3. Oakland Athletics’ third-round pick
- Who the Oakland Athletics took: Michael Guldberg, OF, Georgia Tech
- 98th overall pick
- Expected Signing Bonus: Well-below slot value
- Future-Value Grade: 30+
- Grade: C-
This pick is likely the largest cost-saving selection to offset Soderstrom’s bonus. Guldberg was not ranked by any major public big board inside the top-200 prospects and likely agreed to take a signing bonus significantly lower than the $593,100 slot value.
Guldberg was hampered by a shoulder injury that limited his ability to play consistently at Georgia Tech and subsequently hampered his draft-stock.
His performance when he did play was quite impressive and it’s easy to see what the A’s front office can project. In 393 career plate appearances, Guldberg produced a .374/.465/.459 line with 44 walks and just 41 strikeouts.
While his injury has limited him to second base and left field in college, Melissa Lockard of The Athletic reported that the A’s believe he has the potential to play all three outfield positions and second base when healthy.
The defensive capabilities will be huge for Guldberg’s future. Without more than 35-grade raw power, Guldberg’s ability to contribute at the big-league level is extremely limited if he can’t handle center field.
Still, since Oakland had to save money to pay for their first-round pick, Guldberg is a reasonable gamble that could end up outperforming his selection.