Oakland A's Picks Rounds 31-40
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AnalysisJohn Gorman began his career at BC in the bullpen, but he moved into a starting role as a junior and continued there as a senior. This season, Gorman struck-out a batter an inning (77 in 77 IP) and posted a 4.44 ERA. Gorman’s future may lie in the bullpen. He found success in that role early in his college career and worked well out of the bullpen last summer on the Cape. As a starter, Gorman’s fastball sits 89-91, but as a reliever he can bump it up to 93. Gorman also has a promising slider. He’ll need to work on his change-up as a pro.
AnalysisMike Murray had a historic season for FGCU as a sophomore, posting a 1.85 ERA with 79 strike-outs. That came with a program-record high 13 wins and national recognition. Murray’s junior season was a step down from that performance, as he had a 3.56 ERA. However, he still led the Atlantic Sun conference in strike-outs with 91 in 91 innings. He also walked just 13. Murray’s season ended a bit early when he was suspended from the Eagles for violating an unspecified team rule. Murray has an excellent assortment of off-speed pitches, including a sharp-breaking curveball. His fastball is 88-91 and he spots it well. Murray would certainly have gone higher in the draft had he been eligible in 2014, so this is a good value at this point in the draft.
AnalysisThe speedy Mike Martin was the A’s only Ivy League selection this season. He hit .301 with a .375 OBP this season for the Crimson and swiped 19 bases. Martin was a shortstop during his sophomore season, but spent the past two seasons where he began his college career — in centerfield. He had a 1.000 fielding percentage the past two years. Martin is a solid fundamentals player with a good approach at the plate and the speed and athleticism to cover some ground in the outfield.
AnalysisShane Conlon was a unanimous selection to the All-Big 12 team this year. He posted an outstanding 24:18 BB:K in 196 at-bats. Condon also hit .291 and he stole 10 bases. Conlon, a redshirt senior, was originally drafted by the Royals in 2013 in the 21st round but returned to school. He has been working on a master’s degree in student development after graduating in December 2014 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Sciences. Condon doesn’t have the traditional power of a first baseman, but he controls the strike-zone extremely well and has always been a difficult out. He is a good athlete. Conlon hit third for K-State, but he may profile better in a number two or six spot in the pros.
AnalysisTim Proudfoot joins Brett Sunde as the only two players the A’s selected in 2015 that they had drafted in previous drafts. Proudfoot was the A’s 21st-round pick in 2014, but he elected to return to Texas Tech for his senior season. Proudfoot hit .309 as a junior, but he missed time with a shoulder injury and a leg injury in 2015 and slumped to a .232 average. Proudfoot’s best tool is his glove. He is a plus defender at shortstop with above-average arm strength and good range. If he can hit at all as a pro, his glove should allow him to move up the chain fairly quickly.
AnalysisIn his junior season at Washington, Troy Rallings earned Honorable Mention All-Pac-12 honors. He has a career 2.25 ERA in 132 innings for the Huskies. In 2015, his ERA was 2.01 and he held opposing batters to a .215 average. Rallings has mostly been a reliever with the Huskies, but he still managed to throw 71.2 innings this season (23 relief appearances and three starts). He has outstanding command, having walked only 28 in 132 career innings. A free spirit with an ultra-competitive mindset, Rallings has the perfect make-up for a back-end reliever. Rallings has a quick delivery with some effort to it and not much stride. His fastball has a lot of life, touching 94, and he has a solid slider.
AnalysisDuring his three seasons at Tennessee, Andy Cox has split his time between the starting rotation and the bullpen. In 192 innings, the left-hander has a 3.47 ERA and a 164:88 K:BB. Cox had a 3.36 ERA in 67 innings this season. Cox was limited a little early in the season with arm soreness, but he was durable once he built his endurance back up. His best two pitches are his fastball and his slider. Cox has competed in nearly every role a pitcher can have, making him versatile as he enters professional baseball.
AnalysisA South Carolina commit, Chris Cullen is a highly regarded high school backstop from a baseball hotbed in Georgia. He hit .301 this season and helped his high school team make an appearance in the state playoffs. Cullen is an excellent athlete who moves well enough to play third base and the outfield, as well as catch. He has a strong throwing arm and a bat that should produce power as he matures into his 6’5 frame. Cullen hails from the same county in Georgia as A’s third-round pick Dakota Chalmers. Cullen is expected to go to school.
AnalysisIn his fourth year in the program, Greg Fettes finally got an opportunity to play everyday for Kentucky in 2015. The powerfully built backstop hit only .214, but he was second on the team in homers with five. He has a plus throwing arm and he developed into one of the leaders on the field for the Wildcats this season. Fettes has another year of eligibility remaining, but he may elect to go pro given that he has been at UK for four years.
AnalysisThe A’s final pick was Chicago-area HS shortstop Nick Maton. Maton is an Eastern Illinois commit who runs well and has promising defensive tools. He is a left-handed hitter with an easy, line-drive swing. He also pitched for his high school team. Maton is the younger brother of Padres’ 20th-round pick Phil Maton, a RHP. At this stage in the draft, Maton is likely to honor his commitment to EIU.