A's open Draft with six position players

A's open Draft with six position players

OAKLAND -- As the A's wrapped up work in the Draft room Wednesday, area scout Neil Avent couldn't help but keep his eyes glued to the television that displayed right-handed starter Daniel Gossett.

The A's 2014 second-round Draft pick, signed by Avent, was making his big league debut for the club in Miami.

"That's kind of what we live for," A's scouting director Eric Kubota said.

Kubota and Co. hope to have more moments like that in the near future, after closing out the latest Draft with 41 selections -- led by first-rounder Austin Beck, a high school center fielder taken sixth overall.

Oakland nabbed speedy South Florida infielder Kevin Merrell with its second pick (No. 33 overall) and plucked power-hitting outfielder Gregory Deichmann from LSU in the third round, at No. 43. The top three picks showcase variety in talent while addressing some of the organization's most glaring needs.

The A's, notorious for drafting a pitching-heavy haul, would reel in three more position players, before they drafted four pitchers in a row.

"It was more the way the Draft fell for us," Kubota said. "We kind of commented on it ourselves, joking, when are we going to take our first pitcher? But that was just the way the board ended up falling this year, so it certainly wasn't intentional."

The A's came away with plenty of arms, though, counting 19 pitchers among their 41 picks. The total also included 11 infielders, eight outfielders and three catchers. They drafted college athletes 32 times.

"I think we're excited about the fact that we had a good mix," Kubota said. "We took some really high-upside high school guys and some proven college guys. I think it was a nice mix of the two."

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Kentucky lefty Logan Salow was the first pitcher taken by the A's, coming off the board in the sixth round. Of the 19 pitchers that fell to Oakland, 15 came to the organization after the 10th round -- a commonality shared by several big league pitchers, including the A's own Ryan Dull (Round 32). Jharel Cotton (20), Andrew Triggs (19) and Daniel Coulombe (25).

"It just kind of worked out where we were picking and the pitchers we liked," Kubota said. "I think coming into the year we thought there were going to be a lot of pitchers that fit there and several guys ended up not fitting there and some of these position players kind of forced their way into the conversation.

"Obviously we've taken a lot of pitchers in the past and we like taking pitchers, but in a lot of those cases it was just because the board fell in favor of the pitchers, and this time it fell in favor of the position players."

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.