The A's didn't expect switch-hitting Clemson shortstop Logan Davidson to still be available when they made their first-round pick at No. 29 overall.
But to their great excitement, they were mistaken.
"We were pleasantly surprised," A's scouting director Eric Kubota said Monday night. "When he did get to us, we were extremely happy. ... He's been on our radar since high school. We like Logan because he brings value at the plate and in the field. As a shortstop who has power, we think there's a lot of upside still with the bat.
"He's a college prospect who can impact the game from both sides of the plate."
Davidson, 21, slashed .291/.412/.574 with 15 home runs and 55 RBI as a junior, earning second-team All-ACC honors. He stole 17 bases, too. MLB Pipeline ranked him as the No. 22 prospect in the draft.
"I'm very excited about it, obviously," Davidson said of joining the A's. "I'm looking forward to getting started out there in Oakland and going through the minor leagues and tearing it up."
The only knock on Davidson heading into the draft was his performance using a wood bat in the Cape Cod League. In two summers there, he recorded an OPS of just .570, compared to .939 at Clemson.
"In a perfect world, he would've performed better there," Kubota admitted. "But our looks in the Cape, both years, we always came away with a favorable impression. ... We were very happy with what we saw, despite the lack of numbers."
Davidson insisted that the decrease in production was not due to using a wood bat, but rather a lack of resources. He explained that he was used to top-notch machines and facilities at Clemson. In the Cape Cod League, however, there was often just one batting cage for the entire team.
"I love using a wood bat, to be honest with you," Davidson said. "I think it feels better off a wood bat, and it definitely sounds better. I think the biggest difference for me between Cape and college ball was just the resources I had and just learning to deal with the resources that were available to me. You have to find a new routine and different ways to work with what you have."
As for Davidson's position at the pro level, Kubota definitely stated he would remain at shortstop. The A's could see Davidson as either a top or middle of the order type hitter, though they hope it's the latter.
"We definitely believe in the power," Kubota said. "If everything comes together, we're hoping that he's productive more in the middle of the order."
In addition to his speed and power, Davidson is considered a plus defender. But when asked to identify his greatest overall strength, he believed it was his mental makeup.
"I think I have what it takes, just as far as work ethic goes," he said. "When I put my mind to something, I make it happen."