One of the most important aspects of building a farm system is MLB’s annual first-year-player draft. It begins Thursday with the initial two rounds, and runs through Saturday.
To get us ready for it, Adam Pohl talks with John Manuel, the co-editor of Baseball America, which is considered the premier source for amateur baseball information.
The Orioles have four picks in the first 91 selections, including the 27th overall in the first round. Manuel said that isn’t a bad thing, since this is considered a deeper draft than ones in some past years.
“I think the consensus is that it is a deep draft. It’s a better year to draft 27th as your first pick than usual,” Manuel told Pohl. “Just because the strength of this draft class appears to be more in that 25 to 75 range than it is the one-to-five range.”
Manuel gives some ideas of what the Orioles might do with their top selection – be slightly hesitant with high school pitching but pay close attention in case a top college arm falls. Manuel’s sense is that the Orioles are most interested in college pitching.
And Pohl, the play-by-play announcer of the Bowie Baysox, also chats with Manuel about the University of Virginia program, which again has a top arm in Connor Jones. If Jones falls, Manuel said the Orioles might grab the right-hander from Chesapeake, Virginia.
Manuel also could see the Orioles look at some regional high school hitting prospects, including one in Northern Virginia and another from suburban Philadelphia.
Pohl and our minor league expert, Dean Jones Jr., talk about the Orioles’ and MLB’s drafting philosophy in general.
It’s worth a listen.