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MLB Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics Make Smart Choice Picking Billy McKinney in 2013 MLB Draft

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics chose left fielder Billy McKinney with the No. 24 pick in the 2013 MLB Draft, hoping to end their first-round drought by picking a player that they believe will be the future of their organization. General Manager Billy Bean knows exactly how to build a winner and with this choice, he gets it.

Trying to veer away from their recent trend of drafting a middle infielder in four of the past seven years, Bean and the Athletics chose the high school outfielder because of the potential he has to become an elite hitter.

Many draft experts believe that his batting is above average while his speed, arm and fielding are all average or below, making the reason clear why one of the best hitters in the class fell to No. 24.

McKinney projects as a solid hitter with power potential in the pros.

Oakland has one of the better offensive teams in the league, so the addition of McKinney won’t be greatly noticeable and it will be a few years before the 19-year-old stud gets a shot at the major league level.

I say it may be a few years before he gets a shot because of the talent of outfielders still going through the Athletics’ minor league system.

Michael Choice was the 10th overall pick by the Athletics in 2010 and was picked to be in the outfield for years to come. He is still developing and honing his skills, but looks to be the best prospect in the minor league system. However, the Athletics’ outfield is struggling as a group right now and Oakland management is starting to take notice.

With two guys hitting under .250 (Yoenis Cespedes and Josh Reddick), the corner outfielders look to need a bit of a push. This choice may have just given them the motivation they need to step their game up.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.