Oakland A's Picks Rounds 1-10
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AnalysisThe A’s grabbed SS Richie Martin with their first pick. The Florida native doesn’t turn 21 until December, making him one of the youngest college players eligible for this draft. Martin is a plus athlete with above-average speed and a strong arm. He should stay at short and has a chance to be a special defender. Martin is still developing offensively, but he profiles as a top-of-the-order type with doubles power and the ability to be disruptive on the bases.
AnalysisMikey White is a grinder who started all three seasons at Alabama. He led the Crimson Tide in every important offensive category and has the ability to hit for average and drive the ball into the gap. White may not stick at short, but he should have enough glove to play second and could be an above-average hitter at that position.
AnalysisDakota Chalmers had some first-round hype going into the draft, so he is a good value at this pick. The Georgia HS right-hander can get the ball to the plate in a hurry, having been clocked as high as 98 MPH. Chalmers also has a solid slider. His delivery needs some work, but if the A’s can get that cleaned up, he has frontline stuff. He could also be a power reliever. The A’s will have to sign Chalmers away from Georgia.
AnalysisIn addition to having one of the best names in the draft, Skye Bolt is one of the more enigmatic prospects in the draft. Bolt has first-round tools: plus speed and athleticism with some signs of a solid hit tool. Bolt hasn’t had the numbers one would expect for a player of his talent at UNC, however. He hit only .259 for the Tar Heels this season, but he still managed a solid OBP despite the lower average (.383). Bolt also established a career-high in homers with 10. He will be an intriguing player to watch in the pros because of his raw talent.
AnalysisKevin Duchene was a big part of an Illinois pitching staff that was one of the best in the entire country this year. Duchene is a big left-hander with three solid pitches who could move quickly in the pros. He isn’t a particularly hard thrower, but he spots his high-80s, low-90s fastball well and backs it up with a good curveball and an outstanding change-up. He walked just 18 in 102.2 innings this season and has a career ERA of 2.12 with the Fighting Illini. He will come to the pros with plenty of polish and a chance to be a solid backend starter. Duchene’s pitching coach is former A’s prospect Drew Dickinson.
AnalysisBubba Derby spent time both as a starter and as a reliever during his career at SDSU. Not a big kid (5’10), Derby can hit 96 MPH as a reliever and sits in the low-90s as a starter. A strike-out pitcher, Derby K’d 131 in 103 innings. He has solid command, as well, and a swing-and-miss breaking ball. The change-up is still developing, but he has a chance to start if that pitch comes together for him.
AnalysisKyle Friedrichs was a Gregg Olson semi-finalist this year as one of the breakout players in college baseball. The redshirt senior had a 2.79 ERA and 109 Ks in 100 innings this season. He also walked only 12. Friedrichs began his college career as a closer. but he injured his elbow in 2012 and missed all of 2013 and part of 2014 after Tommy John surgery. He showed the ability to start this year. Friedrichs isn’t a hard-thrower, but he has pinpoint command and a well-developed change-up and slider. He will likely be a below-slot signing that should allow the A’s to spent some money on other top-10 round picks.
AnalysisNick Collins lands in the draft as one of the most decorated players in Georgetown baseball history. He was the first Big East Player of the Year for the Hoyas program and he was among the top-10 in the Big East in nine different offensive categories. A powerful hitter, Collins hit .310 in the Cape Cod League last summer. He has a good eye and doesn’t strike-out a lot. Collins’ defense could use some work, but the A’s proved they could work with defensive projects when they turned Bruce Maxwell into a solid backstop.
AnalysisA swingman early in his college career, Jared Lyons moved into a starting role in 2015 and excelled. He posted a 1.99 ERA in 99.2 innings. He struck-out 100 and walked 22 this season. He earned a Division I All-American honor. His fastball sits in the high-80s and he has a good feel for his secondary offerings.
AnalysisSteven Pallares did it all for San Diego State. He played outfield, infield and pitched during his college career. The A’s announced Pallares as a centerfielder, so it is likely he will start out his pro career in the field. Pallares had a big season at the plate, batting .352 with nine homers and 15 stolen bases. He also threw five innings as a pitcher. He has good speed and he showed off his wheels during the Lake Elsinore Regional when he stole home to win a game for the Aztecs. Pallares struggled with consistency during his first three years at SDSU, but he broke out this season. He came up big in big moments for the Aztecs this season.