The Athletics are in the middle of a rebuild following offseason trades of Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, and Sean Manaea. The 2022 MLB Draft presents Oakland with an opportunity to continue stocking up on prospects for the future, and they went with Arizona catcher Daniel Susac at No. 19.
In 2021, Susac won the National Co-Freshman of the Year and followed up his first year of college baseball with a sophomore season that saw him hit .366/.430/.582 with 19 doubles, 12 home runs, and 61 RBI in 64 games.
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Like with every draft, there are plenty of grades and expert opinions, and this year is no different. Here’s what they had to say about the A’s going with Susac on Day 1:
“With Futures Game MVP Shea Langeliers and Tyler Soderstrom rising the ranks and Sean Murphy entrenched in the big leagues, the A’s were already loaded with young catching talent. That’s a great 'problem' to have with a dearth of quality backstops leaguewide, and this is one of the best value picks of the first round.”
“The Mets took Parada despite having Alvarez because he was the best player on the board. The Athletics are deploying a similar strategy in taking Susac despite having Shea Langeliers at Triple-A and Sean Murphy at the big-league level. Susac is the second-best catching prospect in the class behind Parada with a well-rounded bat that should hit for average and power. It’s a great value pick, but if he moves off the position, Susac’s value will go down. The catching depth in Oakland makes that more likely.”
“Susac likes to swing the bat and he likes to lift the ball, with the latter allowing him to post good power marks. Unfortunately, he could stand to walk more often and strike out less often, as he had a strikeout-to-walk ratio north of 2.20. Susac has a big arm, but he would benefit from the implementation of the automated ball-strike system.”
“Susac is a pretty good value pick here, maybe Oakland’s safest first-round pick since AJ Puk six years ago -- and I’m not saying that as a criticism, as I think they could use some certainty as they build the system back up. Susac is a power-over-hit guy who has enough contact skills, including some ability to hit bad balls, to be a regular. And he’s a good enough receiver to stay back there -- probably a little better than Parada, with much more arm but a lot less hit tool. If Susac is just a solid regular behind the plate, that’s a great pick at No. 19. It also is kind of interesting for a team that has a young major-league catcher with three years of control left in Sean Murphy, and a top catching prospect in Triple-A in Shea Langeliers.”