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Elephant Rumblings: How the A’s might approach the 2022 draft

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Kyler Murray Signs Contract Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

The 2022 MLB draft begins this Sunday, July 17. The A’s will be making the 19th, 56th, and 69th overall picks on Day One. AN community member grover has been popping in throughout the week to share some insights on potential picks that are well worth checking out. Additionally, Melissa Lockard at The Athletic wrote an A’s draft preview that appeared yesterday, discussing how the organization might approach this year’s picks.

Lockard notes that the A’s have had relatively little success with first-round draft picks since 2015, which have yielded only two big league players to date: A.J. Puk and Richie Martin. Since the high-upside gamble on Kyler Murray in 2018 that went bust, the A’s three late-first round picks Logan Davidson, Tyler Soderstrom, and Max Muncy are showing promise but remain works in progress.

The A’s also traded a bevy of early-round picks as they pushed for contention from 2018-21, leaving the rebuilding organization’s farm system in need of a reload. They’ll almost surely be drafting earlier in 2023, but this year they will once again get their top pick in the latter half of the first round—the draft pool’s crème de la crème will already have been skimmed off the top by then.

So what will the A’s best option be for their top pick on Sunday? General manager David Forst recently said he believes it is usually best to go after position players in the first round, and Lockard notes that the A’s minor league outfield depth is especially thin while the draft pool is deep at that position.

Two available outfielders with Bay Area ties that have been linked to the A’s are Dylan Beavers from Cal Berkeley and Brock Jones from Stanford. Check out Grover’s evaluation of these potential picks from earlier in the week here. Lockard also mentioned a handful of other outfielders worth keeping an eye on.

Of course, getting the best player available is more important than fleshing out the depth chart when it comes to the draft. Lockard mentions a number of other possibilities for the A’s first-day picks and beyond, and considers how the team’s relatively modest bonus pool might factor into their ability to pluck a diamond in the rough that remains in play after the first day of selections have been made. Lockard also goes further in depth on the A’s top picks going back to 2010. Be sure to check it out!

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