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MLB mock draft 2017: Adam Haseley is a dark horse candidate for Oakland A's

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Most eyes are fixed on a college arm heading to Oakland in the first round of the upcoming draft. But not everyone sees things that way.

Remember when you expected an Oakland outfielder to catch the ball?
Remember when you expected an Oakland outfielder to catch the ball?
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With most of the baseball writing world convinced that the A’s are going to use the #6 pick in the upcoming draft on a college pitcher (specifically J.B. Bukauskas) it’s difficult to find an outside voice with a different viewpoint. The Top 3 talents in this Draft class (Hunter Greene, Brendan McKay, and Kyle Wright) are a clear cut above the rest, but after that group I believe there’s a next tier of players of comparable value who will be available at #6. Some are Risk/Reward types who could end up stars if they don’t bust. Others don’t have the same upside but are much more likely to make it to the Show. Adam Haseley is a player who is unlikely to ever be a star, but he can fill an immediate need in Oakland’s outfield depth chart.

Adam Haseley, OF

University of Virginia, Junior

DOB: 4/12/1996; Height: 6’1" Weight: 185

Bats: L  Thows: L

Stats: .399/.496/.676 in 257 PA / 15 Doubles / 14 Home Runs / 41 BB / 20 K

MLB Scouting Grades:

Hit = 55 / Power = 45 / Run = 55 / Throw = 50 / Field = 55 / Overall = 55

Mock Summary

Adam Haseley has a wider range of rankings than our previous topic of discussion, J.B. Bukauskas. Perfect Game and Herosports ranks him in their Top 10 at 7th and 9th, respectively. He ranks 12th for Baseball America, 14th for MLB.com, and 15th for FanGraphs. Haseley is considered a low-risk/medium-ceiling prospect, with his floor being Ryan Sweeney (albeit with two healthy knees) and his ceiling being Mark Kotsay. One source's mock has Haseley going to Oakland:

Pros

.399/.496/.676 in 257 plate appearances with 14 homers and 41 walks against 20 strike outs. Amateur performance isn’t necessarily predictive, but it’s a clear plus that he’s hit the snot out of the ball while playing in arguably the toughest conference in college baseball. On top of all that he's been pulling double duty as one of Virginia’s starting pitchers, going 7-1 with a 3.58 ERA in 11 games started. With average or better tools across the board (except for power) there might be some more projection in him once he focuses on being a position player full time. He projects to be an average defensive CF and should move quickly through the farm system. The odds are very good Adam Haseley is going to be a big league ballplayer.

Cons

If Haseley achieves his Kotsay comparison then you’re looking at a 10-year starter who’ll never be an All-Star. There’s reason for concern that the power he’s shown this season (14 of his 21 career HR) won’t translate well to wooden bats; a drop in power could also affect his walk totals and his ability to get on base. He has above-average speed but doesn’t appear to be much of a stolen base threat. There isn’t a 60-Grade or better tool in the lot, making it unlikely he’d ever be anything more than a complementary piece on a big league roster.

Monster

Adam Haseley just makes sense for an Oakland organization that has always emphasized offense over elite defense up the middle. He’s going to hit enough to play, but is he going to be a tweener who can’t quite handle center and doesn’t have the power that teams covet in the corners? Even if Haseley emerges as a starting-caliber CF, is it enough to land merely a solid player at #6? The 6th overall pick puts Oakland in position to land a true difference maker, a potential star player who can act as a force multiplier for the rest of the roster. That’s not Haseley. There are other prospects, admittedly riskier players, who offer that kind of exciting potential. Maybe now is the time for the A’s to gamble?

Then again … there’s something to be said for being able to pencil in a starter for the next decade. A major part of the problem Oakland faces is that it has so many holes and limited resources to fill them. Adding Haseley immediately improves the weakest part of the A’s organizational depth chart. He doesn’t make the team a contender but he stops the outfield from being a laughingstock.

I’m not sure if Haseley should be the pick at #6. But I’m almost convinced to say yes. If I knew he’d sign an under-slot deal, even if it only saved $500,000 that could go toward affording high-ceiling prep talent later in the draft, I’d make Haseley the pick at #6. If only teams could trade draft picks.

There’s one more player to cover during this round of mock drafts. Part 2 coming soon.