The Oakland Athletics have selected high school catcher Tyler Soderstrom with their first-round pick.
The Oakland Athletics have made their first-round pick and it’s a player that few expected to even be available when the team selected — high school catcher prospect Tyler Soderstrom.
Many viewed Soderstrom as the top catcher in the 2020 MLB Draft with most mock drafts projecting him to be taken within the first 15 picks. In fact, perhaps no team was connected to him more than the A’s crosstown rivals, the San Francisco Giants.
But he’ll be headed to the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge to play in Oakland instead.
Soderstrom is a left-handed hitting catcher prospect from Turlock High School in Northern California. MLB Pipeline had him ranked No. 19 on their pre-draft board, but he fell all the way to pick No. 26 where the Athletics snagged him.
An athletic, offense-first player, Soderstrom is the son of Steve Soderstrom who was drafted sixth overall by the Giants back in 1993. The young prospect also has experience playing both the corner infield and outfield spots meaning he shouldn’t be confined to the catcher position.
That’s good news for the A’s who have recently seen highly-touted prospect Sean Murphy graduate to the major leagues full-time and the hope is that he’s the catcher of the future.
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Nonetheless, it will likely take a number of years for Soderstrom to progress through the minors anyway meaning that this isn’t exactly a concern.
Who is Oakland Athletics first-round pick, Tyler Soderstrom?
Soderstrom is a polished hitter at the plate whose power is coming along. While his bat is still ahead of his defense as of now, he has the athleticism and arm strength necessary to indicate that improvements could be in the near future.
Still, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the team try him somewhere else — he has the most experience playing third base.
Most expected the A’s to roll with a college prospect — specifically a college pitcher — but Soderstrom fell right into their laps at No. 26 and was too good to pass up.
This marks just the second high school prospect the organization has taken in the first round since 2014 — Austin Beck being the lone exception in 2017.
Ultimately, it’s hard to be mad about this pick as the A’s managed to land a consensus top-15 prospect that no one thought they had a chance of drafting.
But as we all know, the MLB Draft can be a very unpredictable event.