A little surprise by the Pirates could really benefit the Orioles in the future.
The first pick went as expected as the Washington Nationals took Bryce Harper. The next two picks were pretty much set, but the order was up in the air. While the Pirates were expected to pass on the high school arm and take the bat, they wound up taking the risk on Jameson Taillon, and it worked out for the Orioles as they landed Manny Machado. Machado’s upside is through the roof with potential to be the best player in this draft.
Machado has more often than not been compared to Alex Rodriguez, both biographically (Dominican born who grew up in Miami) and talent wise. Machado has the size and ability to turn into one of the top power hitters in the league in a few years after he comes up to the majors. He is not overly fast, which may cause for him to move over to third base in time, but it doesn’t really matter because either way, its something the Orioles really needed.
While many did expect the Pirates to take him, giving the Orioles Jameson, and much needed help in the rotation, but to be honest, the Orioles needed Machado more than Taillon. This year, the Orioles are dead last in most offensive categories. Getting a big bat with the upside of A-Rod, can only help that. The Orioles could have passed him up to take another pitcher, but right now the O’s have plenty of pitching prospects and not so many big bats in the minors, or quite frankly on the team.
Only time will tell how Machado will work out, but even though he’s just a high school player, his bat is good enough that he could make it to the majors within two years.
The Orioles do not have a pick until round three as they traded their second round pick in a deal for Mike Gonzalez. Check back for more Orioles coverage and to see if any of the eight Maryland prospect get their names called.