Monday, December 24, 2007

Where Are They Now?: The 2002 Oriole Draftees

It's now been over 5 years since the 2002 draft and now it's time to check in to see...Where Are They Now!

1st Round - Adam Loewen - P - High School

It's early but so far this pick is right on schedule. The kid will be 24 next season and, if healthy, should be right there helping to anchor the rotation. Even while pitching through an injury early last season, Loewen performed well. So far, great pick.

2nd Round - Corey Shafer - C - High School

Shafer was quickly converted to an outfielder but hasn't distinguished himself in the minors, only rising as high as Class A Frederick. He did not play last year but I don't know whether that was due to injury or if he's been released. Not good either way.

3rd Round - Val Majewski - OF - Rutgers University

Majewski was on a fast track to the majors as of 2004 when he hit .307 with 15 homers at AA Bowie. Unfortunately, he tore the labrumin his left shoulder and missed all of 2005 due to injury. He has yet to regain his stroke and this season in Norfolk is probably his last chance to secure a future in this organization. So far, this is a push. there is no predicting injury.

4th Round - Tim Gilhooly - OF - University of the Pacific

Gilhooly never rose above low-A Aberdeen and last played in the organization in 2003 hitting .203 for his minor league career. Out of baseball.

5th Round - Hayden Penn - P - High School

Penn rocketed through the organization reaching Baltimore in only two years but still has yet to put it all together. He battled injury last season but has proven he can miss AAA bats. If healthy this year, he can restore his status in Norfolk and perhaps join the rotation in 2008. A push for now but good value for the 5th round.

6th Round - John Maine - P - UNC Charlotte

Maine was traded with Jorge Julio for Kris Benson prior to the 2006 season. Although he has enjoyed some modest success in New York, I have gone on record stating that it's all smoke and mirrors or more accurately all pitcher's park and stellar defense behind him. Anyway, I still think Maine may have projected as a serviceable long reliever for the O's and he was traded for a legitimate (if injured) major league pitcher. A good pick.

7th Round - Paul Henry - P - Ball State

Henry never had any success above low-A ball. Out of baseball.

8th Round - Ryan Hubele - C - Texas

Hubele spent most of the season at Bowie last year and may get a shot at holding a job in Norfolk this season. But at 27 with a career batting average of .248 in the minors, it is unlikely that Hubele will ever be a decent backup catcher in the majors.

9th Round - Trevor Caughey - P - High School

Caughey posted a 4.62 ERA over 5 seasons in the low minors. Out of baseball.

10th Round - Matt Boland - P - High School

Boland never made it out of the Gulf Coast League. Out of baseball.

It's too soon to really do a good assessment of this draft but with Orioles drafts during the Angelos years there isn't even glimpses of hope left among the top picks. Adam Loewen and Hayden Penn are pretty good prospects and poised to help this team in the near future. 12th round pick Brandon Fahey may turn out to be a serviceable utility player at the major league level. Compared to most drafts I've examined over the last year, this one isn't half bad.

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