A's Tap Top College Programs In Rounds 11-20

We take a closer look at the Oakland A's 2014 draft class, picks 11-20.

The Oakland A's began Day Three with a pick similar to many of the team's Day Two selections when they took right-handed pitcher Joel Seddon from South Carolina in round 11. Seddon has a smaller frame (6'1'', 165). He has been a reliever at South Carolina and projects to stay in that role in the pros.

Seddon was dominant this season as the Gamecocks' closer. He had a 1.66 ERA in 48.2 innings and he saved 14 games, most in the SEC. He walked 12 and struck-out 59. Seddon's off-speed pitches took a big leap forward this season, allowing him to go from a set-up man/middle reliever to a dominant closer at a big-time SEC program. Seddon's fastball isn't overpowering at 89-92, but he has a solid change-up and good command of his breaking ball.

The Michigan native was a 20th-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays coming out of high school in 2011. He elected to go to college and improved his draft stock considerably. Seddon will come to the pros with a lot of experience against elite competition, not only in the SEC but also having spent last summer in the Cape Cod League.

With their 12th pick, the A's nabbed towering right-hander Tyler Willman from Western Illinois. Willman was considered a rising prospect coming into the draft after opening eyes this spring by hitting 95 MPH with his fastball. At 6'6'', 190, Willman's frame offers plenty of projection and he could throw even harder as he fills out.

In addition to the fastball, Willman throws a solid change-up and a slider. The Wisconsin native tossed 83.2 innings for WIU this season, and he posted a 3.66 ERA with 63 strike-outs. He is still a raw prospect, as evidenced by his 50 walks this season.

The A's called a familiar name with their 13th pick – infielder Max Kuhn. Kuhn was selected by Oakland in the 24th round in 2011 out of high school. The Indiana native elected to go to college, and he put together a strong career with Kentucky. The right-handed hitting third baseman has above-average arm strength and a solid hit tool.

In 2014, Kuhn ranked among the best infielders in the SEC with a .324/.437/.494 line. He finished second on the Wildcats behind Kentucky star A.J. Reed in homers with eight and RBI with 58. He also had an excellent 43:49 BB:K.

The A's picked up Polk State Junior College catcher Casey Schroeder with their 14th pick. Schroeder, a switch-hitter, hit .321 with three homers and 13 stolen bases in 52 games for the Eagles this season. Schroeder was a teammate of Kuhn's at Kentucky before Schroeder transferred to Polk for this season. Schroeder has a commitment to play at Ohio University if he doesn't sign with the A's.

Schroeder is a solid all-around catcher who was ranked as one of the top junior college draft prospects from the state of Florida by Scout.com's National Baseball Analyst Kiley McDaniel. Schroeder was picked out of high school by the Cardinals in the 2012 draft (22nd round). He is the first catcher selected by the A's in the 2014 draft.

Oakland picked up middle infielder Trent Gilbert from the University of Arizona with their 15th-round pick. Gilbert played a key role in the Wildcats' CWS title in 2012, when he was a freshman. Gilbert had two hits and three RBI in the CWS-clincher. The next two seasons, Gilbert was a prominent fixture in the middle of the Arizona batting order. He hit .344 in 2013 and .324 this season. Gilbert maintained solid BB:K rates each of those seasons and showed gap power.

Gilbert participated in the Cape Cod League each of the last two summers. He struggled to hit on the Cape, but gained valuable experience versus top-level competition. Although Gilbert was a shortstop in high school, he doesn't have a shortstop's range or plus arm strength and is likely limited to second base on the infield. His bat is his best tool.

The A's stayed on the infield with their 16th-round pick, selecting another collegiate player from a big-time program – Florida State third baseman Jose Brizuela. Brizuela hit .321 with a .406 OBP for the Seminoles this season. He was second on the team in batting average, homers, RBI and stolen bases.

McDaniel ranked Brizuela as the 41st-best draft prospect out of the state of Florida this season. Brizuela was a 46th-round pick of the Reds in 2011 out of high school. He is a good athlete with a strong arm and enough speed that he could be a solid right-fielder if he doesn't stick at third base. Brizuela is a left-handed hitter who drives the gaps well but is still learning to hit for homerun power.

Scouting Video of Jose Brizuela

The A's took Missouri State infielder and catcher Eric Cheray with their 17th-round selection. Cheray hit .290 with a .403 OBP for Missouri State this season. He walked 40 times and struck-out just 20 times in 210 at-bats. Cheray is a very versatile player who can play all around the infield and behind the plate, although he has logged the most time at second. He is a solid defender at second and has handled his chances behind the plate well.

Cheray's plate discipline is among the best in the country, and he finished tied for 42nd the country in walks. Offensively, he has a similar profile to current A's prospect Conner Crumbliss, although he is significantly bigger than Crumbliss (which could lead to more power) and doesn't run as well.

The A's 18th-round pick is 6'7'' left-hander Michael Nolan from Oklahoma City University. A native of Yonkers, New York, Nolan had a 3.32 ERA and an 84:18 K:BB in 76 innings in his only season at OKCU. He previously pitched at Grayson CC.

Nolan is still pretty raw, but his fastball has gained velocity over his three years pitching collegiately and there is the possibility for even more velocity as he fills in his frame.

Catcher/first baseman Tom Gavitt is the A's 19th-round pick and second true catcher selected. The Connecticut native had a big senior season at the plate, hitting .320/.373/.586. A contact hitter, he walked only eight times but he struck-out just 11 times in 128 at-bats.

The A's dipped back into the Cal-State Fullerton roster for their 20th round selection, RHP Koby Gauna. Gauna joins A's first-round pick Matt Chapman as Titans selected by the A's this year. The 6'3'', 225-pound right-hander had the 12th-best K:BB in the NCAA this season with a 6.75 mark. He struck-out 54 and walked only eight in 60 innings in relief.

Gauna did a mix of starting and relieving last season, but he started only two games this year, instead working mostly in the back-end of the Titans' bullpen. Guana has excellent command of his secondary pitches – a nasty slider and a change-up. He also has good command of an average velocity fastball.


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