The 2016 MLB Amateur draft starts tonight at 6 PM eastern and can be consumed on all of the MLB platforms.
Your Baltimore Orioles will select 27th overall after getting compensation for losing Wei-Yin Chen to the Marlins this past off-season. Their regular selection was supposed to be the 14th pick in the first round; but they lost that when they signed Yovani Gallardo in the offseason. Instead, the Rangers will select 30th overall as compensation for losing Gallardo.
The Orioles do have four picks in the first 76 selections overall and should be able to find some good value.
Last year the Orioles took Florida St outfielder DJ Stewart with their first pick (25th overall), but so far that selections hasn’t exactly been lauded by the critics. It’s not to say Stewart would be considered a bust this early in his career, but based on the players that were still on the board and how those players have passed Stewart’s productivity so far, it’s looking more and more like a bad selection by the Orioles front office.
High school shortstop Ryan Mountcastle was their second selection (#36 overall) in 2016 and has shown some early promise, but still was considered a reach that high in the draft by most experts. Here’s the rest of the Orioles 2015 draft class and were they were selected. l
The 2016 draft is about as uncertain at the top as an Ubaldo Jimenez start these days.
The Phillies-under the guidance of former Orioles GM/President Andy MacPhail- have the first pick and look to have their eyes on San Diego high school OF Mickey Moniak (La Costa, Ca). He’s a plus runner as well as a plus center fielder who could grow into a Bryce Harper–type body.
A.J. Puk, LHP, Florida is considered the best pitcher in the draft. His stuff is considered by one scout as “undeniable.” Other scouts think he too inconsistent from start to start to be a future ace. Other potential top picks include; Kyle Lewis, OF, Mercer who’s best comp in MLB could be Adam Jones.
Another wrinkle in this year’s class is how a top prospect has tested positive for PED’s days leading up to the draft. Puerto Rican shortstop Delvin Perez was ranked by Baseball America 9th overall in their top 200 list. Additionally, two other top 200 draft prospects tested positive for Adderall.
Baseball America has the Orioles selecting Florida OF, Buddy Reed with their first selection. Here’s how one scout’s opinion on the pick.
“After feeling like it missed last year with D.J. Stewart, Baltimore may be going with the best body available in Buddy Reed.”
I expect the Orioles go try and grab a pitcher with at least one with their next selections at 54, 69, or 91 based on this comment from GM Dan Duquette when talking to MASN’s Steve Melewski.
“Primarily everybody needs pitching right? There will always be a lot of pitchers drafted and I think that is where Gary (Rajsich, Orioles scouting director) is focusing a lot of his work this year.”
And although I’m a “best player available” guy, my gut tells me that the Orioles will go with a pitcher no matter what with their first selection. If I was selecting for the Orioles, I would take either Reed or high school lefty Kyle Muller, who just happened to be named Gatorade High School Player of the Year.
He has signed a letter of intent with Texas, but scouts think he would sign for the right amount of money.