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A’s Farm Report: Getting to Know the A’s 2019 Top 10 Draft Picks

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A’s GM David Forst
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Well, since I’ve been super sick and unable to see straight since the last day of the draft, I thought I’d just share my rundown of the A’s top 10 draft picks from Athletics Farm here with you this week. Of course, Athletics Nation Editor-in-Chief Alex Hall already offered some insightful summaries of the A’s 2019 draft class last week, but let me offer mine for your perusal as well. And by the way, I believe the A’s have already come to terms with a pair of their top power-hitting prospects from the draft, 4th-round pick Kyle McCann and 10th-round pick Patrick McColl…

In other news, if you haven’t already checked them out, my two most recent A’s Farm podcasts featuring A’s minor league pitching and hitting coordinators Gil Patterson and Jim Eppard and Las Vegas manager Fran Riordan, coach Craig Conklin, first baseman Seth Brown and Stockton infielder Jeremy Eierman are available right here – A’s Cast. Of course, you can always find daily updates on the A’s top prospects and all the daily action in the A’s minor league system on Athletics Farm.

1st Round

Logan Davidson

Shortstop

Clemson

Age: 21 / Height: 6’3” / Weight: 185 lbs.

Bats: Both / Throws: Right

2019 College: 237 AB/15 HR/45 BB/61 K/.291 AVG/.412 OBP/.574 SLG

The A’s made switch-hitting college shortstop Logan Davidson their top pick with the 29th overall selection on Monday. The 21-year-old Clemson junior was the 19th-ranked prospect by Baseball America and the 22nd-ranked prospect MLB Pipeline. A’s scouting director Eric Kubota said the A’s were “pleasantly surprised” that Davidson was still available when the A’s picked and that they were “extremely happy” to get him. Kubota added that the North Carolina native had been on the A’s radar since high school. The 6-foot-3 infielder is considered to have above-average speed and defensive abilities as well as a strong arm to go along with some real power potential. And that clearly was a combination that appealed to the A’s. Kubota said the A’s liked the fact that he was a shortstop with power, and the organization is hoping that Davidson will prove to be a productive middle-of the-order hitter. “He brings value both at the plate and in the field,” Kubota said. Davidson slashed .291/.412/.574 with 15 home runs, 18 doubles and 17 stolen bases in 61 games this season, and his power numbers have increased in each of his three seasons at Clemson. Despite his success in the college ranks, Davidson struggled during a couple of summers in the Cape Cod League which, unlike the college game, uses wood bats. But Davidson and Kubota have both professed their confidence in his ability to hit with wood bats. In a conference call after day one after the draft, the switch-hitter compared himself to Corey Seager, another over-sized shortstop from North Carolina and said he feels that his greatest strengths are his makeup and his work ethic.

2nd Round

Tyler Baum

Right-Handed Pitcher

University of North Carolina

Age: 21 / Height: 6’2” / Weight: 195 lbs.

Throws: Right / Bats: Right

2019 College: 86.2 IP/90 H/38 ER/25 BB/92 K/3.95 ERA/1.33 WHIP

With their second-round selection on Monday, the A’s went with a college pitcher, 21-year-old right-hander Tyler Baum. The University of North Carolina junior was the 77th-ranked prospect by Baseball America and the 100th-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline. Baum notched 92 strikeouts in 86.2 innings while posting an ERA of 3.95 for North Carolina in 2019. The 6-foot-2 Florida native has a plus fastball, a good curveball and a serviceable changeup and showed improved command and control this season. A’s scouting director Eric Kubota said about Baum, “He’s very athletic. He’s got plenty of arm strength.” He claimed that A’s scouts have clocked his fastball as high as 96 mph and said he’s also got “a hard power-type curveball” that has the potential to be a real “out” pitch for him. Kubota summarized his assessment of the A’s 2nd-round pick by saying, “We love the combination of athleticism, instinct, and stuff.”

3rd Round

Marcus Smith

Outfielder

Pembroke Hill HS, Missouri

Age: 18 / Height: 5’11” / Weight: 190 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Left

2019 High School: 14 AB/1 HR/2 BB/2 K/.714 AVG/.765 OBP/1.071 SLG

Oakland made Marcus Smith, a somewhat under-the-radar 18-year-old outfield prospect, its first high school pick of this year’s draft when the team took him in the third round. Smith wasn’t ranked in MLB Pipeline’s top 200 pre-draft prospects this year, and many thought the Royals might have targeted the Kansas City native. The left-handed hitting center fielder possesses plus speed and plus defense. He’s a slap hitter who makes good contact, but the question is whether or not he’ll be able to develop enough power to allow his other tools to play. The teenager has already committed to Michigan, so the A’s will need to make him an offer he can’t refuse.

4th Round

Kyle McCann

Catcher

Georgia Tech

Age: 21 / Height: 6’2” / Weight: 217 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Right

2019 College: 254 AB/26 HR/60 BB/69 K/.327 AVG/.461 OBP/.709 SLG

The A’s selected their biggest slugger of the day when they took power-hitting catcher Kyle McCann in the fourth round on Tuesday. The 21-year-old junior was the 88th-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline and the 135th-ranked prospect by Baseball America. The big, left-handed hitting, bat-first backstop demonstrated both his power and his plate discipline by leading his Georgia Tech team with 26 home runs and 60 walks this season. While not considered a strong defensive catcher, McCann does have some decent arm strength. And he spent most of his freshman and sophomore seasons playing first base while also backing up Joey Bart behind the plate.

5th Round

Jalen Greer

Shortstop

St. Rita HS, Illinois

Age: 17 / Height: 6’3” / Weight: 185 lbs.

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

2019 High School: 65 AB/2 HR/9 BB/15 K/.314 AVG/.446 OBP/.588 SLG

Oakland made 17-year-old shortstop Jalen Greer its second high school pick in this year’s draft when the team took him in the fifth round. Greer possesses a strong arm, good speed and some power potential. He’s 6-foot-3 and still has room to get bigger and stronger, so many think that he may eventually end up moving over to third base, where he might be a better fit. The talented teenager may still be fairly raw, but with his speed, his arm and his strength, many scouts see a lot to like in the Chicago native, who has already made a commitment to Missouri.

6th Round

Seth Shuman

Right-Handed Pitcher

Georgia Southern

Age: 21 / Height: 6’1” / Weight: 195 lbs.

Throws: Right / Bats: Right

2019 College: 91.2 IP/81 H/39 ER/27 BB/114 K/3.83 ERA/1.18 WHIP

The A’s selected their second college pitcher of this year’s draft when they took Seth Shuman in the sixth round. Shuman led his Georgia Southern squad this season with six wins and 114 strikeouts while issuing just 27 walks in 91.2 innings. Despite his big strikeout numbers, the 21-year-old is primarily known as a groundball pitcher who has always shown good command throughout his college career. Shuman doesn’t overpower people. The righty throws a low-90s fastball that he effectively mixes with a slider and a changeup to keep opposing hitters off balance.

7th Round

Drew Millas

Catcher

Missouri State

Age: 21 / Height: 6’2” / Weight: 205 lbs.

Bats: Both / Throws: Right

2019 College: 204 AB/5 HR/27 BB/55 K/.275 AVG/.370 OBP/.422 SLG

The A’s selected their second catcher of this year’s draft when they took Missouri State’s Drew Millas in the seventh round. The switch-hitting receiver was the 120th-ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline and the 167th-ranked prospect by Baseball America. Though he’s flashed some power potential at times, he’s known as a defense-first catcher with a strong arm, good blocking and receiving abilities and an aptitude for working with pitchers. There’s no doubt that Millas can handle the job behind the plate. The question will be how well he’s able to develop his abilities in the batter’s box.

8th Round

Jose Dicochea

Right-Handed Pitcher

Sahuarita HS, Arizona

Age: 18 / Height: 6’3” / Weight: 180 lbs.

Throws: Right / Bats: Right

2019 High School: 54 IP/24 H/10 ER/11 BB/86 K/1.30 ERA/0.65 WHIP

The A’s took their third high school player, and their first high school pitcher, of this year’s draft when they selected 18-year-old Jose Dicochea in the eighth round. The righty may have been the best Arizona high school arm in this this year’s draft. He really opened some eyes when he threw a no-hitter in a state championship tournament, and he notched 86 strikeouts in 54 innings in his senior year. The 6-foot-3 teenager clearly has a strong arm and has flashed a fastball that can get up to 95 mph as well as a good breaking ball, but he also has a rather unconventional delivery that might need some work. And the teenager is currently committed to the University of Arizona.

9th Round

Colin Peluse

Right-Handed Pitcher

Wake Forest

Age: 20 / Height: 6’3” / Weight: 230 lbs.

Throws: Right / Bats: Right

2019 College: 80 IP/95 H/51 ER/36 BB/71 K/5.74 ERA/1.64 WHIP

Oakland selected its third college pitcher of this year’s draft when the team took Wake Forest righty Colin Peluse in the ninth round. The 20-year-old has shown good command, a fastball that sits around 92-94 mph, an above-average changeup and a developing breaking ball. After turning in solid freshman and sophomore seasons, his numbers took a dip in his junior year. Peluse posted a 5.74 ERA in 15 starts for Wake Forest this year. And the A’s hope that they can help the big righty harness his potential and get back on track.

10th Round

Patrick McColl

First Baseman

Harvard

Age: 21 / Height: 6’6” / Weight: 215 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Right

2019 College: 181 AB/12 HR/17 BB/33 K/.387 AVG/.448 OBP/.707 SLG

Besides McCann, McColl was the biggest power-hitting prospect that the A’s targeted in the first ten rounds of this year’s draft. The 6-foot-6, slugging first baseman was the most dangerous hitter on this year’s Harvard squad, hitting 12 home runs and 16 doubles in just 181 at-bats while slugging .707 for the Crimson. And the senior’s impressive performance this season earned the Los Altos native multiple Ivy League Player of the Week awards this year.

11th-40th Round Draft Picks:

11th 3B Dustin Harris (St. Petersburg), 12th 3B TJ Schofield-Sam (North Park HS-ON), 13th SS Sahid Valenzuela (CSU Fullerton), 14th RHP Peyton Miller (Tyler JC), 15th OF Josh Watson (TCU), 16th LHP Brady Basso (Oklahoma State), 17th RHP Vince Coletti (Florida Atlantic), 18th OF Jorge Romero (Colegio Angel David HS-PR), 19th C Jared McDonald (Western Oregon), 20th RHP Jack Weisenburger (Michigan)

21st OF Shane Selman (McNeese), 22nd RHP Jack Cushing (Georgetown), 23rd RHP Austin Wahl (CSUMB), 24th RHP Trayson Kubo (Stephen Austin), 25th C Ty Duvall (Vanderbilt), 26th SS Elvis Peralta (Marshall), 27th 3B Gavin Jones (State Fair CC), 28th RHP Wil Jensen (Pepperdine), 29th 2B Michael Woodworth (Connecticut), 30th RHP Edward Baram (Adelphi)

31st OF Matthew Koehler (Western Carolina), 32nd 2B Marty Bechina (Michigan State), 33rd RHP Charles Hall (Tusculum), 34th LHP Kumar Nambiar (Yale), 35th RHP Zach Rafuse (USC-Aiken), 36th RHP Jake Walkinshaw (SNHU), 37th RHP Chase Wheatcroft (CSU Stanislaus), 38th LHP David Leal (Louisiana Tech), 39th OF Derek Lee (Richmond), 40th RHP Sam Romero (Arizona State)

Visit Athletics Farm for updates on the A’s minor league teams and all the top prospects down on the farm.