The A’s have a recent history of hitting big on late first-round draft picks. Entering the 2021 MLB Draft with the No. 25 overall pick, the spot that netted them current franchise pillar Matt Chapman in 2014, they’ll look to add a similar talent to the organization.
Day 1 of the 2021 Draft will take place live from Denver’s Bellco Theatre on Sunday. It will feature the first 36 picks and will air on MLB Network and ESPN at 4 p.m. PT. Day 2, which will span Rounds 2-10, begins at 10 a.m. PT on Monday. The Draft will conclude with Rounds 11-20 on Tuesday, starting at 9 a.m PT. MLB.com will simulcast MLB Network’s broadcast and provide live coverage on all three days.
Prep third baseman Wes Kath from Desert Mountain (Arizona) High School, who has been described as a “pure hitter” by Draft experts, has been linked as a possible selection. Oakland is also said to be interested in Izaac Pacheco, a two-way player who starred at Friendswood (Texas) High School as a shortstop and right-handed pitcher.
A selection of either prep player would mark the taking of a high school player for a second straight year. The A’s selected Turlock High catcher Tyler Soderstrom at 26th overall in the first round of the 2020 Draft, a pick the club remains ecstatic about as the teenage catcher has torn through Low-A ball on his way to earning a spot in the All-Star Futures Game on Sunday.
A’s general manager David Forst typically plays it close to the vest when it comes to level of interest regarding specific players, and this year is no different. But after months of grinding away on scouting trips around the country by the staff headed by A’s scouting director Eric Kubota, the club has determined a group of players that it hopes will still be available when the 25th overall pick comes around.
“Every Draft is different and is dictated by where you pick and the size of your pool,” Forst said. ”We know that big leaguers come from all over the Draft and Eric and his staff have worked hard to identify the best players.”