2020 MLB Draft: A's select pitcher Jeff Criswell in second round

Jessica Kleinschmidt
NBC Sports BayArea

The A's began the second day of the 2020 MLB Draft on Thursday by selecting Michigan right-handed pitcher Jeff Criswell in the second round with the No. 58 overall pick.

One of the first things that stands out about the 21-year-old is his versatility, as he potentially could come out of the bullpen or even be a starter.

His 6-4, 225-pound frame pairs well with his "bull" mentality, as Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin described on MLB Network's draft coverage. 

Corbin witnessed Criswell's competitiveness firsthand during the 2019 College World Series. Criswell pitched 5 2/3 innings in two relief appearances against Vandy in the championship series, striking out seven and allowing three earned runs.

Criswell posted a 2.23 ERA as a freshman out of the bullpen in 2018, and he went 7-1 with a 2.72 ERA in 22 games as a starter last season. He made four starts in 2020, striking out 26 in 24 innings.

Now for the important part.

As far as his pitches are concerned, he maintained his velocity when he switched from a reliever to a starter. Criswell stayed in that 93-96 mph range, with solid secondary pitches in his slider and fading changeup. 

[RELATED: A's Soderstrom sought guidance from ex-MLBer father to be top pick]

There is some concern about overthrowing which could hinder his delivery, but that is something the A's could help him fine-tune.

He joins an A's draft class that consists of 18-year-old catcher Tyler Soderstrom from Turlock, Calif., Oakland's first-round pick (No. 26 overall) on Wednesday. 

2020 MLB Draft: A's select pitcher Jeff Criswell in second round originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

What to Read Next