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The Athletics select catcher Tyler Soderstrom 26th overall in the 2020 MLB Draft

The Athletics go local with their first pick.

2019 PDP League Workout Day Photo by Mike Carlson/MLB Photos via Getty Images

With the 26th pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the Athletics have selected catcher Tyler Soderstrom out of Turlock High School in Turlock, California.

The catching class in the 2020 Draft, while lacking some of the sexy names of recent drafts like Adley Rutschman and Joey Bart, is very deep and the best offensive catcher of the bunch may be Tyler Soderstrom. In addition to having some baseball pedigree from his dad who was the sixth overall pick back in 1993, he is seen by many to be among the more polished hitters in this prep class, period. That, combined with a chance of sticking at a premium position thanks to a strong arm, has thrust him into discussion as a pick in the middle of the first round.

However, Soderstrom sticking at catcher is far from a given and there are scouts who think he should be given the Alex Jackson treatment and just put into a corner outfield spot and let the bat carry him. Soderstrom has not caught much as a prep player and to keep him there would require a good bit of development even though the talent is there. Ultimately, what a team is drafting is the bat, but there is some real positional upside here as he has all of the raw tools to end being the best catcher in what is a deep catching class with fallback options at third base or the outfield if catching doesn’t work out..