We take a look at our complete grades for the Oakland Athletics 2020 MLB Draft.
- Who the Oakland Athletics took: Tyler Soderstrom, catcher, Turlock HS (CA), UCLA commit
- 26th overall pick
- Expected Signing Bonus: above slot (about $3.3MM)
- Future-Value Grade: 45
- Grade: A-
The Oakland Athletics stayed local with their one pick on the first day of the MLB Draft when they selected Tyler Soderstrom out of Turlock, California.
Plenty of Bay Area fans were expecting him to stay locally, but almost all the pre-draft speculation tied him to the team on the other side of the Bay.
Steve Soderstrom, Tyler’s father, was drafted by the San Francisco Giants with the sixth overall pick in the 1993 MLB Draft and had a cup of coffee with the big-league club in 1996.
The next in line for professional baseball was tied to the Giants more than any other prospect, but much to the chagrin of Kevin Cunningham over at Giants Futures there would be no legacy Giants selection.
Instead, San Francisco selected a different catcher and Soderstrom began to fall. Since he’d been so tightly connected to the Giants, the rest of his market was a bit unclear and Oakland was able to take advantage of his free fall.
Soderstrom has an impressive swing geared to take advantage of his plus raw power without sacrificing too much in the way of swing-and-miss. Scouts seem split on whether his future is actually behind the dish.
While his arm is above-average to plus, his fundamentals behind the plate are rough. He has the athleticism to play first base, third base, or left field and unlike Bailey, the Giants selection, his bat projects to be good enough to justify a move.
Nabbing Soderstrom at 26 was a tremendous get for Oakland, but it did come with a small price. Soderstrom, ranked on most big boards in the late-teens, is reportedly going to receive a signing bonus of about $3,300,000, about $700,000 above the assigned slot for the pick.
The signing forced them to sacrifice some value at later picks, where they have to go under slot to make up for Soderstrom’s bonus, but that’s a small price to pay for a premium prospect.