Being Left Off Athletics 60-Man Pool List isn't a Good Sign for 2017 No. 1 Pick Beck

John Hickey

The 54-man list of players put into their 2020 player pool Sunday left the Oakland A’s with some room to maneuver.

And as was written here Sunday, the extra space on the 60-man list could be used for the organization’s first-round pick in the draft, Tyler Soderstrom, who could sign with the club today or Tuesday, and Robert Puason, the 17-year-old shortstop out of the Dominican Republic who signed earlier this year for a reported $5.1 million.

It will be interesting to see if the A’s use one of the open spaces for outfielder Austin Beck.

The center fielder was the club’s first-round pick from the 2017 draft. He had a .251/.302/.411 slash line last year for the Stockton Ports in the Class- A California League, so it’s not like the A’s were ready to give him big league at-bats this season.

However, most of the other first-round picks from 2017 were on 60-man lists around baseball and the A’s went so far as to include 2019 first-rounder Logan Davidson, a shortstop who hasn’t played above the short-season New York-Penn League and whose numbers for Vermont last year were hardly breathtaking at .239/.345/.332.

The A’s didn’t put their 2018 first round draft pick on the list, either, but seeing that Kyler Murray is now the starting quarterback for the Arizona Cardinals, that makes sense.

Admittedly, Beck is young. After being the sixth pick in the draft out of high school (North Davidson, Lexington, NC), he’s just 21. Davidson, on the other hand, played at Clemson and is 22.

In high school, Beck was seen as a five-tool player by the A’s, who saw his speed, athleticism and power as a being that of a star in the making. So far, at least, the power hasn’t manifested itself. He had eight homers in 85 games last year at Stockton, and seeing his batting average fall from .296 in 2018 to .251 last year is a problem, too.

And, as of today at least, he’s not on the 60-man roster. It can’t be a good sign for Beck in terms of expectations; if the organization saw him as someone who could be in the big leagues in the next couple of years, he’d be there.

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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