Athletics Draft Report Card
Best Pro Debut: The Athletics say they valued C Jeremy Brown (1) as a supplemental first-round pick, but part of his appeal was that he signed for well below slot value at $350,000. Regardless, the bad-body senior surpassed all expectations by hitting .310-10-40 in high Class A.
Best Athlete: 3B Mark Teahen (1) has the best chance of any Oakland draftee of becoming a five-tool player. He has a plus arm and defensive skills, runs slightly above-average and has a chance to hit for power. If RHP Ben Fritz (1) had his way, hed play every day as a power-hitting catcher. RHP Steve Schilsky (25) played defensive end at Illinois Wesleyan.
Best Pure Hitter: OF Brian Stavisky (6) has a quick bat and hit .294 in short-season ball. The As also believe Brown and OF Steve Swisher (1) will produce for average.
Best Raw Power: Stavisky or 1B Brant Colamarino (7).
Fastest Runner: Oakland doesnt focus on speed as much as most organizations do. 2B Lloyd Turner (16) is a 60 runner on the 20-80 scouting scale.
Best Defensive Player: OF Steve Stanley (2) is only 5-foot-7, but he has tremendous instincts that serve him well in center field and as a leadoff catalyst.
Best Fastball: RHP Joseph Blanton (1) hit 95 mph while striking out 16 in a classic college duel with No. 1 overall pick Bryan Bullington, then touched 97 at the beginning of the summer before tiring. Fritz still was reaching 96 at the end of his pro debut. RHP Jared Burton (8) works at 93-94 mph when hes used out of the bullpen.
Best Breaking Ball: LHP Bill Murphys (3) curveball.
Most Intriguing Background: Swishers father Steve was a 1973 first-round pick of the White Sox and a 1976 all-star for the Cubs. LHP Curtis White (43) has been drafted for four consecutive years without signing and will try to make it five after returning to Oklahoma.
Closest To The Majors: Brown. Fritz is also advanced and Blanton has the stuff to accelerate his timetable.
Best Late-Round Pick: C Jed Morris (36) was one of college baseballs best-hitting catchers last spring, but clubs knew he would need surgery to repair an Achilles tendon. LHP Andy Dickinson (28), who shares the University of Illinois career record for victories, vowed to the As that hell prove hes the next Jamie Moyer.
The One Who Got Away: Oakland would have made a stronger run at athletic SS Trevor Crowe (20) if he had been healthy, but his shoulder problems flared up again this summer. Hes now at Arizona.
Assessment: The As generally put more stock in performance than pure tools, so its not the most encouraging sign that most of their seven first-rounders had mediocre debuts. Oakland has depleted its system with recent trades, so the organization will challenge several players to develop quickly.
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