9:41am: Oakland has also agreed with supplemental first-round selection Kevin Merrell, per MLB.com’s Jim Callis (Twitter link). He’ll receive $1.8MM, leaving the club some savings on the $2,033,500 slot value at the 33rd overall selection.
8:15am: The Athletics have a deal in place with first-round pick Austin Beck, according to Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com. He is expected to be introduced to fans at today’s game.
Beck, a high-school outfielder from North Carolina, was selected with the sixth overall pick of the draft. The slot value for that selection is $5,303,000, and that’s just what Beck will receive, per Baseball America’s Hudson Belinsky (via Twitter).
Prospect rankings expressed broad agreement on Beck’s placement in the pecking order. Each of Baseball America, MLB.com, and Fangraphs rated him the ninth-best draft-eligible prospect. ESPN.com’s Keith Law placed Beck at 16th on his board, though he didn’t disagree that Beck has significant tools and upside.
Credited with huge bat speed, projectable power, good wheels, and a big arm in the outfield, Beck has the profile of a star. It doesn’t hurt that he has a chance to stick in centerfield. But all of the evaluators cited the relative uncertainty he brings to the table. Beck missed significant time with an ACL tear, robbing scouts of a chance to see him put his tools to the test against the best prep arms with wood bat.
Oakland obviously believes that the youngster can make good on his talent; as Stiglich notes, the club had focused on him after an impressive recent workout out the Coliseum. As for Beck, he’ll forgo his commitment to the University of North Carolina in order to begin his professional career.