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.