Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Making Sense of the Oriole Draft

The Orioles got the second best position player in the draft when they selected high school SS Manny Machado with the third overall pick. That's a move I can get behind.

Beyond that, I don't really understand it. A guy who projects as a a reliever in the 3rd round, lots of fringy college bats, a high school SS in the 5th who looks to be a tough guy to sign...

But I'm not best equipped to handle these questions so I'll turn to the experts.

First up, ESPN's Keith Law:

The O's didn't have a second-round pick due to the signing of Mike Gonzalez but did grab a strong reliever in the third round with UCLA's Dan Klein, a right-hander with the repertoire to start but who has only pitched in relief in college due to a prior shoulder injury. I had sixth-rounder Dixon Anderson in my top 100 because of his ability to sink his fastball and the fact that he was in the mid-90s as a reliever last summer, while seventh-rounder Matt Bywater could be a fifth starter due to his above-average change.

About Klein...the Baltimore Sun has reported that Joe Jordan envisions the fragile UCLA pitcher as a starter, not a reliever. Just because he has the variety of pitches to start doesn't mean he'll be healthy enough to do so. Law like the 6th rounder Anderson and likes the 7th rounder Bywater for starting pitching depth. OK, he didn't hate the draft which makes me feel better.

Baseball America had this to say about 5th round pick Connor Narron:

Narron's hands and arm strength are both good enough that he should be able to step in as a freshman at North Carolina and play right away, probably at shortstop, if he doesn't sign. By the time he's draft-eligible again, he'll likely be a third baseman.

Narron was seen as a guy who may be tough to sign but Joe Jordan said this to The Sun:

"He’s a kid that is going to take maybe a little bit of time to get it done, but we feel good about what it’s going to cost, his desire to play. It’s just a matter of doing it the right way. He’ll be playing. He’ll be playing this summer."

He sounds confident that the O's can sign him...and sign him quick enough to get him playing in Bluefield. OK, that makes me feel a bit better too.

Camden Depot gave me this quick assessment of the Oriole draft this far via Twitter:

Well...I think Machado sucked the draft budget up. I figure they range between 9-10MM this year. Passed on a lot of preps....I think the value in this draft was HS. Are solid HS going to risk a slotted 2012 draft? think it drops cost.

Crawdaddy breaks down the first 10 picks in detail over here.

Over the first 19 picks, the O's selected 4 high school positions players, 6 college position players, 6 college pitchers and 3 high school pitchers. There don't appear to be any impact players beyong Machado although there are some interesting arms in the later rounds.

They got Machado...that may be enough to make this draft a success.

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