"I'm the first one to say, if I thought (Barry) Zito was going to win a Cy Young an hour and a half after I signed him, I'm nuts."
On players they targeted:
Grady Fuson: We targeted some things - not only players - but some things we wanted to address in our own system, especially offensively. Throughout the first 10, 12, 13 rounds, there was an emphasis put on some premium offensive players as we're continuing trying to build our offense here in the system.
On first round pick Matt Antonelli:
Grady Fuson: Our first-rounder, Matt Antonelli, we spent a long time tracking this thing down. When you're picking 17, you're always kind of in no-mans land as to what you're really looking at and what's going to get to you. It took a long time, a lot of work with the cross-checkers, Jay Darnell, Scott Littlefield and Chief, to keep us going in the right direction. And when it was all said-and-done, it was very difficult to figure out the top, so as we continued to cross-check the country, we always kept this kid in our sites.
We got a very athletic kid. He's a baseball player; he's a superb athlete. This kid was a big-time high school quarterback, exciting hockey player, I think he was all-everything in the state of Massachusetts and we believe and trust in his character and personality and makeup. The flexible thing with this kid, obviously, he is a third baseman, but more important, this kid's such a tremendous athlete that by the time he performs and gets close to this level, who knows where this kid may play on the baseball field. He's got a chance to play numerous spots if needed by the time he's ready.
Bill "Chief" Gayton: We generally ask the question, ‘Are there any players out there that we're overlooking,' and Matt Antonelli, actually, was a name that came up. We liked him and had a fairly good feel for him. We were on him early. The kids from the Northeast, sometimes it takes them a little bit for you to see the polish, and this spring we felt like he had made big strides. We liked his athleticism; he can throw, he can field, he has bat speed, he has pop in his bat, he has gap power. We feel like he's a good enough hitter that he will grow into power. We were concerned coming into the draft that he wasn't going to be available for us. Yesterday, we were told that it was about a 50-50 chance that he would get to us and of course we were excited we were able to make the selection.
On the selection of Kyler Burke in the sandwich round and the other positional players:
Chief Gayton: Kyler Burke is a good-looking, athletic player signed with Vanderbilt. He's another kid we were excited about, both as an outfielder and as a pitcher. Last summer, we saw him against some of the top competition. You always ask, ‘well, he's from a small school?' Well, he's competed against some of the better players from around the country. We like his bat, we like his power potential. He's athletic, he's strong, very bright. We talk about strategy. We didn't want to lose him. We took a gamble by not selecting him number one and we felt like we were real fortunate he was still available with our second selection.
Grady Fuson: To be able to get the kid - the young hitter - in the comp round, I thought was an exciting moment. We got about four or five what we consider potential special offensive players out there and he's certainly one of them.