OAKLAND -- A pitching-heavy haul summed up the A's Draft experience this year, effectively addressing an organizational need.The A's, who are especially light on starting pitching in the upper ranks of their farm system, drafted 19 arms. Of their 41 picks, they also selected five catchers, eight infielders and nine
OAKLAND -- A pitching-heavy haul summed up the A's Draft experience this year, effectively addressing an organizational need.
The A's, who are especially light on starting pitching in the upper ranks of their farm system, drafted 19 arms. Of their 41 picks, they also selected five catchers, eight infielders and nine outfielders.
The total included 35 college players, supporting a long organizational trend. Last year, 35 of the A's selections came from the collegiate level, pointing to help in the Majors sooner than later for a club that has done well in replenishing parts of its farm system in the last year.
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Among this year's Draft crop of advanced talent is a trio of advanced arms. The A's used their first pick on Florida left-hander A.J. Puk, selected sixth overall following weeks of speculation that he could be the first pick off the board.
The first college pitcher chosen in this year's Draft, Puk had 95 strikeouts and 31 walks in 70 innings while posting a 2-3 record and 3.21 ERA in 15 starts for the Gators.
"Really at no point during this spring did we think we'd have the opportunity to even talk about him with the sixth pick, so we were pretty excited when we did get there," A's scouting director Eric Kubota said. "I probably did a little jig, to be honest."
That excitement seemed to sum up the A's mood overall about this year's class. Following the selection of Puk, their highest pick since 1998 when they drafted southpaw Mark Mulder, Oakland snagged University of California right-hander Daulton Jefferies in Lottery Round A at No. 37 overall. Then came Puk's University of Florida teammate, right-hander Logan Shore, in the second round.
"We just took the best players that were ranked highest on our board, and that's just how it worked out," Kubota said. "Sometimes that's the way it goes.
"It wasn't an intention going in, but the fact that these three specific pitchers were available, we were really excited. We had them all evaluated at one time or another as potential first-round picks, so for them to be there in those three picks for us, we think it's definitely a big step forward with our pitching depth, and we're really excited to see how their careers take off from here."
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.