OAKLAND—The Oakland A’s have selected three players on the first day of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft: outfielders Austin Beck and Gregory Deichmann and shortstop Kevin Merrell.
Beck, 18, is 6 feet and 1 inch tall, weighs 190 pounds, and hails from Arcadia, NC. He was a first round (sixth overall) pick and is the team’s highest high school draft pick since the 1994 second overall selection Ben Grieve. As a senior at North Davidson High School, Beck hit .590 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 28 games. He also posted 11 doubles and 41 runs, finishing his four-year high school career with a .457 batting average and 23 home runs in a total of 103 games.
Merrell, 21, is 6 feet and 1 inch tall, weighs 189 pounds and is a native of Odessa, FL who plays for the University of South Florida. As a junior this past season, he led the American Athletic Conference with a .384 batting average en route to a Second Team All-American nod from Baseball America. Merrell was a two-time First Team American Athletic Conference athlete last season. With 56 stolen bases, he is ranked eighth in program history. In each of his three seasons with USF, he led his team in hitting and became the first player to lead the club in hitting in three back-to-back seasons. He was selected by the A’s in their Lottery Round A pick (33rd overall).
The Metairie, Los Angeles born Deichmann, 22, is a right fielder for the LSU Tigers. He stands at 6 feet and 2 inches and weighs 209 pounds, and has started in all 65 games this past season. He helped the team advance to a College World Series anchorage. Deichmann is hitting .320 with 19 home runs and is tied for 15th among NCAA Division I hitters. He ranks first on the team and is tied for seventh in the nation with 72 RBI. While attending Brother Martin High School, Deichmann led his home state in home runs for three consecutive years. He was selected by Oakland as a 46th overall pick.
The draft will continue on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. PST with rounds 3 through 10. It will close Wednesday, June 14 at 9:00 a.m. with rounds 11 through 40.