Draft day is upon us once again and it comes on an off day for the O’s. I will be watching the draft on the MLB network again. I’m hoping to be a little more enthused by our draft than I was last year. Last year we selected high school right hander Matt Hobgood with the fifth overall pick. I have expressed my opinion on that pick in several blog entries which you have probably read. Hobgood is looking more and more like a flop everyday and most analysts agreed with me that the pick was a reach and a pure “signability” pick to save some cash. He clearly was not the best player on the board. We then used our second rounder on another pick most analysts did not like in high school shortstop Mychal Givens, who had questionable offensive skills. Givens struggled early this season and then suffered an injury which required surgery and his season is most likely lost. Our 3rd round pick Tyler Townsend, a college first baseman with power potential has struggled since his debut and has also not stayed healthy for any significant time. Last year’s draft is not shaping up well so far.
This year’s draft is also looking to be a little bit disappointing already as well. Bryce Harper, the 17 year old phenom, is a lock to go first overall to the Washington Nationals. Early concerns about his character were said to be overblown and the Nationals have said they have seen absolutely no reason not to take him. I will say however that it is quite clear the kid is a bit of an asshole (as shown here and here), which makes me like him more. It was long predicted by most analysts that the Pittsburgh Pirates would pass on the consensus second best talent, high school pitcher Jameson Taillon with the second pick due to cost concerns and they were leaning towards picking high school shortstop Manny Machado or college left hander Drew Pomeranz instead. New reports from the last couple of days have all but confirmed that the Pirates will select Taillon with the second pick. This pretty much confirms that the Orioles will go with Machado at no. 3. Machado is still a very promising prospect and has all the tools to eventually be an impact player. However, there are concerns that he will not be able to stay at shortstop and that his power may not develop enough to be a great bat as a corner infielder. I would definitely prefer the early reports that suggested Taillon would fall to us.
From there things really go south. As most of you probably know, the Orioles do not have a second round pick this year as it was given away to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for signing their Type A free agent, Mike “The Save Siduation” Gonzalez. We all know that I hated the signing when it occurred due to cost and the loss of the pick. It looks even worse now. Hopefully, the O’s can score some early round talent later in the draft with some overslot bonus’s to coax some kids out of school. I will probably be tweeting my thoughts on everyone’s draft live if you want to follow me. I’ll post something about the results shortly after.