Beginning the AL East with the Baltimore Orioles.
Baltimore Orioles Draft Review
1) Manny Machado, SS, Florida HS: Will hit for average, should develop good power, likely to remain at shortstop down the line, and relatively polished for a high school player. The best position player in the class not named Harper.
3) Dan Klein, RHP, UCLA: Successful college closer with excellent control, stuff is a tick above average but not spectacular. Won't need long in the minors.
4) Trent Mummey, OF, Auburn University: All tools are average or slightly above, has some chance to be a starting player but probably projects best as a fourth outfielder.
5) Connor Narron, SS, North Carolina HS: Jerry Narron's son, draws oddly mixed reviews for a bloodline player. Has power, will probably move off shortstop, doesn't have a lot of speed. Was considered a good bet to attend North Carolina but going this high might change that.
6) Dixon Anderson, RHP, UC-Berkeley: Big guy at 6-5, can hit 95 MPH, but secondary stuff is below average and college performance record is inconsistent. Could turn out to be very good, or he could stall out in A-ball.
7) Matt Bywater, LHP, Pepperdine: Average velocity in upper-80s, but has a strong curveball and changeup, throws strikes, knows how to pitch, put up excellent college numbers. Could advance quickly, classic Jamie Moyer comparisons as finesse lefty.
8) Wynston Sawyer, C, California HS: Possibly an underrated prospect, has good physical tools but still ironing out his defense and his swing. Was expected to go to college at UC Riverside, but that might change now.
9) Parker Bridwell, RHP, Texas HS: Very athletic, upper-80s fastball with more velocity possible, raw. College commitment to Texas Tech, which isn't the easiest place to pitch; he may do better if he goes pro.
10) Clay Schrader, RHP, San Jacinto Junior College: 93 MPH, good breaking stuff, closer mentality, could advance more quickly than most JC level players.
FOUR OTHERS OF NOTE: 11-Alex Gonzalez, RHP, Florida HS; 14-Michael Mosby, 3B, Wabash Valley CC; 18-Sebastian Vader, RHP, California HS; 27-Austin Urban, RHP, Pennsylvania HS;
COMMENT: I love the Machado pick, but the rest of the draft strikes me as...I'm not sure what the word is. I originally wrote "uninspired," but that's too strong. This isn't a BAD draft. Klein is a good third rounder and could get beyond role player status, but I don't see Mummey as more than a reserve at this point. I like Bywater's pitchability, but Anderson strikes me as the kind of college arm that will perhaps never live up to its potential. Narron, Sawyer, and Bridwell all have signability issues. All could develop into fine players, but it will take a lot of time. Schrader has some heat and I like him. There are some additional signability fliers in the later rounds; if they could pull in one of those guys it would help. There is just something about this draft that I can't put my finger on...it's good, I like several picks, but there's just something missing.