Oakland A’s had a Great Draft

June 9, 2008 at 9:45 am Leave a comment

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With all the attention the top picks get in the draft and the teams like the Yankees and Red Sox taking top talents that fall due to signability issues the Oakland A’s draft got little to no attention and they had a very strong draft.

The Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane is known for his “Moneyball” style of drafting and this draft isn’t much different but he did take fliers on some very good young players that fell due to signability.

Let me start from the top.

The overdraft of Miami secondbaseman Jemile Weeks (brother of Rickie Weeks) was a bit of a surprise but he was the man they wanted and he is going to be a viable major league seconbaseman. Not a high upside pick but a solid pick.

The A’s then drafted RHP Tyson Ross. He has top of the rotation talent and should make it to the majors in 2 or so years. He has some work to do with his secondary stuff but this is a great pick in the 2nd round.

One of my favorite picks was the A’s 3rd round pick of Arizona State catcher Petey Paramore. The kid is a switch hitting catcher and scouts have raved about his defense. He also has 17 more walks than strikeouts in his collegiate career and projects to be very good big league catcher. In my opinion, the Rays should’ve taken him just a few picks before but they took UC Davis catcher Jake Jefferies who offers less upside than Paramore. Great pick here for the A’s.

The A’s next six picks were all college players; no real surprise there.

In what could be one of the biggest steals of the draft the A’s took a chance on Pepperdine RHP Brett Hunter. Considered by some scouts to be a sure-fire first round pick he fell due to an injury and the fact his coach didn’t put him in during tough situations. He very well could turn down any money thrown his way and go back for his senior year and try to be a first rounder next year but if the A’s can sign him they got a first round talent who can be a top of the rotation starter or dominate reliever in the 7th round. Great pick.

Preston Guilmet of Arizona is a definite Beane pick here. A pitcher who has big time stats but underwhelming stuff. He throws 3 offspeed pitches and has a fastball that sits in the 86-88 mph range. His delivery is deceptive too. He reminds me a little of Rays starter Andy Sonnanstine so this is a great pick in the 22nd round.

The pick that surprised me the most was their 43rd round pick, Lexington Catholic HS (KY) lefty Nick Maronde. Maronde has the possibility of a three plus pitches with his above-average fastball being his main weapon. He has trouble repeating his delivery but that A’s can fix that. This is a top 1-2 round talent the A’s stole in the 43rd round. He will be asking for some serious cash to stop him from going to school but it’s a gamble worth taking.

While Billy Beane stuck to his guns and went college heavy in this draft this was a good draft to do so. This draft was short on top round high school talent and he even managed to grab one in the 43rd round. If he can sign Hunter and Maronde this could be one of those drafts that we look back on and see just how great a draft it was.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell
some scouting reports from MLB.com

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