In signing Esteban Loaiza, the A's surrendered their first round draft pick in 2006. The last time the A's lost a draft pick was in 2000, for signing Mike Magnante. Mike Magnante is obviously not worth losing a first round draft pick over, right?
Well, maybe. I went back and looked at who the A's could have taken with that lost draft pick in 2000. And what I found kinda surprised me.
The 2000 draft really really sucked.
Here are the players the A's could have taken between that lost draft pick, and their second-round pick, Freddie Bynum.
20. Anaheim, Christopher Bootcheck, RHP, Auburn
21. San Francisco, Boof Bonser, RHP, Gibbs Senior HS (Pinellas Park, Fla.)
22. Boston, Phillip Dumatrait, LHP, Bakersfield College
23. Cincinnati, David Espinosa, SS, Gulliver Preparatory (Miami)
24. St. Louis, Blake Williams, RHP, Southwest Texas State
25. Texas, Scott Heard, C, Rancho Bernardo HS (San Diego)
26. Cleveland, Corey Smith, SS, Piscataway (N.J.) HS
27. Houston, Robert Stiehl, C, El Camino College
28. New York (AL), David Parrish, C, Michigan
29. Atlanta, Adam Wainwright, RHP, Glynn Academy (St. Simons, Ga.)
30. Atlanta, Scott Thorman, 3B, Preston HS (Cambridge, Conn.)
31. Minnesota, Aaron Heilman, RHP, Notre Dame
32. Baltimore, Nelson Johnson, 3B, Newport HS, Bellevue, Wash.
33. Toronto, Dustin McGowan, RHP, Long County HS, Ludowici, Ga.
34. Cincinnati, Dustin Moseley, RHP, Arkansas HS, Texarkana, Texas
35. Texas, Carlton Godwin, CF, North Carolina
36. New York (NL), Robert Keppel, RHP, Desmet Jesuit HS, Chesterfield, Mo.
37. Cleveland, Derek Thompson, LHP, Land O'Lakes (Fla.) HS
38. Atlanta, Kelly Johnson, SS, Westwood HS, Austin, Texas
39. Texas, Chad Hawkins, RHP, Baylor
40. Atlanta, Aaron Herr, SS, Hempfield HS, Lancaster, Pa.
41. Florida, Jason Stokes, LF, Coppell (Texas) HS
42. Minnesota, Robert Bozied, 1B, San Francisco
43. Chicago (NL), William Hill, SS, No School, San Jose, Calif.
44. Kansas City, Michael Tonis, C, California
45. Toronto, Peter Bauer, RHP, South Carolina
46. Cincinnati, Dane Sardinha, C, Pepperdine
47. Colorado, Jason Young, RHP, Stanford
48. Detroit, Chad Petty, LHP, Chalker HS, W. Farmington, Ohio
49. San Diego, Xavier Nady, 3B/SS, California
50. Anaheim, Jared Abruzzo, C, El Capitan HS, La Mesa, Calif.
51. Atlanta, Kenneth Nelson, RHP, Riverdale Baptist, Fort Washington, Md.
52. Chicago (AL), Timothy Hummel, SS, Old Dominion
53. St. Louis, Christopher Narveson, LHP, T.C. Roberson HS, Arden, N.C.
54. Minnesota, Joseph Durbin, RHP, Coronado HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.
55. Cleveland, Brian Tallet, LHP, LSU
56. Texas, Jason Bourgeois, SS, Forest Brook HS, Houston
57. Los Angeles, Joel Hanrahan, RHP, Norwalk (Iowa) HS
58. Toronto, Dominic Rich, 2B, Auburn
59. Pittsburgh, David Beigh, RHP, Harrison HS, Battle Ground, Ind.
60. Oakland, Freddie Bynum, SS/CF, Pitt CC
That list isn't exactly screaming with all-stars, is it? Five years later, only Heilman and Nady have really done anything in the majors at all. A few still might have a shot, but still, it's a pretty weak crop.
Which leads to this obvious question: if draft sucked the last time the A's gave up a draft pick, will it suck in 2006, too? In other words, are the A's more willing to give up a draft pick in a bad draft year?
I emailed Bryan Smith and asked him what he thought about that idea. Here's his response:
The 2006 draft is interesting, because to me, it looks very pitching-heavy. The number of good pitchers in the draft will be high, and there could be 8 or so pitchers within the first 10 picks. There are very, very few impact hitters in the entire draft. The college hitting class, where the A's like to draft from, looks especially weak.
Was it a coincidence? Well, the A's might not want to spend $2 million or so on an arm, a la Brad Sullivan, so maybe. But really, I doubt it. I think signing Loaiza meant they had to act quickly. With Frank Thomas, they are acting slow because they can.
But surely, the A's might have thought missing a first-round pick in this draft wasn't the worst thing in the world.
So maybe. It's ironic that the Giants, who like to give away their first round picks, will have multiple picks this year, while the A's, who usually like to hoard them, will have none.