On Day 2, A's seek power early, add hurlers
Club pleased to land Southern Miss' Vollmuth in Round 3
OAKLAND -- A day after nabbing Vanderbilt's hard-throwing right-handed Sonny Gray with their first-round selection, the A's shifted the focus to offense early on in Day 2 of the First-Year Player Draft.
Specifically, there was a common thread between the A's third- and fourth-round selections -- power. It's something the A's have lacked this season, as they rank last in Major League Baseball with just 34 home runs on the year.
With the 105th overall pick, the A's selected Southern Mississippi infielder Bryan Anthony Vollmuth. As a junior for the Golden Eagles, Vollmuth hit .301 and led the team with 12 home runs and 49 RBIs.
"He's a big, physical kid," A's scouting director Eric Kubota said of the team's first selection on Day 2. "We really like the power potential he's got."
Kubota added that the team is really impressed with Vollmuth's athleticism, specifically that he has experience playing both shortstop and third base. This season with Southern Mississippi, Vollmuth primarily played the hot corner and sported a .904 fielding percentage while starting all 55 games.
The following round, Oakland drafted outfielder Bobby Crocker out of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo -- a prospect the A's are familiar with, as they drafted him out of high school in 2008 with their 38th-round selection. Back then, Crocker, a Berkeley, Calif., native, opted to go to college and pass on the A's offer. This time around, though, the team likes what it's getting in a player it has scouted for years in its own backyard.
"We've scouted him a lot," Kubota said. "He's big, physical and athletic. There's a lot to like about him. He's strong, but hasn't hit a lot of power yet in his collegiate career. But we think there's definitely strength there to develop power."
As a junior this season, Crocker led the Mustangs in batting average (.339), on-base percentage (.431) and slugging percentage (.497), although he only hit five home runs.
After addressing the need for power, the A's shifted their focus to rounding out their organization with what they deemed to be the best available prospects, starting with catcher Beau Taylor from Central Florida in the fifth round.
Taylor didn't show the kind of power potential the club's two selections before him did, but Kubota was impressed with Taylor's solid offensive numbers at UCF. Taylor hit .325 for the Knights this year and drove in 47 runs. He had 20 multi-hit performances and recorded multiple RBIs on 13 occasions. More impressive to Oakland, though, is Taylor's defense.
Kubota called Taylor a "very, very advanced defensive catcher." He committed just one error in 58 starts as a junior and was named to the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award, which goes to the nation's top collegiate backstop.
"We feel good about all of our picks today," Kubota said. "I can't single any one out more than the next."
Round 3 (No. 105 overall), Bryan Anthony Vollmuth, 21, 6-3, 215, 3B, Southern Mississippi
Vollmuth hit .301 while starting all 55 games for Southern Mississippi as a junior. He led the Golden Eagles with 12 home runs, 49 RBIs and a .548 slugging percentage. Sported a .904 fielding percentage as a junior. Named as a pre-season All-American in 2010 by Baseball America. In 2008, he was drafted in the 32nd round (No. 962 overall) by the Houston Astros.
Round 4 (No. 136 overall), Bobby Crocker, 21, 6-3, 220, CF, Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo
Started 49 games in the outfield and led the Mustangs with a .339 batting average and a .431 on-base percentage. Had five outfield assists as a junior and led the team with 64 hits and a .497 slugging percentage. Grew up 90 minutes south of Oakland in Aromas, Calif.
Round 5 (No. 166 overall), Beau Taylor, 21, 5-10, 180, C, Central Florida
Started 58 games at catcher as a junior for the Knights while being named to the Johnny Bench Award watch list for the nation's top collegiate catcher. Hit .325 while bringing in 47 RBIs this season. Committed just one error behind the plate as a junior. Had 20 multi-hit games and 13 multi-RBI outings.
Round 6 (No. 196 overall), Dayton Alexander, 21, 6-2, 190, CF, Feather River College
Hit .382 with a .469 on-base percentage in 38 games as a junior. Hit .444 against righties, .362 against lefties and .349 with runners in scoring position this season. Drove in 24 runs and led Feather River in total bases (90).
Round 7 (No. 226 overall), Blake Treinen, 21, 6-4, 215, RHP, South Dakota State
Drafted by the Marlins in the 23rd round of last year's Draft after a breakout season, but opted to return to school for his senior season. Amassed a 7-3 record with a 3.00 ERA in 13 starts as a senior. Sported a 1.26 WHIP in 84 innings and fanned 84.
Round 8 (No. 256 overall), Colin O'Connell, 20, 6-6, 200, RHP, Cal State Fullerton
Went 7-3 with a 2.42 ERA as a junior. Struck out 49 while walking just six and had a 0.98 WHIP in 70 2/3 innings. Allowed three runs or fewer in 10 of his 13 outings this season.
Round 9 (No. 286 overall), Jace Fry, 17, 6-1, 190, LHP, Southridge (Beaverton, Ore.) HS
Was 10-0 with a 1.42 ERA as a senior. Recorded 92 strikeouts in 59 innings for Southridge. Signed to play college baseball at Oregon State University. Selected a day after his high school graduation.
Round 10 (No. 316 overall), Dusty Robinson, 21, 5-11, 200, OF, Fresno State University
Hit .310 in 53 games for the Bulldogs as a junior. Led Fresno State in doubles (20), RBIs (55) and home runs (16), while sharing the team led with three triples. Favorite athlete is Pete Rose.
Round 11 (No. 346 overall), Christopher Lamb, 20, 6-1, 185, LHP, Davidson College
A Berkeley, Calif., native, Lamb was 1-7 in 14 appearances (12 starts) as a junior while accumulating a 3.75 ERA. Struck out 85 in 81 2/3 innings with a 1.24 WHIP.
Round 12 (No. 376 overall), Xavier Macklin, 20, 6-1, 190, OF, North Carolina A&T State
In 54 games this season, the right-handed Macklin hit .355 and led the Aggies with 67 RBIs and a .781 slugging percentage. He reached base at a .474 clip as a junior.
Round 13 (No. 406 overall), Jacob Tanis, 21, 6-1, 200, 3B, Mercer University
Tanis started 59 games at the hot corner for Mercer during his junior campaign, when he hit .350 with 75 RBIs and 61 runs scored. He knocked 15 home runs and 17 doubles this season with a .612 slugging percentage. He walked 35 times, compared to just 30 strikeouts and reached base at a .446 rate.
Round 14 (No. 436 overall) Nicholas Rickles, 21, 6-3, 225, C, Stetson University
While his junior stats weren't listed, Rickles was named to the Johnny Bench Award watch list as a sophomore. He committed just one error behind the plate that season and had a .997 fielding percentage.
Round 15 (No. 466 overall), T.J. Walz, 20, 6-4, 200, RHP, University of Kansas
Went 6-5 in 15 appearances (14 starts) with a 3.97 ERA for the Jayhawks as a senior. In 90 2/3 innings, he struck out 85 and walked 31 with a 1.36 WHIP. Selected in the 50th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by Oakland.
Round 16 (No. 496 overall) Tanner Peters, 20, 6-0, 150, RHP, University of Nevada Las Vegas
Peters went 9-4 with a 1.50 ERA in 15 starts as a junior and pitched eight complete games, including two shutouts. He pitched a team-high 120 1/3 innings in which he struck out 105 and gave up just two home runs while sporting a 0.96 WHIP. Opponents hit .210 against him this season
Round 17 (No. 526 overall), Sean Jamieson, 22, 6-0, 193, SS, Canisius College
Hit .350 in the leadoff role for Canisius as a senior. Had a .465 on-base percentage, drew 34 walks compared to 39 strikeouts. Led Canisius with 13 home runs and 51 RBIs. From Simcoe, Ontario, Canada.
Round 18 (No. 556 overall), Brent Powers, 22, 6-2, 205, LHP, Sam Houston State University
Went 5-4 in 15 appearances (nine starts) as a senior for the Bearkats. Pitched 60 2/3 innings with a 3.88 ERA. Struck out 55 and walked 21 with a 1.40 WHIP. Gave up three home runs in his 15 outings.
Round 19 (No. 586 overall), Eric Potter, 21, 6-4, 205, LHP, University of Maryland
Sported a 4.80 ERA as a senior at Maryland. In 18 outings, including 11 starts, Potter went 3-7. Tossed 65 2/3 innings this season, during which he struck out 68 and walked 48, compiling a 1.46 WHIP.
Round 20 (No. 616 overall), Kurt Wunderlich, 21, 6-2, 220, RHP, Michigan State University
Was the leaders of the Spartans' pitching staff and entered his senior season as the team's No. 1 starter. Went 10-2 with a 3.19 ERA in 15 starts as a senior. Tossed 101 2/3 innings, struck out 65 and walked 29. He finished the season with a 1.29 WHIP and gave up nine home runs.
Round 21 (No. 646 overall), Brandon Magee, 20, 6-0, 225, CF, Arizona State University
Magee appeared in just nine games this season, hitting .154 in 13 at-bats. Two-sport athlete at Arizona State, where he also played linebacker for the Sun Devils' football team. Was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 29th round (No. 863 overall) in the 2008 Draft.
Round 22 (No. 676 overall), Rhett Stafford, 22, 6-2, 225, OF, Marshall University
In 46 starts as a junior at Marshall, Stafford hit .320 and led the team with 10 home runs. Drove in 41 runs with a .560 slugging percentage and reached base at a .388 clip. Committed seven errors on the year for a .955 fielding percentage.
Round 23 (No. 706 overall), Cecil Tanner, 21, 6-6, 240, RHP, University of Georgia
Made seven appearances out of the bullpen as a junior for the Bulldogs. Pitched 3 2/3 innings, allowing one run and striking out three while walking 10. Had a 2.45 ERA. Drafted by the Braves in the 36th round in 2008.
Round 24 (No. 736 overall), Robert Kuhn, 18, 5-11, 185, SS, Zionsville (Ind.) Community HS
Helped lead Zionsville to the Hoosier Crossroads Conference championship as a senior.
Round 25 (No. 766 overall), Chad Oberacker, 22, 5-11, 195, OF, Tennessee Tech University
In 52 games as a senior, went .325 at the plate. Hit 10 home runs while driving in 48 runs. Led the team with a .545 slugging percentage and a .433 on-base percentage. Also saw time on the mound, making 13 appearances and five starts. Had a 4.08 ERA and a 1.58 WHIP in 46 1/3 innings while striking out 47.
Round 26 (No. 796 overall), Sam Roberts, 22, 6-1, 190, SS, Virginia Military Institute
Played in all 52 games in the field as a senior and hit .347. Had a .443 on-base percentage and drove in 37 runs. Appeared in 14 games on the mound, including four starts for the Keydets this season. Accumulated a 1-4 record with four saves and a 4.78 ERA. In 32 innings, he struck out 34 and walked 10.
Round 27 (No. 826 overall), Derek Self, 21, 6-3, 205, RHP, University of Louisville
As a junior, appeared in 21 games, including six starts, amassing a 3-3 record with a 2.26 ERA. Named a Cape Cod League All-Star last summer after going 3-0 with a 2.36 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 42 innings during the summer league, including a one-hit shutout.
Round 28 (No. 856 overall), Thomas Girdwood, 22, 6-2, 200, RHP, Elon University
Started nine games and appeared in 16 for Elon as a senior. Went 4-5 with a 3.39 ERA. In 63 2/3 innings, he struck out 45 and had a 1.45 WHIP. Selected by the Twins in the 15th round of last year's Draft.
Round 29 (No. 886 overall), Nate Eppley, 22, 6-6, 205, RHP, Rider University
Started 14 games for the Broncs this season, going 6-7 with a 4.27 ERA. In 86 1/3 innings, he fanned 50 and walked 30. Opposing batters hit .245 against him. Brother, Cody, is in the Rangers' organization.
Round 30 (No. 916 overall), Nathan Kilcrease, 21, 5-6, 175, RHP, University of Alabama
Started 16 games for the Tide as a senior, and went 8-4 in those decisions. Sported a 3.12 ERA in 101 innings. Struck out 88 and had a 1.27 WHIP.
Live coverage of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft resumes at 9 a.m. PT on Wednesday on MLB.com, where fans will receive exclusive coverage of Day 3, featuring a live pick-by-pick stream, expert commentary and Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player. You can also keep up to date at Draft Central and by following @MLBDraft on Twitter. And get into the Draft conversation by tagging your tweets with #mlbdraft.
Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.