2004 Draft Review

Bobby Lee takes a closer look at some of the A's notable moves on Day One and offers some insight on who the A's might take on Day Two.

The A's take Stanford's Danny Putnam and Texas closer Huston Street with their third and fourth picks.

A's were said to have interest in both. Any why shouldn't the A's have shown interest in Putman and Street? The two are just what the A's are looking for. An outfielder (Putnam) who is a threat on offense, and possible help in the bullpen (Street).

The A's were projected to take Street and Putnam as first round picks. Some thought the A's would be lucky to walk away with Putnam at 24 and Street at 26. The A's though, walked away from picks 24 and 26 with South Carolina catcher Landon Powell and Fresno State outfielder Rich Robnett, even though both Putnam and Street were both still on the board. So much for draft projections, huh? Well, sort of. The A's didn't use 24 and 26 on Putnam and Street, but they were able to land them as picks later on. The A's found Putnam with the 36th overall pick and Huston Street with the 40th pick. If the A's brass really did consider Street and Putnam in the 1st, then they have got to be filled with glee. The A's, in their mind, landed 4 first round picks, three of which are far along in development and may be up in the big leagues soon. The other, Robnett, is a toolsy outfielder that may actually be just what the A's system is calling for. Someone to fill the shoes that disappointing five-tool prospect Marcus Mcbeth never did.

With the #49 pick, the A's took another solid college arm in Mike Rogers. Rogers doesn't have the potential that some pitchers who may have been chosen later have, but he may be a safer bet. Rogers has average but solid pitches with a solid head on his shoulders.

#67 overall was catcher Kurt Suzuki. Suzuki is another player the A's were said to have been interested in for an earlier spot in the draft. Suzuki's teammate, Fullerton's #1 starter Jason Windsor, was the A's next pick at # 97 overall. Windsor has similar stuff to Rogers, but is also has control as good as just about anyone in the draft.

#127, Ryan Webb is a bit of a changeup in the A's philosophy. Webb is a 6-foot-6 high school pitcher. Right now, Webb is said to have a high 80's fastball, but at 6'6", he will only add mph's as his body matures.

Most of the A's draft that isn't mentioned above is not all that noteworthy, as the additional picks are made up of players who will have to produce before you're able to remember their name. There is an exception though...18th rounder from Georgia Tech, Jeremy Slayden. Slayden could have been an early round pick this year if not for a shoulder injury that caused him to miss much of the 2004 season. He has real power potential, something the A's obviously need, making him well worth an 18th round pick. The A's will have to wait awhile to see if Slayden decides if he'll sign or go back to school. Slayden is off to a wooden bat league this summer, and if he preforms well enough, he'll ask for more money than you'd expect from an 18th rounder. If the A's won't give it to him, then he'll return for his senior year.

The A's added loads of offensive depth on day 1 of the 2004 draft, something they really needed to do. Though the starting pitching drafted by the A's doesn't look to include someone who will be a Big 3 type pitcher, but how many pitchers from this draft will? One maybe. If the A's can just find rotation fillers, no matter if it's frontline or backend, the draft can be viewed as a success.

Other Notable Draft Picks

BJ Szymanski went 40th overall. A drop bigger than that of Putnam. The A's had to have been contemplating taking Szymanski at both 36 and 40, and though 3 OF'ers were already taken, the A's may not have been able to pass again on Szymanski if he had stayed on the board past 40.

Last week, I took a major gamble in my draft projection by predicting Ryan Jones to the A's in the 2nd round. And though Jones has been the country's best hitter this year, his 5-foot-7 frame kept him out of day one.

Day Two

Players to look for on day 2 include the aforementioned Ryan Jones, along with Billy Becher of New Mexico state and Chip Cannon of the Citadel.

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