Oakland Athletics 2020 MLB Draft Final Grade: B+
Soderstrom is the defining pick of this draft class. I’m sure most A’s scouts and executives had very little expectation that he would be on the board. Nevertheless, they took advantage of their good fortune when the opportunity arose.
As good of a prospect as Soderstrom is, prep prospects, especially catchers, are generally higher risk propositions than their college counterparts. I’m sure that played a big role in why the Giants went with Bailey, who played for three seasons at NC State.
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By agreeing to go above-slot with Soderstrom they hamstrung their flexibility for the rest of the draft.
To balance the class, the remaining selections were on the safer side and all from the college ranks. Acker is a “pitchability” arm with a very good chance to start and Emanuels and Criswell both are pretty good bets to reach the majors at least as middle relievers and potentially in the rotation.
Guldberg is the biggest “risk” of the remaining picks, but that has more to do with the medical history than his performance on the field.
If healthy, Guldberg’s combination of speed, contact skills, and approach gives him a reasonable floor as a 4th outfielder that may be able to do a bit more.
The A’s had a great season last year and the rules of the MLB Draft are designed to put better teams at a disadvantage.
With only five selections and one of the smallest bonus pools in the draft, Oakland did a very good job of balancing their limitations to add a potential impact player alongside a collection of solid prospects.