Archive for the Draft Category

Orioles Draft Retrospective: 2008-2011

Posted in Draft, Prospects, Rule 4 with tags , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

2008

I know that the previous posts looking at Baltimore’s first round draft picks may have been a little depressing, but I’m sure you already know that things start looking up in 2008.

1-4 – Brian Matusz (LHP) from University of San Diego

Well, kind of looking up in 2008.  Another Baltimore pitcher drafted that was a top prospect with high expectations, Matusz hasn’t exactly lived up to them.  He looked like a promising starter in 2009 and 2010, but struggled in 2011 and 2012 before moving to the bullpen late last year.  While every team needs a good left-handed reliever, I don’t think that’s what teams are looking to get when they have the 4th overall pick in the draft.

Xavier Avery (2nd round) and L.J. Hoes (3rd round) were both selected in this draft as well.  Both have been ranked as top ten prospects for Baltimore (Hoes was the #7 Orioles prospect prior to the 2013 season, while Avery last appeared prior to 2011 at #4 according to Baseball Prospectus) and each have spent limited time with the major league club.  Unfortunately, it appears no one else from that draft will provide an impact for Baltimore.  Additionally, both Hoes and Avery have ceilings of 4th outfielders.

Buster Posey was selected by the Giants immediately following Baltimore’s pick of Matusz, and to date, he is easily the best player to come out of that first round.  Although, other than win NL Rookie of the Year (2010) and the NL MVP (2012), while leading the Giants to 2 World Series championships in 2 of 3 years, he hasn’t done much.

2009

If only we could pretend like the 2009 draft never happened.  Baltimore had another high pick and thought it wise to use it on…

1-5 – Matthew Hobgood (RHP) from Norco HS (Norco, CA)

From what I found, this pick was generally viewed as an overdraft by the rest of the league at the time, but as a big, sturdy guy (i.e., chunky), Hobgood would be able to eat up some innings as a starting pitcher.  A description from the 2011 Baseball Prospectus Annual did not inspire confidence, and his results leading up to a 2011 shoulder injury didn’t inspire it either.  After sitting out all of 2012, Hobgood has returned to Low-A this year as a reliever (posting good results to date) and has a chance to provide some value in the future in that role.  However, as mentioned before (COUGH, Brian Matusz, COUGH), no one HOPES to draft a future reliever with the 5th overall pick.

Some of the players drafted after Hobgood include Zack Wheeler at #6 (#5 overall prospect ranked by Baseball Prospectus in 2013), Mike Minor at #7, and Shelby Miller at #19.  However, Baltimore (along with 21 other teams) are probably wishing they could re-do this draft and select Mike Trout, who has already accumulated 13.7 WAR in just 237 games.

No one from Baltimore’s 2009 draft has reached the big leagues, and no one is a Baseball Prospectus top 10 prospect either, so let’s just move on to the 2010 draft.

2010

Hopefully you’ve stuck around this far, because 2010 is when it starts to get good.

1-3 – Manny Machado (SS) from Brito Miami Private School (Miami, FL)

Ummm, this was a nice pick.  I was fortunate enough to watch Machado play a lot last year while I worked for the Orioles, videotaping at AA Bowie.  It was obvious he had the tools and make-up to become an all-star caliber player.  Although I did not think he would find so much success offensively this quickly (I am happy to be proven wrong).  A lot has been written recently about how good Machado is, and it’s difficult to disagree.  It’s early, but he is currently on the short list of MVP candidates, with the 4th highest WAR to date (3.1) in all of baseball.  Oh, and he’s not even old enough to drink yet.

The rest of the draft doesn’t look like it went so well, as no one else has reached the majors.  No one is populating the Baseball Prospectus top 10 prospect list either.  It’s still early for this draft class though, so there’s time for potential impact players to help the big league club.

Matt Harvey and Chris Sale were selected after Machado, as well as some interesting prospects still in the minor leagues, but I’d rather have Machado.

2011

It’s still very difficult to consider the 2011 draft as a success or failure, due to the time needed for draft picks to develop.  But the 2011 selection of Dylan Bundy looks like a strong first round pick.

1-4 – Dylan Bundy (RHP) from Owasso HS (Owasso, OK)

There were reports at the time of this draft that many scouts believed Bundy was good enough to jump straight to the major leagues from high school.  And while I am no scout, after seeing him pitch in Bowie last year, I don’t think that assessment was too far removed from reality.  Bundy has an impressive arsenal of pitches, as well as great command and maturity on and off the field.  Some elbow issues at the beginning of the year has kept him from pitching so far in 2013, but if he’s healthy, he has the ceiling of an ace and probably the floor of a #2 starter.  He was Baltimore’s #1 prospect in 2013 according to basically every prospect list, and ranked #4 overall by Baseball Prospectus.

Two other 2011 draftees show up in the current Orioles top 10 prospect list, including #5 RHP Mike Wright (3rd round) and #6 3B Nick Delmonico (6th round).

Right now, Bundy looks like the best selection the Orioles could have made in this draft, but it’s far too soon to definitively say that.

Orioles Draft Retrospective: 2004-2007

Posted in Draft, Prospects, Rule 4 with tags , , , , , , , on June 4, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

2004

After a strong first round pick in the 2003 draft, the Orioles followed up by using their 2004 first round pick on…

1-8 – Wade Townsend (RHP) from Rice University

…and failed to sign him.  This actually didn’t turn out to be a big deal, as Townsend was drafted at #9 overall in 2005 by Tampa Bay and never made it higher than AA in 2008.  In addition, Baltimore did get a compensation pick the following year for not signing Townsend.  While they did not miss out on a future hall of famer, they did pass on quite a few impact talents (including Neil Walker, Billy Butler, and Stephen Drew), most notably Jered Weaver, who was selected by the Angels at #12 and has accumulated 28.3 WAR in his career to date, most of any player in the first round drafted after Townsend.

Brad Bergesen was the only other player to contribute a positive value to the Orioles (in terms of WAR) out of the 2004 draft.

2005

As mentioned above, the Orioles had a compensation pick for failing to sign Wade Townsend the previous year, giving them two first round picks in 2005.

1-13 – Brandon Snyder (C) from Westfield HS (Westfield, VA)

1-48 – Garrett Olson (LHP) from California Polytechnic State University

Neither one of these 2005 first round picks made much of an impact, but both did make it to the major leagues, so compared to most of the years discussed so far, things were looking up!  Snyder compiled a total of 106 PA’s in the majors, with 37 of them coming with the Orioles between 2010 and 2011 (the others with Texas in 2012).  He is currently playing for the Red Sox AAA affiliate.  Olsen, meanwhile, stuck around in the majors a little longer, though with worse results.  He’s pitched almost 300 innings in the big leagues (about half with Baltimore in 2007 and 2008), and has a career ERA of 6.26.  He appears to be no longer playing baseball for a living.

Baltimore selected Nolan Reimold in the 2nd round of the 2005 draft, but due to his multitude of injuries, it can be argued that David Hernandez has been the most valuable player selected by the Orioles in 2005 (13th round), since he was part of the trade to acquire Mark Reynolds.

The first round of the 2005 draft was full of major league stars (seriously, click HERE to see who was drafted that year in the 1st round), but the majority of those players selected were off the board when Baltimore came up to pick.  That doesn’t mean they made the best selection though as they left Jacoby Ellsbury, Matt Garza, and Clay Buchholz on the board.

2006

Once again, the Orioles found themselves with two first round draft picks (pick #32 as a result of losing B.J. Ryan in free agency), and once again, they managed to accomplish very little with both of them.

1-9 – Billy Rowell (3B) from Bishop Eustace Preparatory School (Pennsauken, NJ)

1-32 – Pedro Beato (RHP) from St. Petersburg College

It’s starting to become a little more clear as to why the Orioles 2012 trip to the playoffs was their first one since 1997, as another 1st round pick, this time Billy Rowell never set foot on a major league baseball field, topping out in AA in 2011 (and not playing since).  Beato has made it to the major leagues, but not for the Orioles, as he was selected by the Mets in the 2010 Rule 5 Draft.  He hasn’t done much with his time in MLB though, with a 4.67 career ERA in 79 innings.  He is currently pitching for the Red Sox AAA affiliate.

Two players available when the Orioles made their first selection were Tim Lincecum and Max Scherzer, selected by the Giants and Diamondbacks (respectively) immediately following Baltimore’s pick of Rowell.

As of now, it looks like the best pick to come out of this draft may be Zach Britton, who was selected in the Round 3.  Once a top prospect, Britton has been disappointing to date, but still has enough potential to possibly become a mid-rotation starter.

2007

In the 2007 draft, we finally get a little bit of good news.  The Orioles only had one pick in the first round, but used it wisely on…

1-5 – Matt Wieters (C) from Georgia Institute of Technology

Wieters has been the dependable Orioles backstop since 2009.  He may not have lived up to the high offensive expectations put on him when drafted (at least not yet), but it would be difficult to argue that this was a bad selection, as Wieters has been good offensively, great defensivly (2 gold gloves), and excellent in his durability, (tied for 1st in games caught from 2010-2012).  He has accumulated 13.0 WAR to date, all for Baltimore.

Baltimore really could not have done any better with this pick, although one could make the argument that Jason Heyward would have been a better selection (12.8 career WAR to date). Heyward is younger by 3 years, and probably has more potential at this point, but finding an all-star caliber catcher is usually more difficult than finding an all-star caliber right fielder, so it’s safe to say the Orioles shouldn’t regret this pick.

The Orioles also selected Jake Arrieta in Round 5 (we’ve already covered some of his issues previously), but no one else of significance has contributed to the big league club.  And since that draft was now 6 years ago, it’s slim that anyone else will.  Since I don’t want to end on a down note, here’s a fun fact…Baltimore actually drafted Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson in the 41st round of the 2007 draft…he didn’t sign.

Orioles Draft Retrospective: 2000-2003

Posted in Draft, Prospects, Rule 4 with tags , , , , , on May 31, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

With the MLB Rule 4 Draft rapidly approaching (the festivities begin June 6), I’m sure that you have seen a lot of draft analysis (as well as mock drafts) all over the interwebs from your favorite baseball writers.  While I appreciate the inclusion among your favorite baseball writers, I am not planning to write up any kind of draft preview (although maybe I’ll do a draft recap).  Instead, I thought it would be interesting to take a brief look at how well the Orioles have drafted since 2000.  We’ll take a look at the team’s first round picks, a first round pick they passed on (but shouldn’t have), and any successful picks they made in later rounds.

2000

The Orioles had two first round picks in the 2000 draft (numbers 14 and 32 overall), the second pick a result of losing Arthur Rhodes to free agency.

1-14 – Beau Hale (RHP) from University of Texas at Austin

1-32 – Tripper Johnson (RHP) from Newport HS (Bellevue, WA)

Don’t get upset at yourself if you’ve never heard of either of these two.  Both players topped out at AA, and neither has played since 2007.  In fact, no one from the Orioles 2000 draft has made it to the major leagues, except for their picks in each of the rounds from 32 to 36, with only one out of five providing positive Wins Above Replacement (WAR).  That lone player was Tim Stauffer (never signed with the Orioles), who has a career 2.1 WAR (according to Fangraphs), all with the San Diego Padres, who drafted him in 2003.

The biggest prize in the first round the Orioles skipped over from that draft was none other than one of my favorite players, Chase Utley (career 52.9 WAR), who was selected by the Phillies at #15, immediately following the Orioles pick of Hale.

2001

The Orioles once again had multiple first round picks, the two extra being given as a result to losing Mike Mussina as a free agent.

1-7 – Chris Smith (LHP) from Cumberland University

1-19 – Mike Fontenot (2B) from Louisiana State University

1-31 – Bryan Bass (SS) from Seminole HS (Seminole, FL)

Fontnenot is the only one of the 3 to make the big leagues, accumulating 4.8 WAR, mostly for the Cubs and Giants (the Orioles traded Fontenot and others in 2005 for the washed up remains of Sammy Sosa).  The one from the first round that got away in 2001 was David Wright, but in fairness, he was drafted 38th overall, so just about every team their shot at him.

The Orioles got their current closer Jim Johnson in the 5th round of the 2001 draft, but really nothing else.

2002

The Orioles had one first round pick in 2002, and they used it on…

1-4 – Adam Loewen (LHP) from Fraser Valley Christian HS (Surrey, BC)

Loewen contributed a total of 1.7 WAR on the mound for the Orioles between 2006 and 2008.  In 2011, he briefly returned to MLB as an outfielder for the Blue Jays (currently on their AAA team).  The only other player from that Orioles draft that produced a positive WAR was John Maine (all of that positive value was with the Mets, who traded for him in 2006).

I don’t know what everyone was thinking leading up to this draft, but looking back, this draft was loaded in the first round, and the Orioles passed on all the following players still on the board when they took Loewen.

#6 – Zack Greinke

#7 – Prince Fielder

#9 – Jeff Francis

#12 – Joe Saunders

#15 – Scott Kazmir

#16 – Nick Swisher

#17 – Cole Hamels

#20 – Denard Span

#25 – Matt Cain

Not the finest moment in the Orioles draft history.

2003

While the Orioles didn’t get much from the 2002 first round pick, they made up for it the following year by selecting…

1-7 – Nick Markakis (OF) from Young Harris College

With a career total of 21.0 WAR to date (all for the Orioles), I think it’s safe to say that this was a good first round pick, regardless of who was still on the board.  But just out of curiosity, let’s take a look and see who was still there in the first round.  Names such as John Danks, Chad Billingsley, Aaron Hill, and Carlos Quentin were still available, but none of them have been more valuable than Markakis.  In fact, Markakis has been the most valuable 1st round pick (according to WAR) from the 2003 draft, period.

Despite the excellent Markakis pick in the first round, the Orioles got nothing else of value out of the 2003 draft.  We’ll stop on that somewhat positive note and pick it back up with 2004-2007 next time.