2009 A's In Review: The Draft, Rounds 1-15

As part of our continuing review of the 2009 season for the Oakland A's organization, we take a look at this year's draft. In Part One, we review the A's picks in rounds one through 15.

Round 1: Grant Green - Green was considered a bit of a value pick for the A's at slot #13 in the first round. At the start of the collegiate season, there were some projected draft boards that had Green listed in the top-five. After the draft, A's Director of Scouting Eric Kubota compared Green to Milwaukee Brewers' Hall of Famer Robin Yount. The USC shortstop and Scott Boras client was expected to want more than slot money for the 13th overall pick, and he got it on the draft period's final day, signing with the A's for just under $3 million. Since he signed late, Green got into only a handful of games and he was used exclusively as a DH, but he was impressive, collecting six hits in 19 at-bats for High-A Stockton. He is currently at the A's Instructional League camp and should open the 2010 season back with the Ports.

Round 2: No pick

Round 3: Justin Marks - The A's went with an organizational staple with their second pick, taking the collegiate left-hander Marks with their third-round selection. Marks came to the A's after a distinguished career at Louisville and is considered a polished pitcher with a strong, four-pitch mix. He signed a little late and, after impressing in bullpen sessions in Arizona, was unfortunately injured during his first pro start with the A's Rookie League team. He missed the rest of the Rookie League season and isn't on the Instructional League list for the fall.

Round 4: Max Stassi - If the Green pick was considered bold for the A's considering his price tag, the Stassi pick was considered way out of character for Oakland. Stassi, a high school catcher, was considered a sure fire first-round pick until he dropped on draft day thanks to whispers about a high price tag. Oakland took him with their first pick on Day 2 of the draft knowing full well that they would have to give him first round money to sign. The negotiations went until deadline day, but the A's and Stassi came to terms on a deal worth $1.5 million. Early returns on Stassi were excellent. He appeared in 13 games for the A's short-season A team in Vancouver, collecting 14 hits in 49 at-bats (.286 BA) against pitchers often two or three years older than him. The 18-year-old is currently in Phoenix participating in Instructs.

Round 5: Stephen Parker - Parker, a third-baseman from BYU, was a quick sign after the draft. He spent much of the last three months of the season with the Kane County Cougars, where he played a lot of first base. Parker was inconsistent with the bat in his first pro season. The 22-year-old hit .244/.312/.362 with five homers in 254 at-bats. He finished off his year on an up-note, batting .294 with four walks and six RBIs over his last 10 games.

Round 6: Ryan Ortiz - Ortiz was the second catcher taken by the A's in the draft. Also an early sign, he reported almost immediately to Vancouver, where he would appear in 48 games for the C's. Ortiz hit only .258, but he walked 26 times in 151 at-bats, giving him an impressive .388 on-base percentage. The Oregon State alum also hit with authority, posting a .430 slugging percentage and hitting four homeruns in a difficult league for hitters. Behind the plate, Ortiz was the league leader in passed balls with 13, but he also led the league in put-outs and total chances and was second in the league in percentage of runners caught stealing (35 percent).

Round 7: Ian Krol - Krol was another high-risk pick for the A's. A high school left-hander out of Illinois, Krol was expected to be a top-two or three round pick in the draft before being suspended from his high school team for violations of the school's athletic code of conduct. Krol spent his senior year pitching in a showcase league in Wisconsin, but his stock took a hit by not being able to play the high school season. He had a strong commitment to Arizona, but the A's were able to get him to sign for just under a million dollars. Krol, like Stassi and Green, was a deadline day signing, and he joined Stassi in Vancouver after inking his deal. Krol allowed six hits and three earned runs in 3.1 innings spread over three appearances with the C's, walking one and striking out four. He is considered a raw prospect, but one with promising stuff. Krol is currently at the A's Instructional League camp.

Round 8: Robert Gilliam - Gilliam followed Marks as the second collegiate pitcher taken by Oakland in the draft. The UNC-Greensboro alum was considered one of the stronger arms available during the second day among the collegiate portion of the draft, but he was plagued by inconsistencies during his collegiate career. That pattern continued in his first pro season, which was spent in Vancouver's bullpen, for the most part (he tossed three scoreless innings for the A's Rookie League team). In 8.2 innings, Gilliam struck-out 11 batters, but he walked five, allowed nine hits and five runs. He is also at Instructs.

Round 9: Myrio Richard - The A's have never been shy about dipping more than once into a family tree, and that tradition continued with the team's ninth round pick, Richard, who is the younger brother of A's 2007 draft pick Michael Richard. Myrio, an outfielder, played at the same collegiate program as his brother – Prairie View A&M. After appearing in a handful of games with the A's Rookie League team, Richard was promoted to Vancouver, where he would appear in 53 games. Richard got off to a fast start with the C's, batting .329 in 22 July games. He slumped some in August, however, hitting only .198 in 25 games. On the upside, Richard walked 16 times in those 25 August contests. He finished the year with a .255/.348/.313 line for Vancouver and is currently in Phoenix at Instructs.

Round 10: Sam Dyson - Did not sign.

Round 11: Michael Spina - Spina, the all-time leading homerun hitter in the history of the University of Cincinnati, joined Parker as the first two position players from the A's 2009 draft to land on the roster of a full-season affiliate (Kane County). Spina manned third base for the Cougars and impressed in his first pro season. Despite having to overcome a scary beaning to the head in July, Spina put together an impressive .255/.352/.424 line with seven homers in 184 at-bats with Kane County. His defense is still a work in progress at third, as Spina was charged with nine errors in 42 games at the hot corner.

Round 12: Connor Hoehn - Hoehn was the first A's pick out of the community college circuit. The right-hander from St. Petersburg JC came to the A's with the reputation of having a power right arm, and that was what Hoehn displayed in his first pro season. The 20-year-old appeared in 15 games for the Vancouver Canadians and he allowed only two earned runs in 18 innings. He saved seven games and struck-out 25 while walking seven. Hoehn, whose fastball was clocked in the mid-90s, is also currently in Arizona at Instructs.

Round 13: Murphy Smith - Smith became the first pitcher from the 2009 class to join a full-season squad when he was thrust into the Kane County starting rotation in July. Smith acquitted himself well during his first tour of full-season baseball, posting a 4.75 ERA in 36 innings spread over nine starts. He struck-out 31, walked 17 and allowed two homeruns. Smith was actually better than his ERA would indicate for the majority of his time with the Cougars. In two bad starts on August 15 and 21, he allowed 11 runs in 6.1 innings. Over the rest of his seven outings, he allowed only eight runs in 29.2 innings. Smith is in Phoenix at Instructs.

Round 14: Drew Gagnier - Did not sign.

Round 15: Anthony Aliotti - Aliotti was a local pick, coming from St. Mary's College in Moraga, California. The first-baseman spent his entire pro debut season with Vancouver. In 60 games, Aliotti hit .239/.351/.275. He walked an impressive 36 times in 218 at-bats, but struggled from a power aspect with the transition from metal to wood. He will be working on that aspect of his game with the A's coaching staff in Phoenix at Instructs.

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