Friday, June 3, 2011

2011 MLB Amateur Draft: For the Orioles, It's Got to be Cole

For most of last season, it appeared that the Orioles would have the first pick in the 2011 Amateur Draft and that Anthony Rendonwould be their third basemen of the future. As the end of the season neared, the Orioles seemed assured of the second pick, at least, and that if they didn't get Rendon, they would certainly get UCLA stud pitcher Gerrit Cole. But they kept playing well and ended up at #4. Nobody knew what to expect with the #4 pick.

But if you had told those draft saavy Oriole fans that Baltimore would still have a chance to get Gerrit Cole with the #4 pick, they would have been pretty happy about that.

And now, that just might happen.

I would love to have Rendon in the organization, assuming his medicals are good but he's not going to slip that far down. However, there is word that Cole might.

With the ascendancy of other pitchers in 2011, UVA lefty Danny Hultzen, UCLA hurler Trevor Bauer and Oklahoma high school wunderkind Dylan Bundy are all putting themselves in the conversation among the first three picks. So there are scenarios in which Cole could fall into the Orioles' lap.

And if that happens, they have to take him. He was the best pitcher coming into the season and I really don't think anyone else has unseated him. There are many devotees of Bundy among the Oriole fan base (whose brother Bobby is already pitching in the org for Frederick) but I'm sorry, I don't think he's better yet. Bundy is reportedly very polished for a high school pitcher but he's not more polished than Cole.

Don't get me wrong. Unlike last year when I would have been very disappointed if Baltimore had not signed Manny Machado, I don't think the O's can go wrong with any the talent available at #4. Bundy would be awesome. Hultzen would be an amazing lefty to pair with Brian Matusz and Zach Britton and would have a fast track to the majors. And there are other college arms who are intriguing.

But in the unlikely event that Cole slips....Baltimore has to pounce.


(I'll be on vacation next week, hence the early post on the draft. See you in 10 days or so when I do another round of guest posting for MASNsports.com.)

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't want Gerrit Cole if he slips. His inconsistency this year is a big red flag.

I'd be happy with Rendon, Hultzen, or Bundy.

I'd rather pick Trevor Bauer than Cole because he has much better numbers this year.

The Oriole Way said...

I think that if the Orioles get any one of Rendon, Cole, Bundy or Hultzen I'll be extremely happy. If somehow two of those guys are still on the board and they have to choose, I'm not really qualified to say whether they get it right or wrong. But I kind of hope it's Bundy.

Jeff said...

Heath, I understand what you're saying but it's pretty much the consensus that Bundy has better control/command than Cole. Granted, Cole may have a slightly higher ceiling but I think Bundy is and will be a better pitcher. I see Bundy as a Verlander type. I'm not sure Cole can achieve that because he would need to seriously work on a repeatable delivery and his control.

Heath said...

Not unhappy with Bundy at all and Cole didn't slip anyway. Still wonder about Rendon and what those medicals said.

Jeff said...

My question is this: suppose it's a tie between Bundy and Rendon for the pick and it's essentially a coin flip. Does Jonathon Schoop (who Keith Law says is 'just outside' the top 25 prospect list) push them to Bundy? Or do they not even think about that? I think it may have played a role.