The pain of the Oakland A’s first round draft picks

Jun 18, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher A.J. Puk (33) walks off the field after a pitching change against the Kansas City Royals during the ninth inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 18, 2022; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher A.J. Puk (33) walks off the field after a pitching change against the Kansas City Royals during the ninth inning at RingCentral Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports /
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Prospects are the lifeblood of the Oakland A’s. This means that they need to get the MLB Draft right, especially in the first round, as they look to continue that pipeline of minor league talent needed to contend.

That has not happened over recent years. The A’s have not exactly taken a collection of the greatest players in the majors in the first round since 2015. In that time, the A’s have selected Richie Martin, Daulton Jefferies, A.J. Puk, Kevin Merrill, Austin Beck, Kyler Murray, Logan Davidson, Tyler Soderstrom, the other Max Muncy, and Daniel Susac.

Oakland A’s being battered by first round disasters

Of that group, only three players have found their way to the majors. Murray has been a success, but that has been as the quarterback of the Arizona Cardinals. Those three that have reached the majors – Martin, Jefferies, and Puk – have combined for -1.0 bWAR, the lowest mark of any team’s first round draft picks from the 2015 MLB Draft through the present.

There is some reason to hope that this will change. Soderstrom is one of the top prospects in baseball, even if he may not stay behind the plate. Susac and Muncy have the potential to be solid options as they continue to develop. And Puk actually made it through an entire season healthy, giving hope that he can be a valuable asset.

But that does not mean anything yet. To this point, Puk is the only one of those players to post a positive bWAR in the majors, with the vast majority coming last year. It is another failure on the part of the front office and a major reason as to why this latest rebuild has been so painful thus far.

Next. Walker Jenkins selected in first mock draft. dark

The Oakland A’s have not covered themselves in glory in the first round of the MLB Draft in recent years. Maybe that will change in the near future.

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