Gone are Josh Willingham and David DeJesus, yet the A's are reaping the reward from their departures. Tuesday they agreed to terms with five players from the 2012 First-Year Player draft, among them their 34th overall compensation pick David Robertson, and 47th overall compensation pick Matt Olson. Robertson's pick came as a result of Josh Willingham leaving, Olson's pick was due to DeJesus' departure.
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Both Robertson and Olson were drafted out of High School like Addison Russell --the A's first round pick. Robertson hit .560 with six home runs and 31 RBIs in 27 games this year. Olson is 6'5, 225 pounds, and he hit .353. They could represent the future corners of the A's infield. Robertson sees himself projecting out as a third baseman, Olson is a first baseman. They both looked a little wide eyed, and excited to be with the big league club. They were donned in full green and gold uniform. "It's been a little surreal. It hasn't completely set in yet," Olson said. "Being out here is awesome. These are major leaguers and being on the same field warming up with them, it's a good feeling."Olson said he was most excited to meet Josh Reddick, but got laughs when he said he didn't look at all like he does on TV. Robertson was most interested in meeting Kurt Suzuki and Dallas Braden because they have the same representation as him. Jonny Gomes also issued the young ballplayers their first official challenge. To hit a homer in batting practice.They both did. Being around the current A's players was neat for them, but it was former A's player Rickey Henderson who really got their attention. "Just being in the same five feet perimeter as that guy is amazing," Robertson said.Both Robertson and Olson will hop on a plane to Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday. They will join Russell who is already working out there. They are excited to start working their way up the ranks of professional baseball, and feel the A's organization represents a particularly good opportunity. "Right when I saw I was being drafted by the A's, that was my first thought," Robertson said. "They move us through the system quick. Bring young guys through, that's what excited me the most about the A's giving us the opportunity." "Once I got drafted, I started looking at their system and stuff like that," Olson said. "I'm really excited to see how quickly I can move through. Hopefully it works out well."They'll have to do it in the A's traditional white cleats. Something both prospects are excited about. Olson actually wore white cleats in high school. Robertson had to get sneaky with it."I was always a white shoe guy, but they said mostly black," Olson said. "So I'd tried to sneak a lot of white in there. Now that I can show off the white all over, I love it."Q&A's Have you seen Moneyball? Olson: "I haven't seen moneyball I have to."
Robertson: "I saw moneyball, I loved it. The story, everything, I thought it was fantastic." What were you doing when you got the call?Olson: "I was just sitting in my basement with my family, and my high school coach came over, there was no certainty I was going to be drafted on the first day so we didn't want to have a huge party if it was going to be a disappointment. It was awesome."
Robertson: "Living in California, we don't really have basements When the A's called my name on TV, I was on the phone with my area scout, he said 'get your white shoes, your going to Oakland' and I heard my whole house just go crazy. It was something I'll remember for the rest of my life." Who are you most excited to meet today?Olson: "I wanted to see Reddick, just because of what he has done this year. I was surprised when I saw him, not that he doesn't look like a ball player, he looks different than he does on TV."
Robertson: "Kurt Suzuki and Dallas Braden, because we have the same agent."