Athletics

MLB Draft 2019: A's select Logan Davidson with No. 29 overall pick

MLB Draft 2019: A's select Logan Davidson with No. 29 overall pick

The A's selected Clemson shortstop Logan Davidson with the 29th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft.

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound Davidson slashed .291/.412/.574 with 15 home runs, 55 RBI, and 17 stolen bases this past season as a junior, earning a spot on the All-ACC second team. The 21-year-old throws right-handed and is a switch hitter. He is a native of Charlotte, North Carolina.

"We’re extremely excited that Logan was available when we made our selection," A’s scouting director Eric Kubota said in a team release. "He’s a two-way shortstop that is able to contribute offensively at a premium position and we’re looking forward to seeing him in Green and Gold." 

MLB Pipeline ranked Davidson as the No. 22 prospect in this year's draft. He likely would have gone significantly higher in the draft had he performed better with wooden bats. In his two summers in the Cape Cod League, he recorded a .570 OPS, compared to a .939 OPS at Clemson.

Davidson has excellent speed and is considered a solid defender with a very good arm. His father Mark also attended Clemson and played six major league seasons from 1986 to 1991, winning a World Series with the Minnesota Twins in 1987. Davidson's older sister Taylor played tennis for Stanford from 2013 to 2017.

[RELATED: Check out every first-round MLB draft pick here]

Last year, the A's famously drafted Kyler Murray with the ninth overall selection. Murray ultimately chose to pursue a professional football career and leave baseball behind. He was drafted first overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2019 NFL Draft.

This year's 29th selection represented the A's lowest first-round pick in franchise history, excluding supplemental picks. Oakland will draft one more player Monday night in the second round with the 66th overall selection.

Bob Melvin explains why Athletics expectations for 2020 season are sky high

Bob Melvin explains why Athletics expectations for 2020 season are sky high

MESA, Ariz. -- The A's reported to spring training on time Monday morning for the preseason’s first full-squad engagement. This group, as assembled, is stacked.

It doesn’t take advanced stats experts to see the 2020 crew is loaded with talent, depth and the superstars required to improve upon back-to-back 97-win seasons. That’s even true in an improved AL West and at a point on the calendar where hope springs eternal.

Manager Bob Melvin was quick to point to another reason for extreme optimism this season.

It starts with the A's superstars setting a proper tone throughout the organization. Their work ethic, Melvin said, proves contagious.

“We have a bunch of guys like that, whether it’s Matt Olson or Matt Chapman or Marcus Semien, those guys set the tone for how we do things around here,” Melvin said Monday morning. “When you have younger players coming up or new players coming in and they see how our top guys work, they have no choice to work the same way.

"It’s great when your best players are the hardest workers.”

Those players can absolutely mash. That was clear during the first full-squad workout. Several have been around taking swings in recent days but seeing so many established veterans alternating through the cages around Lew Wolff Training Complex certainly creates belief the A's can score with anybody in 2020. Pair that with a legit frontline starting rotation and All-Star closer Liam Hendricks and even Melvin can see a clear path to great things this season.

Melvin has been around a long time and managed a lot of good baseball teams. His expectations for this group are sky high. He made that clear in his opening speech to the full squad here in major league camp.

“We always discuss in our first meeting what our goals and expectations are,” Melvin said. “We try to keep those to ourselves but, when you have two seasons with 97 wins and 97 wins and you feel like we have a better team this year, yeah I think our expectations are pretty high.”

[RELATED: Why Canha rightfully was named to MLB.com's All-Underrated Team]

Vegas oddsmakers set the over-under line at 89.5 wins for these A's, a significant sum that would put them back in serious contention for a third straight postseason berth. They’ll be gunning for a division title after two straight wild-card berths where the season died out in a one-game playoff.

This largely established group is focused on staying healthy and intact for when the games actually count. That doesn’t mean they’re content to sit back this spring and wait for good times to roll. The grind continues for the entire team as it works to become more versatile.

The A's are placing emphasis on situational hitting this spring, possible going against the grain for a team that as historically liked walks and big blasts.

That will be important in working through offensive slumps like the A’s experienced near last season’s end.

“You can bludgeon teams at times, but there will be times where we go through offensive droughts as a team,” Melvin said. “The defense is always going to be there, but if we can win some games situationally by getting guys over and getting guys in by putting some focus on that, the team will be better because of it.

"We’ll continue to emphasize that.”

Why A's Mark Canha rightfully was named to MLB.com's All-Underrated Team

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Why A's Mark Canha rightfully was named to MLB.com's All-Underrated Team

Mark Canha, like many A's players, quietly fell under the radar last season. The recently-turned 31-year-old hit a career-high 26 home runs, yet nobody seemed to mention his name. 

One person, at least, did notice. MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince named Canha to his All-Underrated Team going into the 2020 season. Canha is Castrovince's center fielder, though, he likely will find most of his playing time in left field with Ramon Laureano healthy. 

Canha actually played four positions in 2019: 56 games in center, 27 games in right field, 15 games at first base and 10 games in left field. The Cal alum also served as Oakland's DH in 16 games. 

Along with a career-best in homers, Canha posted career-highs along his .273/.396/.517 slash line. He also produced a .913 OPS and 145 OPS+.

Canha's versatility once again will be key for Bob Melvin's squad this season. Melvin has a plethora of outfield options in Canha, Laureano, Stephen Piscotty, Robbie Grossman, Chad Pinder and more. 

[RELATED: Manfred believes Fiers did 'service' revealing Astros scandal]

Perhaps none of the above bring more to the table than Canha, though. 

As the A's look to move past the AL Wild Card Game this year, the San Jose native figures to be a reliable asset yet again.