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MLB Draft 2022, Day 2: A’s make picks in Rounds 3 thru 10

Eight more picks today!

2022 Major League Baseball Draft Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The 2022 MLB Draft began yesterday with the first couple rounds. Now the three-day process enters its second day, as Monday brings Rounds 3 through 10.

The Oakland A’s will make eight picks today.

  • 3rd round: No. 95
  • 4th round: No. 124
  • 5th round: No. 154
  • 6th round: No. 184
  • 7th round: No. 214
  • 8th round: No. 244
  • 9th round: No. 274
  • 10th round: No. 304

These picks will join the newcomers from yesterday, including 1st-rounder Daniel Susac (college catcher), 2nd-rounder Henry Bolte (high school outfielder), and No. 69 overall pick Clark Elliott (college outfielder) from the Competitive Balance Round.

See below for quick info on today’s selections.

3rd round (No. 95): Colby Thomas, OF

Thomas is a 21-year-old college junior out of Mercer University. MLB Pipeline ranked him 95th on their pre-draft board, with the following report for the 6’0” right-handed hitter:

Scouting grades: Hit: 45 | Power: 55 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45

A 37th-round pick by the Orioles out of a Georgia high school in 2019, Thomas led the Southern Conference with five homers in 16 games as a Mercer freshman during the shortened college season the following spring. He got too aggressive at the plate and struggled throughout 2021 before starting to get back on track in the Cape Cod League. He’s showing more discipline this spring and has played his way into the top three rounds, making him the Bears’ best prospect since Kyle Lewis went 11th overall in 2016, though his season ended in early May after he injured the labrum in his right (throwing) shoulder and required surgery.

Before he got hurt, Thomas challenged for the NCAA Division I home run lead while chasing fewer pitches out of the zone and missing fewer over the plate. His right-handed swing can still get too uphill, but his combination of bat speed, strength and loft gives him well-above-average raw power. He’s doing a better job of working counts and drawing walks, leading to optimism he’ll hit for a decent average while posting a healthy on-base percentage.

One of the better athletes in the 2022 college class, Thomas is a solid to plus runner with arm strength to match. He has the savvy to steal bases and covers more ground than a typical right fielder. Scouts believe he has the quickness and instincts to perhaps play center field, though he hasn’t gotten that opportunity with the Bears.

Baseball America had him ranked 158th, with the following notes:

Tools: Hit: 45. Power: 55. Run: 55. Field: 50. Arm: 55.

Thomas has a lean, 6-foot, 190-pound frame and works with an upright and open batting stance, with a sizable leg kick and uphill bat path geared for launching balls into the air. He does a nice job when he can get his hands extended and out over the plate but struggles on the inner half. Thomas will swing and miss against secondary offerings but has made plenty of contact against fastballs, though he admittedly didn’t face a large sample of 93-plus mph velocity in 2022. Thomas played right field for Mercer this spring but has the tools for center and the power and speed upside to excite teams, regardless of his health.

4th round (No. 124): Jacob Watters, RHP

Watters is a 21-year-old college junior out of West Virginia University. MLB Pipeline ranked him 154th on their pre-draft board, with the following report for the 6’4” right-handed pitcher:

Scouting Grades: Fastball: 60 | Curveball: 60 | Changeup: 45 | Control: 40 | Overall: 45

Watters spent his first two seasons at West Virginia pitching almost exclusively out of the bullpen and he even closed some games in 2021, showing off high-octane stuff with very little idea of how to throw it for strikes. He began his junior season this spring as a reliever, but got the chance to start in March and has been part of the Mountaineers weekend rotation. He’s shown enough stuff, especially in a 15-strikeout performance against Texas, to substantially raise his profile.

The 6-foot-4 Watters has the chance to have two at least plus pitches. His fastball has been up to 99 mph as a starter this spring, averaging close to 96 mph, and he can touch triple digits in shorter relief stints. He complements the heater with a true 12-to-6 power curve thrown in the mid-80s, that can miss a ton of bats. He does have some feel for a mid-80s changeup, but it’s well behind the two other offerings.

For Watters to be able to have a chance at starting at the next level, he’s going to have to continue improving his command. He has gotten better at finding the strike zone after walking 10.7 per nine in 2021. In all likelihood, he’ll end up back in the bullpen, where he could have an 80 fastball to go along with a 65 or 70 curve.

Baseball America had him ranked 134th:

Tools: Fastball: 65. Curveball: 60. Changeup: 40. Control: 40.

He has a power fastball that averaged 95-96 mph this spring and gets up to 99-100 mph at peak. His go-to secondary is a mid-80s, top-down breaking ball that flashes hammering bite and spin when he rips off a good one. Scouts have put 70 grades on the curveball at its best—and he got whiffs nearly 50% of the time on the pitch this spring—though it can be inconsistent. He rarely threw a mid-80s changeup that needs more refinement. Watters is a good athlete for his size and was a basketball and football player in high school, but his control has always been below-average and because of that he profiles as a reliever at the next level.

5th round (No. 154): Jack Perkins, RHP

Perkins is a 22-year-old college senior out of Indiana University. MLB Pipeline didn’t rank the 6’1” right-handed pitcher on their pre-draft board, but Baseball America had him 281st:

Perkins was a standout baseball and football player for Kokomo (Ind.) High, where he helped his team to a state championship on the gridiron. In high school, Perkins showed impressive arm strength with a fastball that was regularly in the mid 90s, as well as a hard slider that flashed above-average. Scouts mistrusted his control, however, and despite being selected by the Braves in the 39th round of the 2018 draft, he made his way to campus at Louisville.

Perkins struggled with his control for two seasons (he missed 2020 due to injury) with Louisville but transferred to Indiana for his 2022 junior campaign. This spring he took a step forward with his strike throwing and started the entire year, posting a 5.10 ERA over 83 innings, with 91 strikeouts (23.1 K%) and 47 walks (11.9 BB%).

While Perkins’ control is still questionable, his stuff is among the best in the Big Ten. He throws a fastball in the 92-94 mph range that has been up to 97, with a hard slider in the mid 80s and a cutter that averages around 90 mph. It’s an explosive pitch mix, though he will need to continue making strides with his delivery and command to make the most of it.

More from prospect analyst Jeff Ellis:

Jack Perkins was buried at Louisville moved to Indiana and got his chance. He is a Tommy John guy just the 11th guy from Indiana to register 90 or more strikeouts can touch the upper 90s

6th round (No. 184): Brennan Milone, 3B

Milone is a 21-year-old college junior out of University of South Carolina. MLB Pipeline didn’t rank the 6’1” right-handed hitter but did offer the following notes:

Milone was a top 100 prospect in high school for the 2019 Draft but didn’t get drafted until Round 28 with a strong commitment to South Carolina that he fulfilled. But after struggling in 2020 and ‘21, he moved across the country to Oregon and found some offensive consistency, hitting .337/.405/.545 with 12 homers for the Ducks this past spring, though he struggled for a second straight summer in the Cape Cod League. The right-handed hitter does have some solid bat-to-ball skills and some pop, particularly to his pull side, but where he can play defensively is very much in question, with some seeing a future as a designated hitter.

Baseball America placed him 452nd on their board:

Milone ranked as the No. 134 prospect in the 2019 draft class out of high school thanks to above-average hitting potential and raw power. He turned down offers to turn pro and instead opted to make it to campus at South Carolina, where he struggled offensively for two seasons before transferring to Oregon. This spring in the Pac-12, Milone found much more success in the batter’s box, slashing .337/.405/.545 with 12 home runs and 15 doubles.

Milone makes a lot of contact and showed pull-side power with solid exit velocities, but he did struggle against the small sample of 93+ mph velocity he saw and secondaries of all types. Milone has some intriguing offensive tools, but he lacks an obvious defensive home and his struggles in the SEC and in multiple stints in the Cape Cod League raise questions about his hit tool at the next level.

More from Jeff Ellis:

Brennan Milone has been a well known kid since high school. He is not likely to stick at short, He struggled to get on the field at South Carolina transferred to Oregon and played well. Betting on more ceiling just due to him getting reps.

7th round (No. 214): Yeniel Laboy, 3B

Laboy is an 18-year-old high schooler out of Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. MLB Pipeline didn’t rank the 6’3” left-handed hitter, nor did Baseball America.

8th round (No. 244): Micah Dallas, RHP

Dallas is a 22-year-old college senior out of Texas A&M University. MLB Pipeline didn’t rank the 6’2” right-handed pitcher, but Baseball America had him 344th:

Before transferring to Texas A&M, Dallas was a high-leverage contributor for Texas Tech, both out of the bullpen and as a starter. As a full-time starter for the Aggies this spring, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound redshirt junior notched a 7-3 record in 18 appearances, starting 16 of them.

The veteran righty is at his best when his 80-84 mph slider is working. It is his primary pitch, and it’s difficult to handle when on. His fastball can be effective, too. It doesn’t have premium velocity, sitting 90-92, but it does possess sink and run. It complements his slider well, darting the opposite way. Dallas has good feel for his changeup that breaks like his sinker, keeping lefthanded hitters honest.

He has a bulldog approach that allows him to attack hitters. He gets himself into trouble when the slider command isn’t there and he finds himself working from behind, relying strictly on his fastball. With one more year of eligibility, Dallas could return to College Station to finish off his collegiate career.

Plus an anecdote!

9th round (No. 274): Caeden Trenkle, OF

Trenkle is a 21-year-old college sophomore out of Oklahoma State University. MLB Pipeline didn’t rank the 6’1” left-handed hitter, but Baseball America put him 422nd:

Oklahoma State’s center fielder for the past three years, Trenkle is a table-setter with plus speed who will do whatever to get on base. He flies out of the box and tries to turn routine grounders into infield singles. He also led Oklahoma State with 12 hit-by-pitches. Trenkle has a flat, contact-oriented swing. He should hit for average, but with well below-average power. He’s an above-average defender in center. He tracks balls well and has a center fielder’s necessary arrogance. He’s especially adept at coming in on balls.

10th round (No. 304): Brock Rodden, 2B

Rodden is a 22-year-old college junior out of Wichita State University. MLB Pipeline didn’t rank the 5’9” switch-hitter, but Baseball America had him 340th:

After two years at Seminole State (Okla.) JC, Rodden stepped onto Wichita State’s campus this season and immediately became the school’s best hitter. The switch-hitter led the team in virtually every offensive category, hitting .338/.441/.653 with 17 home runs and more walks (39) than strikeouts (37).

Rodden is a 5-foot-9 second baseman who doesn’t have a whole lot of positional versatility. An average runner, Rodden is an average defender at second, limited only by his fringe-average arm. He makes all the plays and plays like a coach on the field, which makes sense considering his father, Kevin, was a collegiate player and his high school coach. At the plate, Rodden’s short, compact swing generates tons of contact. He’s solid from both sides of the plate, although his power plays a little more to all fields from the left side.

Welcome to the eight new members of the A’s!