis, McDaniels

Derek Hill, OF

Why is he an A’s-type pick?

High school up the middle guy (see a recurring theme here?). His bat and instincts are very advanced for a high school player, which make sense with him being the son of a Dodgers’ scout. Has the ability to stick up the middle even if he loses a step in his development.

What are his selling points?

His speed is some of the best in the class, if everything else develops he could be an excellent leadoff man. He has excellent range and a very good arm to stick at center field, and his ability to hit for average could be advanced enough to start at Stockton

What are the concerns around him?

If his power doesn’t end up developing, he could end up as a 4th outfielder. He may have a higher floor than most high school prospects, but he doesn’t have the upside of guys like Forbes or Harrison. Not a lot of projection, some, but not a lot.

Which gurus have him on the A’s radar?


Michael Chavis, 3B

Why is he an A’s-type pick?

He’s an advanced bat for a high school player. Could hit for an above average batting average. Could begin 2015 at Stockton.

What are his selling points?

The fact that he’s so advanced as a high schooler. He has a strong bat that has plenty of now tools. He’s the kind of guy that TV guys and scouts and others would label as a "gamer". He plays with extreme intensity. He could be a very good defender at third base or in a corner outfield spot, where he has the potential bat to play.

What are the concerns around him?

He’s not an up the middle guy and isn’t the most athletic player projected to be a first rounder either. There’s no physical projection, what you see is what you’ll get 5 years down the road.

Which gurus have him on the A’s radar?

BA, McDaniels

Matt Imhof, LHP

Why is he an A’s-type pick?

He’s a local guy, graduated from Mission San Jose in Fremont and currently goes to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He could move quickly through the system with a high-ish floor.

What are his selling points?

His fastball, his strikeouts (over 11 K’s/9 innings), he still has room to add on velocity to his fastball and he has a durable frame at 6’5", 220 lbs.

What are the concerns around him?

His secondary pitches are lagging behind the fastball, could end up being just a one pitch guy. Doesn’t repeat his delivery all the time.

Which gurus have him on the A’s radar?

McDaniels, BA

There are a couple other prospects I could see being on the A’s radar but haven’t been linked to them in the latest mocks: Marcus Wilson, Forrest Wall, Jacob Gatewood, and Michael Gettys. All players rank anywhere from the low 20’s to the mid 30’s. Marcus Wilson is another pure-projection type of player. Forrest Wall is a very advanced bat but due to a shoulder injury has been moved to 2B. Jacob Gatewood has huge raw power (he took a round in the home run derby last year, but wasn't televised) but there are serious questions around how much he'll hit. Michael Gettys is a potential 5-tool player but the problem is that there are serious questions around his bat and mechanics.

This Saturday (May 31st) I will be participating in the Community Mock Draft over at John Sickels’ site: MinorLeagueBall.Com. I will be drafting for the A’s. Come on over, the discussions begin early in the morning and the mock draft itself starts at 10:00 AM PST

Keith Law top 100 ($$$):Mock Draft($$$):

Baseball America top 200 ($ for reports) Mock Draft:

Kiley McDaniels top 295 Mock Draft:

Callis/Mayo top 100 Mock Draft:

Matt Garrioch (Minor League Ball) top 350

Video credit goes to Steve Fiorindo over at BigLeagueFutures.Net (@SoCalSteve9 on twitter)