OAKLAND, Calif. -- Over the last three years, Oakland Athletics manager Bob Melvin has been a regular at early-season games at California's Evans Diamond, his collegiate home. On several occasions -- including 2015's season-opener against Duke and Mike Matuella -- Melvin has been witness to the Athletics' newly-minted draft pick Daulton Jefferies, who was taken 37th overall in Thursday's MLB Draft
"There are certain guys that get your attention right away," Melvin said. "We were also looking at the kid from Rice, last year, but watching him (Jefferies), you knew right away, you could tell the stuff, the command of it, mound presence, the whole bit, he's a feature guy. Then, he goes into this year with even more scrutiny on him, too, and he pitches even better. This is a guy that we were lucky to get, at the spot we got him. Really the total package."
Jefferies will actually sign his contract once he gets to Arizona, which should be Thursday. After an MRI on Tuesday revealed that his shoulder -- once beset with a sub-scapular muscle strain that sidelined him for eight weeks this past college season -- is completely clear, but, Jefferies said, the Athletics want to be "120 percent" sure that he's good to go.
"It's nice to be able to get him signed early, get him here, and show him around a little bit," Melvin said. "We expect big things out of him. What the timeline is, we're not sure yet, but it's nice to have him here, and get a face with a name."
We'll have more on Jefferies's first day in Oakland coming up later this evening.