A's balance risk and reward at Draft
Oakland loosens up approach, gambles on top-tier talent
OAKLAND -- Heading into the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, A's scouting director Eric Kubota said the talent pool was deep with power arms.
Kubota also reiterated Oakland's long-held Draft philosophy: get the best player available, not the player who best suits your needs.
So, of course the A's went out and filled a need by drafting USC shortstop Grant Green with their first-round pick, 13th overall.
"We took the best player that was on the board," Kubota said.
That player, though, still represented a departure for the A's. Green is being advised by Scott Boras, and the A's hadn't selected a Boras-represented player since Kubota took over the scouting department eight years ago.
Signability is always a question when dealing with Boras' amateur players, and signability concerns followed Oakland's third pick of the Draft through the scouting process, too.
Max Stassi, a catcher from Yuba City (Calif.) High School, was considered a first-round talent, but fell to the fourth round in part because he's committed to UCLA and has been effusive about his desire to play for the Bruins.
In both cases, Kubota expressed confidence that the A's will get their man, suggesting the reward was worth the risk. Elsewhere in the Draft, Oakland stuck fairly close to recent form, going heavy on pitching and college talent.
Having lost their second-round pick to the White Sox as compensation for signing Orlando Cabrera as a free agent, the A's had to wait until the third round to select left-hander Justin Marks, a junior out of the University of Louisville who was named the Big East Pitcher of the Year.
"Justin is a four-pitch, proven college left-hander," Kubota said. "He was the guy we had really hoped we had the chance to take in the third round. ... If you look at our big league rotation now, none of them were first-round picks."
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 >|
The 2009 Draft concluded Thursday afternoon, and the A's added 20 more prospects. The most recognizable name among the Day 3 draftees is Blake Crosby, a first baseman out of Sacramento State University who is the younger brother of A's infielder Bobby Crosby.
Blake Crosby batted .397 with a .460 on-base percentage in 54 games for the Hornets this season and was selected with the 1,263rd overall pick in the Draft. Bobby was the 25th overall pick in 2002.
Another local product, catcher Ryan Lipkin out of the University of San Francisco, was picked up by Oakland with the 1,293rd overall selection.
All told, the A's drafted 49 players in 50 rounds, including 38 college players and 11 high school athletes. The breakdown includes 19 pitchers, six catchers, 12 infielders and 12 outfielders.
Mychael Urban is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.