Oakland A’s first round draft issues haunting them
By David Hill
Let us go back to the 2014 MLB Draft. That year, with the 25th overall pick in the draft, the Oakland A’s selected a collegiate third baseman named Matt Chapman. That turned out to be a solid pick as Chapman went on to be a standout defensively with a powerful bat, a key piece in the A’s lineup. His 23.5 bWAR is the third highest total of any player selected from that round, trailing only Trea Turner and Aaron Nola.
That was also the last time the A’s found an impact player in the first round of the draft. Despite having three selections in the top ten between 2016 and 2018, they have not added anything that has helped at the major league level thus far.
Bad luck, bad decisions hurting Oakland A’s
The A’s finished off the last decade with a horrific run of selections in the first round. Beginning in 2015, they selected Richie Martin, A.J. Puk, Daulton Jefferies, Austin Beck, Kevin Merrell, Kyler Murray, and Logan Davidson. Puk and Jefferies have battled injuries, but none of those players have made an impact whatsoever on the diamond.
There is hope that this streak of bad luck will change. Tyler Soderstrom had an impressive showing in 2021 and is starting to heat up in High-A ball. Max Muncy, the A’s first round selection last year, is starting to heat up as well, hopefully putting his disappointing performance in the past.
While the A’s hope that Soderstrom and Muncy will help in the future, those failures in the draft can be seen right now. They did not have an impact player that they had drafted ready to fill the void when the A’s began their rebuilding process. That is clearly evident given their struggles to find pieces for their future core amongst the current roster.
The Oakland A’s cannot afford to miss on their draft picks. Those errors in the last half of the 2010s are hurting their rebuilding process.