Oakland Athletics Draft Review

Continuing with the American League West, we turn our attention to the Oakland Athletics.

Oakland Athletics:
1) Michael Choice, OF, UT-Arlington: His power is real and he has good patience, although his insane walk total in college overstates things since he was pitched around. I also think his overall tools are a bit underrated. Overall, a solid choice, pardon the pun.

2) Yordy Cabrera, 3B, Florida HS: Main negative is his age, already 20. But scouts love his power potential, and he has a third base arm. This is potentially excellent value in the second round.

3) Aaron Shipman, OF, Georgia HS: Very good tools and decent hitting polish for a high school kid. There was some talk he could go earlier than this, making him a value selection with upside.

4) Chad Lewis, 3B, California HS: Decent defender at third base with the potential to hit for power and average as he matures. Like Shipman, he could have gone higher and looks like a solid pick in this slot.

5) Tyler Vail, RHP, Pennsylvania HS: Low-90s fastball but raw, was expected to attend college at Maryland but being drafted this high increases his chance to sign.

6) Tony Thompson, 3B, University of Kansas: Showed a first round bat last year in the Big 12, but a knee injury this year hampered him both offensively and defensively. Faces a move to first base, but could be a huge value pick in this round as the injury recedes into the background.

7) Jordan Tripp, Of, Golden West JC: Shows good plate discipline, power and speed potential, could be a very nice pick here.

8) Blake Hassebrock, RHP, UNC Greensboro: Can hit 94 MPH and looks like a pitcher at 6-5, 190, but has serious command and control problems. Good upside but high risk of failure.

9) A.J. Kirby-Jones, 1B, Tennessee Tech: Good power, good plate discipline, lacks tools and glove.

10) Josh Bowman, RHP, University of Tampa: Successful college guy with an average arm, could be middle relief filler.

FOUR OTHERS OF NOTE: 11-Wade Kirkland, SS, Florida Southern; 14-J.C. Menna, RHP, Brookdale CC; 18-Jose Macias, RHP, Franklin Pierce; 28-Ryan Pineda, 2B, Cal State Northridge

COMMENT: Very heavy offense, with an obvious focus on power and strike zone judgment. I like the way they mixed high school and college hitters. The pitching picks are unimpressive on first blush, and I wonder if they could have done better with that, though teen round picks Menna and Macias bear watching. But the offensive choices look very strong to me, with Lewis, Thompson, and Tripp all potential bargains in their rounds.

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