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ACC All Access: Oakland A's draft Virginia Tech's Chad Pinder, a Poquoson grad, 71st overall

Just 11 minutes before midnight Thursday, and using the third-to-last pick of the evening, the Oakland Athletics selected Poquoson High graduate and Virginia Tech third baseman Chad Pinder with the 71st pick of the Major League Baseball first-year player draft.

Pinder, a 6-foot-2, 192-pound Poquoson native, was chosen in “competitive balance round B,” which took place after the second round and prior to Friday’s third round.  Only six players in Tech history have been drafted earlier than him. The last time a Tech player was drafted earlier than Pinder was in 2002, when pitcher Joe Saunders was taken 12th overall by the Anaheim Angels.

Pinder, 21, was contacted after the draft, but he preferred to comment later Friday on his draft selection. As a junior this season, Pinder helped Tech finish 40-22 – its best record since finishing with an identical record in 2010 – by hitting .321 with eight home runs and 50 RBI. He had 11 errors in 236 chances (95.3 fielding percentage) at both third base and shortstop.

The draft resumes Friday at 1 p.m. with the start of the third round. Virginia left-handed pitcher Kyle Crockett, who was Pinder’s teammate at Poquoson, could be drafted at some point Friday, which concludes with round 10.

The competitive balance rounds are being used this season for the first time. It’s a product of two separate lotteries that were held last July involving the 10 smallest-market teams and the 10 lowest-revenue teams.

In the first lottery, six teams were randomly selected from the 20 eligible teams to have draft picks at the end of the first round and prior to the start of the second round. Then, the remaining 14 eligible teams and any other major league team that receives revenue sharing, were randomly selected for another six draft picks at the end of the second round and prior to the start of the third round.

Any of the 12 draft picks could be traded, which explains why there were only 11 competitive balance round picks Thursday night.   

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After Pinder was selected, MLB Network ran a graphic that compared Pinder to Matt Dominguez, who is the 23-year-old starting third baseman for the Houston Astros. He was drafted 12th overall in ’07 by the Florida Marlins. He’s hitting .239 with nine home runs, 32 RBI and 23 runs scored.

"You can put him out there at third base, but I think this is the type of player that has the ability to play all over the diamond," said John Hart during the MLB Network’s broadcast of the draft. "I mean, he can play third, short, second. I like the bat. He's a baseball player. I think it's a good Oakland pick. This guy has got major league written all over him.”

Hart is the former Cleveland Indians and Texas Rangers general manager who’s now an analyst on the MLB Network.

Pinder, whose father, Chris, was drafted in 1987 out of Virginia Commonwealth by the Baltimore Orioles in the 15th round, hit four of his eight home runs during a six-game stretch in the postseason.

"He's a college performer, a big reason why Virginia Tech has been so good," said Jonathan Mayo, a writer for MLB.com, during the MLB Network’s draft broadcast. "Late in the season, in college tournaments, scouts poured to those and he put on a show - showed more power than he'd shown for much of his college career right at the end there, so I think there's probably some of the belief that maybe there's a little more pop in his bat to come."

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Click here to follow Norm Wood on Twitter. Thanks.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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