Oakland A’s draft Tyler Soderstrom with 26th pick
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s have made their first round selection, taking catcher Tyler Soderstrom from Turlock High School (CA) with the 26th pick.
Back in 1993, Steve Soderstrom was the sixth overall selection in the MLB Draft, taken by the San Francisco Giants. He appeared in three games for the Giants in 1996, winning two of those outings, but allowing 11 runs, eight earned, on 16 hits and six walks over 13.2 innings. Soderstrom pitched in AAA through 2000 before calling it a career, with those three outings composing his entire major league career.
On Wednesday, his son earned the chance to follow in his footsteps. With the 26th overall selection in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Oakland A’s selected Tyler Soderstrom, a catcher from Turlock High School in Turlock, California.
On the surface, Soderstrom may seem to be an interesting selection. The A’s already have one of the top catching prospects in Sean Murphy, as well as a pair of relatively well regarded rookie catchers in Austin Allen and Jonah Heim. Catcher would not seem to be a need. But catchers tend to develop slowly, especially those coming from high school. Nonetheless, Soderstrom is an intriguing prospect, considered to be the highest ranked prep catcher in the draft.
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Soderstrom is considered a bat first prospect, a left handed hitter who is considered to have a polished approach at the plate already. He has displayed a knack for hard contact, consistently barreling the ball. He is more of a line drive oriented hitter at this point, but is expected to develop more power as he matures.
Defensively, Soderstrom is a bit of a question mark. He is athletic and has good speed, particularly for a catcher, but has not seen that much action behind the dish. Soderstrom is considered to have a strong arm and solid hands, but needs work in the other aspects of the position. However, he is athletic enough where he could end up as a third baseman or an outfielder should he not develop behind the plate.
Regardless of his future position, it will be a few years before Soderstrom is even considered for the majors. While his bat may play up and be ready sooner, the A’s will need to find a position for him on the diamond. Right now, Soderstrom is a catcher, although that may be subject to change.
The Oakland A’s got their man – drafting Tyler Soderstrom with the 26th overall pick.