A's hoping they found gems on Day 2
Two Fla. prep stars among picks at First-Year Player Draft
Day 2 on the First-Player Draft of 2006 for the Oakland A's was, well, just another draft day.
Eric Kubota, the director of scouting for the Oakland A's, said that the second day draft doesn't hold many shockers and he felt the same after this year's draft.
"[Day 2] went how we expected it to go," Kubota said. "Nothing particularly surprised me."
Much of second day has to do with filling out rosters for Minor League teams and Kubota said that is a "big aspect," but isn't counting out a possible Mark Buehrle (38th round) pick.
"Every player that we pick we think has a chance to play in the Majors," Kubota said.
The A's picked 10 pitchers, four infielders, three catchers and three outfielders in Day 2 and Kubota said that Jonathan Pigott and Nicholas Hernandez were two players he had rated higher than where they went.
Pigott played right field and catcher at Seabreeze High School in Daytona Beach, Fla. He was drafted in the 31st round, and Baseball America said that he "made the biggest leap forward of any player" in the East Coast Showcase in 2005.
The magazine went on to say "a sturdy, 6-foot-2, 190-pound outfielder, Pigott has above-average tools across the board, including a short, powerful swing that was just as impressive in games as it was batting practice."
Hernandez is a 6-foot-3 left-handed pitcher drafted in the 32nd round from Hialeah Senior High School, also in Florida.
"They are two of the top high school talents in Florida," said Kubota who is in his fifth season as scout director. "Hernandez has a lot of upside."
Hernandez could be tough to sign because he has already signed a letter of intent to play with the University of Tennessee.
Kubota said that Oakland has not signed any players yet, but the A's are at ease with getting their prospects suited up.
"Everyone we took in the draft we felt comfortable signing," Kubota said. "[The chance of them being signed] is part of the process on who we decide on drafting."
The A's selected 13 high school players and 27 collegians in the two days, and naturally, Kubota expects the college players will be easier to sign than the high school players.
Oakland's first pick, Trevor Cahill, a right-handed pitcher at No. 66 overall from Vista High School, said publicly that he would sign if he was drafted in the first four rounds and Kubota feels he will keep his word.
Gregory Dowling, first baseman from Georgia Southern University, was the first player drafted by the A's on Day 2, in the 19th round. He played in the heralded Cape Cod League last summer and was named to the first team all-Southern Conference.
He hit .377 this year with 11 homers, 50 RBIs, and a .511 on-base percentage.
In the 20th round, Oakland selected closer Josh McLaughlin from College of Charleston. The right-hander had a 1.27 ERA this season with 15 saves and 71 strikeouts in 56 2/3 innings pitches.
"Josh is a sold pitcher and he has a very good curveball," Kubota said. "He had very good success in the closing role."
Jacob Smith, a catcher from East Carolina University, was selected in the 21st round and was a finalist for the Johnny Bench award. He was named Second-Team All-American by Louisville Slugger/Collegiate Baseball and First-Team for Conference-USA.
With the next two picks, the A's selected two right-handed starting pitchers. Patrick Currin went to UNC-Greensboro and was named second team all-conference in the Southern Conference. He went 10-3 with a 2.93 ERA this season with 71 strikeouts in 83 innings and a .227 opponents' batting average.
Scott Moore from Texas State University was selected next and led the Southland Conference in strikeouts with 118. He went 10-4 with a 3.34 ERA this year.
The A's selected nine more college players and seven more high school players after Moore and picked a player that could pitch and hit in the 30th round.
Joshua Morgan was selected as the 908th selection overall and went to the University of Missouri-St. Louis. The right-handed pitcher was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year and had a .344 batting average, six home runs, 18 RBIs and a .574 slugging percentage. He also went 5-3, had two complete games, 54 strikeouts and led his team with a 1.86 ERA.
"All of the players that we took were noteworthy," Kubota said. "That's the reason why we took them. I don't want to distinguish one from the other."
Ryan Quinn is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.