The Oakland Athletics wrapped up Day 3 of the MLB Draft by leaning heavy on the college ranks to add talent and depth to their farm system. Five pitchers were selected on Day 3, with three coming from Power 5 schools. The infield added depth and the OF picked up a power hitting prospect from the Pacific Northwest.
Eleventh Round: No 220: Drew Conover, RHP, Rutgers University
Conover can throw his fastball up to 97 mph (though it sits more in the low 90s when he’s throwing it as a starter), with a ton of running life coming from a lower arm slot. He can miss a lot of bats with a big sweeping slider with high spin rates that he throws in the 85-88 mph range, and he also has a hard mid-80s cutter that can be effective at times. His 6.0 BB/9 rate in 2023 actually represented a low mark in his college career, but he also struck out 11 per nine.
Sinker/Cutter/Sinker from @conover_drew today, 94-97 with ease. Adding a cutter to guys with arsenals similar to Drew can take them to the next level. Inducing more swings/action early in counts and set up his Sinker/SL to put guys away. #Stuff pic.twitter.com/YPpv46COQp— Baseball Performance Center (@The_BPCsj) January 3, 2023
Twelfth Round: No 346: Cole Conn, Catcher, University of Illinois at Chicago
Conn played three full seasons at UIC, starting 138 of 140 total games, and posted a .273 career batting average and .374 on-base percentage. He launched 24 career home runs and drove in 102 runs. In six games for Mahoning Valley, Conn posted a .321 on-base percentage.
Thirteenth Round: No 376: Will Johnston, LHP, Texas A&M
In 2023, Johnston went 3-3 with a 5.89 ERA in 27 appearances, including six starts and four saves.
Texas A&M takes game 1 of today's doubleheader against #12 Kentucky, winning by a score of 6-3. Brett Minnich went 2-4 with a HR and 3 RBIs and Jace Laviolette went 2-4 with a 2B and an RBI. Brandyn Garcia and Will Johnston combined for 2.2 shutout IP out of the bullpen with 6 Ks pic.twitter.com/AvBzRezhrY— Peter Flaherty III (@PeterGFlaherty) April 22, 2023
Fourteenth Round: No 406: Luke Mann, 3B, University of Missouri
Luke Mann started 54 games as Missouri’s primary third baseman in 2023. On the year, he hit .311 with 21 home runs and 54 RBIs. He had a .680 slugging percentage while drawing 32 walks. All of those marks were career highs.
Fifteenth Round: No 436: Will Simpson, OF, University of Washington
Will Simpson blasted 18 home runs this past season, the seventh most in a single campaign in program history, ranking fourth-all-time at UW with 36 career dingers. Simpson did more than just hit for power in 2023. His .335 batting average was the second highest on the team, easily pacing the Dawgs with a 1.061 OPS. Simpson led Washington in both RBIs and runs scored this past season, posting 58 and 55, respectively.
Sixteenth Round: No 466: Ryan Brown, RHP, Oregon State University
Brown saved 20 games in his OSU career, which is good for sixth all-time at Oregon State. His 11 saves in 2023 are tied for eighth-most in a single season by an Oregon State reliever. He’s a two-time All-Pac-12 selection, earning first-team honors in 2022. He was also a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) that season.
Seventeenth Round: Colby Halter, 2B, University Florida
The Athletics are getting a proven third baseman that can make the routine plays while also covering ground with his quick reaction times. Halter finished with a .950 career fielding percentage, having never committed more than 11 errors in a single campaign.
Colby Halter finished the season batting .247 with 9 doubles, 4 triples, 3 home runs, 30 RBI and 9 SB. The bat might not have always been there but he’s a legit defender in the infield. Robbed a handful of runs in the hot corner. Expecting him to sign, he’s an older junior. pic.twitter.com/XRVATYFwt9— gabriela vitale (@gabyvitalee) July 7, 2023
Eighteenth Round: No 526: Derrick Tarpley Jr, OF, Brownsville Area High School
Imposing build with present strength and room to add more. Weight transfer into a rotational swing with tilt. Drove the ball well to the middle and pull side. Top exit velocity of 95 MPH
Derrick Tarpley Jr. (OF) - Class of 2023 - @YSUBaseball— Pittsburgh Hardball Academy (@PGH_Hardball) June 14, 2023
Derrick had a strong 1st weekend of the summer flashing all 5 of his tools. Looking forward to big things from him this summer and beyond!@dtarpleyjr pic.twitter.com/F3Ykh2ekfw
Nineteenth Round: No 556: Derek Salata, RHP, Illinois State
Made 13 starts, primarily in the Friday role ... Led the team with 75 innings pitched and a 4.08 ERA ... Led the team with five wins ... Led the team with 88 strikeouts, the most strikeouts by a Redbird since 2015 ... tallied three outings of 10+ strikeouts ... named National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper after an 11-strikeout performance at Belmont ... named MVC Pitcher of the Week six-inning, one-run, and career-high 12-K performance at Arkansas State on 2/24.
Twentieth Round: No 586: Diego Barrera, LHP, Loyola Marymount University
Appeared in 16 games with three starts with a record of 1-1 with an ERA of 3.43, one save and 33 strikeouts in 42.0 innings pitched. Made Lions debut against USC on 2/20/23 and threw a season-high five strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched vs. Pacific on 5/23/23.