Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Where Are They Now?: The 1997 Oriole Draftees

I haven't done one of these in awhile so since there's an off-day, let's depress ourselves, shall we? Another Pat Gillick draft so brace yourselves...

Jayson Werth - C - High School - 1st Round

Werth is now in the Phillies organization and up until this point hasn't distinguished himself as anything more than a backup player at the major league level (he is a backup outfielder for Philadelphia now) but the O's traded him away for even less value than that. He was traded to Toronto in 2000 for P John Bale. Remember him? I wouldn't blame you if you didn't. He pitched in 14 games in relief for Baltimore in 2001 and the O's miraculously were able to trade this marginal journeyman pitcher for Gary Matthews Jr. the next offseason. Matthews spent a year and a half with Baltimore before being released. The Orioles would've been better off just keeping Werth ultimately.

Darnell McDonald - OF - High School - 1st Round

McDonald spent 7 long years in the Baltimore organization and finally got a cup of coffee in 2004. He is now in the Minnesota organization. He has hit .269 and OPS'd .721 in 10 minor league seasons.

Ntema Ndungi - OF - High School - 1st Round

Ndungi rose as high as AA Bowie in 2001. Never hit much. Out of baseball.

Sean Douglass - P - High School - 2nd Round

Played bits of three seasons for the O's from 2001-2003 with an ERA over 6.00. Out of baseball.

Matt Riley - P - High School - 3rd Round

"He's got a million dollar arm and a five-cent head." They were referring to Nuke LaLoosh but they may as well have been talking about Riley. Injuries didn't help his development either. He was traded to Texas for RP Gabe White who was way past being an effective relief pitcher by then. Riley is pitching in relief for AAA Las Vegas.

Shannon Carter - OF - High School - 4th Round

Made it as high as AAA but never learned to hit above A ball. Out of baseball.

Rick Bauer - P - Treasure Valley Community College - 5th Round

Rick had some success as a reliever for Baltimore for a few seasons. He was 11-14 with a 4.34 ERA over 6 major league seasons. He's now reunited with Matt Riley pitching out of the pen in Las Vegas.

Baleb Balbeuna - P - Long Beach State University - 6th Round

Did not sign. Wasted pick. Drafted and signed the next year by Seattle. Out of baseball.

Ricky Casteel - P - Northeast Texas Community College - 7th Round

Casteel went 10-20 with a 4.22 ERA over 3 minor league seasons. Never rose above low A ball.

Jay Spurgeon - P - High School - 8th Round

Got a cup of coffee in 2000. Out of baseball.

Top Ten Draft Pick Stats

Number that are\were regular contributors for the O's: 1
Number still in the organization: 0
Number traded for regular contributors: 0
Number out of baseball: 6
Diamonds in the rough: 1


Next to some other drafts, this one doesn't look so bad (but it ain't great). The diamond in the rough was Jerry Hairston who was almost good enough to displace Brian Roberts at one point but the only other player that was of any use was Rick Bauer. Except for Werth.

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