The 2012 MLB Draft begins on Monday with the all-important first round. While the San Francisco Giants and Oakland Athletics will both have first round picks, there are plenty of Bay Area amateur athletes who figure to be drafted in marquee positions.
In the latest mock draft at Minor League Ball, John Sickels believes three local athletes will be selected as key early picks.
1) Houston Astros: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford. He's got a great arm, and he made a lot of progress this spring putting to rest concerns about a past lack of statistical dominance.
5) Kansas City Royals: Kyle Zimmer, RHP, San Francisco: The general consensus is that the Royals will take the leftover top college pitcher who falls here. Giolito would be an interesting gamble with a potentially huge payoff, but I don't think they take that risk.
7) San Diego Padres: Max Fried, LHP, California HS: He could go as high as 5, but if he's still on the board the Padres are rumored to be strongly interested in this polished lefty. David Dahl has impressed people of late and could also get popped here. A polished "safe" choice could be Andrew Heaney.
Here's his take on the strategy for the A's:
11) Oakland Athletics: "Don't draft for need" the saying goes, but it would be awfully hard to resist an advanced college bat like Richie Schaffer, 3B, Clemson, given the organization's paucity of hitting. Seager and Hawkins would be top high school options with impressive upside but longer paths to the majors, with Heaney or Marcus Stroman available if they want pitching.
And here's what he has to say about the first round for the Giants:
20) San Francisco Giants: A sturdy hard-throwing high school arm like Nick Travieso, RHP, Florida HS seems like a good bet here. Ty Buttrey, Walker Weickel, Zach Eflin, Shane Watson, and Lucas Sims are all logical too. If they want a bat, Gallo or Seager would make sense.