Tag: Kevin Merrell

A’s Top 11 Draft Picks Mid-Season Progress Report

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

00DSC04060xThe A’s were fortunate enough to be able to sign all of their 11 picks from the first 10 rounds of this year’s amateur draft.

It’s been almost two months since the first of those players signed by the A’s began playing with the Class-A Vermont Lake Monsters or the rookie-ball Arizona League A’s. So, it seems like a good time to take a look at how some the A’s newest prospects have been performing down on the farm.

You’ll find the A’s top 11 picks from the first 10 rounds of the 2017 draft along with their current statistics through August 11 listed below. The teams they’ve played for so far this season are noted, with the team they’ve appeared in the most games with listed first and their current team in bold…

 

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#1 – 1st Round

Austin Beck

Age: 18 / Outfielder

AZL A’s

92 AB / 1 HR / 5 BB / 33 K / .185 AVG / .240 OBP / .272 SLG / .512 OPS

 

Beck got off to a bit of a slow start, going 1 for his first 21 with 12 strikeouts. And his 5/33 BB/K ratio on the season will still need to see quite a bit of improvement. But Beck’s bat’s been starting to warm up a bit of late, and the 18-year-old just hit the first home run of his pro career in Thursday’s game. He’s also gone 4 for 4 in steal attempts while starting 20 error-free games in center field for the AZL A’s.

 

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#2 – 1st Round Supplemental

Kevin Merrell

Age: 21 / Shortstop

Vermont Lake Monsters

107 AB / 2 HR / 8 BB / 20 K / .299 AVG / .345 OBP / .402 SLG / .746 OPS

 

Merrell’s basically been doing what was expected of him when he was drafted – making contact, getting on base and utilizing his speed to make things happen. While primarily hitting in the leadoff spot, Merrell’s .299 batting average is second-best for Vermont and his 9 stolen bases and 22 runs both lead the squad.

 

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#3 – 2nd Round

Greg Deichmann

Age: 22 / Outfielder

Vermont Lake Monsters

93 AB / 3 HR / 16 BB / 24 K / .323 AVG / .423 OBP / .559 SLG / .983 OPS

 

Thus far, Deichmann has been the best batter to come out of this year’s draft for the A’s. The slugger from LSU appears to be an advanced college hitter who’s demonstrated both power and plate discipline. He currently leads Vermont in extra-base hits, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage while also showing a good arm in right field.

 

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#4 – 3rd Round

Nick Allen

Age: 18 / Shortstop

AZL A’s

76 AB / 1 HR / 4 BB / 16 K / .250 AVG / .288 OBP / .355 SLG / .643 OPS

 

Allen got off to a slightly late start after taking a little longer to sign than most. But since the start of July, he’s been playing shortstop regularly while usually leading off. He’s been doing a decent job while still getting his feet wet as a pro, and the 18-year-old has 2 triples and stolen 3 bases so far for the AZL A’s.

 

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#5 – 4th Round

Will Toffey

Age: 22 / Third Baseman

Vermont Lake Monsters

133 AB / 0 HR / 26 BB / 27 K / .233 AVG / .356 OBP / .323 SLG / .680 OPS

 

Toffey has pretty much been serving as Vermont’s everyday third baseman since play began in the New York-Penn League. He’s done a good job of getting on base, and his 26 walks and 8 doubles both lead the team, but he’s failed to record a home run in his first 36 pro games for Vermont.

 

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#6 – 5th Round

Santis Sanchez

Age: 18 / Catcher

AZL A’s

50 AB / 0 HR / 6 BB / 16 K / .160 AVG / .250 OBP / .180 SLG / .430 OPS

 

The A’s have been bringing the 18-year-old backstop along slowly and he’s been playing sporadically for the Arizona League squad. Sanchez has mostly struggled at the plate early on, going 8 for 50 with just 1 extra-base hit for the A’s.

 

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#7 – 6th Round

Logan Salow

Age: 22 / Left-Handed Pitcher

Vermont Lake Monsters + AZL A’s

16 1/3 IP / 11 H / 3 ER / 11 BB / 22 K / 1.65 ERA / 1.35 WHIP

 

There was talk of the college closer getting a shot at serving in a starting role, but that may have to wait until next season. For now, the southpaw has been serving out of the Lake Monsters bullpen. He’s been victimized by bad defense at times, but Salow has managed to post 22 strikeouts over his first 16 1/3 innings as a pro.

 

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#8 – 7th Round

Parker Dunshee

Age: 22 / Right-Handed Pitcher

Vermont Lake Monsters + AZL A’s

29 1/3 IP / 16 H / 3 ER / 6 BB / 35 K / 0.92 ERA / 0.75 WHIP

 

Dunshee has been the most promising pitcher to come out of this year’s draft so far for the A’s. After allowing 3 runs in his first appearance for the AZL A’s, Dunshee moved to Vermont, where he’s now failed to allow a run in his first 27 1/3 innings of work for the Lake Monsters. The former Wake Forest star is an experienced college hurler, and he’s been striking out nearly 11 batters per 9 innings while notching nearly 6 times more strikeouts than walks.

 

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#9 – 8th Round

Brian Howard

Age: 22 / Right-Handed Pitcher

Vermont Lake Monsters

22 1/3 IP / 20 H / 4 ER / 1 BB / 22 K / 1.61 ERA / 0.94 WHIP

 

Howard has been almost as impressive as Dunshee in the early going. The 6-foot-9 righty has demonstrated great control, walking just 1 and striking out 22 while also failing to allow a home run over his first 22 1/3 innings of work for the Lake Monsters.

 

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#10 – 9th Round

Jared Poche

Age: 22 / Left-Handed Pitcher

Vermont Lake Monsters

2 IP / 3 H / 0 ER / 0 BB / 2 K / 0.00 ERA / 1.50 WHIP

 

Poche made his first appearance in July, throwing 2 scoreless innings for Vermont, before landing on the disabled list with a forearm strain that’s expected to end his first pro season prematurely.

 

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#11 – 10th Round

Jack Meggs

Age: 22 / Outfielder

Vermont Lake Monsters

69 AB / 3 HR / 9 BB / 14 K / .290 AVG / .370 OBP / .449 SLG / .820 OPS

 

The 10th-round draft pick out of Washington started out strong. Meggs smashed 3 home runs in his first 17 games, a number no one on the Lake Monsters squad has yet to surpass, while also boasting a .370 on-base percentage and a .449 slugging percentage before landing on the disabled list in late July.

 

–TOP HITTER–

gd656364#3 – 2nd Round

Greg Deichmann

Age: 22 / Outfielder

Vermont Lake Monsters

93 AB / 3 HR / 16 BB / 24 K / .323 AVG / .423 OBP / .559 SLG / .983 OPS

 

–TOP PITCHER–

pd670161#8 – 7th Round

Parker Dunshee

Age: 22 / Right-Handed Pitcher

Vermont Lake Monsters + AZL A’s

29 1/3 IP / 16 H / 3 ER / 6 BB / 35 K / 0.92 ERA / 0.75 WHIP

 

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

Tuesday, August 8th: 5 HRs Help Stockton Snap Skid while Sounds Win in Extras

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Third Baseman Sheldon Neuse (3 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Stockton Ports Third Baseman Sheldon Neuse (3 for 4 / 2 HRs / 4 RBIs)

 

CALIFORNIA LEAGUE  (High-A)

San Jose Giants  5

Stockton Ports   9

WP – Romero 1-1 / 11.81

HR – Brown 2 (19), Neuse 2 (6), Raga (4)

Prospect Of The Game:

Third Baseman Sheldon Neuse

(3 for 4 / 2 Home Runs / 4 RBIs)

Five home runs helped Stockton snap its four-game losing streak on Tuesday. Third baseman Sheldon Neuse wielded the biggest bat of the night, collecting 3 hits, including 2 home runs, while scoring 3 times and driving in 4 runs for the Ports. Right fielder Seth Brown belted a pair of home runs to give him a team-leading total of 19 while driving in 3 runs, and catcher Argenis Raga added a solo shot for Stockton. Starter Logan Shore allowed 3 runs over 4 innings of work, while RHP Miguel Romero tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief to pick up his 1st win for the Ports, and RHP Armando Ruiz got the final four outs for Stockton to secure his 2nd save.

Click here for more on Nashville, Midland, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Wednesday, August 2nd: Erwin Pitches Snappers to Victory while 3 HRs Help Ports Prevail & Hurlbutt Is Solid in Hounds’ Win

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Zack Erwin (6 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 9 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Beloit Snappers Pitcher Zack Erwin (6 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 9 K / Win)

 

MIDWEST LEAGUE  (Class-A)

Peoria Chiefs        1

Beloit Snappers  7

WP – Erwin 5-2 / 1.68

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Zack Erwin

(6 IP / 2 H / 0 ER / 1 BB / 9 K / Win)

LHP Zack Erwin turned in another impressive start to help the Snappers win for the sixth time in their last seven games on Wednesday. The 23-year-old allowed just 2 hits while striking out a career-best 9 batters over 6 shutout innings to earn his 5th win, and he’s now given up just 1 earned run in 27 innings over his last 5 starts for Beloit. RHP Heath Bowers allowed 1 run in 3 innings of relief to secure his 4th save for the Snappers. Center fielder Mike Martin had 3 hits, including a double, stole a base and scored twice, while third baseman Trace Loehr singled and tripled, and designated hitter Miguel Mercedes singled twice and drove in a pair for the Snappers.

Click here for more on Midland, Stockton & Vermont…

Tuesday, July 11th: Top Draft Picks Deichmann & Merrell Star for Lake Monsters as Vermont Splits Doubleheader

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Designated Hitter Greg Deichmann (2 for 3 / Triple / Walk / 2 RBIs)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Vermont Lake Monsters Designated Hitter Greg Deichmann (2 for 3 / Triple / Walk / 2 RBIs)

 

NEW YORK-PENN LEAGUE  (Class-A Short-Season)

GAME #2

Vermont Lake Monsters  6

Staten Island Yankees       1

WP – Kelliher 2-0 / 1.86

Prospect Of The Game:

Designated Hitter Greg Deichmann

(2 for 3 / Triple / Walk / 2 RBIs)

The Lake Monsters won the second game of Tuesday’s twinbill to secure a split of the doubleheader. This year’s 2nd-round draft pick for the A’s, designated hitter Greg Deichmann, who made his debut in Tuesday’s first game, was the hitting star of the second game. The 22-year-old out of LSU singled, tripled, walked and drove in a pair of runs for Vermont. 16th-round left fielder Payton Squier doubled in a pair, while 19-year-old Venezuelan second baseman Jesus Lage tripled and scored, and 21-year-old Venezuelan third baseman Javier Godard singled, doubled and drove in a run for the Lake Monsters. This year’s 8th-round pick, 6’9″ RHP Brian Howard, made the start and threw 3 shutout innings, while RHP Branden Kelliher tossed 2 scoreless frames to earn his 2nd victory for Vermont. Meanwhile, Lake Monsters infielder Jesus Lopez was promoted to the Snappers, and AZL A’s outfielder Logan Farrar was reassigned to Vermont on Tuesday.

 

GAME #1

Vermont Lake Monsters  1

Staten Island Yankees       3

LP – Andueza 3-1 / 2.57

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Prospect Of The Game:

Shortstop Kevin Merrell

(3 for 3 / RBI / 2 Stolen Bases)

 

This year’s second overall draft pick for the A’s, shortstop Kevin Merrell, was the hitting star in the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader. The 21-year-old collected 3 of Vermont’s 6 hits while swiping a pair of bases and driving in a run. Catcher Iolana Akau doubled for the Lake Monsters’ only extra-base hit of the game. 22-year-old Venezuelan LHP Ivan Andueza allowed 3 runs over 6 innings of work to suffer his 1st loss for the Lake Monsters.

 

Wednesday’s Games:

Corpus Christi @ Midland – 4:30pm PT / 6:30pm CT

Inland Empire @ Stockton – 7:10pm PT

Beloit @ Lansing – 4:05pm PT / 6:05pm CT

Vermont @ Staten Island – 4:00pm PT / 7:00pm ET

AZL A’s @ AZL Padres – 7:00pm PT

 

Greg Deichmann

Greg Deichmann

 

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

A’s Draft Picks Debut for Vermont & AZL A’s

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

It’s been four weeks since the amateur draft, so let’s take a quick look at which of the A’s 2017 draft picks are currently playing for the Vermont Lake Monsters and the Arizona League A’s and how they’ve been performing so far in the early going. All statistics are through games of Sunday, July 9…

 

–Vermont Lake Monsters–

Kevin Merrell

Kevin Merrell

1st Comp SS Kevin Merrell (South Florida)

2nd OF Greg Deichmann (LSU)

4th 3B Will Toffey (Vanderbilt)

6th LHP Logan Salow (Kentucky)

7th RHP Parker Dunshee (Wake Forest)

8th RHP Brian Howard (TCU)

9th LHP Jared Poche (LSU)

10th OF Jack Meggs (Washington)

11th SS-2B Ryan Gridley (Mississippi St)

12th 1B Aaron Arruda (Fresno St)

13th RHP Wyatt Marks (Louisiana Lafayette)

16th OF Payton Squier (UNLV)

19th RHP Michael Danielak (Dartmouth)

22nd RHP Bryce Conley (Georgia St)

23rd RHP Malik Jones (Missouri Baptist)

Will Toffey

Will Toffey

The A’s second overall pick in this year’s draft, shortstop Kevin Merrell, has been hitting well with a .314/.324/.400 slash line and a pair of stolen bases while primarily batting out of the leadoff spot. 4th-round third baseman Will Toffey has shown good plate discipline. He’s already drawn 8 walks, but he also leads the team with 3 errors. 10th-round outfielder Jack Meggs, whose college statistics weren’t particularly eye-popping, has been one of Vermont’s best hitters. He leads the team with 2 home runs and 24 total bases and has put up an impressive .356/.383/.533 slash line. 11th-round infielder Ryan Gridley has been doing a great job of getting on-base and is currently boasting a .410 OBP. 12th-round first baseman Aaron Arruda leads the team with 5 extra-base hits, but his 14 strikeouts also lead the squad. Most of this year’s pitching picks have thrown a very limited number of innings, but 7th-round RHP Parker Dunshee has been the standout on the pitching staff, throwing 7 2/3 scoreless innings for Vermont. No other members of this year’s draft class have thrown more than 7 innings for the Lake Monsters, but 6th-round LHP Logan Salow has allowed just 1 unearned run while striking out 7 in 5 innings of work. And 6’9″ RHP Brian Howard recently made his pro debut by tossing 2 scoreless frames for Vermont. 2nd-round outfielder Greg Deichmann and 9th-round LHP Jared Poche, both out of LSU, were officially added to the Lake Monsters roster on Sunday but have yet to make their pro debuts.

 

–AZL A’s–

Austin Beck

Austin Beck

1st OF Austin Beck (North Davidson HS-NC)

3rd SS Nick Allen (Francis Parker HS-CA)

5th C Santis Sanchez (Intl Baseball Academy HS-PR)

15th LHP Josh Reagan (South Carolina)

17th RHP Josh Falk (Pittsburgh)

18th OF Mickey McDonald (Illinois-Chicago)

20th RHP Osvaldo Berrios (PR Baseball Academy HS-PR)

21st RHP Heath Donica (Sam Houston)

24th RHP Slater Lee (Cal Poly SLO)

25th 1B Hunter Hargrove (Texas Tech)

27th OF Ben Spitznagel (UNC Greensboro)

28th LHP Pat Krall (Clemson)

29th RHP Adam Reuss (Wisconsin-Milwaukee)

30th LHP Cody Puckett (Middle Tennessee)

32nd RHP Caleb Evans (Liberty)

33rd 2B-3B Jake Lumley (Canisius)

34th 2B Justin Jones (UNLV)

35th C Cooper Golby (Lewis-Clark)

36th OF Logan Farrar (VCU)

Nick Allen

Nick Allen

This year’s top pick for the A’s, outfielder Austin Beck, hasn’t exactly gotten off to a blazing start, going 3 for 29 with just 1 walk and 15 strikeouts. 3rd-round shortstop Nick Allen has gotten into 5 games since signing and has put up a .294/.333/.412 slash line, while 5th-round catcher Santis Sanchez has gone 1 for 7. 18th-round outfielder Mickey McDonald leads the team with 6 stolen bases and is second on the squad with 13 hits and 18 total bases. 25th-round first baseman Hunter Hargrove has been hitting well with a .313/.389/.406 slash line. And 36th-round outfielder Logan Farrar has been a revelation early on, going 17 for 35 with 8 extra-base hits while sporting an impressive .486/.561/.800 slash line. Though, as an international free agent, he wasn’t actually a member of this year’s draft class, 18-year-old Cuban outfielder Lazaro Armenteros has put up a slash line of .278/.366/.389 with a home run, a double, 3 stolen bases, 3 walks and 14 strikeouts over his first 36 at-bats for the AZL A’s. Meanwhile, on the mound, 32nd-round RHP Caleb Evans and 28th-round LHP Pat Krall have been the pitching standouts thus far. Evans has struck out 10 over 8 1/3 scoreless innings, while Krall has put up a 2.35 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP over his first 4 appearances for the A’s.

*          *          *

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

Tuesday, July 4th: Fillmyer Helps Hounds Snap 4-Game Skid while Nunez Hits 22nd HR for Sounds

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds Pitcher Heath Fillmyer (5 IP / 8 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Midland RockHounds RHP Heath Fillmyer (5 IP / 8 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / Win)

 

TEXAS LEAGUE  (Double-A)

Tulsa Drillers                  2

Midland RockHounds  9

WP – Fillmyer 5-2 / 3.38

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Heath Fillmyer

(5 IP / 8 H / 1 ER / 2 BB / 6 K / Win)

RHP Heath Fillmyer helped the Hounds snap a four-game skid on Tuesday. 2014’s 5th-round draft pick for the A’s allowed just 1 run while striking out 6 over 5 innings of work to earn his 5th win, and the 23-year-old has now compiled a 1.84 ERA over his last 5 starts for Midland. Center fielder B.J. Boyd singled, doubled, stole a base and drove in a pair, while catcher Sean Murphy doubled, walked and drove in 3 runs for the RockHounds.

Click here for more on Nashville, Stockton, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

Monday, June 26th: Blackburn Pitches Sounds to Victory while Top Draft Picks Debut for Vermont & Norge Ruiz Makes 1st Start for AZL A’s

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds Pitcher Paul Blackburn (5 1/3 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 2 K / Win)

A’s Prospect Of The Day: Nashville Sounds RHP Paul Blackburn (5 1/3 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 2 K / Win)

 

PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE  (Triple-A)

Round Rock Express  3

Nashville Sounds      5

WP – Blackburn 5-6 / 3.05

HR – Nunez (20), McBride (6)

Prospect Of The Game:

Pitcher Paul Blackburn

(5 1/3 IP / 5 H / 2 ER / 1 BB / 2 K / Win)

The Sounds notched their first win since last Tuesday on Monday night in Nashville. RHP Paul Blackburn turned in another solid start for the Sounds, allowing 2 runs over 5 1/3 frames to earn his 5th win, and the 23-year-old now has an ERA of 1.73 over 5 starts during the month of June. RHP Simon Castro tossed 2 scoreless innings in relief, and RHP Jake Sanchez got the final three outs in the 9th to notch his 3rd save for Nashville. Third baseman Renato Nunez hit his league-leading 20th home run, a 2-run shot in the 1st inning to give the Sounds an early lead, while catcher Matt McBride belted a 3-run blast in the bottom of the 4th, and right fielder Mark Canha and designated hitter Ryan Lavarnway had a pair of hits apiece in the win. Meanwhile, catcher Beau Taylor and RHP Kyle Finnegan were reassigned to Nashville from Midland on Monday, while RHP Ben Bracewell was returned to the RockHounds.

Click here for more on Stockton, Beloit, Vermont & AZL A’s…

A’s Scouting Director Eric Kubota Offers the Inside Scoop on Oakland’s Top 11 Draft Picks of 2017

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

A's scouting director Eric Kubota

A’s scouting director Eric Kubota

The man responsible for overseeing the A’s efforts in the amateur draft is scouting director Eric Kubota. Kubota started out his career in the baseball world by interning for the A’s in the mid-‘80s, and he eventually served as the assistant director of scouting and the supervisor of international scouting before succeeding Grady Fuson as scouting director following his departure after the 2001 season.

In past years, we’ve talked with Kubota about top picks like Addison Russell in 2012, Billy McKinney in 2013, Matt Chapman in 2014, Richie Martin in 2015 and A.J. Puk in 2016. And this year, we were eager to get his insights on #1 pick Austin Beck as well as the rest of the A’s top eleven picks from the first ten rounds of the 2017 draft.

We spoke with Kubota the week after the draft, just hours before the A’s were set to announce that they’d come to terms with 31 of their 41 draft selections, including 7 of their top 11 picks and, most notably, the team’s top pick, outfielder Austin Beck…

 

AF:  We wanted to get your take on your top 11 picks from the first 10 rounds of the draft this year. So let’s start out with your top pick. I know you guys were kind of surprised last year when pitcher A.J. Puk was available to you with the sixth overall pick. How confident were you that outfielder Austin Beck was going to be available to you with the sixth pick this year, how much did his workout at the Coliseum the week before the draft really impress you, and what was the one thing about him that really most grabbed you?

abAustin_Beck_t1u2zolz_rloc5a7f130EK:  Well, as far as whether we thought he would get to us, we did think there was a club or two ahead of us that really liked Austin…but we thought probably somewhere between #3 and #8 was where he was going to go, so we thought we did have a fair chance of getting him. And the workout itself, more than anything, was the culmination of the spring spent scouting Austin. Austin was a guy our scouts in that area liked a lot. Earlier in the season, we all went in and saw him and liked him. I mean, he’s hard not to like. What he does jumps out at you almost immediately. But having him come out to Oakland prior to the draft and having him working out on the field and being able to be around him, it was like the cherry on top of the sundae – it was kind of a finishing touch. And the thing that jumps out at me with Austin is just his natural ability to whistle the bat. I mean, what he can do as far as generating bat speed is something that we don’t get to see very often. So that ability really kind of jumps up and slaps you in the face when you see him.

AF:  Is there anyone you might compare him to?

EK:  As far as what he can do with the bat, he kind of reminds me of Andrew McCutchen, but physically, he reminds me a little bit of Kevin McReynolds.

AF:  Moving on to your second pick in the competitive balance round, shortstop Kevin Merrell out of South Florida. He’s really known for his speed, and some people think he was the fastest guy in the draft, but how confident are you that his bat will play at the major league level? And even though he played shortstop last year, it seems like there’s been a lot of talk about him possibly ending up as a center fielder. How do you feel things are going to end up shaking out for him in the field?

EK:  First and foremost, we love his bat. We think Kevin can really hit. That was all a part of the reason that we valued him and took him. It wasn’t just because he could run, which he can really do. But we really think he can hit. We think there’s a natural ability to put the barrel on the baseball. We think strength and power are developing there. I don’t think he’s ever going to be a power hitter per se, but he’s definitely going to hit some home runs. He’s strong enough to hit extra-base hits. As far as shortstop, probably coming into the year, we were less sure that he could go out and play shortstop in professional baseball, but he did a good job of it at USF this spring, and we’ll certainly give him every chance to stay there as he begins his professional career. Obviously, he has the kind of athletic ability where he could probably play at a number of different defensive positions.

AF:  Did you have any comps in mind for him?

EK:  Merrell – it’s kind of easy to go with the Brett Gardner comp.

AF:  Your 2nd-round pick was outfielder Greg Deichmann out of LSU. He’s a big lefty slugger who has that same combination of power and plate discipline as a guy like Matt Olson. How do you view him and how would you compare the two?

gdOYKFWSKEPIIKZWI.20161127154043cEK:  There’s definitely some similarities to Matt. I think one thing is that Greg is probably a little bit better athlete. Greg started his college career as a middle infielder, so there’s probably a little more athleticism there. But he’s certainly got a combination, like you said, of power and plate discipline. We had some guys go in there who really fell in love with the bat and the power potential.

AF:  I compared him to Olson, but did you have any other comps in mind for him?

EK:  Deichmann has some similarities to Seth Smith, whom A’s fans are familiar with.

AF:  Then your 3rd-round pick was high school shortstop Nick Allen. He’s got a combination of speed and defense that it seems everyone’s in love with. He kind made me think about Richie Martin in terms of that speed and defense combination. How would you feel about that comparison, and how do you feel about the ability of his bat to play out over the long run?

EK:  I think Richie’s probably a little bit more physical than Nick is. There’s certainly some similarities with the athleticism and defense. Anybody who’s ever scouted Nick just loves to watch this kid play. He’s a tremendous defender with tremendous defensive instincts. He’s got athletic ability, and we think he’s got a chance to hit. He’s not big as far as physical stature, but I think he knows what his game is, and we really believe in his ability to hit. We think he’s going to have a chance to be a premium shortstop who is going to have some offensive contribution as well.

AF:  I threw Martin out there, but did you have any other comps in mind for him?

EK:  On the older side of things, he kind of reminds me of like a Freddie Patek – they’re probably of the same stature. As far as the more modern game, you have some similarities to a Jimmy Rollins, although I’m not sure he’s going to come with the power that Jimmy had. But as far as physical stature and playing shortstop and just their baseball instincts, I think there are a lot of similarities.

AF:  In the 4th round, you guys took third baseman Will Toffey out of Vanderbilt. He’s not known as a real toolsy guy, but he gets the job done on the field and puts up the numbers. I know there was some talk that he’s the kind of guy that maybe the analytics guys like more than the old school scouts do. So what’s your take on him and how much do you like his bat?

EK:  There’s a lot of things to like about Will. And Will is a perfect example of analytics and scouting kind of coming together. We liked him from both an analytical standpoint and a scouting standpoint. He’s a deceptive athlete. I would probably argue with the fact that people say he doesn’t have tools, because he’s probably got a plus arm, he can really play defense, and he’s displayed the ability to hit. We do think the power’s coming along – that’s probably what’s going to develop last for Will. But as far as defense and being able to swing the bat, those are all things we really like about him.

AF:  Did you have any comps to offer on him?

EK:  Toffey, I kind of get a Bill Mueller out of him. I think there’s a lot of similarities there.

AF:  In the 5th round, you took high school catcher Santis Sanchez out of Puerto Rico who, for most of us, is probably the biggest unknown quantity among your top ten picks. He seems to be a strong-armed young catcher with some power potential. How many looks were you able to get at him and what are the key things you like about him?

0ss4403-6-White-19EK:  Well, the key tools are just what you said – arm strength and power. We do think he’s got a feel for the barrel as well. He’s a guy we saw a lot of actually as far as Puerto Rico goes. We had our national cross-checker [Michael Holmes] go in there in January and really love him. We had some other guys go in through the spring, and then [assistant general manager] Billy Owens went in late in April and loved him as well. So he was a guy we had consistent reports on, and we just think there’s a lot of upside to him. There’s been a pretty strong track record of really good catchers coming from Puerto Rico, and we’re hoping that Santis is the next in that line.

AF:  Well, I guess whenever you find a strong-armed catcher with power potential, that’s pretty much all you need to know!

EK:  Yeah, that’s a good place to start! And if they have the desire to be back there and work at it, those are all strong building blocks.

AF:  Did you have any comps to offer on Sanchez?

EK:  Sanchez, I’d just take the easy route and go with one of the Molina brothers – I might go with Bengie to be honest.

AF:  Don’t want to put too much pressure on him! Now in the 6th round, you took lefty reliever Logan Salow out of Kentucky, whom we just had a nice chat with on our A’s Farm Podcast. I know he’s got three pitches, with that slider that everyone loves, so do you think he’s going to get a chance to get looked at as a starter in your system?

EK:  I think we do think he can start. I know the role he filled at Kentucky, but we did see three pitches. The fastball and slider are both above-average pitches for our guys. We felt very fortunate that Logan was available to us in that spot, and I’m sure we’re going to give him every chance to start.

AF:  And continuing into the experienced-college-pitcher phase of the draft for you with RHP Parker Dunshee out of Wake Forest, whom you took in the 7th round. I imagine you looked at him as a solid, experienced, strike-throwing college pitcher, and that was basically what you liked about him.

EK:  We’ve seen a lot of Parker over the years. A couple of our scouts are Wake Forest alums and they still live in the area, so they see Wake a lot, and we’ve all seen Parker a lot over the years. Sometimes, there are guys you need to see over a period of time to really appreciate what they can do, and I think Parker’s one of those guys. He has major league caliber pitches, and he can really pitch. He’s probably more substance than style, but we do think there’s some upside to him. We think he’s the kind of guy who can move quickly in the organization.

AF:  In the 8th round, you took RHP Brian Howard out of TCU. The thing that most intrigues people about him is his height – he’s 6’9″. I know with those really tall guys, there are often problems and issues with their delivery. So how do you feel about his delivery, and do you feel there’s much work to be done there in terms of cleaning it up at all?

0bhHoward LebEK:  That’s probably his strength. His strength is his delivery, his ability to repeat his delivery, his ability to command the baseball. Those are all things he does very well, especially for his size. It’s funny you mention the height – it would be easy to assume that those flaws would be there, but for him, it’s kind of the opposite. He really commands the baseball well and controls his delivery well.

AF:  Well that’s good. If you’ve got a guy who’s 6’9″ with a repeatable delivery, that ought to make your life a lot easier! Did you have any comps on him?

EK:  Howard, I’d just go with the tall guy – he kind of reminds me of Mike Witt from back in the day.

AF:  In the 9th round, you went with LHP Jared Poche out of LSU. I know he was a consistent winner there at LSU, but what did you really like about him and what are his strengths as far as you’re concerned?

EK:  Well, Jared’s a guy we’ve seen since his high school showcase time, so we’ve seen him for many, many years. And the thing that he’s always done consistently is just compete and fight and find a way to get batters out. And for a left-hander who’s actually shown success in one of the finest college baseball programs in the country, we think that trait will take him a long way.

AF:  And then with your 10th-round pick, you took outfielder Jack Meggs out of Washington. Looking at his numbers, nothing really jumps out at you, so I’m curious to know what really put him on your radar?

EK:  Our scouts did like the baseball player there. Obviously, he did not have his greatest year statistically, but we really, really believe in his instincts. He’s a coach’s son, and he’s been around the game his whole life. We think he’s going to play above whatever his physical tools are, and he’s the kind of guy you can imagine over-achieving and finding his way into a role on a big league team.

AF:  And just one final question about your top pick from last year, LHP A.J. Puk. I don’t think you expected him to be available at #6 last year, and I know you were pretty excited to get him there. Now that you’ve had him in your system for a year, what are your impressions of last year’s top pick, A.J. Puk, at this point?

EK:  I would say that as excited as we were to be able to draft him a year ago, we’re even more excited about his progress that he’s made in that year. He’s really refined his delivery and his command. He’s shown the ability to miss bats. In a short sample in the minor leagues, he’s been really impressive. And he went out in his first start in Double-A the other night and pitched pretty well for a young kid who’s basically a year out of the draft.

AF:  Yeah, it looks like you might have a fast mover on your hands there!

EK:  Yeah, he’s big, he’s left-handed, he throws hard and he’s got a good breaking ball. As long as he keeps progressing like this, it’s a good combination to have!

 

A’s 2017 Draft Class

1st OF Austin Beck (North Davidson HS-NC), 1st Comp SS Kevin Merrell (South Florida), 2nd OF Greg Deichmann (LSU), 3rd SS Nick Allen (Francis Parker HS-CA), 4th 3B Will Toffey (Vanderbilt), 5th C Santis Sanchez (Intl Baseball Academy HS-PR), 6th LHP Logan Salow (Kentucky), 7th RHP Parker Dunshee (Wake Forest), 8th RHP Brian Howard (TCU), 9th LHP Jared Poche (LSU), 10th OF Jack Meggs (Washington)

11th SS Ryan Gridley (Mississippi St), 12th 1B Aaron Arruda (Fresno St), 13th RHP Wyatt Marks (Louisiana Lafayette), 14th OF Garrett Mitchell (Orange Lutheran HS-CA), 15th LHP Josh Reagan (South Carolina), 16th OF Payton Squier (UNLV), 17th RHP Josh Falk (Pittsburgh), 18th OF Raymond McDonald (Illinois-Chicago), 19th RHP Michael Danielak (Dartmouth), 20th RHP Osvaldo Berrios (PR Baseball Academy HS-PR)

21st RHP Heath Donica (Sam Houston), 22nd RHP Bryce Conley (Georgia St), 23rd RHP Malik Jones (Missouri Baptist), 24th RHP Slater Lee (Cal Poly SLO), 25th 1B Hunter Hargrove (Texas Tech), 26th C Nate Webb (Martin Luther King HS-CA), 27th OF Ben Spitznagel (UNC Greensboro), 28th LHP Pat Krall (Clemson), 29th RHP Adam Reuss (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), 30th LHP Cody Puckett (Middle Tennessee)

31st RHP Brandon Withers (James Madison), 32nd RHP Caleb Evans (Liberty), 33rd 2B Jake Lumley (Canisius), 34th 2B Justin Jones (UNLV), 35th C Cooper Golby (Lewis-Clark), 36th OF Logan Farrar (VCU), 37th 3B Raymond Gill (Gulliver Prep HS-FL), 38th 2B Wil Hoyle (Charles Jordan HS-NC), 39th LHP Haydn King (Archbishop Mitty HS-CA), 40th SS Jacob Hoffman (Stanford)

*          *          *

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

A’s Farm Podcast Debuts with Draft Recap Special

It’s time for the 2017 Draft Recap Special on the debut episode of the A’s Farm Podcast. A’s Farm Editor-in-Chief Bill Moriarity and A’s Farm & A’s Nation contributor Josh Moore break down the A’s top picks from the first 10 rounds of the draft and also talk with A’s 6th-round draft pick, lefty Logan Salow from Kentucky. So don’t miss the chance to get the inside scoop on some of the top new prospects set to join the A’s system! The draft breakdown starts at the top of the show, and LHP Logan Salow joins the conversation at 37:00…

A’s Farm Podcast: 2017 Draft Recap Special
with hosts Bill Moriarity & Josh Moore and special guest pitcher Logan Salow

MLB_2017_Draft_RGB

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Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

Getting to Know the A’s 2017 Top 11 Draft Picks

by Bill Moriarity / A’s Farm Editor

A's #1 pick Austin Beck

A’s #1 pick Austin Beck

With the tenth round of the amateur draft having concluded at the end of the draft’s second day on Tuesday, it’s time to take a look at the A’s top eleven picks of the 2017 draft.

After another poor finish last season, Oakland again earned the sixth overall pick in this year’s draft. The A’s also had a pick in the first Competitive Balance round, which meant the team would pick eleven players in the first ten rounds of the draft.

After taking three position players with their top three picks on Monday, the A’s shifted their focus a bit to college pitchers on Tuesday. And, overall, the team ended up selecting eight college players with its top eleven picks.

We’ll be learning a lot more about all the A’s top picks in the coming days and can look forward to getting the chance to see much more of them at Vermont or Arizona, or possibly even Beloit, before the month is through. But let’s take a quick look at what we know about some of the team’s top new talent…

 

abAustin_Beck_t1u2zolz_rloc5a7f130#1 – 1st Round

Austin Beck

Outfielder

North Davidson HS, North Carolina

Age: 18 / Height: 6’2″ / Weight: 205 lbs.

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

2017 HS Stats: 28 G / 41 R / 12 HR / 38 RBI / .590 AVG / .700 OBP / 1.218 SLG

With their first pick in this year’s draft, and the sixth overall selection, the A’s took toolsy high school outfielder Austin Beck. The North Carolina native possesses a rare combination of power, speed and defense that made him a popular top ten pick on most draft boards. The 18-year-old impressed the A’s front office during a private workout at the Coliseum last week, and the team believes his speed could allow him to stick as a center fielder. He’s got a good enough arm to serve as a successful right fielder as well. But it’s his raw power potential that really intrigues most observers. Scouts believe Beck’s got a special bat. He underwent ACL surgery late in his junior year, which left him sidelined for most of the summer and fall of 2016, but he returned to action with a vengeance. Physically bigger and stronger than before, Beck wielded an almost unstoppable bat for his high school squad in 2017, batting .590 while belting 12 home runs and 11 doubles over 28 games for North Davidson.

 

kmdownload2#2 – 1st Round Supplemental

Kevin Merrell

Shortstop

South Florida

Age: 21 / Height: 6’1″ / Weight: 189 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Right

2017 College Stats: 216 AB / 7 HR / 29 BB / 31 K / .384 AVG / .464 OBP / .569 SLG

With their second selection, and the 33rd overall pick, in the Competitive Balance Round A, the A’s took speedy shortstop Kevin Merrell out of the University of South Florida. The 21-year-old has a well-earned reputation as a solid contact hitter. His .384 batting average was best in the AAC this year, and he led his team in batting average in each of his three seasons with South Florida. But his bat isn’t all he has to offer. Many felt that Merrell might possibly be the fastest player in the draft, and he swiped 56 bases in 67 attempts over his three years at USF. He primarily played shortstop this year, but mainly played second base the previous season. And with his undeniable speed, many feel that Merrell may eventually end up in center field.

 

gdOYKFWSKEPIIKZWI.20161127154043c#3 – 2nd Round

Greg Deichmann

Outfielder

LSU

Age: 22 / Height: 6’2″ / Weight: 209 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Right

2017 College Stats: 241 AB / 19 HR / 48 BB / 53 K / .320 AVG / .429 OBP / .606 SLG

With their third selection, and the 43rd overall pick, in the 2nd round, the A’s took slugging outfielder Greg Deichmann out of LSU. Profiling as a bit of a Matt Olson type, the left-handed power hitter was LSU’s home run, RBI and walk leader this season. The Louisiana native played first base earlier in his college career, but his strong arm has made him an effective right fielder. And his power and plate discipline continue to improve. In his sophomore year, he hit .288 with 11 home runs and 19 walks, while in his junior season, he hit .320 with 19 home runs and 48 walks in almost the same number of at-bats. With his mature frame and advanced approach, as long as he lives up to expectations, the 22-year-old Deichmann could be a fast-mover through the system.

 

0nadownload#4 – 3rd Round

Nick Allen

Shortstop

Francis Parker HS, California

Age: 18 / Height: 5’9″ / Weight: 160 lbs.

Bats: Both / Throws: Right

2017 HS Stats: 91 AB / 2 HR / 17 BB / 4 K / .297 AVG / .434 OBP / .494 SLG

Allen is a bit reminiscent of another A’s middle-infield prospect, shortstop Richie Martin, who was the team’s top pick in 2015. Like Martin, Allen’s biggest tools are his speed and his defense. And also like Martin, he hasn’t shown a lot of pop. The key for both players will be how the bat develops. They both undoubtedly possess the defensive skills to stick at shortstop in the major leagues. But, unlike Martin, the 18-year-old Allen was drafted straight out of school and has a lot more development ahead of him. In addition to having good range and a strong arm, the San Diego native is also said to have good baseball instincts and an excellent attitude.

 

0wtmaxresdefault2#5 – 4th Round

Will Toffey

Third Baseman

Vanderbilt

Age: 22 / Height: 6’2″ / Weight: 205 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Right

2017 College Stats: 206 AB / 12 HR / 48 BB / 30 K / .354 AVG / .475 OBP / .602 SLG

Though he doesn’t seem to possess a lot of raw tools, Toffey is a guy who seems to get the job done on the field. He was Vanderbilt’s best hitter this year, leading the team with a .354 batting average and a .602 slugging percentage, while also leading the SEC in walks. The 22-year-old managed to compile his biggest home run total this year while also posting his lowest strikeout rate. Despite Toffey’s collegiate success, some question whether his bat will really play at the major league level. But there’s no doubt that he’s able to provide solid defense and a strong throwing arm at the hot corner, and he also seems to possess a real passion for the game.

 

0ss4403-6-White-19#6 – 5th Round

Santis Sanchez

Catcher

International Baseball Academy HS, Puerto Rico

Age: 18 / Height: 6’0″ / Weight: 196 lbs.

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

2017 HS Stats: Unavailable

Sanchez is a big-bodied backstop with a strong throwing arm. Evaluators have not only been impressed by the strength of his arm but also its accuracy. The 18-year-old has flashed a pretty solid set of skills as a receiver despite his age. He also has the ability to hit the ball hard all over the field. There’s bound to be a bit of a long development process for any teenage catcher, but his strong throwing arm and ability to hit the ball with authority makes Sanchez a potentially worthwhile long-term investment.

 

0lshttp-static.silverchalice#7 – 6th Round

Logan Salow

Left-Handed Pitcher

Kentucky

Age: 22 / Height: 6’0” / Weight: 185 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Left

2017 College Stats: 55 1/3 IP / 37 H / 12 ER / 17 BB / 73 K / 1.95 ERA / 0.98 WHIP

After battling control issues over his first three college seasons, Salow put it all together this year to emerge as one of the top relievers in the SEC, compiling 12 saves and a 1.95 ERA while serving as Kentucky’s closer. The 22-year-old’s best pitch is a slider that’s effective against both righties and lefties, but he also possesses a low-90s fastball as well as a serviceable changeup. And with three pitches in his arsenal, there’s been talk that the A’s might consider giving Salow a shot as a starter.

 

0pdmaxresdefault2#8 – 7th Round

Parker Dunshee

Right-Handed Pitcher

Wake Forest

Age: 22 / Height: 6’1” / Weight: 210 lbs.

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

2017 College Stats: 103 2/3 IP / 98 H / 45 ER / 30 BB / 111 K / 3.91 ERA / 1.23 WHIP

Dunshee was Wake Forest’s Friday night starter in both his junior and senior seasons. The 22-year-old led the team in wins and strikeouts in each of his last two seasons while averaging just a little more than 9 strikeouts per 9 innings in both campaigns. Dunshee struck out 10 or more batters three times in his junior season and was drafted by the Cubs in the 14th round last year but elected to return for his senior season at Wake Forest.

 

0bhHoward Leb#9 – 8th Round

Brian Howard

Right-Handed Pitcher

TCU

Age: 22 / Height: 6’9” / Weight: 210 lbs.

Bats: Right / Throws: Right

2017 College Stats: 98 IP / 81 H / 43 ER / 35 BB / 101 K / 3.95 ERA / 1.18 WHIP

The most important thing to know about Howard is that, yes, he really is 6’9″ – talk about a downward plane! Like Dunshee, Howard led his squad in both wins and strikeouts in each of the last two years. He’s also averaged just a little over 9 strikeouts per 9 innings this season. The St. Louis native worked primarily out of the bullpen during his freshman and sophomore seasons but has really succeeded since taking on a starting role.

 

0jpDOJEFETDOSLLZDR.20161127154043c#10 – 9th Round

Jared Poche

Left-Handed Pitcher

LSU

Age: 22 / Height: 6’1” / Weight: 204 lbs.

Bats: Right / Throws: Left

2017 College Stats: 97 1/3 IP / 83 H / 37 ER / 36 BB / 67 K / 3.42 ERA / 1.22 WHIP

Poche was the second selection for the A’s out of LSU this year after taking outfielder Greg Deichmann in the 2nd round. Baseball America named the Louisiana native a second-team All-American in his freshman year and he led his team with 10 wins in his senior season. The 22-year-old throws a lot of strikes with a fastball that sits 90-91 mph and a solid curveball. San Diego took him in the 14th round last year, but he decided to return to LSU for his senior season.

 

0jmVTAYKGEHSXHHGBB.20150925181706#11 – 10th Round

Jack Meggs

Outfielder

Washington

Age: 22 / Height: 6’1″ / Weight: 180 lbs.

Bats: Left / Throws: Left

2017 College Stats: 200 AB / 3 HR / 23 BB / 38 K / .265 AVG / .355 OBP / .395 SLG

The son of Washington coach Lindsay Meggs, Jack grew up around the game. During his junior season, he was named to the All-Pac-12 team and the Pac-12 All-Defensive team. He profiles as more of a defense-first outfielder with some on-base ability but not a lot of pop.

 

UPDATE: The A’s made their 11th-40th round picks on the third and final day of the draft on Wednesday. Here is the complete list of the team’s day three picks…

11th SS Ryan Gridley (Mississippi St), 12th 1B Aaron Arruda (Fresno St), 13th RHP Wyatt Marks (Louisiana Lafayette), 14th OF Garrett Mitchell (Orange Lutheran HS-CA), 15th LHP Josh Reagan (South Carolina), 16th OF Payton Squier (UNLV), 17th RHP Josh Falk (Pittsburgh), 18th OF Raymond McDonald (Illinois-Chicago), 19th RHP Michael Danielak (Dartmouth), 20th RHP Osvaldo Berrios (PR Baseball Academy HS-PR)

21st RHP Heath Donica (Sam Houston), 22nd RHP Bryce Conley (Georgia St), 23rd RHP Malik Jones (Missouri Baptist), 24th RHP Slater Lee (Cal Poly SLO), 25th 1B Hunter Hargrove (Texas Tech), 26th C Nate Webb (Martin Luther King HS-CA), 27th OF Ben Spitznagel (UNC Greensboro), 28th LHP Pat Krall (Clemson), 29th RHP Adam Reuss (Wisconsin-Milwaukee), 30th LHP Cody Puckett (Middle Tennessee)

31st RHP Brandon Withers (James Madison), 32nd RHP Caleb Evans (Liberty), 33rd 2B Jake Lumley (Canisius), 34th 2B Justin Jones (UNLV), 35th C Cooper Golby (Lewis-Clark), 36th OF Logan Farrar (VCU), 37th 3B Raymond Gill (Gulliver Prep HS-FL), 38th 2B Wil Hoyle (Charles Jordan HS-NC), 39th LHP Haydn King (Archbishop Mitty HS-CA), 40th SS Jacob Hoffman (Stanford)

*          *          *

Be sure to like A’s Farm’s page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @AthleticsFarm. You can also get our exclusive A’s minor league newsletter e-mailed to you free by signing up here.

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