Oakland A's Draft Review: Rounds 11-20

We review the Oakland A's 2016 MLB Draft class, rounds 11-20.

Click here for a look at the Oakland A's 1-10 round picks

Pick #12: Eli White, SS, Clemson


Analysis: White has been drafted now three times, having heard his name called in the 26th round coming out of high school and then again in round 37 last year as a draft-eligible sophomore. White is a strong defensive shortstop with an above-average throwing arm who was rated as the top defensive shortstop in the ACC this season by several publications. Offensively, White is a shortstop in the traditional sense: he might hit a little bit for average and he can get on-base, but there isn't much power in his bat. He walked 39 times in 54 games this season and posted a career-best .389 OBP. White has some speed and should be a factor on the bases as a pro. He turns 22 later this month, so White will come into pro ball on the older side. He is a candidate to start his career in Low-A given the strength of his defense and his on-base skills.

Related: White one of three Tigers selected in 2015

Pick #13: Luke Persico, OF, UCLA


Analysis: Persico is a pure hitter who has a good feel for the barrel and making regular contact. He hit .323 for UCLA this season, and he was a bright spot on an otherwise under-performing Bruins squad. Persico cut down his strike-outs considerably from his sophomore to his junior season and posted a .383 OBP. Persico should be able to make consistent contact in the pros; the question will be whether he can hit for enough power to play in the outfield everyday. He has only average foot speed, so he isn't going to have a Billy Burns-like impact on a team as a contact hitter. If he can add some power, however, his contact skills could make him an intriguing offensive player. Defensively, he has played all over but is likely to be a corner infielder and outfielder. He brings some versatility with the glove but doesn't have plus defensive skills at any one position yet.

Pick #14: Nate Mondou, 2B, Wake Forest


Analysis: Mondou had a monster sophomore season for the Demon Deacons when he hit .338 with 10 homers and a 972 OPS. He didn't match those numbers this season, hitting only three homeruns, but he still hit .303 with a .385 OBP and a 22:25 BB:K. Mondou likely would have been a Day 2 pick if he had been draft-eligible last season. He could return to college to try to rebuild his value, but he will be 22 at the start of next season and is likely to turn pro. He has a quick, compact swing from the left-side and he does a good job of staying within himself and not over-swinging. Mondou has played third base and second base, but he profiles as a second baseman in the pros.

Pick #15: Nolan Blackwood, RHP, Memphis


Analysis: Blackwood is a submarining right-handed reliever with a fastball that sits 88-92. He closed for Memphis past two seasons, saving 14 games in 2015 and seven this season. His ERA jumped from 0.52 to 3.76 from last year to this, but he nearly doubled his strike-out rate while his walk rate only went up a little. The fastball gets plenty of movement and looks faster to hitters thanks to his low release point. He also has a useable change-up and breaking ball, which he can use to keep hitters from sitting on the fastball. Not surprisingly, Blackwood is a groundball pitcher and he allowed just one homerun during his career at Memphis. He is strictly a reliever but could move quickly. The A's have always loved relievers with unusual deliveries, so Blackwood should be a fun toy for the A's pitching development department.

Pick #16: Ty Damron, LHP, Texas Tech


Analysis: Damron was a highly regarded prospect out of high school and was drafted in the 13th round in 2013 by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was a regular starter for the Raiders the past two seasons. In 2015, he had a 3.58 ERA in 55.1 innings, but he struck-out only 34. This year, his ERA ballooned to 6.52, but he struck-out 43 in 49.2 innings, although he walked 25. He was a midweek starter for Texas Tech early in the year, but moved into a Sunday role towards the end of the season. Damron has better stuff than his numbers would indicate; his fastball is in the low-90s and he has a promising power breaking ball. The A's took another power arm with poor college numbers in the 2014 draft -- Corey Walter -- and have seen him thrive in his first two years in pro ball. They will look to get similar results from Damron.

Pick #17: Anthony Churlin, OF, Island Coast HS (Fla.)


Analysis: Churlin is the second prep player taken by the A's in the 2016 draft. An athletic outfielder from Florida, Churlin has a commitment to play baseball at Central Florida. In 26 games this season, Churlin hit .438 with nine doubles, two triples and three homeruns. He has average speed and an average throwing arm, so there is a possibility he can stick in centerfield, although he is more likely a corner outfielder. Churlin has some room to add strength to his frame and could develop power as he matures physically. At the plate, he is short to the ball and finishes with a slight upper-cut. He turned 19 in late May, so he is on the older side for a high school senior.

Pick #18: Seth Martinez, RHP, Arizona State


Analysis: Martinez took a big step forward as a starter for ASU this year. In 111.1 innings, he posted a 2.75 ERA. He struck-out 94 and walked 35 and tossed two complete games. He earned the nickname "Mr. Friday Night" at ASU for being the reliable arm the Sun Devils turned to at the start of every weekend series. Martinez doesn't throw hard, topping out at 91 MPH, but he is a fierce competitor who locates well and knows how to mix his pitches. Although he is a junior, Martinez isn't a slam-dunk to sign. He'll have an opportunity to be a key starter on the ASU again next season, and he may opt to go back to college if he doesn't get enough money.

Pick #19: Sklyer Weber, C, Georgia


Analysis: Weber is very versatile, having played catcher and both corner outfield positions for the Bulldogs the past three years. He isn't a big guy at 5'10'', 180, but is a good athlete with above-average speed for a catcher and solid on-base skills. He had a breakout season at the plate this year, batting .314 with a .355 OBP. Weber doesn't have a lot of power, but he moves the ball all around the field. Weber has a strong arm and quick feet. He wasn't a regular catcher at Georgia, but he could see more time at the position as a pro. His versatility will give him an advantage as he makes his way through the system.

Pick #20: Sam Gilbert, RHP, Kansas


Analysis: It isn't often that a college senior with mediocre numbers offers something for scouts to dream on, but Gilbert is one of those rare players. The 22-year-old had a 6.10 ERA in 20.2 innings for the Jayhawks this year. However, Gilbert has a live fastball that can touch 96 MPH and a sharp-breaking slider that tops out at 86. He hasn't yet fully figured out how to command those pitches consistently, but when he does have them working, he is very difficult to hit. The A's pitching development department will have plenty to work with in Gilbert.

Pick #21: Brigham Hill, RHP, Texas A&M


Analysis: Hill began the year as a reliever, but he has spent the second half of the season as the number one starter for the top-ranked team in the nation. The right-hander had a 2.51 ERA in 97 innings this season. He struck-out 99 and walked 28. Nearly half of his walks came over his final three starts, which may have been because he was tiring. He threw only 18 innings in 2015. Hill has a lively fastball that sits in the low-90s and can touch 96. He has the makings of two workable secondary pitches, a slider and a change-up. Hill is a draft-eligible sophomore, so he has plenty of leverage and will be an above-slot signing if the A's are able to bring him into the fold. Chances are that negotiations will get close to the signing deadline, much as it did last year with Boomer Biegalski, another draft-eligible sophomore the A's took on Day 3.

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