Day 2 for A's heavy on infielders, catchers

July 12th, 2021

After picking shortstop Max Muncy on Day 1, the A's continued to replenish their pipeline on Day 2 in Rounds 2-10. Day 3 of the Draft starts at 9 a.m. PT Tuesday.

Round 2, 60th overall: Zack Gelof, 3B, University of Virginia
Notable skill: Gelof, whom some Draft experts projected as a first-round pick, possesses some of the best raw power of any college bat in this class. A second-team All-ACC selection last season, he hit .312 with nine homers, 18 doubles and 41 RBIs in 63 games. MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis likened his offensive profile to an Adam Duvall-type bat.

Fun fact: Gelof and his younger brother, Jake, homered in the same game to lead Virginia to a 2-1 win over South Carolina last month. It was the second time the brothers homered in the same game over their college careers.

Quotable: “Personally, I don’t really like evaluating myself and let others do that. But the leadership mentality and bringing it every day for my team goes a long way. I think that’s why I get better every day, and why I can help people get better around me so we can ultimately win. I know what I can do and have confidence in myself.” -- Gelof to Baseball Prospect Journal

Round 3, 97th overall: Mason Miller, RHP, Gardner-Webb University
Notable skill: Miller struggled to gain weight after being diagnosed with Type 1 juvenile diabetes in 2018. Finding the right treatment and diet last season paid dividends for the right-hander, who saw his fastball velocity increase from around 88 mph to 97-98 mph. In addition to a power heater, the 6-foot-5 righty also throws a slider and changeup, giving him a solid arsenal of pitches to work with as he grows as a starter in professional baseball.

Fun fact: Miller played three seasons at Waynesburg University before transferring to Gardner-Webb in 2020 to play his final season of college ball there. He graduated from Waynesburg with a degree in finance.

Quotable: “He’s a pro before he’s a pro. He doesn’t let anything get to him and just goes out there and takes care of business. He’s also great off the field and in the clubhouse.” -- Gardner-Webb head coach Jim Chester, to The Shelby Star

Round 4, 127th overall: Denzel Clarke, OF, Cal State Northridge
Notable skill: Long considered a plus defender in center field with great speed, Clarke’s bat began to come around last season as he hit .324 with eight home runs and 15 stolen bases in 38 games for Northridge.

Fun fact: Clarke is an avid watcher of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Quotable: “He’s one of those players that if the bat does come around, certainly the defense is plus-plus at the professional side, so the sky’s the limit when the bat starts to play.” -- Greg Hamilton, Clarke’s coach on Canada’s Junior National Team, to the Daily Sundial

Round 5, 158th overall: CJ Rodriguez, C, Vanderbilt University
Notable skill: What Rodriguez lacks in power, he makes up for with great recognition of the strike zone and a strong ability to make contact on a consistent basis. The gap hitter has also shown solid abilities behind the plate that should keep him at the position.

Fun fact: Rodriguez was behind the plate for Vanderbilt star Jack Leiter’s no-hitter against South Carolina on March 21. That marked the first time the pair had worked together in a game.

Quotable: “They look for leaders and they look for guys who can handle the Leiters and the Kumar Rockers, can handle guys like that. He is pretty advanced. … I think his confidence to catch back there was an easy thing to see at a young age.” -- Richard Mercado, Rodriguez’s high school coach at Mater Dei, to the Tennessean

Round 6, 188th overall: Grant Holman, RHP, University of California
Notable skill: Splitting time between pitcher and first base as a two-way player early in his college career, Holman decided to focus solely on pitching last season and showed off an impressive fastball that reached as high as 97 mph. The 6-foot-6 righty throws from a three-quarters delivery that adds some downward break to his splitter and curveball. He posted a 3.83 ERA in 10 games with 46 strikeouts across 47 innings last season.

Fun fact: Holman starred in the 2013 Little League World Series by throwing a seven-inning no-hitter as he helped lead East Lake Little League to the championship game as a shortstop and pitcher.

Round 7, 218th overall: Brett Harris, 3B, Gonzaga University
Notable skill: Harris was named to Collegiate Baseball’s All-America Third Team, leading his club in batting average (.358) and OPS (1.039) over 50 games. His glove is also a strength, as he was named WCC Defensive Player of the Year for the 2021 season.

Fun fact: Harris’ parents, Lance and Kerry, both played collegiate sports at Lewis University. Lance was a basketball player and Kerry played soccer.

Quotable: “His growth physically, mentally, emotionally, just completely catapulted him into the role he is in today and the player he is this year.” -- Gonzaga associate head coach Danny Evans, to The Spokesman-Review

Round 8, 248th overall: Drew Swift, SS, Arizona State University
Notable skill: Swift’s versatility was on full display during his college career. He played the two middle infield spots as well as center and right field for the Sun Devils, though shortstop was his primary spot in 2021. He led the team with a .365 batting average for the season.

Fun fact: Swift was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year for 2021, becoming the first player in Arizona State history to win the award.

Quotable: “You’ll never replace a guy like that. I told him, ‘You’re one of my most favorite players I’ve ever had, favorite human beings. The totality of what you do on the field, you’re playing, how you impact others, how you coach others.’ Then I said, ‘Hey, when you coach one day I’ll come and be your assistant.’ He’s one of a kind.” -- ASU head coach Tracy Smith, to

Round 9, 278th overall: Shane McGuire, C, University of San Diego
Notable skill: McGuire was on his way to possibly establishing himself as a high Draft pick in 2020 before the season was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Through 12 games in '20, the catcher was hitting .469. In '21, McGuire turned in 15 multihit performances and compiled a .991 fielding percentage.

Fun fact: McGuire’s older brother, Reese, is a catcher with the Blue Jays.

Quotable: “He’s one of the best hitters around because of strike-zone discipline, sticking with a plan. If he’s going to take a swing, it’s with some authority behind it. He’s not just taking swings to take swings. He’s very mature in his plan and his approach and executing his plan and his approach.” -- USD assistant coach Brock Ungricht, to the San Diego Union-Tribune

Round 10, 308th overall: Jack Winkler, SS, University of San Francisco
Notable skill: Winkler battled back from an injury to post solid numbers in 2021, batting .307 with seven homers and 17 doubles. The 22-year-old also showed off his speed by swiping 23 bases.

Fun fact: Winkler comes from an athletic family. His father, Bryan, played rugby at Miami University, while his aunt, Nancy Sullivan, played volleyball at Kent State.