Jefferies, a righty out of the University of California, faced medical questions after dealing with shoulder problems this year. MLB.com still rated him 56th among draft prospects, explaining that Jefferies holds plenty of promise for a shorter (6’0) hurler. He was able to restore some of his draft stock by returning late in the year, and will bring a solid three-pitch mix with him to Oakland.
Other prognosticators were slightly more concerned, but had him in the same general range. Baseball America placed Jefferies 61st on its list, noting that his change-up grades as a plus pitch with a slider rating as an average or better offering. Jefferies also features a low-90s fastball that at times touches 95 mph. He fell to 74th on the board of ESPN.com’s Keith Law.
Oakland will save $145,700 against the slot value for the 37th overall selection. The club also drafted collegiate starters with its other two top selections, both of whom played at the University of Florida: A.J. Puk (first round, 6th overall) and Logan Shore (second round).