The Oakland Athletics hold the 18th overall pick in the upcoming 2011 MLB Draft and will have an assortment of interesting names in front of them. Mock drafts are being issued around the Internet and SB Nation's own John Sickels has his own mock draft up and ready. Sickels is the proprietor of MinorLeagueBall.com and provides a host of details about rising amateur prospects and current MLB prospects.
In his May 9 mock draft, Sickels has projected Texas high school outfielder Josh Bell to the Oakland Athletics. Sickels views Bell as a talent with huge upside and enormous power potential. The A's have struggled in recent years developing big bats in their farm system, and they dealt away two of their most recent in Carlos Gonzalez and Andre Ethier.
MLB.com has put together an MLB draft database and they really like what Bell brings to the table:
The Texas high schooler ... is a legitimate switch-hitter who has plus hit and power tools from both sides of the plate. It's the kind of bat that compares favorably with someone like Chili Davis or Cliff Floyd, though Floyd didn't switch-hit.
As it currently stands the A's outfield consists of Coco Crisp, David DeJesus and Josh Willingham, with Ryan Sweeney coming off the bench. In the farm system, Chris Carter, Michael Choice and Aaron Shipman remain the top three outfielder prospects, although Carter could end up as a designated hitter at some point. Michael Taylor is still considered a prospect, but he struggled mightily in 2010 and will need a bounce-back season at AAA in 2011.