The Runner Sports

Recapping The A’s 2017 Draft Class

With the conclusion of the 2017 MLB Draft, hundreds of young men will be fulfilling their lifelong dream of playing professional baseball. Within the 40 rounds of the draft, the Oakland A’s may have nabbed some future faces of the franchise. Here, we will be breaking down each of the 41 players that the A’s selected.

Day One (Rounds 1 and 2)

1-6 OF Austin Beck, North Davidson HS: Beck is an electric high school talent with some of the best tools in the class. With plus speed, plus raw power, and a plus arm, Beck’s skill set is reminiscent of Clint Frazier. He is definitely raw, but the potential is undeniable and the upside is unlike any in the A’s system. Beck is a future 30/30 threat with plus defense in center field. He will need plenty of work to get there, but the sky’s the limit.

CBA-33 SS/CF Kevin Merrell, South Florida: Speed is the name of his game, as Merrell may be the fastest college player in this class. He’s no slouch with the stick either, slashing .384/.464/.569 this year in the underrated AAC. Merrell might not keep up this level of offensive production at the next level, but with his speed, he should be just fine.

2-43 OF Greg Deichmann, LSU: A powerful right fielder from one of the most competitive conferences in college baseball, Deichmann has game-changing pop. He hit the longest homer this season in the NCAA, with a 486-foot bomb against Hofstra. He’s an advanced bat who should move quick through the system and fit in right field with an above-average arm.

Day Two (Rounds 3 through 10)

3-81 SS Nick Allen, Francis W. Parker HS: A first round talent, Allen fell to the third round due to his commitment to USC. Given that the A’s took a chance on him this early, he should be signable. The best high school shortstop defensively, Allen flashes Gold Glove potential. The bat is a bit light, but his defense will carry him far.

4-111 3B Will Toffey, Vanderbilt: One of the better hitters in the NCAA this year, Toffey slashed .354/.472/.602 with 12 homers in the elite SEC. He hit better than most of the first rounders, but his mediocre tools and lack of track record dropped him to the fourth round. The A’s are always looking for performance though, and Toffey performs. He draws Matt Carpenter comps thanks to his gaudy numbers and plate discipline.

5-141 C Santi Sanchez, Colegio Hector Urdaneta: A stocky catcher out of Puerto Rico, Sanchez has plus-plus arm strength. The big guy has some raw power to go with his elite arm. No known college commitment, so he should sign.

6-171 LHP Logan Salow, Kentucky: The first pitcher the A’s selected this year, Salow serves as Kentucky’s closer. He has a low 90s fastball and a sweeping slider. Salow has started in the past, including a strong performance on the Cape and could return to that role. If he remains in the bullpen, he could be fast-tracked as a LOOGY. A senior sign, and possible underslot, he has plenty of potential.

7-201 RHP Parker Dunshee, Wake Forest: The Saturday starter for the Deacs, Dunshee is another senior sign. He has posted strong strikeout rates and is a workhorse. Touches 93, lives around 88-90.

8-231 RHP Brian Howard, TCU: One of the Horned Frogs’ weekend starters, Howard stands in at an imposing 6’9”. His low 90s fastball has good downward plane thanks to his height, and he posted solid K/BB ratios. 88-92 fastball touches 94, cut-slider flashes plus. Another senior sign with upside.

9-261 LHP Jared Poche, LSU: The Saturday starter behind first-rounder Alex Lange, Poche is a crafty lefty. He sits around 85-89 but has multiple breaking balls and offspeed pitches. He threw a no-hitter earlier in the year and nearly made it two in a row before losing it in the ninth. Also a senior sign.

10-291 OF Jack Meggs, Washington: While his hitting numbers are underwhelming, Meggs is a solid defender in the outfield and has a knack for putting the ball in play. Son of Washington coach Lindsay Meggs. Definitely a money-saving senior sign.

Day Three (Rounds 11 through 40)

11-321 SS Ryan Gridley, Mississippi State: A contact hitter who can play up the middle. Features a utility profile, but could be a sneaky riser.

12-351 OF Aaron Arruda, Fresno State: Slashed an incredible .373/.448/.643 with 15 home runs this year. There’s some swing and miss in his game, but definitely a bat to watch.

13-381 RHP Wyatt Marks, Lousiana-Lafayette: He posted absolutely insane numbers as a closer this year, with 100 strikeouts in just 59.1 innings. Features a low 90s fastball, hides the ball well,  and quality breaking ball.

14-411 OF Garrett Mitchell, Orange Lutheran HS: A first round talent who fell due to a strong commitment to UCLA, Mitchell was considered unsignable by many teams. He has a smooth lefty swing with plus speed and center field potential. The A’s will need to work hard with their pool money to sign him, but given that they took so many seniors it just might be possible.

15-441 LHP Josh Reagan, South Carolina: A senior bullpen lefty who throws strikes. His 82-88 fastball generates decent K-rate; LOOGY potential.

16-471 OF Payton Squier, UNLV: Drafted out of high school by the A’s in 2014, he comes back after three years of college after not signing the first time around. Squier played some 2B in college. He doesn’t have much power but walked twice as much as he struck out this year.

17-501 RHP Josh Falk, Pittsburgh: Became a weekend starter in the ACC after pitching exclusively as a reliever in JUCO. Has a nice 12-6 curveball.

18-531 OF Raymond McDonald, Illinois-Chicago: Listed as Mickey and an infielder by his college team, but drafted as Raymond, a CF. Light bat but a product of local Serra HS in San Mateo.

19-561 RHP Michael Danielak, Dartmouth: Drafted by the Pirates last year in the 28th round. Ivy League product with a strong K-BB ratio, could be a sleeper.

20-591 RHP Osvaldo Berrios, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy: Projectable righty who is already up to 89 mph with run and sink. If he signs, he could be a project to follow. Committed to Alabama State.

21-621 RHP Heath Donica, Sam Houston State: The Friday night starter for a surprise team in the Super Regionals, Donica was a workhorse for his college team. He struck out 109 in 110.1 innings pitched en route to a 2.53 ERA. Features a solid cutter and curveball. The catch? His fastball tops out around 89.

22-651 RHP Bryce Conley, Georgia State: Had a 7.46 ERA in 60.1 innings, but he’s touched 95 with a plus slider. Command is his Achilles heel.

23-681 RHP Malik Jones, Missouri Baptist: Pitched his freshman season at Savannah State before transferring. Struck out 33 in 25 innings pitched.

24-711 RHP Slater Lee, Cal Poly: The senior reliever sits in the mid-80s but really knows how to pitch. Posted a strong 11.05 K/9 this year.

25-731 1B Hunter Hargrove, Texas Tech: Bat-first player with good plate discipline and gap power. Sneaky speed as well.

26-771 C Nate Webb, Martin Luther King HS: Has a plus arm with a 1.89 pop time. Great defensive catcher with tools to hit, but committed to UC Riverside and is probably unsignable.

27-801 OF Ben Spitznagel, UNC Greensboro: Speedy OF who takes walks; table-setter profile. Similar to Brett Vertigan or Chad Oberacker.

28-831 LHP Pat Krall, Clemson: The lefty sits in the mid to upper 80s but has a plus curveball. Deception could make him a future LOOGY.

29-861 RHP Adam Reuss, Wisconsin-Milwaukee: Had terrible college numbers (high BB rate and low K rate) but at 6’4”, 185 lbs, he offers some projection for a college senior.

30-891 LHP Cody Puckett, Middle Tennessee State: Had a high walk rate (5.68 BB/9), but gets Ks as well (10.89 K/9).

31-921 RHP Brandon Withers, James Madison: Across his four seasons in college pitched 166 IP, with a 7.10 ERA, 8.35 K/9, 6.23 BB/9. Evidently an area scout saw something impressive about him.

32-951 RHP Caleb Evans, Liberty: Like Reuss and Withers, he’s underwhelmed throughout his college career. He is 6’8”, however. Hits 88-92 on the fastball with a decent slider. There is room for improvement, especially with his build.

33-981 2B Jake Lumley, Canisius: Has decent bat-to-ball skills and can run a bit. Hit well all four years in college, could surprise.

34-1011 2B Justin Jones, UNLV: The fifth-year senior slashed .360/.424/.591 with 9 homers in his best collegiate offensive season to date.

35-1041 C Cooper Golby, Lewis-Clark State: Drafted out of a NAIA school, light bat but a solid defender.

36-1071 OF Logan Farrar, VCU: A contact hitter with sneaky pop, plus plate discipline, and speed. Held his own in 9 games on the Cape last year, could surprise some.

37-1101 3B Raymond Gil, Gulliver Prep: Miami commit with loud tools, a plus arm, and good speed to go with some raw power. Should be an early pick in three years, as he likely won’t sign this year.

38-1131 2B Wil Hoyle, Charles E. Jordan HS: Fundamentally strong defensive infielder, switch hitter with a good hit tool. Excellent student, committed to Duke and likely won’t sign.

39-1161 LHP Haydn King, Archbishop Mitty HS: A local product committed to USF, likely won’t sign. Draft stock should dramatically improve in three years.

40-1191 SS Jacob Hoffman, Stanford: While he was on Stanford his first three years of college, he never saw the field and was not on the team as a senior. However, he was an intern in the A’s front office analyzing Statcast data, so this was likely a courtesy pick. While he may not have a future on the diamond, he could be an impactful part of the organization nonetheless.

Johnnie Teng

Johnnie Teng

From the Bay Area, Johnnie started sportswriting on his own blog at Baseball MTJAG before writing for TRS. He has a strong passion for the sport and aspires to grow and develop as a writer or work in baseball operations someday. Follow him on Twitter @hard90hustle
Johnnie Teng

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