With Baseball-Reference.com now adding an extensive amateur draft database I thought for a quicky entry it might be mildly interesting to take a look back at who were the best picks for each round by the A's since the draft started in 1965. I originally thought of going through every round but settled on the first 20 rounds as you get later into the draft you have some rounds where they have zero players ever making it to the Majors.
1. Reggie Jackson, OF, Arizona State, 1966
Hard to go wrong with Reggie or Mark McGwire (1984). The year before taking Reggie #2 overall they had the #1 pick overall in the first ever draft taking Rick Monday. Other A's first round picks include Chet Lemon (1976), Walt Weiss (1988), Eric Chavez (1996), Mark Mulder (1998), Barry Zito (1999), and Nick Swisher (2002).
2. Jason Giambi, 3B, Long Beach State, 1992
Next best pick was Vida Blue in 1967. After those two you get Kevin Tapani (1986) and then drop to Mark Bellhorn (1995) and Mike Gallego (1981).
3. Mike Davis, OF, Hoover High School, 1979
Almost no success at all in this round for the A's as the only other player with an extended career in the Majors was Floyd Bannister in 1973 but he didn't sign.
4. Rickey Henderson, P, Technical High School, 1976
Yup RICKEY~ was a pitcher but obviously he went on to other things. Curt Young is the next best pick from this round but who cares when you have RICKEY~?
5. Mickey Tettleton, C, Oklahoma State, 1981
Tettleton did nothing for the A's but he's the easy pick here. Only middle reliever Dave Hamilton (1966) really contributed anything of signifcance for the A's form this round.
6. Sal Bando, 3B, Arizona State, 1965
The captain of the 70's championship teams is the pick here. They drafted Jim Sundberg (1969) and Alvin Davis (1981) in the 6th round but neither signed. Tim Hudson also drafted here in 1997.
7. Matt Keough, 3B, Corona del Mar High School, 1973
Slim pickings in the 7th, Keough became a pitcher for the A's with one good year in 1980. Todd Burns and Dan Johnson are the only other players to do anything with the A's.
8. Eric Byrnes, OF, UCLA, 1998
Glenn Abbott (1969) and Craig Paquette (1989) the only other "legit" Major Leaguers.
9. Terry Steinbach, 3B, Minnesota, 1983
A's regular catcher for a decade is an easy choice here. Another long time starter Wayne Gross was picked in 1973.
10. Lance Blankenship, 3B, California, 1986
Nothing of note here so I'll go with the only professional athlete I ever had a brief conversation with. Probably because I was one of about five people on line at a autograph signing appearance at a grocery store in 1990 but as a 12 year old kid it was pretty cool.
11. Greg Caderet, P, Grand Valley State, 1983
They drafted Eric Soderholm, third baseman with some pop who played with the Twins and White Sox, in 1967 but he didn't sign and Caderet is the only player from this round that had more than a cup of coffee in the Majors.
12. Chris Michalak, P, Notre Dame, 1993
Fewer than 200 innings in the Majors, and none with the A's, but there was literally no one better.
13. Rod Beck, P, Grant High School, 1986
A's traded him to the Giants for some nobody in a minor league deal in 1988.
14. Ron Coomer, 3B, Taft Junior College, 1987
Former "All-Star" was released by the A's in 1990. No A's 14th Round pick made it the Majors before him.
15. Jose Canseco, 3B, Carol City High School, 1982
Besides this piece of shit the A's also drafted defensive wizard Dwayne Murphy (1973) and fat power hitter Bob Horner (1975) although he didn't sign.
16. Doug Johns, P, Virginia, 1990
Only three 16th round picks made it the Majors and this is the best.
17. Rich Harden, P, Central Arizona College, 2000
Hall of Fame stuff but looks like the A.L. Mark Prior right about now. David Newhan (1995) the only other the Major Leaguer from this round.
18. Darren Lewis, OF, California, 1988
Just one of two 18th round picks from this franchise to make it the Majors but at least he did have an extended career and was a superb defensive center fielder.
19. Rick Lysander, P, Cal State-Los Angeles, 1974
See why I stopped at 20 rounds?
20. Gene Tenace, SS, Valley High School, 1965
Getting a guy who played 15 years in the Majors with .388 OBP is pretty good value here I'd say. Also picked Scott Brosius in 1987 in the 20th.