I was trying to figure out just how good or bad the Orioles first round draft picks have been over the last eight to ten years relative to successful franchises. I used the last five World Series champs and looked at their drafts from 2000 to 2006. I know it’s a little tainted because the Red Sox and Yankees have the ability overcome misses by overspending, but humor me.
There are successful names on this list, the likes of: Cole Hamels, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Rodger Ring. Oh, never heard of Rodger Ring? Niether had I until I searched the draft history. There are a bunch of role player types; Brian Anderson, David Murphy, Josh Fields, and Phil Hughes. But very few super stars to this point. Just proving that projecting talent in baseball is an inexact science. Not to mention, many years these teams had no first round pick at all.
Looking at the Orioles, Markakis and Weiters are first round picks. Reimold and Hernandez were both drafted in ’05, albeit fourteen rounds apart. So Adam Loewen blew up his arm and who knows where Wade Townsend is these days. I guess I could find out, but if he’s not with the big club it doesn’t matter for this blog. I do know that Val Majewski is playing for the York Revolution.
The point of all this is that first rounders in baseball miss. As do many of the 17 or so picks a year. My contention is that it is not just player/talent evaluation that makes a team successful it’s player development. The Orioles have invested in their minor league system. Hopefully they have made the same investment in their minor league coaching staff. This team won’t be good over a long stretch unless there is a common goal throughout the organization.