While the ability to sign Southern Cal shortstop Grant Green, selected by Oakland on Tuesday at No. 13 overall, didn't appear to be a concern with A's scouting director Eric Kubota, more than a handful of experts have suggested that signing Max Stassi, the club's fourth-round pick on Wednesday, might be a taller order.
A catcher out of Yuba City (Calif.) High School, Stassi was the lone remaining projected first-round pick on the board when the second day of the Draft began.
Why did he fall so far? Signability concerns.
A big league scout told MLB.com on Wednesday that he was "shocked" Stassi was still on the board after the first day of the Draft, adding that Oakland would have the steal of the year should Stassi pass on his scholarship to UCLA.
"We just felt like the opportunity to get a first-round talent was worth whatever risk was involved," Kubota said on Wednesday evening. "I think we have a very good chance of getting him. ... He's the best high school catcher I've ever scouted."
A 5-foot-10, 205 pounder who bats from the right side, Stassi hit .538 with 11 home runs and 38 RBIs this year and was named the Tri-County Conference Co-Player of the Year. He finished his high school career with a .513 batting average.
Stassi has catching in the genes. He's the son of Jim Stassi, a longtime Minor League catcher in the Giants system and a high school coach in the Sacramento area for the past 23 years -- 18 of them at Yuba City, and four of them with his son behind the plate.
A's -- Top five selections
|13||SS||Grant Green||U Southern California
|92||LHP||Justin Marks||U Louisville
|123||C||Max Stassi||Yuba City HS
|153||3B||Stephen Parker||Brigham Young U
|183||C||Ryan Ortiz||Oregon St U
|Complete A's Draft results >|
Stassi's grandfather and great-grandfather also caught in the Minors, while his great-grandfather's uncle, Myril Hoag, played in the Majors for 13 seasons, including as a teammate of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig with the Yankees.
The A's selected 27 players on Wednesday. Including their first- and third-round picks from Tuesday, they've selected 21 college players and eight high-school athletes. The total includes 13 pitchers, four catchers, six infielders and six outfielders.
Round 5, Stephen Parker, 3B, Brigham Young University:
Parker batted .361 with nine home runs and 34 RBIs in 53 games with the Cougars and added 39 walks for a .465 on-base percentage. He was a First-Team All-Mountain West Conference selection this year and hit .349 with 25 home runs and 114 RBIs in 165 career games at BYU.
Round 6, Ryan Ortiz, C, Oregon State University:
Ortiz was an All-Pac 10 selection for the second consecutive season in 2009 after batting .352 with 17 doubles, five home runs, 45 RBIs and 39 walks. He had a .348 batting average in 115 career games with the Beavers.
Round 7, Ian Krol, LHP, Niqua Valley (Ill.) High School:
Krol went 9-1 with an 0.94 ERA and three no-hitters (including a perfect game) as a junior and was ranked by Baseball America as the 26th-best prep prospect in the country before being suspended for his senior season after violating team rules related to alcohol. "We've spent a lot of time with him and we're very comfortable with his character," Kubota said of Krol, who has committed to the University of Arizona. "He's a really advanced high school pitcher."
Round 8, Robert Gilliam, RHP, UNC-Greensboro:
"Good stuff, throws hard and has a hard breaking ball," Kubota said. Used primarily as a reliever in 2009, Gilliam had 78 strikeouts in 65 2/3 innings.
Round 9, Mario Richard, CF, Prarie View A&M University:
Richard's brother, Michael, is playing for Class A Stockton in the A's Minor League system. "Very athletic kid who has power to work with," Kubota said.
Round 10, Samuel Dyson, RHP, University of South Carolina:
A hot prospect out of high school who fell to the 16th round of the 2006 Draft because of his commitment to the Gamecocks, Dyson was a medical redshirt (torn right labrum) as a freshman and brought back slowly last season. He was inconsistent this season. "Another guy we valued; his ability was way up at the top areas of the Draft," Kubota said. "We saw him as a top-flight talent."
Round 11, Michael Spina, 3B, University of Cincinnati:
"Power-hitting corner college player who hit a bunch of homers the last few years," Kubota said of Spina, who was drafted in the 45th round by the Twins in 2008.
Round 12, Connor Hoehn, RHP, St. Petersburg Junior College:
Listed as an outfielder on his team's website, Hoehn posted a 2.72 ERA in 12 appearances this season. He's said to throw in the 89- to 93-mph range.
Round 13, Murphy Smith, RHP, Binghamton University:
Named American East Conference Pitcher of the Year, Smith went 7-3 with a 3.12 ERA this season and led the conference with 84 strikeouts.
Round 14, Drew Gagnier, RHP, University of Oregon:
Gagnier is a graduate of Santa Cruz High School and was 1-0 with seven saves and a 2.70 ERA in 23 games for the Ducks as a junior this season.
Round 15, Anthony Aliotti, 1B, St. Mary's College:
One of Oakland's local selections, Aliotti was an honorable mention selection on the All-WCC team after hitting .333 with six home runs and 39 RBIs for SMC, which plays its home games less than 30 minutes from A's headquarters.
Round 16, Joshua Leyland, C, San Dimas (Calif.) High School:
A 6-foot-3, 230-pound power hitter, Leyland is a left-handed hitter who also played first base as a prep and was a regular on the prospect showcase circuit.
Round 17, Patrick Stover, OF, Rocklin (Calif.) High School:
"Very good athlete who also was a member of his school's state-championship runnerup basketball team," Kubota said. "He's got a lot of power to work with, too."
Round 18, Max Peterson, LHP, San Jose State:
Peterson was 7-1 with a 4.55 ERA in 15 games (13 starts) for the Spartans as a junior this season.
Round 19, Daniel Tenholder, RHP, Austin Peay State:
Tenholder went 3-2 with a 2.93 ERA as a junior this season. He was an All-Ohio Valley Conference second team selection and led the conference with nine saves.
Round 20, Tyler Bernard, SS, Valley Center (Calif) High School:
"Good athlete who has really come on this year," Kubota said.
Round 21, Michael Faulkner, CF, Germantown (Tenn.) High School:
A three-sport star, Faulkner was considered the fourth-best prep prospect in the state after hitting .431 as a junior. He is committed to Arkansas State.
Round 22, Ryan Quigley, LHP, Northeastern University:
Quigley, who struck out 80 in 12 starts as a junior this season, made a nice impression by striking out Kevin Youkilis and Jed Lowrie in consecutive at-bats during a March exhibition game.
Round 23, Kent Walton, CF, Brigham Young University:
Walton was drafted by the A's in the 42nd round of the 2008 Draft.
Round 24, Daniel Straily, RHP, Marshall University:
Straily went 4-3 with a 4.27 ERA in 13 starts as a junior this season.
Round 25, Chris Mederos, RHP, Georgia Southern University:
Mederos struck out 113 over 94 innings while going 11-1 as a junior this season.
Round 26, Nathan Long, RHP, Texas-Arlington University:
A senior, Long led the Southland Conference and broke the school's single-season record with 104 strikeouts with 29 walks this season. His team-leading 3.76 ERA ranked sixth in the SLC and he finished with a 6-4 record in 14 starts with a team-high 93 1/3 innings pitched.
Round 27, Michael Gilmartin, 2B, Wofford College:
Gilmartin, a junior from Moorpark, Calif., was second on the team with a .335 batting average and 70 hits. He led the team with 44 runs scored, 13 home runs and 121 total bases, with 49 RBIs were second. As a closer, he made 17 appearances with seven saves and posted a 3.38 ERA.
Round 28, Connor Crumbliss, OF, Emporia State University:
A senior, Crumbliss batted .397 with 30 doubles, five homers, 54 RBIs and a .483 on-base percentage in 63 games this season.
Round 29, Michael Zunino, C, Mariner (Fla.) High School:
Zunino is the son of Greg Zunino, a scout with the Reds.
Round 30, Rory Consigli, OF, Notre Dame (Ontario, Canada) High School