Oakland Athletics MLB Draft Review: Reports and grades for each pick

Oakland Athletics (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
Oakland Athletics (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /
4 of 6
Oakland Athletics
Oakland Athletics (Photo by Michael Zagaris/Oakland Athletics/Getty Images) /

4. Oakland Athletics’ fourth-round pick

  • Who the Oakland Athletics took: Dane Acker, RHP, Oklahoma
  • 127th overall pick
  • Expected Signing Bonus: Just below or at slot value
  • Future-Value Grade: 35+
  • Grade: B+

Acker’s career traversed three strong collegiate programs and he found a way to contribute at each one.

Out of high school, Acker committed to Rice and spent his first year working as a long reliever in Houston to solid success. After a solid 40 inning freshman campaign, Acker took his talents to San Jacinto Junior College.

At one of the best JUCO baseball programs in the country, Acker dominated. In 2019, Acker held opponents with a 2.36 ERA and struck out 97 batters across 76.1 innings.

His 32 walks were a bit of a concern and were a primary focus of scouts at the Cape Cod League last summer and this season at Oklahoma.

In the limited sample, Acker’s walks were significantly down while the spike in strikeout rate held up. This spring, Acker made headlines when he threw a nine-inning no-hitter that included 11 punchouts against LSU.

Must Read. Oakland Athletics: Team preview and prediction for 2020 season. light

Even if you treat that start as an aberration, Acker’s numbers in his other three appearances presented a consistent pitcher, striking out about a batter per inning and limited walks.

Limiting the free passes is even more important for Acker than it is for a prospect like Criswell because he lacks the premium velocity.

While he’s reportedly touched 94 mph, most of the time Acker works in the high-80s to low-90s and mixes it with three secondary offerings (12-6 curveball, changeup, and cutter) he’ll throw in any count.

None project as above-average MLB pitches, but if he continues to develop his entire arsenal, it’s easy to see him as a back of the rotation arm.

Acker is relatively young for a junior and was ranked as a borderline fourth-round prospect by Baseball America so it’s hard to project his market.

However, most other outlets ranked him much lower on the draft board suggesting he’ll probably take at least a slight haircut on his signing bonus.