Area scouts and national cross-checkers have made thousands of phone calls, worked out top prospects, watched video, studied medical reports, crunched statistics, consulted clairvoyants and discussed signability and bonuses with players, parents and advisers.
With Major League Baseball's first-year player draft beginning Thursday, teams are finalizing reports and structuring strategies in preparation. No stone goes unturned because so much is at stake for so many teams.
Seventy-three players will be drafted Thursday in the first two rounds, including two competitive balance rounds. The Sacramento area's top prospects Elk Grove High School first baseman and USC signee Rowdy Tellez and catcher and UCLA recruit Dom Nunez eagerly anticipate their futures.
Draft projections have the teammates going on Day One, most likely late in the second round.
Other potential early-round picks from the area include Cal and Granite Bay High catcher Andrew Knapp, Yuba City High right-hander Chandler Eden, Fresno State and Sheldon left-hander Tyler Linehan, UC Santa Barbara and Oakmont first baseman Tyler Kuresa and Liberty University and Valley Christian outfielder Ryan Cordell. Knapp is considered by many the best catcher in the draft.
Baseball America's Best Tools list rates Tellez as one of the three best high school players in the country for power and strike-zone judgment, while Eden is listed as one of three top high school pitchers with the best fastball.
The top two picks of the draft are expected to be college right-handed pitchers: Oklahoma's Jonathan Gray and Stanford's Mark Appel, the eighth overall pick last year.
The Houston Astros have the first pick and Chicago Cubs the second. The value for the No. 1 pick, held by the Astros for the second consecutive year, is $7.2 million, according to Baseball America.
The A's have the 24th pick in the first round worth $1,893,500. In the second round, they have the 63rd and 71st picks worth $885,600 and $782,900, respectively. Their third-round pick is No. 100 worth $515,600.
Don't be surprised to see Tellez go to the A's, who really don't have a major-league first baseman on their roster.
The A's are working out the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder today. Tellez has been described as a powerful player with a long swing who "could hit 40 home runs" and is "arguably the best power in the draft."
"The A's are really interested in me," Tellez said. "They are the one team that's shown the most interest."
The Giants pick right behind the A's. The value of the pick is $1,866,500.
Don't get too excited, Giants fans. Rarely does a 25th pick reach the bigs. Of the 49 players selected 25th overall since 1965, 21 of them never made the major leagues.
The Giants have had only two 25th picks and did quite well with Matt Cain in 2002 but not so hot with Nate Bump in 1998.
The Giants like the high school arms of left-handers Matt Krook of San Francisco's St. Ignatius and Rob Kaminsky of Montvale, N.J.'s St. Joseph Regional and right-hander Hunter Harvey of Catawba, N.C.'s Bandys.
Should the Giants go away from a high school pick, Fresno State outfielder Aaron Judge might be the guy. The former Linden High standout hit a team-best .369 for the Bulldogs and led them in doubles (15), home runs (12) and RBIs (36).
Other players who could go on the second or third days are Sacramento State second baseman Andrew Ayers, Saint Mary's and Oak Ridge left-hander Jordan Mills, Oregon State and Elk Grove catcher Jake Rodriguez and Sierra College right-hander Andrew Cooper and catcher Blake Grant-Parks via Yuba City High.
The draft begins at 3 p.m. Thursday and will be televised on the MLB Network. Rounds three through 10 are Friday and rounds 11 through 40 Saturday.
Former Solons pitcher passes away
In 1952, Roger Osenbaugh received six offers from major-league teams and turned them all down to pursue a childhood dream of playing for the Sacramento Solons.
Osenbaugh spent all seven of his professional years as a starting pitcher for the Solons, finishing with a 46-66 record and a 4.19 ERA.
On May 12, he passed away in Arcadia. He was 82 years old.
Osenbaugh was born and raised in Sacramento. He attended and played ball at McClatchy High School. After graduation, the 6-3, 180-pound right-hander accepted a scholarship to Stanford.
"The top major-league offer was a $2,500 bonus," Osenbaugh told Debbie Goffa of the Los Angeles Times in 2006. "The Solons offered $2,000, but they would also pay my tuition to graduate school. And they sweetened it with a five-year clause that precluded my purchase by a big-league club without my consent. If I did agree to a sale, I'd get 15 percent of the sales price."
Osenbaugh played for the Solons in 1952 and 1953 before serving in the Marine Corps as a first lieutenant during the Korean War. He rejoined the Solons in the last month of the 1955 season and remained with them until his retirement in 1959.
Osenbaugh told Goffa his best Solons memory was in 1957 against the Los Angeles Angels at Wrigley Field, which stood at Avalon Boulevard and 42nd Street, and was the West Coast replica of the Cubs' home in Chicago.
In a 22-5 loss, the second game of a double-header, Osenbaugh's seven-inning complete-game line: 22 runs, 18 earned runs, nine home runs and five home runs in one inning.
Worley strong in first Triple-A start
Right-hander Vance Worley (McClatchy) threw a five-hit shutout against Lehigh Valley in his first Triple-A start after Minnesota sent him to Rochester after posting a 1-5 mark for the Twins.
Mark McDermott is a freelance writer specializing in Sacramento-area baseball. Contact him firstname.lastname@example.org.