Outdoor Athletics

Oakland A’s 2022 Draft Preview

The 2022 MLB Draft starts on Sunday, July 17, and the Oakland A’s will have the chance to take the next step in their rebuild, picking three times on the first night of the draft. Their first pick will be #19, followed by pick #56 in the 2nd Round, and #69 in the Competitive Balance Round B. Rounds 3 through 10 will take place on Monday and Rounds 11 through 20 on Tuesday.

Each pick in the first 10 rounds is assigned a specific dollar (bonus) amount, forming a pool of money teams can spend on the players they draft. Any pick taken in the 11th through 20th rounds can sign for up $100,000 and not have their bonus count against the team’s pool money. Teams are allowed to spend up to 5% above their pool limit with only a financial penalty, but anything beyond 5% will cost them future draft picks. Unsurprisingly, no team has ever gone beyond that extra 5% in the draft.

The A’s have a 2022 draft pool allotment of $8,315,800 and let’s dispense with any potential nonsense up front. The following lists Oakland’s pool allotments for the past 5 years vs. what they spent that against that allotment:

Draft pool allocations and spending during the previous CBA.

Notice how the green number on the right is always larger than the red number on the left? That’s because the A’s consistently spend beyond their pool allotment and anyone saying otherwise either doesn’t know the facts or is simply lying to cause angst.

Now, whether they’ve spent wisely is a fair point of debate. And there’s no way of knowing, this far out, who the A’s are looking at for the #19 pick. Even the most informed Mock Drafts are working (largely) in the dark when it comes to bonus demands, especially from HS talent. The 2022 Draft is also notable for the lack of college arms with 1st-Round grades, as most of the guys with the talent to go in the first 30 picks ended up getting hurt and needing surgery. Money, as much as talent, is the driving force behind where and when a player signs.

What makes Mock Drafts so interesting are the details included as an aside to the names being picked. Melissa Lockard (The Athletic) and Jim Callis (MLB.com) have both said the A’s are very much focused on college outfield bats in the 1st Round. Lockard has added that the A’s appear to be looking close to home, with Cal’s Dylan Beavers and Stanford’s Brock Jones notable (projected) 1st-Round talents. An advanced college bat could move through the Oakland farm system on a more accelerated pace, possibly matching the time frame of Tyler Soderstrom’s expected big league arrival.

I’m going to go in depth on some possible options at #19 in subsequent posts, but for now I’d like to leave with this: The Oakland A’s should not try to add a Star player at 1.19. They shouldn’t be grabbing the highest ceiling available. What they need, more than anything, is a solid Win at 1.19. The focus of my Draft preview is to find that Win.

Thank you for your time.

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