A's bolster system with college arms in Draft

A's bolster system with college arms in Draft

OAKLAND -- When the A's selected Sonny Gray with their first-round pick Monday, they set a tone for the rest of their Draft. After taking the right-handed Vanderbilt ace, the club built up quite a collection of arms on the final two days of the First-Year Player Draft.

Of the club's 49 selections over the three-day event, Oakland drafted 21 pitchers, including 13 righties to fill out the staffs in their farm system. Leading the charge, of course, was Gray, who compiled an 11-3 record with a 2.01 ERA in 16 starts this season.

"He's a super competitor -- an ultra competitor," A's scouting director Eric Kubota said. "He's got plus stuff across the board and we've seen a lot of him over the years. He's got great makeup. We've liked Sonny for a long time."

Among the other notable right-handed arms the A's added to their farm system is South Dakota State's Blake Treinen, who was selected in the seventh round a year removed from being drafted in the 23rd round by the Marlins. As a senior, the 6-foot-4, 215-pound Treinen went 7-3 with a 3.00 ERA in 13 starts. He averaged one strikeout per frame in 84 innings and had a 1.26 WHIP.

"At that point, he was the best player available," Kubota said. "He's got good stuff. We feel good about him."

The A's stuck to their philosophy and primarily went with college arms over high school pitchers, selecting just three hurlers out of high school, all of whom are lefties. Of the three, two came on the third day and the other was Jace Fry, who the A's drafted in the ninth round out of Southridge (Ore.) High School. He struck out 92 in 59 innings as a senior, with a 1.42 ERA.

While the arms dominated the A's Draft, the story early on Day 2 was power. With their first two picks Tuesday, they selected two hitters who Kubota believes have the potential to be power bats as they come up in the farm system.

In the third round, they drafted Bryan Anthony Vollmuth, who played third base and shortstop at Southern Mississippi University. Vollmuth led the Golden Eagles with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs this season while batting .301.

The following round, they snagged outfielder Bobby Crocker from Cal Poly. The A's drafted Crocker out of high school in 2008 and have a long history of scouting him. Crocker's numbers weren't as impressive, but Kubota believes the potential is there.

"We've scouted him a lot," Kubota said. "He's big, physical and athletic. There's a lot to like about him. He's strong, but hasn't hit a lot of power yet in his collegiate career. But we think there's definitely strength there to develop power."

The two early Day 2 selections also marked the beginning of a trend for the A's, who added a total of 11 outfielders to their system and addressed needs on the left side of the infield by drafting four third basemen and seven shortstops.

They also drafted a name on the other side of the infield that should sound familiar among baseball fans. In the 39th round, the team selected Shane Boras, the son of renowned agent Scott Boras -- whose clientele includes Alex Rodriguez, Matt Holliday, Carlos Beltran and countless other Major Leaguers.

Shane Boras, who played second base at Southern California, was the second Boras to be drafted this year, joining his younger brother, Trent, who was selected by the Brewers on Tuesday.

Later on in Day 3 the A's drafted another name even more familiar to the franchise when they selected Brett Geren, the son of Oakland manager Bob Geren. The younger Geren, a catcher like his father, was picked in the 42nd round (No. 1,276 overall) out of San Ramon Valley High School in Danville, Calif.

"I haven't gotten a chance to speak to him because he was where he should be, in class taking his finals," the A's skipper said. "I'm sure when he finds out, he'll be very honored by that and excited."

Oakland also selected outfielder Jeriel Waller, the nephew of first-base coach Tye Waller, in the 47th round.

In all, the A's drafted 21 pitchers, 11 outfielders, four third basemen, seven shortstops, four catchers and two second basemen. Of all their selections, 14 were out of high school, including eight of their last 10.

"We feel good," Kubota said. "We feel good every year. We're very pleased with how things turned out. We feel we've got a good group of players to put into the Minor League system."

Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.