A's add pitcher, shortstop with next two draft picks

Kubota: 'McKinney was one of the best high school hitters in the draft'

A's add pitcher, shortstop with next two draft picks
June 7, 2013, 12:00 am
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The A's used the No. 63 pick to select Oklahoma's Dillon Overton (left) and the No. 71 pick to take Virginia's Chad Pinder. (AP)

And with their second and third picks of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft, the A's selected Oklahoma left-hander Dillon Overton in the second round (No. 63 overall) and Virginia third baseman/shortstop Chad Pinder in the Competitive Balance Round B (No. 71 overall).

Overton, whose Sooners play at LSU in an NCAA Super Regional beginning Friday, is 9-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 15 games, 13 starts, with 76 strikeouts and 22 walks in 86 2/3 innings this season. In three years at Oklahoma, he is a combined 23-9 with a 2.86 ERA in 60 appearances, with 261 strikeouts and 79 walks in 283 2/3 innings.

He is listed at 6-feet-2, but just 160 pounds, and suffered a strained forearm in April that cost him two starts.

"We know that he has had some issues but we are confident as to where he's at medically," A's director of scouting Eric Kubota said in a conference call Thursday night with reporters.

Overton having a slight build may have also raised flags for other teams.

"We feel like his athleticism helps to compensate for that," Kubota said. "We really don't have a huge issue with it. I mean, thats the body he's been given and he's pitched with it and we feel like that will not be an issue as he moves forward. He's a very athletic kid and he's just more wiry than thick."

He was also the No. 11-ranked lefty pitching prospect by "Baseball America." So what did the A's see in him?

"He's a guy that pitches anywhere from probably 88 (mph) to 94," Kubota said. "He can really pitch with his fastball. He has a plus-breaking ball. I know he doesn't necessarily physically look like a power pitcher, but he can pitch that way at times. But he's also just got a feel to pitch and he's got a very good change-up and he's polished and he's got upside to his stuff."

"Baseball America" painted a picture of him falling from a first-round prospect into the second round after his injury in a scouting report: "Overton has topped out at 95 mph and shown three plus pitches at times. His slider can be a wipeout pitch and his fading changeup also can elicit swings and misses. He has a loose arm and fills the strike zone with ease."

Pinder, meanwhile, hit .321 with eight home runs, 50 RBI, 21 walks and a .404 on-base percentage in 60 games at Virginia Tech this year.

Kubota said Oakland was surprised Pinder, "Baseball America's" No. 5-ranked third baseman, was still available at No. 71. Even if the book on Pinder is that he projects at a different position at the next level.

"But we were encouraged by his defense at shortstop and we do think he has a chance to stay at that position as his career progresses," Kubota said.

"We scouted him a lot through the spring. We were particularly surprised because he really, really played well at the end of the season so we were pleasantly surprised he was still there when we picked."

Following, then, is part of "Baseball America's" scouting report on Pinder: "Pinder has good bat speed and hand-eye coordination, and his barrel stays in the zone a long time. He tends to hit from a static load and would benefit from finding a rhythm with some pre-swing movement. The knock against Pinder is a lack of power. He has just 14 homers in 137 games at Virginia Tech and projects to hit 15 a year at the pro level…"


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