Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Team Player Position State Bonus
4 114 Pittsburgh Pirates Chase d'Arnaud SS Calif. $293,000
Pepperdine moved d'Arnaud to shortstop from this base this spring to replace Danny Worth, and d'Arnaud increased his draft stock by showing he could handle short. His arm and range profile better at third base, where he's an above-average defender, but he's solid-average at short. He lacks the raw power potential of his younger brother Travis, who was a second-round pick last year of the Phillies, but improved with the bat and showed solid gap power. He's also an average runner and a tick above underway.
7 214 Oakland Athletics Brett Hunter RHP Calif. $1,100,000
Undrafted out of high school, Hunter first began to draw the attention of scouts as a closer for his Connie Mack summer ball club in 2005. He has since blossomed into one of the top pitching prospects in the nation. Now 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, Hunter may possess the strongest arm in the draft. Hunter has missed all but two starts in 2008 due to arm problems, generally reported as elbow pain. Hunter returned in late May with two short outings, peaking at 92 mph and showing some rust but generally encouraging scouts. Many scouts aren't surprised by Hunter's injury due to his unorthodox mechanics. He drops his arm behind himself like a discus thrower, making it hard to find a consistent arm slot. Hunter's tilted, unbalanced finish features a high right leg release. None of that precluded Hunter, who dominated with Team USA last summer as a closer, from featuring some of the nation's best stuff. His thunderbolt fastball arrives at the plate from 93-97 mph and has touched 100 in relief outings. As a starter, he has no difficulty maintaining velocity into the sixth and seventh inning, when healthy, and he challenges both good and average hitters with his four-seam in all situations and all counts. Hunter's high-70's to low-80's curve has nasty downward break, though he has inconsistent control of the that pitch. Hunter's command is spotty and causes him to get behind batters and run up high pitch counts. Health concerns muddle where Hunter will be selected, and his command problems muddle whether he will be a starter or reliever. The combination makes predicting his draft position impossible.
7 219 Toronto Blue Jays Eric Thames OF Calif. $150,000
A lefthanded hitter and thrower, Thames' outstanding 2008 season at Pepperdine has drawn substantial attention from scouts. He was hitting .407 with 13 homers and 59 RBIs when he went down in late May with what scouts described as a hip flexor injury, though Pepperdine describes it as an upper-leg injury. An unsigned 39th-round pick of the Yankees in 2007, Thames has improved his stock considerably, improving his body over the years. He's now a solidly built, muscular 6-foot, 205-pounder who physically resembles former White Sox outfielder Warren Newson. Thames' primary tool is his bat, as he's strong enough to hit effectively from an open, spread stance. Occasionally, Thames will drift into a habit of trying to lift, pull and jerk everything. He often over swings and whiffs on offspeed stuff, and is much more effective when he cuts down on his swing and attempts to use the entire field. In the outfield, Thames is an acceptable, average defensive left fielder, with acceptable speed and range. He has played some center field but profiles better defensively in left. His inconsistent and fringy arm strength also fits better in left. As a pro, Thames profiles as a potentially heavy-hitting left fielder with average to slightly below-average non-hitting tools.
10 312 Seattle Mariners Nate Newman RHP Calif.