With no "extra" picks this season, the Oakland A's opened the 2014 MLB Draft with two selections on day one. Their first pick was Cal-State Fullerton third baseman Matt Chapman, who went 25th overall. Their second pick was Clemson right-hander Daniel Gossett, who was the 65th-overall selection.
At the conclusion of the second round, A's Scouting Director Eric Kubota spoke with the media about the A's first two picks.
Kubota on first pick Matt Chapman
On what the A's were thinking when making the selection
We spent a whole year evaluating players and putting them in an order. We lined them up and this is the way things fell. He was clearly the best player left on the board at the time we picked. We have always said that it is always our intent to take the best talent on the board with our number one pick.
On Chapman's strengths
There's a lot we like about him. He's a really good athlete and he has a chance to be an elite defender at third base. He can really, really throw. He's a guy who is fun to watch throw.
We do think his bat is ever-improving. We think there is real power there and that this is a guy who is going to develop into a power hitter as his pro career progresses.
On whether Chapman will play any shortstop in addition to third base
We think he could go out and play shortstop. We actually saw him play shortstop last summer with Team USA, but we really see him as a third baseman starting his pro career and continuing on through his pro career.
On Chapman's offense
Obviously, looking at the numbers, he is a guy who has very good plate discipline. He walks at a pretty good clip and doesn't strike out a lot, which are both traits that we value. We think he has just continued to get stronger as he has matured physically. Although the power numbers haven't necessarily shown up yet during his college career, we do think there is untapped power there and that he will have power as he goes along his pro career.
On comparing Chapman to Josh Donaldson
When I wake up at three in the morning in the middle of a dream, that is the kind of player I envision [Chapman being]. That's kind of the profile that if everything comes together, that's the player we are hoping to get here.
On Chapman's make-up
We definitely like his make-up. This is a kid we know really well. He played on our scout team when he was in high school. I think he is confident, but I think there is a little part of him, too, that is a little naïve in terms of how good he might end up becoming. His talents have continued to improve.
Eric Kubota on Daniel Gossett
On what the A's like about Gossett
We like a lot about Daniel Gossett. He's a proven college performer. He has a fastball that is 92-94. He throws strikes. He has the makings of an out-pitch breaking ball and a very good change-up. There is just a lot to like about him. A very athletic kid with stuff and performance.
On whether Gossett's stuff improved a lot this season
He's a guy that we have liked since high school. I can only speak to this year personally, but I think he probably showed flashes of the velocity that he has shown this year, but maybe it is just a little bit more consistent this year.
On Gossett's repertoire
He has a plus-fastball that's 92-94 and he locates it well in the bottom of the ‘zone. He has a hard slider that is really a hybrid breaking pitch that some guys might call a curveball and some might call a slider. We see an advanced change-up for a college guy. Like I said, we see a full repertoire of pitches already.
On whether the A's see Gossett as a starter or a reliever
We have only seen him start. He's a starter in our minds.