2019 Rule 4 Draft ← FREE KRAUT!

2019 Rule 4 Draft 62

The downside of winning 97 games (apart from the inevitable playoff heartbreak) is a low spot in the draft.
This year Oakland picks 29th, although to be fair whoever we get at that spot is still a good bet to produce more value than last year’s #9.

Jonathan Mayo’s latest mock has Oakland taking Seth Johnson (RHP, Campbell) “a rare college arm with upside.” A previous version at MLB (from Jim Callis) gave us Braden Shewmake who like Cliff Pennington (21st overall in 2005) is a SS from Texas A&M. He also mentioned Michael Toglia (1B, UCLA), and Greg Jones (SS, UNC Wilmington) as possibilities here, though he predicts Jones to be gone by then.

Another site gives us Logan Davidson (SS, Clemson) and says we would “jump all over” Brady McConnell, who like Richie Martin(20th overall in 2015) is a SS from Florida, if he is available (though Callis does not have McConnell going in the first round).

BA’s mocks are behind the paywall now. Maybe someone who follows this stuff more closely can add something:

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62 thoughts on “2019 Rule 4 Draft

  1. andeux andeux Jun 3,2019 12:12 pm

    I should also mention that while Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman is expected to go #1, Cal’s 1B Andrew Vaughn may be the best pure bat, and is almost certain to go in the top 5.

  2. FreeSeatUpgrade FreeSeatUpgrade Jun 3,2019 12:47 pm

    I know less about draft prospects than I do about astrophysics or choreography. But the chron also references mocks that have us getting UNC 1B/OF Michael Busch or Florida high school LHP Hunter Barco.

    "Kraut will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no kraut."
    • andeux andeux Jun 3,2019 1:00 pm || Up

      Thanks. I don’t know anything either, but figured we needed a thread.
      While a lot has changed since Moneyball, and in many respects the A’s have shifted back toward toolsy players, they’ve still mostly avoided HS pitchers at the top of the draft. Since Bonderman, the highest one is Cahill, who was a mid 2nd rounder (though Oakland’s top pick). There have been a few others in the 3rd or 4th round who haven’t panned out. So I’d still be surprised if they went that direction in the 1st round.

  3. Future Ed Future Ed Jun 3,2019 12:51 pm

    I don’t know much about the draft, but two college 1b in the first round?

    I have $5. No I don\'t.
  4. lenscrafters Jun 3,2019 2:32 pm

    I’m still not over the Murray fiasco so it’s been difficult to drum up much enthusiasm for this draft.

  5. Soaker Soaker Jun 3,2019 3:15 pm

    For amusement only, FK’s reaction to Chapman. It was lukewarm (aren’t they always) with the optimistic note that his 98-mph heater would make pitching an option if he couldn’t hit enough to get to the big leagues as an infielder.

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    • andeux andeux Jun 3,2019 3:19 pm || Up

      My memory (before I look back at the thread) is that while scouts liked his potential for power and defense, the concerns were that those tools hadn’t really stood out in his actual performance. Score one for the scouts this time.

      • andeux andeux Jun 3,2019 3:33 pm || Up

        OK, that thread was even more negative than I remembered.

    • lenscrafters Jun 3,2019 3:29 pm || Up

      Yeah I can’t say I was a fan and I didn’t really believe until he reached the majors. His swing and miss profile was similar to a lot of A’s prospects at the time who flamed out cause the A’s couldn’t figure out how to get them to make more contact.

      It’s a credit to Chapman being an unique talent who somehow went from a guy who struck out 30% in the minors to someone who’s striking out just 16% of the time in the majors right now (while also turning into literally the best 3B defender in the league).

  6. andeux andeux Jun 3,2019 4:37 pm

    Rutschman #1 to the Orioles.
    Bobby Witt Jr. #2 to the Royals.
    Vaughn #3 to the White Sox.

    • Soaker Soaker Jun 3,2019 4:49 pm || Up

      Vaughn is Cal’s highest selection ever (previous: Brandon Morrow, #5).

      Morrow is #4 in career WAR by a Golden Bear draftee.
      55.4 — Jeff Kent (20th round)
      40.1 — Andy Messersmith (3rd round)
      14.6 — Marcus Semien (6th round)
      11.3 — Morrow

      Canha is #13 at 2.6 WAR. Melvin would be right behind at 2.5 but he is listed as being drafted out of Cañada College.

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      • Soaker Soaker Jun 3,2019 7:27 pm || Up

        Holy Jackie Jensen, two Bears in the first round!!

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  7. Glorious Mundy Glorious Mundy Jun 3,2019 4:50 pm

    Turned on MLB Network just in time to hear Harold Reynolds ask a Marlins draftee, in awed tones, what it felt like to have Derek Jeter show up at one of his games. Barf.

  8. aardvark Jun 3,2019 5:00 pm

    Its been a busy day but I finally got the bat signal. The first 7 picks are mostly as expected.

    FWIW BA’s latest had the A’s taking Ryan Garcia, RHP, UCLA. Who’s ranked 88 by BA:
    Scouting Report: Garcia stood out as one of the top performers in the Cape Cod League last summer, when he logged a 0.92 ERA and struck out 49 batters in 39 innings. He missed the first three weeks of the season this spring with flexor inflammation, but he returned to UCLA’s rotation in time for conference play and led the Pac-12 Conference with a 1.42 ERA through the end of the regular season. Garcia possesses a clean arm action and delivery that allows him to command four pitches. His fastball ranges from 90-93 mph, his changeup and slider both flash above-average and his curveball is a usable offering. Nothing is plus, but he throws everything for strikes, mixes his pitches well and keeps hitters off balance with a strong feel for pitching. Garcia’s command and pitch mix have evaluators considering him a probable bet to reach the majors, with the upside of a back-of-the-rotation starter.”

    And fangraphs has the A’s taking Kyren Paris, ss, Freedom HS.

    • lenscrafters Jun 3,2019 5:15 pm || Up

      Are they willing to play baseball though?

  9. Glorious Mundy Glorious Mundy Jun 3,2019 5:43 pm

    Will Wilson. Very Angels name.

    • Soaker Soaker Jun 3,2019 5:45 pm || Up

      If Roy Steele is still alive if/when he gets to the big leagues, he has to come back to the Coliseum/Howard Terminal to announce him as “Will Nelson”.

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  10. Soaker Soaker Jun 3,2019 6:01 pm

    Did Harold just say “I’ve never seen a catcher have Tommy John surgery”? Such as, oh I don’t know, Salvador Perez?

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  11. Soaker Soaker Jun 3,2019 6:12 pm

    Manfred could have let the softball player who had the stroke read the card, especially since he screwed it up (“Jed…Zack Thompson”).

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  12. Soaker Soaker Jun 3,2019 6:25 pm

    Well, we’re not doing the Texas A&M shortstop thing again. Cliffy still stands alone in A’s annals.

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    • Soaker Soaker Jun 3,2019 6:30 pm || Up

      Nor the UNC Wilmington shortstop who was Melissa Lockard’s pick, if he fell far enough.

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  13. aardvark Jun 3,2019 6:39 pm

    Misner still on the board and would be a good pick for the A’s if he lasts.

  14. aardvark Jun 3,2019 6:52 pm

    Espino was viewed as a candidate to go #1 overall coming into this season in large part due to his high velocity fastball but he didn’t show enough and ended up going later.

  15. lenscrafters Jun 3,2019 6:55 pm

    All the years of doing this and Harold Reynolds still doesn’t seem to have a clue about anything.

  16. Soaker Soaker Jun 3,2019 7:10 pm

    Beane had a contented smile and Forst looked like “aw crap”.

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  17. aardvark Jun 3,2019 7:12 pm

    Logan Davidson:
    “Scouting Report: A defensively gifted shortstop with physical projection and potential as a switch-hitter, Davidson ranked No. 131 on BA’s Top 500 Draft Prospects list in 2016. Since then, the son of six-year big leaguer Mark Davidson has continued to fill out physically and has built a dichotomous track record during his time in college. While playing for Clemson in the ACC, Davidson has looked like a legitimate first-round pick, having hit double-digit home runs and stolen at least 10 bases in each of his three seasons. Defensively, Davidson has a chance to stick at shortstop with plus arm strength and enough athleticism in his 6-foot-3, 195-pound frame. Yet, while Davidson has posted impressive power and speed numbers, his hit tool has always been a question mark. He’s never hit above .300 at Clemson, and his numbers with a wood bat in the Cape Cod League were poor. In two summers in the Cape, Davidson had an adjusted OPS+ of 58 (where 100 is average), which would be the third-lowest OPS+ for a player with at least 100 at-bats in the Cape Cod League the summer before his draft year since 2000. Current Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford is one of the few major league success stories to occur after struggling mightily in the Cape, and there are some similarities to be drawn with Davidson, though Crawford was seen as a much better defender at the time, while Davidson is a switch-hitter with more raw power. There is some length to Davidson’s swing, which leads to high strikeout rates. He’s whiffed between 18 and 22 percent of the time during each of his three seasons at Clemson and around 25 percent in the Cape Cod League, but his above-average speed and power allow him to provide offensive value despite a questionable hit tool. In the end, Davidson’s eventual landing spot will depend on how a team weighs his successful Clemson career with his Cape Cod track record. With a fair chance to remain at shortstop and a solid, all-around toolset, Davidson profiles as a safe first-round pick.”

    • lenscrafters Jun 3,2019 7:19 pm || Up

      It sounds like the defense is a nice floor. I really like the switch hitting and big league bloodlines. But college guys who can’t break a .300 avg…ugh, it’s never a good sign and it sure didn’t work out with Richie Martin.

      He seems similar to last year’s competitive balance round pick, Jeremy Eierman.

  18. Glorious Mundy Glorious Mundy Jun 3,2019 7:14 pm

    Mark DeRosa declared Davidson a taller Jed Lowrie on MLB Network.

  19. ptbnl Jun 3,2019 7:18 pm


    Going into final Jeopardy,

    B = $26,600
    H = $23,400
    S = $11,000

    Being a smart gambler, H bets $1,399 to cover both (i) B getting it wrong and H getting it right *and* (ii) B and H both getting it wrong and S getting it right all-in.

    However, this assumes that B bets $20,201 to cover H going all-in. Knowing H’s gambling smarts, wouldn’t a better bet for B have been $1,800, which guarantees the win even if B gets it wrong and H is right ($24,800 to $24,799)?

    That would have been an end for the ages!

    If this is His will, He's a son of a bitch.
    • vignette17 Jun 4,2019 8:33 am || Up

      Given H’s proficiency at Final, I would have expected a large bet to at least go out with a bang. But, as one might have predicted, it was the DD’s that really killed him.

      • ptbnl Jun 4,2019 8:54 am || Up

        I think it was definitely the right bet for H, since it covered an additional case (both B and H being wrong and S being right all-in).

        If this is His will, He's a son of a bitch.
        • vignette17 Jun 4,2019 2:15 pm || Up

          The two most likely scenarios are either everyone knows or nobody knows (possibly excluding H). I gotta imagine the times last place knows and the two in the lead don’t are not common at all.

          If H is a true 95% FJ player, he just has to hope that the it’s a hard question and the other two miss it. If that’s the case, he should play aggressive for money maximization purposes. It also adds to his legend (and maybe any opportunities down the road) if he sets the record for (one of the) highest second place score(s). If James is merely an average player, his bet makes sense and B could have done the craziest game theory in television history.

          • ptbnl Jun 4,2019 5:53 pm || Up

            But the whole point is that H can do better than that, including winning even when he gets it wrong.

            The only assumptions are that (i) H is playing above all to win the game, and (ii) B is betting $20,201 to cover H going all-in and being right.

            In this case the only way H can win is if B gets it wrong, so that is the only scenario that needs to be considered in his bet.

            Then there are 3 cases:
            (a) H gets it right and S gets it right – H wins betting $1,399 and wins betting $23,400
            (b) H gets it wrong and S gets it wrong – H wins betting $1,399 but loses betting $23,400 (B wins)
            (c) H gets it wrong and S gets it right – H wins betting $1,399 but loses betting $23,400 (S wins)

            So betting $1,399 always wins but betting $23,400 loses whenever H gets it wrong.

            If this is His will, He's a son of a bitch.
            • andeux andeux Jun 4,2019 7:32 pm || Up

              The game theory stuff is fun, but in practice assumption (ii) is almost certainly true. So the cases (R**) where B gets it right are irrelevant.

              What about assumption (i)?
              Betting big nets an extra $22K in the cases WRW or WRR.
              But it costs $25K plus the expected value of getting to come back in the cases WWR or WWW.
              It’s true for Holzhauer that the former is much more likely. If he’s a 95% player, it might even be 20 times more likely. (Only might because we can’t really assume he is still 95% on the subset of questions that B gets wrong.)
              But by the same token the expected value of coming back is huge. He averaged $75K per game, and won 33 in a row. Even at much more conservative numbers (say $50K per win, and 90% chance of winning each game), the expected value of getting to come back is 20x the gain from betting big unnecessarily here.

              • ptbnl Jun 4,2019 8:39 pm || Up

                What’s kind of depressing is that after 55 years of this show, this stuff is a novelty even to Alex Trebek.

                If this is His will, He's a son of a bitch.
              • ptbnl Jun 4,2019 8:50 pm || Up

                And that was my original point … the game theory stuff is so much fun, that had B bet exactly $1,800 it would have entered what counts as folklore in our day and age … the interwebs would have exploded, and the fact-based MSM stories would all have been on her out-H-ing H.

                The fact-averse MSM would have led with Elvis and Prince directing both B’s and H’s otherwise-inexplicable bets in a bizarre soul-swapping ritual with AOC.

                If this is His will, He's a son of a bitch.
                • vignette17 Jun 5,2019 8:41 am || Up

                  I do gotta say, I feel like bet optimization is something that hasn’t been explored nearly enough for a game that relies on cleverness. James has at least opened the strategy with his DDs and aggressive FJs.

                  Would a bet of $1800 by her have been the most ballsy (and entertaining) reality game show move I can remember? Yes, probably. And I can certainly understand why H’s bet makes sense from a game theory perspective. He’s just been so good at FJ’s that I’m not sure I buy the logic everyone is parroting.

                • andeux andeux Jun 5,2019 11:13 am || Up

                  He’s extremely aggressive, but generally not reckless.

                  On early DDs he’ll go all in, because it’s profit-maximizing and at that stage maximizing expected value is more or less the same as maximizing your chance of winning anyway.

                  On late daily doubles with a big lead, a pure (short-term) profit maximizing strategy would be to go all in even late, as he is 95% on DDs as well. Or he could bet enough risk his 2x margin, without risking the lead itself, and still be an overwhelming favorite to win the game. But generally he has not done that, instead betting large amounts without risking the 2x margin.

                  In that FJ, he was in a position that was new for him, but with essentially the same trade off between short-term maximization and chance of winning, so the small bet there seems to me completely consistent with the big (but not reckless) bets he made other times.

                  (It’s also analogous with baseball strategy: early in the game, Run Expectancy and Win Expectancy are more or less linearly related, so you should generally play to maximize RE, which means eschewing small-ball tactics. Late in the same, sacrificing might lower RE but raise WE, and thus be the right strategy.)

                  As for her bet in FJ, I think the game theory aspects are interesting but, beyond the obvious stuff, not all that useful. Like, when second place has > 2/3 of first place (as in this case), in theory there is some Nash equilibrium where they each randomly (with probabilities dependent on each one’s chances of getting the question right) decide whether to bet big or to bet small. But that only applies if each knows that the other is (or at least may be) also using such a strategy. In reality, given that (1) players get the question right more often than they get it wrong, and (2) most people do not go around calculating Nash equilibria in their heads (though some top poker players do, or at least they have them pre-computed for common situations), the prudent thing is for first place to bet big to ensure the win if they are right, and second place to bet small to ensure the win otherwise. Even if she had seen his previous games, or knew that he was a professional gambler, I don’t think that would be enough to change things.

                  The part where I completely agree with you guys is that it is sometimes disappointing when there are contestants who are clearly generally smart but have not thought at all about even the most basic parts of the betting strategy. I should at my TV about this regularly.

    • sslinger Jun 5,2019 9:37 am || Up

      How much difference does it make that she apparently hadn’t seen any of his run, as the show was taped in late March and his first win aired in early April? From a pure game theory standpoint, would knowing his betting pattern make a difference?

      • ptbnl Jun 5,2019 9:39 am || Up

        Yeah – for her to bet $1,800 she’d have to be damn sure he would be betting $1,399.

        If this is His will, He's a son of a bitch.
  20. mikeA Jun 3,2019 7:48 pm

    Here in my recollection of my reactions at the time to last ten draft picks, as someone who has no idea about any of it:
    2009, Grant Green: I was very happy with this pick.
    2010, Choice: Hated it, wanted Grandal or Sale (in that order). I’m still a little annoyed.
    2011, Gray: Very happy with the pick.
    2012, Russell: Wasn’t paying attention to this one.
    2013, McKinney: seemed fine.
    2014, Chapman: Disliked, based on my rule that first round college hitters should hit .300
    2015, Martin: Disliked slightly, see above
    2016, Puk: Rumored to go #1 for awhile, so I was pleased
    2017, Beck: I was happy with this one…
    2018, Murray: Disliked, but not as much as most people here
    2019, new guy: I like that he’s a switch hitter, but he should hit .300!

    I had a vague sense that some lesson could be drawn from this exercise, but there is definitely no lesson.

    • Soaker Soaker Jun 3,2019 7:58 pm || Up

      I have no idea about it either, but I do get a whiff of Chapman being the model, which would make some sense at this moment. Not as to the switch-hitting, obviously, but some confidence in the defense with risk but a fair amount of upside at the plate.

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    • lenscrafters Jun 3,2019 8:10 pm || Up

      It’s crazy that the 2009 draft was ten years ago but I still remember it pretty clearly. Pretty much everyone was happy Green fell to the A’s. Not signing Furcal and the years of dealing with Crosby had SS top of mind for the entire fanbase.

      The few that didn’t want Green wanted guys like Matzek or Crow. And when there were late reports linking Trout to the A’s, there was pretty vehement opposition. I don’t recall anyone vouching for Trout on AN or here.

      • vignette17 Jun 4,2019 8:38 am || Up

        I certainly remember hoping against Trout for Green. Prior to his final year in college, Green was supposed to be a Tulo/Longoria mix. I think there’s a chance that Trout out WARs the two combined (currently 88.0 for Tulo/Longo and 68.8 for Trout).

    • MikeV MikeV Jun 3,2019 9:45 pm || Up

      Taking Murray should have been a fireable offense

      And I have to say: mikev is one of my favorite people on here -slusser.

      Thanks, and go As.

  21. MikeV MikeV Jun 3,2019 10:04 pm

    based on my limited research, go ahead and put tyler baum in the HOF right now.

    And I have to say: mikev is one of my favorite people on here -slusser.

    Thanks, and go As.

    • FreeSeatUpgrade FreeSeatUpgrade Jun 4,2019 2:07 pm || Up

      213 K’s in 214 innings? 96 mph fastball, plus curve? UNC Tarheel? Oh crap at least two of those three scream MLB success.

      "Kraut will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no kraut."
      • FreeSeatUpgrade FreeSeatUpgrade Jun 4,2019 6:08 pm || Up

        Yeah, I knew it was a motley lot, this list confirms. Andrew Miller is probably the best of them. Walt Weiss might crack the top 10.

        And Moonlight Graham!

        "Kraut will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no kraut."
        • Soaker Soaker Jun 4,2019 6:35 pm || Up

          Drafted out of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (i.e. since 1965), Career WAR >10:
          34.4 — B.J. Surhoff
          28.1 and counting — Kyle Seager
          16.5 — Weiss
          16.1 — Chris Iannetta
          11.3 — Scott Bankhead
          10.1 — Matt Harvey

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          • FreeSeatUpgrade FreeSeatUpgrade Jun 4,2019 6:54 pm || Up

            Weiss and Surhoff were in Chapel Hill while I was, I went to a few games. They were of course both The Man for the Heels at the time but I’d forgotten how strong Surhoff was a a big leaguer. Or at least how long he lasted.

            "Kraut will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no kraut."
          • andeux andeux Jun 4,2019 7:05 pm || Up

            Skye Bolt 20th with 0.1 (and counting)

            • Soaker Soaker Jun 4,2019 7:24 pm || Up

              Iannetta and Harvey are still technically “and counting”, but Iannetta is about done counting and Harvey has actually been counting backwards down the number line for the last four years.

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  22. andeux andeux Jun 3,2019 10:43 pm

    A Logan and a Tyler? Maybe on day two we’ll get a Chad and a couple Brandons.

    • Soaker Soaker Jun 5,2019 10:29 am || Up

      Peyton #14, Brady #16.

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    • Soaker Soaker Jun 5,2019 6:06 pm || Up

      #34 looks like our most interesting name.

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      • colin colin Jun 5,2019 7:38 pm || Up

        My brother lives in Larchmont

        • Soaker Soaker Jun 5,2019 7:55 pm || Up

          Not too many people worried about having to scuffle through a Social Security retirement in that place.

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      • dmoas Jun 5,2019 10:00 pm || Up

        Do we have a catcher named Harold for him to throw to?

        • ptbnl Jun 5,2019 11:16 pm || Up

          Yes, but he’s Maude’s personal catcher.

          If this is His will, He's a son of a bitch.
          • 5Aces 5Aces Jun 6,2019 9:12 am || Up

            And then there’s Maude.

            Camelot sure fell apart, didn't it? -Steve McCatty

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