Oakland Athletics MLB Draft History And Projections
As we approach the 2018 MLB Draft on June 4, we’ll break down each major league team’s recent draft history, picking out tendencies where applicable, highlighting the team’s 2018 draft pool and also touching on the organization’s most successful recent draft picks.
Additionally, each team is listed with potential draft targets. These players either fit the typical modus operandi of the organization or are players who have been specifically linked or rumored as fits with a team throughout the spring. Baseball America will continue to add and subtract players from the potential draft target section as we continue to gather information in the final weeks leading up to the draft. Players are listed with a line of skinny to get a quick idea of who they are, but our full scouting reports will give a more complete picture of a player.
It’s also worth pointing out that while in some cases a team might appear to have a clear tendency with certain demographics (i.e., high school pitchers or college hitters), the sample we are looking at is small enough that teams could simply be following a best player available strategy and the results are showing something that’s not an overarching scouting philosophy. It’s more likely that tendencies can be discovered at the extremes, rather than slight apparent preferences in the last five years.
Here is a breakdown of the recent MLB Draft history of the Oakland Athletics:
General Manager: Dave Forst
Scouting Director: Eric Kubota
2018 Bonus Pool (Rank): $9,553,200 (10th)
2018 MLB Draft Order:
1st Round: 9th
2nd Round: 50th
Supplemental 2nd Round: 70th
3rd Round: 85th
4th-40: 9th in each round.
First Round Picks Since 2013:
2017: Austin Beck (6th)
2016: A.J. Puk (6th)
2015: Richie Martin (20th)
2014: Matt Chapman (25th)
2013: Billy McKinney (24th)
Best Recent Pick (2010-2017 Drafts):
RHP Sonny Gray (No. 18 overall, 2011) was a risky pick in the first round as a 5-foot-10 college righthander, but he rewarded the Athletics with four strong seasons from 2013 through 2017. Gray made his first all-star game in 2015 and, despite a strikeout rate below 8 per nine innings, posted a 3.45 ERA and averaged 154 innings per year from 2013-2017.
Recent Tendencies (Last Five Years/Top Five Rounds):
The A’s and scouting director Eric Kubota have extremely college-heavy over the last five years, selecting players from four-year universities 72.4 percent of the time—good for the fourth-highest rate in baseball behind the White Sox, Tigers and Cubs.
The team has been fairly split on hitters versus. pitchers, selecting 15 bats and 14 arms in that same period, though the 51.7 percent of hitters selected is in the top third (10th) of all teams.
Kubota is one of the longest-tenured scouting directors in the game and has served in his current role for the A’s since 2002. He has been with the organization since 1984 when he was in college and brings a lot of consistency to the scouting department. Kubota has leaned towards hitters in the first round in recent years, taking just one pitcher—LHP A.J. Puk in 2016—with the team’s first pick since 2013, instead preferring outfielders and infielders on the left side of the dirt.
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Potential Draft Targets:
LHP Matthew Liberatore — A projectable lefthander who's been up to 96 mph at times, Liberatore has three potential plus pitches and good feel for each
3B Jonathan India — One of college baseball's most impressive performers, India is solid across the board and is tapping into unprecedented power this spring
1B/3B Alec Bohm — A corner infielder with immense power in his bat, Bohm has a sound plan and approach in the batter's box
LHP Shane McClanahan — An electrifying, albeit sporadic, lefthander with some of the best pure stuff in the class, McClanahan has a fastball that tickles 100 mph
OF Travis Swaggerty — Swaggerty is a potential five-tool talent with a real shot to stick in center field who showed increased power this spring
RHP Carter Stewart — Stewart has the best breaking ball in the 2018 class in a powerful, downer curveball—oh, and he's touched 98 mph this spring
RHP Cole Winn — One of the most consistent prep arms this spring, there are no real holes to speak of in Winn's game
OF Jarred Kelenic — Solid in every area, Kelenic is one of the best pure hitters in the prep class and scouts are expecting more power to come
3B Nolan Gorman — Gorman is a slugging third baseman with near top-of-the-scale raw power and a strong arm, but has some questions about his feel to hit
RHP Jackson Kowar — Lean, wiry and with a good frame, Kowar has an above-average fastball and plus changeup
LHP Ryan Weathers — The son of David Weathers, Ryan is a polished lefty with solid control of a heavy fastball and an improving curveball