Christmas comes in June for the Oakland Athletics front office.
Since the release of Michael Lewis' best seller, Moneyball, it has been well documented how the A's value draft picks. Billy Beane and his most trusted assistants spend countless hours on statistical analysis to evaluate which picks they feel have the best chance of making an eventual impact.
Obviously there is no exact science to selecting top high school and college players. There are always some early round busts and some late-round surprises.
Some Oakland first-rounders of note: Eric Chavez (1996), Mark Mulder (1998), Barry Zito (1999), Bobby Crosby (2001), Jeremy Bonderman (2001 - traded to the Detroit Tigers), Nick Swisher (2002), Joe Blanton (2002), Landon Powell (2004), Cliff Pennington (2005) and Jemile Weeks (2008).
Each of these players has reached the Major Leagues, with Weeks making his Major League debut tonight.
Grant Green (2009) and Michael Choice (2010) are considered the A's top two prospects working their way through the minor league system.
The majority of the attention this year—and deservedly so—will go to the first-round pick, Sonny Gray.
Here's a quick break down of the A's draft picks from rounds 1-11 (no second round pick due to the signing of Grant Balfour).