Michael Choice Rumors
The Athletics held their A's Fan Fest today with manager Bob Melvin and GM Billy Beane hosting a Q&A session. Here are the highlights:
- Melvin says second base will be an open competition between Scott Sizemore and Jemile Weeks while Grant Green, the A's fourth-best prospect as ranked by MLB.com, will also receive a hard look, reports MLB.com's Jane Lee (Twitter links).
- Melvin plans to continue with the Brandon Moss/Chris Carter platoon at first base, tweets Lee.
- Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets the A's will not use any one set lineup because Melvin has multiple options depending on matchups and who's hot.
- Melvin views Coco Crisp as the starting center fielder with Chris Young moving around all three outfield spots, Lee tweets.
- Young says being reunited with Melvin is "like a breath of fresh air." (A's team Twitter feed).
- Melvin calls Yoenis Cespedes one of most talented players in the league and Beane adds he wouldn't be surprised if the 27-year-old Cuban takes it to another level, Slusser tweets.
- Beane is confident Hiroyuki Nakajima will make a successful transition to MLB, tweets Casey Pratt of CSNBayArea.com. In fact, Beane joked he will have a tougher transition in dealing with the effervescent Japanese shortstop.
- Beane expects their top prospect, outfielder Michael Choice, to open the season in Triple-A, unless something unforeseen happens, according to Pratt (via Twitter).
- The A's are convinced shortstop Addison Russell, last year's first round draft choice, is mature enough to be invited to Spring Training even though it wasn't part of his contract, writes Slusser on Twitter. Slusser adds this is an indication of how much the 19-year-old has wowed the front office.
If you're a fan of top prospects and rookies, then this Quick Hits post is for you. Here are today's links...
- Oakland's 2010 first rounder, Michael Choice, is wowing scouts in Arizona, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter). Peter Gammons of MLB Network hears from a trusted scout that Choice has the bat speed, strength and athleticism to become a "monster" (Twitter link). Baseball America ranked the 21-year-old third among Oakland's prospects heading into the season.
- One GM says the Royals are so deep in talent that they can still be in it in 2013 if a couple of their top prospects miss, according to Gammons (on Twitter).
- Neftali Feliz has said he's most comfortable closing games, but Rangers GM Jon Daniels says he'll continue stretching the 2010 AL Rookie of the Year out to see if he can make it as a starter, according to Anthony Andro of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram (on Twitter).
- The Giants and last year's NL Rookie of the Year, Buster Posey, agreed to a one-year deal, according to Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. He tweets that the deal is worth $575K. That's about $150K more than the Giants had to give him.
- Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos tells Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi that Brett Lawrie has looked “very good.” The Blue Jays, who acquired Lawrie for Shaun Marcum over the winter, like the infielder’s work ethic, tools and drive.
The A's drafted Choice tenth overall in June out of the University of Texas-Arlington. BA praised Choice for his power and wrote that some scouts believe he may be able to stick in center field. Choice and Christian Colon are the only top ten picks to have signed so far.
Ever since the A's called Rick Monday's name 45 years ago, teams have relied on the MLB draft to stock their systems with talented young players. Today, teams have the chance to draft the next Joe Mauer (1st overall, 2001), the next Carl Crawford (52nd overall, 1999) or the next Albert Pujols (13th round, 1999). Or, they could end up with the next Matt Bush (1st overall, 2004).
Here's this year's draft order, from River Ave. Blues, to be updated after each selection (links go to MLB.com):
- Nationals - Bryce Harper
- Pirates - Jameson Taillon
- Orioles - Manny Machado
- Royals - Christian Colon
- Indians - Drew Pomeranz
- Diamondbacks - Barret Loux
- Mets - Matt Harvey
- Astros - Delino DeShields Jr.
- Padres - Karsten Whitson
- Athletics - Michael Choice
- Blue Jays - Deck McGuire
- Reds - Yasmani Grandal
- White Sox - Chris Sale
- Brewers - Dylan Covey
- Rangers - Jake Skole
- Cubs - Hayden Simpson
- Rays - Josh Sale
- Angels - Kaleb Cowart
- Astros - Michael Foltynewicz
- Red Sox - Kolbrin Vitek
- Twins - Alex Wimmers
- Rangers - Kellin Deglan
- Marlins - Christian Yelich
- Giants - Gary Brown
- Cardinals - Zack Cox
- Rockies - Kyle Parker
- Phillies - Jesse Biddle
- Dodgers - Zach Lee
- Angels - Cam Bedrosian
- Angels - Chevez Clarke
- Rays - Justin O'Conner
- Yankees - Cito Culver
Click here for the results of Compensation Round A, picks #33-50.
Major League Baseball's amateur draft will be held from June 7th-9th, so we're going to introduce you to some of the top players available between now and then.At times it seems like nothing excites a team more on draft day than a power college bat willing to sign for slot money, so it should be no surprise that Texas-Arlington outfielder Michael Choice has worked his way into the mix for the top half of the first round. He offers the best of both worlds - a good scouting report and gaudy stats.
Baseball America ranked Choice as the 11th best prospect in this year's draft class while ESPN's Keith Law had him 19th (sub. req'd for both). MLB.com's Draft Report says that he has "big-time raw power to all fields," but notes that his swing mechanics will have to improve in the future. He's a good defender that will likely move to a corner down the road despite his above average speed. The MLB.com link offers video.
Choice has put up ridiculous numbers with Texas-Arlington this spring, hitting .383/.568/.704 with 76 walks to just 54 strikeouts. Although he has a good approach at the plate, his walk total has been boosted by lots of intentional and unintentional-intentional walks because of the generally weak lineup around him.
Every recent mock draft has Choice going within the top ten picks, though Law reported yesterday that the Padres have narrowed their options for the ninth overall pick down to two players, one of whom is Choice. It seems very unlikely that he'll get past that pick.
A few links to check out with the draft less than 60 hours away...
- The Pirates still don't know who they're going to select with the second overall pick according to The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Karen Price. "But it's not going to be one of those things where all of a sudden you're going to say, 'I didn't see that one coming,' " said head scout Greg Smith.
- Bernardo Fallas of The Houston Chronicle says that Derek Dietrich, Brett Eibner, and Chad Bettis all signed releases allowing the Astros to re-draft them. Houston selected all three out of high school in 2007 but didn't sign any of them, and a player has to consent to being re-drafted by a club. All three are considered top 100 prospects by ESPN's Keith Law (sub. req'd) and Baseball America. The Astros hold three of the top 33 picks.
- Law echoes the report of the Royals pursuing a deal with Yasmani Grandal, and says it could push Chris Sale to the Diamondbacks and give the Mets their choice of Zack Cox or Matt Harvey (sub. req'd).
- He also hears that Grandal going to Kansas City would put the White Sox back on college pitching, and that the Giants have interest in Yordy Cabrera for the 24th overall pick.
- Law also mentions that the Padres have narrowed their options for the ninth overall pick down to Michael Choice and Kolbrin Vitek.
- Zachary Levine of The Houston Chronicle looks at five of the best high school hitters available, as well as the Astros' top picks by decade.
- Meanwhile, Bob Brookover of The Philadelphia Inquirer reviews the Phillies' draft picks from the last decade.