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2017 Draft Coverage

Oakland Athletics go young early, pitchers late on Day Two of MLB Draft

The Oakland Athletics went with upside early and experienced pitching late on Day Two of the 2017 MLB Draft.

Logan Salow / Photo courtesy of Kentucky Athletics
Logan Salow of Kentucky is the first pitcher selected by the A's. / Photo courtesy of Kentucky Athletics

Day Two of the Oakland Athletics draft started off with a bang when the A’s selected San Diego high school shortstop Nick Allen with their third-round pick. Allen was one of the more high-profile players left on the board at the start of Day Two. The A’s selected two more position players in rounds four and five before finally selecting their first pitcher in the draft in round six. That began a run of four straight pitchers selected before Oakland finished the day with an outfielder.

Oakland Athletics Scouting Director Eric Kubota on A’s top-three picks

Below is a deeper look at the Oakland Athletics draft on Day Two.

Round three: Nick Allen, SS, Francis W. Parker HS, San Diego, Calif.

Bio details: 5’8’’, 190, R/R, Birthdate: 10/08/1998

Analysis: Allen was one of the top remaining draft prospects left on the board after Day One. The San Diego high school product is widely considered one of the top defensive prospects among high school players eligible for the draft. A USC commit, Allen has above-average arm strength, a quick release and the athleticism to throw from several different angles. He was the Rawlings Gold Glove award winner for his high school class. Allen moves well laterally and charges in on balls effectively. He is a safe bet to stick at shortstop and will have the athleticism to play other infield positions as needed.

As a hitter, Allen has a line-drive swing and a balanced approach at the plate. He shows good plate recognition and he uses his legs to take extra bases. Allen runs well and is aggressive on the bases. He is one of the smaller players in terms of height in this draft and there are questions as to whether he can develop any in-game power. However, if Allen can hit for average, get on-base and steal some bases, he will bring plenty of value thanks to his defensive prowess.

The MLB Draft team at 2080Baseball called Allen “perhaps the best infield defender in the class, capable of highlight-reel plays across the infield. His actions are preternatural, with a calm confidence that allows him to get creative on the dirt while constantly showing evaluators new tricks with the leather (and arm).”

Allen is a strong commit to USC, but the A’s wouldn’t have taken him at this spot without some assurance that he would sign. He is a candidate for an over-slot bonus.

Round four: Will Toffey, 3B, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

Bio details: 6’2’’, 195, L/R, Birthdate: 12/31/1994

Analysis: Like Greg Deichmann on Day One, Toffey is a college draft pick who was a draft-eligible sophomore last season. Toffey went to the Orioles in round 25, but he elected to stay at Vandy for his junior season. Also like Deichmann, Toffey’s bat took a big step forward this season. He hit .354/.475/.602 with 12 homers in 56 games after hitting no homers with a .227/.387/.266 last season.

There are questions as to whether Toffey’s bat will translate in the pros, but he has a strong approach at the plate and he hit well with a wood bat in the Cape Cod League last summer (.283/.392/.402 with three homers in 36 games). He comes from a major college program and has faced top competition throughout his career. Toffey’s glove is an asset. The 2080Baseball team said “Toffey shows above-average hands and solid arm strength at the hot corner.”

Toffey is more of a production pick than a projection pick and, at 22, he is old for a college junior. However, his on-base skills and glove are intriguing and if the power continues to develop like it did this year, he could surprise with the bat.

Round five: Santis Sanchez, C, International Baseball Academy, Puerto Rico

Bio details: 6’1’’, 200, R/R, Birthdate: 08/18/1998

Analysis: The A’s generally take a catcher somewhere between rounds two through eight, and they stuck with their pattern this year in the selection of Sanchez. The burly backstop comes from the International Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. He will turn 19 later this summer, which puts him a little on the older side for a high school pick.

Despite being on the older side for a high school pick, Sanchez has some physical maturation left. He has a big frame that still has some of his baby fat but should firm up in a professional baseball environment. Sanchez has a strong throwing arm and has shown athleticism behind the plate. He also has flashed power at the plate from the right-side.

Round six: Logan Salow, LHP, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kent.

Bio details: 6’2’’, 180, L/L, Birthdate: 09/27/1994

Analysis: For a second straight year, the A’s used a top-10 round pick from UK. Last year, it was infielder JaVon Shelby, who has since moved to centerfield. Salow is a left-handed pitcher who has been used as a reliever for most of his career as a Wildcat. A four-year pitcher at UK, Salow had a standout season for the Wildcats. He posted a 1.95 ERA and a 73:17 K:BB in 55.1 innings this season. He served as the Kentucky closer, converting 12 saves. The 12 saves tied Trevor Gott for the program-best at UK. Salow finished third all-time in appearances in the Kentucky program.

Salow has a swing-and-miss slider and a fastball that sits in the low-90s. The team at 2080Baseball says that Salow has an average change-up and could be stretched out as a starter in the pros. He started last summer in the Northwoods wood bat league and posted a 3.99 ERA in 56.1 innings. Salow has always missed plenty of bats. With UK, he struck-out 153 in 132 innings.

Round seven: Parker Dunshee, RHP, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC

Bio details: 6’1’’, 210, R/R, Birthdate: 02/12/1995

Analysis: A performer for a major collegiate program, Dunshee has been a significant contributor for Wake Forest for the past four seasons. Dunshee was a reliever early in his career but has started exclusively the past two seasons. He had a 4.14 ERA this season for the Demon Deacons, and he struck-out 103 while walking only 27 in 95.1 innings. Dunshee was a 14th-round pick by the Cubs last season, but he elected to return to Wake for his senior season.

Dunshee had some trouble with homeruns allowed this season (11), but he is generally an effective groundball pitcher. Dunshee is a student of Driveline baseball’s throwing program. He sits in the low-90s with his fastball and he has an effective change-up and a solid slider. Dunshee has a starter’s build and could fit that inning’s eater role in the back of a rotation.

Round eight: Brian Howard, RHP, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Tex.

Bio details: 6’9’’, 205, R/R, Birthdate: 04/25/1995

Analysis: Howard is the third straight senior sign selected by the A’s. Over his four seasons with the Horned Frogs, Howard earned a reputation for pitching well in pressure situations. Howard went 11-3 with a 3.95 in 98 innings for TCU this season, helping to lead them to the College World Series. Howard struck-out 101 and walked 35 this season. For his career, he posted a 254:89 in 256 innings.

Howard stands 6’9’’ and is as skinny as a rail. He doesn’t throw particularly hard, topping out at 90 MPH, but he gets plenty of extension and the fastball gets on hitters in a hurry. His best secondary offering is a cut-fastball, which should make him popular with A’s minor league pitching coordinator and cut-fastball guru Gil Patterson. Howard threw a more effective curveball this season and he has a decent change-up. Former A’s pitcher Kirk Saarloos is the TCU pitching coach.

Round nine: Jared Poche’, LHP, Louisiana State University, Baton Rogue, La.

Bio details: 6’1’’, 210, R/L, Birthdate: 11/21/1994

Analysis: Poche’ is yet another college senior pitcher who performed very well for his big program squad. The left-hander was a four-year starter for the Tigers and was selected in the 14th round last year by the Padres. He went 10-3 with a 3.42 ERA in 97.1 innings for LSU this season, helping to lead them to the College World Series. He had a 32-inning scoreless streak to start the season. Poche’ isn’t a strike-out pitcher (278 in 400 career innings), but he does a good job throwing strikes. He is one win away from matching the career-high (38) in the LSU program.

Poche’s fastball sits around 88-91, touching 93, and he has a sharp curveball that gets swings-and-misses. Poche’ also has a solid change-up and a cut-fastball that he can use to keep hitters off of his fastball. He has a solid build and could rack up plenty of innings as a starter.

Round 10: Jack Meggs, OF, University of Washington, Seattle, Wash.

Bio details: 6’0’’, 175, L/L, Birthdate: 04/18/1995

Analysis: Meggs was a four-year player for UW, where he suited up for his father, Lindsay Meggs, the longtime Huskies’ head coach. The younger Meggs started his final three seasons at UW and was a leader near the top of the UW line-up. Meggs hit .265/.355/.395 as a senior this season and he established career-highs in extra-base hits and walks. Meggs performed well two summers ago in the Cape Cod League, hitting .299 with a .339 OBP in 36 games for Brewster.

Meggs is well known for his energy and tenacity on the field. He plays with an energy similar to that of former A’s outfielder Eric Byrnes, although he doesn’t have Byrnes’ elite speed or power. Meggs isn’t a burner, but he has good instincts and runs well enough to cover a lot of ground in centerfield. Meggs doesn’t have a standout tool, but he is a grinder who knows the game really well and gets the most out of his abilities.

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