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Baltimore Orioles Draft Report

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The Orioles spent the 6th most on draft picks this season and were only behind the Pirates for spending on high school talent. This means the talent they signed won't help them real soon, but it allows them to develop the talent within the organization under their tutelage. I really liked their approach in this draft.

The Draft:

Manny Machado, SS, 1st Round

Machado is a long lean wiry SS that doesn't currently have big power but has a good bat. He makes consistent hard contact and could gain power as he matures. A lot of his future potential depends on two things. If he stays at SS, he won't need to hit as much to be very valuable and should easily be an above average SS offensively. If he outgrows SS and has to move to 3B, he should be above average defensively and hit enough to be solid there. I think he'll be a .280-.300 hitter with 15-25 HR's depending on how he matures. He is definately a star as a SS and slightly above average as a 3B. He was the best choice at #3 overall for sure.

Trent Mummey, OF, 4th Round

Mummey won't blow you away with skills but he is a solid hitter, good runner and has average power. He won't hit for a lot of power but should hit plenty of doubles. Most of his value is as a CF. If he can't stick in CF, he is likely a 4th OF who could play all three OF positions when needed. He has the arm to play RF but won't have the power to be a regular there. I do believe he is a likely major league player and that's a solid choice in the 4th round.

Daniel Klein, RHP, 3rd Round

Klein missed the 2009 season due to shoulder surgery but he proved to be healthy this season as the closer for UCLA. He struck out 55 and only walked 11 in 52 IP while only allowing 39 hits. He has a pitchers build at 6'3, 190 LBS and has a three solid pitches. His fastball is low 90's, a nice curveball and a change. He pitched very well in his debut in the New York Penn league and could move thru the minors quickly if they keep him in the pen, which seems likely.

Connor Narron, SS, 5th Round

Narron is a future 3B but has the arm and defensive ability to work there, as for the bat, I'm not so sure. He has good plate discipline but I don't like his swing at all. It's long, weak and has a lot of unnecessary movement. Narron's father played in the majors and he should be more polished than he is considering his upbringing. If he cleans up his swing, he could have good power and be a solid 3B but he has some work to do. It's a high reward choice and although I'm not sold on Narron, he could pay dividends.

Wynston Sawyer, C, 8th Round

Sawyer is a huge kid. He's 6'3, 190 LBS and is likely to gain 20-30 LBS as he gains strength. I don't know if he can stay at Catcher but he should be able to hit enough to play 1B. He has huge power potential but has a long swing, so he might strike out a lot. The fact he only struck out 2 times in his 27 plate apperances in his pro debut is a good sign. I look forward to seeing how he develops. I like the fact that the Orioles drafted and signed players they liked, even if it was over slot and Sawyer is a good example of that.

Matthew Bywater, LHP, 7th Round

Bywater is a finesse lefty that throws in the upper 80's. He has a nice curveball and an average changeup. He knows how to pitch and did well in his junior season. I see him as a lesser version of Chris Hernandez, the Red Sox finesse lefty. Bywater should advance to AA quickly and see whether he projects as a rotation member or a bullpen arm.

Clayton Schrader, RHP, 10th Round

Schrader is blessed with a mid 90's fastball and a nasty slider that sits in the mid 80's. He has a really good curveball as well. Control is his main problem but that comes with plus pitches with good movement. He showed the ability to strike people out at the pro level and that was his best asset in college.  He could move quickly as well and projects to be a set up man.

A few others to watch:

Parker Bridwell, RHP, 9th Round

Bridwell is an athlete who is working on becoming a pitcher. He was a solid quarterback recruit as well as pitcher. He chose to play baseball and it should pay off. He throws in the upper 80's but has the build and athleticism to gain a few MPH's. He needs polish, so I don't expect him to move quickly but he is a very good choice for the 9th round. 

Alex Schmarzo, RHP, 48th Round

I was shocked when Schmarzo signed. It isn't often a player picked that late signs but he could be a good prospect. He has a nice downhill delivery and doesn't give up much solid contact.  He needs polish but he's a good back of the draft pick.

Jaime Esquivel, RHP, 28th Round

Esquivel has a nice delivery and an upper 80's fastball with potential for more. I really like his curveball. It's a hard downer. He's a 6'2", 185 LB righty so he could gain some velocity as he gains muscle. He recieved a $225,000 bonus and should be worth it. He's one of my favorite late round picks.

Best Unsigned Player from the Draft:

Dixon Anderson, RHP, 6th Round

Anderson has been a reliever in college but has 3 pitches that could be usable. His fastball is low 90's and he has a nice slider. His changeup isn't good but could become average with more experience. I think signing and being used as a starter would have been good for his development, but returning to Cal for one last run may help him as well. If he improves his command he could go higher in 2011.

International Signings:

Hector Veloz, 3B, Dominican Republic

Veloz has huge power generated from a high leg kick and a powerful swing. His weight transfer could cause timing problems with better pitching but I like what I see. He's 6'2", 190 LBS, so he already is fairly mature physically. He has an above average arm and has decent actions at 3B.  The biggest problem with the $300,000 bonus baby is that he tested positive for stanozolol, an anabolic steroid. I don't know how much of his power was related to steroids but I think he is a good signing for that bonus. I don't want to get into a steroid debate, but as long as he didn't cause long term health problems from use at an early age, I don't see that it will be an issue going forward.

Overall Top 50 Prospects from MiLB Prospects:

1 Manny Machado , SS , BAL
2 Zach Britton , P , BAL
3 Xavier Avery , OF , BAL
4 Michael Ohlman , C , BAL
5 LJ Hoes , 2B , BAL
6 Matt Hobgood , P , BAL
7 Brandon Erbe , P , BAL
8 Trent Mummey , OF , BAL
9 Mychal Givens , SS , BAL
10 Wynn Pelzer , P , BAL
11 Ryan Berry , P , BAL
12 Brandon Snyder , 1B , BAL
13 Ryan Adams , 2B , BAL
14 Hector Veloz , 3B , BAL
15 Cameron Coffey , P , BAL
16 Steven Johnson , P , BAL
17 Greg Miclat , SS , BAL
18 Jonathan Schoop , SS , BAL
19 Billy Rowell , 3B , BAL
20 Jesse Beal , P , BAL
21 Oliver Drake , P , BAL
22 Bobby Bundy , P , BAL
23 Tyler Henson , 3B , BAL
24 Daniel Klein , P , BAL
25 Connor Narron , SS , BAL
26 Pedro Beato , P , BAL
27 Matt Angle , OF , BAL
28 Tyler Townsend , 1B , BAL
29 Kyle Hudson , OF , BAL
30 Ronnie Welty , OF , BAL
31 Pedro Florimon , SS , BAL
32 Brett Jacobson , P , BAL
33 Jacob Cowan , P , BAL
34 Wynston Sawyer , C , BAL
35 Matthew Bywater , P , BAL
36 Brandon Waring , 3B , BAL
37 Garabez Rosa , SS , BAL
38 Clayton Schrader , P , BAL
39 Randy Henry , P , BAL
40 Roderick Bernadina , H , BAL
41 Luis Lebron , P , BAL
42 Brenden Webb , OF , BAL
43 Aaron Wirsch , P , BAL
44 Ashur Tolliver , P , BAL
45 Caleb Joseph , C , BAL
46 Tyler Kelly , H , BAL
47 Eddie Gamboa , P , BAL
48 Pat Egan , P , BAL
49 Chorye Spoone , P , BAL
50 Joseph Mahoney , H , BAL