The Major League Baseball Draft begins on Monday and fifty rounds and two days later, the Orioles will hopefully continue to build up the farm system in an effort to end the team’s 13 year losing streak, and if manager Dave Trembley is given his walking papers this morning, give the next manager( or a few managers from now) solid major league talent to get this team back on the map.
The Orioles have the #3 overall pick in the draft, marking the fourth straight year that the Orioles are drafting in the Top 5( Billy Rowell, Matt Wieters, Brian Matusz, and Matt Hobgood). A lot of the experts expect Andy MacPhail and scouting directors Joe Jordan and Dave Stockstill to continue buying into MacPhail’s philosophy of “growing the arms, and buy the bats”.
The projection from a lot of the experts out there is that the selection will be high school pitcher Jameson Taillon out of The Woodlands High(Texas). It would be the third straight year the Orioles took a pitcher with their first pick and the second straight year they took a high school pitcher with that first pick (Hobgood).
Taillon, 18, has tremendous size (6’7 230 lb) and he has a great prescense on the mound. He has four pitches in his arsenal, including a fastball, curve, slider, and changeup.
If the Orioles go that route, Baltimore could have a stacked rotation in a few years( Matusz, Tillman, Arrieta, Hobgood, Taillon). We’ll just have to wait a little bit more( I know its hard O’s fans).
There isn’t as much coverage out there for a 50-round MLB Draft as there is for a NFL Draft, but here is a top ten mock draft according to Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci:
1. Nationals: Bryce Harper, C, College of Southern Nevada: Combining this guy with Stephen Strasburg is going to give the Nationals one of the best battery combinations in the league when this guy comes up. He hit 28 HRs in a JUCO wood-bat league and is the consensus #1 pick.
2. Pirates: Manny Machado, SS, Brito High(Miami): Some say this guy could be the next A-Rod. This guy has true power, the scouts say.
3. Orioles: Jameson Taillon, RHP, The Woodlands High(Texas): A tall, overpowering right hander who will join Matt Hobgood as two young starter prospects for the rebuilding O’s. Scouts say that he actually has a great changeup, but he doesn’t use it enough.
4. Royals: Drew Pomeranz, LHP, Mississippi: While his strikeout numbers are impressive this year(134 K’s in 94 innings), he has had some up-and-down performances stopped him from going in the top 3.
5. Indians: Chris Sale, LHP, Florida Gulf Coast: The NCAA’s strikeout leader is moving up the board quickly, accoring to Verducci.
6. Arizona: Deck McGuire, RHP, Georgia Tech: With Brandon Webb’s injuries mounting over the last two years, the Diamondbacks need to grab a pitcher here( and there’s plenty) because their farm system is thin.
7. Mets: Matt Harvey, RHP, North Carolina: A smart pick for the Mets considering how much their rotation has struggled this year behind Johan Santana. Verducci also says the Mets could go with high school slugger Josh Sale or Middle Tennessee State Bryce Bentz.
8. Astros: Karsten Whitson, RHP, Chipley High(Florida): He has a mid 90’s fastball and he’s only in high school.
9. Padres, Alex Cox, 3B, Arkansas: He could go higher because he is probably the best college hitter in the draft other than maybe Harper, who is the total package. Cox’s versatility can also help; he can play both second and third.
10. Athletics: Stetson Allie, RHP, St. Edward High(Ohio): This guy is a flamethrower; he can throw 98 MPH on the gun. Future closer in the making? He is also a pretty good hitter as well.
Here are some other mock drafts out there:
1. AOL Fanhouse