Tyler Soderstrom turned 19 years old last November, but the nicknames he earned at the A's alternate site last year show just how excited Oakland is about his future.
Veterans started calling the young catcher "The Kid" and "The GOAT." Any teenager will happily take that.
The A's were more than happy to see Soderstrom fall to them with the No. 26 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft. And on Monday, the A's received more good news with Soderstrom as he's ranked No. 92 overall in Baseball America's latest Top 100. He's Oakland's lone prospect to make the list.
"Even against older pitchers, Soderstrom's bat quickly impressed evaluators," Baseball America wrote about Soderstrom. "It should play even if he doesn't catch."
Soderstrom is a 6-foot-2 left-handed hitting catcher who also can play third base and the outfield. His bat is ahead of his glove, but his athleticism should help him find a spot on the field no matter where it is.
The A's signed Soderstrom to a $3.3 million signing bonus, which is the second-highest ever for a high school catcher. The Turlock native reportedly hit just under .500 with three homers in his first week at the A's alternate site in San Jose. He then had a .441 on-base percentage in the fall Instructional League.
Soderstrom has natural gap-to-gap power and the ball jumps off his bat. He already is a polished hitter, far from a dip-and-rip slugger. Some evaluators believe he can grow into a hitter who regularly hits 30 home runs.
That's a steal near the end of the first round.
From his work ethic as a "baseball rat" to his natural skills and projection to get stronger at the plate, the A's have high hopes for Soderstrom. And for good reason.