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Day one is in the books. Join us again tomorrow at 8:30am PST for Day Two. Stay tuned tonight for some further analysis of the A's first-day picks and an interview with Tyson Ross, the A's second-round pick. Thanks for joining us today!
And a Yalie finishes off the first day of the draft. The Red Sox take Yale catcher Ryan Lavarnway with the last pick of the day.
With their sixth round pick, the A's take outfielder Tyreace House out of the College of Canyons. He is the A's first pick from a junior college today. House ran track and played football, in addition to baseball, in high school. He is a burner who stole 31 bases in 35 chances in 2007 and batted .348 with a .428 OBP. House was taken twice by the Atlanta Braves, once in 2006 in the 40th round out of Palmdale (San Diego area) HS and in the 49th round in 2007.
House was a two-time All-American with Canyons. He plays centerfield and isn't big (5'9'', 180), but he is a big-time athlete.
The White Sox take GM Kenny Williams' son Kenny in the sixth round. I've always wondered how that would work. If you had your son in the system, would it be tempting to promote him more aggressively than a normal player? A tough situation to be in, I'd think.
The Arizona Diamondbacks must have loved the A's 2007 draft. The D-Backs have taken their second unsigned A's 2007 pick with their fifth round pick. This time, it was Kentucky centerfielder Collin Cowgill who went to Arizona with the 168th pick. He was a 29th round pick by the A's last year after an injury-marred junior season.
More on Jason Christian. He has good size, at 6'3'', 175, and is a left-handed hitter. A Ohio native, Christian hit .330 with seven homers, 48 RBIs and 39 walks against 36 strike-outs. He stole 16 bases in 18 attempts. He doesn't have much power, but does everything else well. Scouts have liked Christian's demeanor on the field and his competitiveness.
We are on to the fifth round. The A's take a shortstop, Michigan's Jason Christian. For the second-straight year, the A's talked about taking more prep talent before the draft, but with the way the draft broke-down, Oakland has stayed college-heavy.
More on Capra. He throws in the high-80s, low-90s. This season, he went 9-0 with a 2.87 ERA and an 87:30 K:BB ratio for the Shockers. He is a Colorado native.
With their fourth round pick, the A's stay with the college ranks, taking left-hander Anthony Capra out of Wichita State. Last season, Oakland took Wichita State starter Travis Banwart in the fourth round, and he has impressed thus far in his brief pro career. Capra isn't a big guy, but he comes from a good program and he is a strike-thrower. In some ways, he is a shorter and left-handed version of Banwart. A good competitor, Capra will enter the A's system as a polished pitcher.
As I say that, KC tabs Melville. He'll be a hard sign now, I think, but he is from Missouri, so you never know.
We are cooking now. Round three is in the books and onto round four. Still no Tim Melville, and he is now likely to go to college, one would think.
A little more on Paramore. The switch-hitting catcher is known best for his defense and his plate patience. He has good bat control and a line-drive swing, but not a lot of pure power. He has a good catcher's build and has been durable during his time at ASU. The A's have had an opportunity to see Paramore a lot while he was at ASU, as the Sun Devils play not far from the A's minor league complex.
The Texas native hit .361 with seven homers and 49 RBIs this season for ASU. He walked 56 times and struck-out only 37 times. He threw out more than 60% of potential base-runners this year.
Just spoke to Tyson Ross, who is extremely pleased to have been taken by the A's, a team he grew up rooting for. We'll have the interview up with him a little later today. He mentioned in the interview that Petey Paramore was a teammate of his on Team USA, and that he is excited to throw to Paramore in the minor leagues.
In the third round, the A's take Arizona State catcher Preston "Petey" Paramore. A strong defensive catcher. More on him in a minute.
Here is Scout.com site BearInsider's coverage of Ross's start versus Brian Matusz in the NCAA regional. Click here.
Injury questions have dogged Ross, who has seen his fastball dip in velocity this season. However, he has still pitched well this year for the Golden Bears. If he had been healthy, Ross likely would have gone in the first round, so he could be a good value pick for the A's if he regains his mid-90s heater.
Ross has been the number one starter for Cal all season. An Oakland native, Ross attended Bishop O'Dowd high school. He is big bodied at 6'6'', 225. In addition to his fastball, Ross has a change-up, curveball and slider, although his fastball is his best pitch.
The A's scouting staff has obviously seen a lot of Ross throughout his high school and college career. He is 7-4 with a 4.25 ERA and 66 strike-outs in 78.1 innings for Cal this season.
The A's go local with their second pick, taking Cal righty Tyson Ross with their second-round pick. Ross is a good-sized right-hander with a mid-90s fastball. More on him in a minute.
The Rays begin the second round with a selection of Arizona HS lefty Kyle Lobstein. Then the Pirates follow with a risky, but potentially high-reward pick of Tanner Scheppers of Fresno State. Scheppers was set to be a top-10 pick before coming down with an injured shoulder. If he can get healthy, the Pirates will essentially have two top-10 talents already in this draft.
Just received word from the A's that second baseman Kevin Melillo has been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for cash considerations and Jeff Fiorentino has been claimed by the Baltimore Orioles, his original club. Both players were designated from the A's 40-man roster last week.
The Braves didn't have a pick until the 40th slot because they signed Tom Glavine. Atlanta stuck to their tradition, taking HS lefty Brett DeVall, with their first pick. The Yankees head to the Farm with the 44th pick of the draft, taking Stanford lefty Jeremy Bleich. Another college reliever comes off the board with Boston at 45 in Bryan Price at Rice. There have been more college relievers taken thus far in the draft perhaps than in any draft in recent history. It will be interesting to see what happens to those college relievers and if some of them go into the rotation or not. The second round is ready to start, but it sounds like there will be a 45-minute break until it begins.
Evan Frederickson becomes the third Bay Area collegiate product to come off of the board with the 35th pick to Milwaukee. Frederickson, a lefty, pitched for USF, where Aaron Poreda of Moraga, CA, pitched last season. Poreda was selected by the White Sox in the first round and he has a 3.34 ERA in 67.1 innings at High-A Winston-Salem this season.
Now that we are in the supplemental round, things are moving at the fast-and-furious pace that normally it does in the MLB draft. The compensation round begins with the Twins selecting Shooter Hunt from Tulane with their third pick, the Brewers taking Jake Odorizzi from Illinois HS, the Mets taking Brad Holt from UNC Wilmington and the Phillies taking California HS OF Zach Collier.
The first round comes to an end with Casey Kelly, son of former big leaguer Pat Kelly and a Florida HS shortstop, going to the Boston Red Sox. There will be a 15-minute break before the supplemental rounds. The A's won't pick again until the second round, 12th pick.
The Yankees become the team to take the risk on Gerrit Cole. Interestingly, Tim Melville remains on the board. Cole is a SoCal right-hander with a big fastball, but there are questions about his secondary stuff, his control and his maturity. He is a Scott Boras client.
In terms of Weeks' signability, he was looking for $900,000 when he was drafted in the eighth round by the Milwaukee Brewers as a high school player in 2005. The Brewers reportedly offered him a nice bonus but not $900,000, and he turned it down to go to Miami. He should make a lot more than $900,000 now going in the first round this year.
A's 2008 eighth-round pick Daniel Schlereth comes off of the board at 26 with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Schlereth took a risk going back to school and not signing with the A's, but it paid off in spades. Schlereth gained velocity this season and was reportedly throwing in the 96-98 range. As a lefty with a power arm, Schlereth could be a Billy Wagner-type closer.
Christian Friedrich finally comes off of the board to the Colorado Rockies at 25. That is a lot lower than most teams had projected him. He was hurt by a lack of competition from his smaller collegiate conference, but he is a polished college lefty with decent size and a great curve. Could help Colorado in two years.
The Mets take USC shortstop Reese Havens off of the board with their second pick. He was a guy the Red Sox have been following for a number of years. Peter Gammons had talked about the Red Sox plans to move him behind the plate.
Top HS arm Tim Melville is still on the board, as is Gerrit Cole, another top prep arm. Ethan Martin goes to LA, but it sounds like he will be a third baseman for them. The Mariners just took reliever Josh Fields from Georgia with their pick. He will move quickly if the M's keep Fields in the bullpen, but it seems like an odd pick for a struggling Mariners team that needs more future help than an immediate bullpen arm.
Weeks is speaking with ESPN right now from the practice field before his super regional game. He compares his demeanor to his brother's and says that he has learned about the grind of the minor leagues from his brother.
David Cooper of Cal becomes the second Bay Area college product to go in the first round. Cooper is another first baseman in a draft deep on them.
A little background on Weeks. Weeks comes from good baseball bloodlines, something the A's have coveted over the past few years. His brother, of course, is Milwaukee's Rickie Weeks, who, ironically, was a prep teammate of Kevin Melillo, who has been the A's top second base prospect over the past few years. Weeks is from Altamonte Springs, Florida.
The younger Weeks isn't quite the power hitter that his brother is, but he is a good athlete with great hands and good range at second. In a draft weak on middle infielders, Weeks was the third-best draft prospect in the middle infield behind the two Beckhams. Weeks played on the 2006 US National Team and was a first-team All-American this season. At the plate, Weeks is a switch-hitter who has good speed and strong contact skills. He hit .366 with 11 homers, 57 RBIs and 30 walks against 36 strike-outs in 2008, and he stole 19 bases in 20 attempts.
Interestingly, Weeks has a similar collegiate profile to 2005 A's top pick Cliff Pennington, although Pennington was a shortstop and Weeks has more power than did Pennington coming out of college. Weeks fits the profile of a more athletic player that the A's have been looking to bring into the system. However, he is polished, having played at a top collegiate program, and could move quickly. Weeks would be a candidate to start with a full-season affiliate, if he signs relatively quickly.
And I was wrong. Jemile Weeks is the A's pick. An athletic second baseman with a good glove, Weeks probably won't hit like his brother, but he should be a better fielder. The middle infield has been a problem for Oakland, so Weeks could give them a long-term answer at second. Miami is playing a super-regional game today against Arizona, so A's fans can check him out on the field. More on him in a moment.
Who do the A's take? Aaron Hicks is my guess.
And the Rangers take Justin Smoak. A bit of a disappointment for A's fans hoping he'd finally make it into the organization after Oakland took him out of high school, but was unable to sign him. Smoak is a switch-hitting first baseman with a good glove. Sound familiar Rangers fans? He might not be Mark Teixeira, but he should be a nice offensive force for the Rangers.
Holee Cooow. The Astros take Stanford catcher Jason Castro with the 10th pick. That is a bit of a reach, I think. Castro is a very nice player, but he wasn't projected to go before the mid-first round. Now Smoak and Melville are both available for Texas. Which way do they go?
The White Sox scoop shortstop Gordon Beckham out of Georgia and the Nationals take right-hander Aaron Crow out of Missouri, who was the best right-handed pitcher in this year's draft. The A's are three picks away. Some interesting names still on the board: Justin Smoak (former A's pick when he was in high school) and Tim Melville (best HS pitcher).
Cincy takes Alonso. A big surprise! Look for the A's to focus on Aaron Hicks or Jemile Weeks now, with Brett Wallace and Christian Friedrich as possibilities.
The Marlins take California HS catcher Kyle Skipworth, passing on local star Yonder Alonso. The White Sox and Astros are rumored to be interested in Alonso, so watch-out for his name when those teams come on the board.
Wow. The Giants shake up the entire draft by taking Buster Posey, the catcher from FSU. Now, it is unlikely that anyone will fall dramatically from the projected top 10 picks. Posey is rumored to want $12 million, but if the Giants sign him, he'll move quickly. Interestingly, one of the Giants' top prospects is Pablo Sandoval, a catcher with High-A San Jose, who is batting .370 with 10 homers and a 1051 OPS in 53 games. Sandoval and Posey will battle it out as the Giants' top catching prospect, if Posey signs on the bottom line.
The Giants pick next after the Orioles take Brian Matusz out of USD. San Francisco's pick could shape the next six picks, and they have kept who they are looking at close to the vest.
No surprises through three picks. The Pirates step-up to the big boy table by taking Scott Boras client Pedro Alvarez, who could be the first member of this draft to make the big leagues. Eric Hosmer, another Scott Boras client, goes to KC. The Royals have inked Boras clients in each of the past two years. By the way, note to ESPN2, they might want to tell the players on the phone to turn off the TV if they ever hope to hear them.
And here we begin. Bud Selig takes the stage to announce the first pick for Tampa Bay. No surprise, shortstop Tim Beckham is the pick. A five-tool talent, Beckham could add to an already uber-talented Tampa squad.
Aaron Hicks is the only player who accepted baseball's invitation to come to the Milk House for the draft. If he goes to the A's, we'll get a little extra coverage of Hicks on ESPN2.
And we are about to get underway. The big buzz right before the draft is that FSU catcher Buster Posey is looking to fall lower in the draft to a big money team like Detroit, the Yankees or the Red Sox. Posey was projected to be a top-five pick, so if he falls past those first few picks, it will create a ripple effect throughout the draft. He is rumored to want as much as $12 million. It is highly unlikely the A's will have any interest in Posey. His game is inticing, but at that price, Oakland isn't likely to bite.
Despite being higher in the draft, the A's are bound to be a little quieter on the first day of the draft this year as opposed to last season. With no compensation picks, the A's will have only three selections on Thursday. Last year, the A's had two supplemental first round picks and one supplemental second rounder to go along with their regular first- and second-round picks.
What does this mean for Oakland? On the downside, it means fewer chances for the A's to select top talent. On the upside, it gives the budget-conscious A's more money to play with for those first three picks, if they choose to go for a more difficult sign, such as a high school player.
John "Blue Moon" Odom is representing the A's at the Milk House in Orlando, where the draft proceedings are taking place.
Before the amateur draft takes place, baseball is honoring the great players of the Negro Leagues by hosting a draft of Negro League players. The A's have selected shortstop Irvin Castille of the Birmingham Black Barons.
If Alonso doesn't make it to 12 (and other teams ahead of the A's are in on him, such as Chicago, so it is no sure thing), here are a few other names to consider: HS OF/RHP Aaron Hicks (but reportedly only if he agrees with being a pitcher and not an outfielder), Miami infielder Jemile Weeks (brother of Brewers second baseman Rickie), Eastern Kentucky LHP Christian Friedrich (may be a bit of a reach at that point, and the A's don't need left-handed pitching as much as they did last year thanks to the acquisitions of Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland and Greg Smith, but he is a polished college lefty who could move quickly, which could be attractive to the A's), ASU 1B/3B Brett Wallace (big-time power, some questions about whether he can stick at third).
We are hearing from a league source that the A's have put Miami first baseman Yonder Alonso on the top of their draft board. The left-handed hitting Hurricane grades as one of the top power hitters in the draft. Alonso also has great patience at the plate, something that the A's obviously value quite highly.
He is limited defensively to first base, which would seem to be a crowded position in the Oakland system with Daric Barton in Oakland and prospects such as Sean Doolittle and Chris Carter in the minors. However, Doolittle and Carter have both seen time in the outfield this season and the A's are really in need of power wherever they can get it. Matt LaPorta was thought to be limited to first base when Milwaukee took him last season, and he was moved successfully to left by the Brewers.
We'll start this off a little early. Ready for a fun day!
Sounds like HS shortstop Tim Beckham will go number one to the Tampa Bay Rays. Beckham will add another five-tool talent to a deep Tampa farm system. Beckham is no surprise at number one, so his selection by the Rays shouldn't affect the list that the A's have for the 12th pick.
Some food for thought. Even though every draft class is different, the 12th slot has been a pretty productive spot in recent years. Here's the past few:
2007: Matt Dominguez – Florida A HS third baseman from Southern California, Dominguez is batting .318 in 12 game for Low-A Greensboro this season.
2006: Kasey Kiker – Texas A HS LHP, Kiker had a 2.90 ERA in 96.1 innings in the Midwest League last season. Kiker got a late start to this season and has a 4.42 ERA in nine games for Bakersfield in the California League. He threw seven shut-out innings versus the Stockton Ports last night.
2005: Jay Bruce – Cincinnati Everyone knows about Bruce, the all-world outfielder who has lit the baseball world on fire in his first 10 days in the major leagues. Bruce has a chance to be an All-Star for many years.
2004: Jered Weaver – Angels Weaver fell to 12 because of signability issues, but he has rewarded the Angels for dishing out the big signing bonus. Weaver had a 2.56 ERA in 123 innings for the Angels in 2006 and a 3.91 ERA in 161 innings for them in 2007. He has struggled in 2008 (4.79), but he has been one of the most reliable right-hander in the big leagues over the past two-and-a-half years.
2003: Lastings Milledge – New York A lot has been made of Milledge, who made more headlines during his time in New York than homeruns. Still, a lot of people are high on the future of the five-tool outfielder, now with the Washington Nationals.
2002: Joe Saunders – Angels Saunders took a while to come into his own, but the left-hander has really hit his stride this season. Saunders is one of the AL's top pitchers right now, and he is at 9-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 12 starts for the Angels in 2008.
10:30pm Wednesday evening
Welcome to OaklandClubhouse's 2008 live blog of the Oakland A's draft. This is the fourth consecutive draft that we have live blogged. With the A's picking 12th, it should be an interesting first round for Oakland.
We will officially begin our blogging of the draft on Thursday morning at 10 am PST. Until then, click here to read all of Scout.com's pre-draft coverage.
2008 Oakland A's Draft, Day One: Live Blog
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