2011 Draft Report Card: Oakland A's
BEST PURE HITTER:
|No one—least of all the A's—thought Gray would make it to the 18th pick. He was a coup and allowed Oakland to go after intriguing college bats, complemented by late find Bostick.
Bonus Spending: $3.1 million
SS/2B Chris Bostick (44)—the only prep player the A's signed—ranked as the No. 2 prospect in the New York Collegiate League before signing for $125,000, and he hit .442 in 52 at-bats with eight extra-base hits in 14 games in the Rookie-level Arizona League. He has a unique feel for the barrel of the bat. BEST POWER HITTER:
3B B.A. Vollmuth (3) has strength and leverage in his swing, helping him hit 40 homers in three seasons at Southern Mississippi and rapping five extra-base hits in 14 at-bats for short-season Vermont. FASTEST RUNNER:
The A's didn't draft a true burner. OF Chad Oberacker (25) is a plus runner and efficient basestealer (42-for-50 in college, 13-for-15 at Vermont). BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER:
The A's sent C Beau Taylor (5), a strong receiver, straight to low Class A Burlington. He threw out 37 percent of Midwest League basestealers. Athletic Canadian SS Sean Jamieson (17) enhances average tools (arm, range, hands) with good instincts.
RHPs Sonny Gray (1) and Blake Treinen (7) do it differently, but both touch 97 mph. The 5-foot-11 Gray sits 90-94, and he likes to work up in the zone. The 6-foot-4 Treinen will get a chance to start but dominated in relief in his debut with 36 strikeouts in 30 innings. BEST SECONDARY PITCH:
Gray's high heat sets up his power curveball, the best in the '11 draft class. It has downer action, and he has excellent feel for and control of his breaking ball.
ODDS AND ENDSBEST PRO DEBUT:
Gray put up a 0.45 ERA and 18 strikeouts in five starts spanning 20 innings in Double-A. The A's were pleased with college RHPs Tanner Peters (16), who had 11 saves and a 1.35 ERA with 33 strikeouts in 27 innings at Vermont; and T.J. Walz (13), who was 4-1, 1.99 with 43 whiffs in 41 innings. BEST ATHLETE:
OF Bobby Crocker (4) edges Bostick for his combination of size (6-foot-3, 230 pounds), speed and strength. MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND:
Treinen went from pitching junior-varsity at an NAIA school in Kansas, to sitting out a season after transferring to Arkansas, to becoming a top prospect at South Dakota State. OF Dayton Alexander (6) is a cousin of Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino. Unsigned C Brett Geren (42) is the son of ex-big leaguer and manager Bob, while 2B Shane Boras (39) is the son of agent Scott. CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS:
Gray. BEST LATE-ROUND PICK:
Bostick. The A's also like RHPs Walz, Peters and Nathan Kilcrease (30), the 5-foot-6 former Alabama ace who has an average fastball, feel for spinning a breaking ball and moxie to spare. THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY:
The A's tried to sign LHP Jace Fry (9) early, then followed him in the West Coast League, a summer college circuit where he ranked as the No. 1 prospect as his fastball scraped 96 at times. He's headed to Oregon.