MLB Draft Preview: Who Do The Orioles Take?

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The MLB amatuer draft starts tomorrow at 6 PM est. The draft is an important part of the Oriole’s continued effort to rebuild this franchise from the ground up. We have the 5th pick tomorrow, so we’re in a great position to grab a top flight talent.

Who will it be? From most accounts the O’s are looking to take the best pitcher available on their draft board. Unless UNC 1B/CF Dustin Ackley falls to us or we like USC SS Grant Green enough to take 5th, I agree. This draft is deep on pitching prospects. San Diego State RHP Stephen Strasburg will undoubtably go first, its just a matter of if the Nationals can sign him before the mid-August deadline. Ackley is thought of as the best hitter in the draft and hes expected to go as soon as the second pick by the Seattle Mariners. Theres one other bat expected to go in the top 3-6, and that would be HS CF Donovan Tate, an athletic multi-sport star with a ton of potential. After that there are 10 pitchers that could land in Baltimore when all is said and done.

RHP Aaron Crow was drafted by the Nationals at the top of last years draft but ended up not signing with them and pitching in independent ball before re-entering this year. The college pitchers pegged for the top 15 picks are Fresno State RHP Tanner Scheppers, UNC RHP Alex White, and Arizona State RHP Mike Leake. The high school arms in the same category are RHP Shelby Miller, RHP Zach Wheeler, LHP Tyler Matzek, RHP Jacob Turner, and LHP Matt Purke.

Prediction: While the Orioles could wind up taking any of the 10 names I mentioned in the previous paragraph, I think it’ll be between Crow, Scheppers, Wheeler, and Matzek. I’ll go with Tyler Matzek as my official prediction since I think he has the most potential out of any pitcher in the draft not named Strasburg, plus hes left handed. He would fit in nicely with our already robust collection of minor league arms. But in the end its a crapshoot and I just hope whoever we take turns out. Maybe more importantly than our first round pick, I’d like to see us continue our trend from recent years and draft some players in the later rounds that dropped because of signability issues and sign them to overslot bonuses. Its a great way to reload the farm system quickly.

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