The three day 2014 MLB First Year Player Draft begins tonight with the first two rounds, as well as the Competitive Balance Rounds A and B, thus meaning that the Baltimore Orioles will not be making a pick until Friday due to their free agent signings of Ubaldo Jimenez and Nelson Cruz and trading their comp pick to the Houston Astros in the deal that brought Bud Norris to Baltimore.
Don't worry though, we have come up with a few names to keep an eye on for when the Orioles get to make their first pick, which comes in the third round, 90th overall.
When it comes to the MLB draft, teams are more inclined to simply take the best player they feel is available instead of a team's need because of the length of time it takes for a draft pick to make it to the big leagues, which is unlike any other sport. Do not get us wrong, if an organization is week in pitching, they will certainly look to add as many quality young arms as possible, but you understand what we are saying. If a team has a hole at third base, it doesn't mean they are going to draft a third baseman tonight in the first round and bring him up in August.
The Orioles will be in an interesting spot as they will see 89 players drafted before they get to make a single pick, so they will certainly look at the best player available when their turn arises. Unlike other professional sports drafts, it is nearly impossible to do a 'mock draft' that is even close to correct after the first 5-10 picks, so the players we listed below are guys we believe may be available, but there is no way to know for sure.
Here are some of the names that we believe may be there at pick 90 for Baltimore.
Daniel Gossett – RHP, CLEMSON – Gossett may be a little bit of a surprise if he does fall to 90, but if he does, he would be a great value for the Orioles. MLB.com notes that "Gossett often works in the low 90s with his fastball and tops out around 94 mph. He does a good job of commanding his heater, which is crucial because it's fairly straight. His best offering is a hard slider, and his changeup gives him a reliable third pitch." Although many feel that he will be better suited as a reliever, anytime you can get a big leaguer in the third round is a bonus.
Pat Connaughton – RHP, NOTRE DAME – Connaughton is a Buck Showalter type of guy as he does not only play for the baseball team, but also plays on the basketball team and we have heard Showalter speak out about how kids need to play more than just baseball and Connaughton fits the bill. He is a presence on the mound as he is 6'5'' and 215 pounds and has a fastball that reaches the upper 90's with a decent breaking pitch. Since he plays both baseball and basketball, his pitching mechanics are not the best, which could bode well for the Orioles pitching development team to groom him their way.
Dylan Davis – OF/RHP, OREGON STATE – We really like Davis and one of the reasons is that you could be drafting an outfielder or a pitcher has Davis has excelled at both in his collegiate career. He has some serious power, but his approach at the plate needs some work. He has a cannon for an arm in the outfield, which is to be expected since he also pitches, but he is not the fastest outfielder out there. On the mound, he is another that would project as a reliever as he rarely has an extended outing in college, so transitioning him to a starter at the professional level may be quite a task. He has a fastball that has been clocked in the upper 90's. At pick 90, he is worth the spot in that you could test him out at both in the rookie league to determine which avenue appears to be the better way to go for his professional baseball career.
As you can tell, we lean very heavily towards selecting a college player with the Orioles first selection at #90 due to the fact that you expect a college player to be able to contribute sooner and many high school players may refuse to sign if drafted later than the first couple of rounds.
As we mentioned before, Baltimore will not make a selection on Day 1, but will get going in the third round, 90th pick overall, and select 16th each round in rounds 4-40.
The 2014 Draft consists of 40 rounds. Day 1 features the first round, Competitive Balance Round A, the second round and Competitive Balance Round B. The Draft will continue at 1:05 p.m. ET on Friday and Saturday. Day 2 covers rounds 3-10, and Day 3 features rounds 11-40.
Come Sunday, we will have a new flock of baby birds and we will bring you some notes on the Orioles draft choices next week.
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