Today we continue a series of articles on the Orioles’ 2009 draft picks.
To get more information on the players, we are going to the man that drafted them, O’s scouting director Joe Jordan. Earlier, Joe provided his thoughts and analysis on the O’s selections in the top ten rounds.
In this article he discusses players taken from Rounds 11 through 16. In a follow up next week, he’ll talk about some later round picks.
All the quotes in the article are from Jordan.
Round 11 - Catcher Michael Ohlman, Lakewood Ranch HS, Bradenton, Florida.
The 19-year-old right handed hitter goes 6’4”, 205 pounds. The O’s signed him to a well-over slot bonus, reported to be $995,000. He got into just a few games very late in the year last summer with the Gulf Coast O’s and went 2 for 11 with one RBI.
“We had him evaluated in the top couple rounds. He struggled at the tail end of the spring and his signability was such that he slid in the draft. We liked him enough to take him and watched him all summer.
“He’s a big, strong kid that can really throw. His catching has improved, I really like what I see. We had some questions of what kind of catcher he’s going to be, but one of our best minor league rovers is (catching instructor) Don Werner. The kids gotten better.
“He’s going to be good behind the plate and he can really throw. Physically there are a lot of tools there. He was worth some money and we obviously gave him some money.”
Is his best tool the potential for power? “Yeah, there is potential there for real power, but he can really throw too. It’s an above average arm. To have a guy that can go behind the plate and catch and has the arm to be effective against a running game and then the fact he has power. He’s young with work to do but there is a lot to work with here.”
Later is it possible he would need to move to another position? “I think he is athletic enough to go to another position without any problems. But I don’t see the need for it. I like what I see behind the plate with him, he’s a catcher.”
Does he have a chance to make a full-season team? “I don’t know if that will happen. It’s up to what the guys in player development see the next three weeks. I don’t have a great feel for it. In my mind he’ll probably be with a short-season club, but if he has a good camp they may decide to go another route, I don’t know.”
Round 12 - OF Steven Bumbry from Virginia Tech.
The 5’11”, 185 pounder is a lefty hitter and thrower. He will turn 22 April 4th and is from Lutherville, Maryland where he played at Dulaney High. Yes, he is the son of former O’s leadoff hitter Al Bumbry.
Last year at Aberdeen, he hit .234-2-10 in 45 games, but struck out 55 times in 128 at bats. He missed some time with the IronBirds with a hamstring injury.
“Athletically and with the tools he has, he doesn’t belong in the 12th round. He had some struggles with contact last year in college and ended up slipping. But he’s got bat speed and strength and can really throw and can play center field.
“There was no reason not to take him, we had the money to sign him. I like what we got in the 12th round. He has to make adjustments like all these guys have to do. But it’s a good package to work with and I’m excited. We got a good player in the 12th round, no question.”
He had some injuries last year at Aberdeen, did he have any issues in college with injuries? “I don’t think so, maybe a little here and there. He’s healthy now, I just saw him today and he looks really good.”
Round 13 - IF Ty Kelly from UC-Davis.
Kelly goes 6’0”, 180 and is a switch hitter. He is from Tracy, California and will turn 22 in July. Last year, in 61 games at Aberdeen, Kelly hit .265-1-18, but batted just .179 after the All-Star break.
“He had a good summer, I didn’t see him play in college. But he has the skill to hit. College players that have the skill to hit and can play different positions, that’s a good pick. We’ll get him going this summer and see what happens.”
What is his best defensive position? “I didn’t see him in the summer to know for sure, but he can play second and third. He probably profiles better at second.”
Round 14 - RHP David Baker from Hemet HS in Hemet, California.
He goes 6’4”, 190 and will turn 19 on April 17th. Baker pitched in the Gulf Coast League in 2009, starting in mid July. He went 1-0, 2.30 in 8 games. In 15 2/3 innings, he allowed 13 hits with three walks and 20 strikeouts.
“A good pick and good job by our area scout. He’s a good looking kid at 6’4”. He didn’t come from a big program, but he’s got some arm strength with a breaking ball. Ten to twenty (rounds), if you can get a few like this each year, I’m excited about him.”
With high school pitchers are you projecting more what they can be down the road? “No question. We do such a good job with these type of guys, they are not finished projects. With Dave Schmidt as our pitching coordinater, we should try to sign five guys like this every year.
“We can develop pitching. We don’t get in a hurry and we do a good job with these types of guys. He’s got a chance, his stuff will get better, everything is there but it won’t happen over night. We are set up to take and develop these types of guys.”
Round 16 - RHP Ryan Palsha from Diablo Valley Junior College in California.
The 6’1” hurler goes 195 pounds and will turn 20 on May 17. He’s from Danville, California.
Palsha pitched for Bluefield last summer, starting July 19th. He went 2-1, 4.33 with three saves. In 27 innings he gave up 27 hits with just six walks and 40 strikeouts. Over his last three games, covering 8 1/3 innings, he walked none and fanned 15.
“The same area scout that signed Kelly (James Keller) signed this guy. That’s too good of an arm to get him where he got him. I saw him up to 94 or 95 last year and he’s got a feel for a slider.
“I tell my guys every year there is value down in the draft and we have to find it. This organization is willing to invest in that, we gave him some money. That’s a helluva pick in the 16th round.
“What he did last summer, he’s got the weapons to go do that with a full-season club this year and we’ll see what happens. He’s a bullpen guy, but he’s got power to his stuff, it’s a very good arm.”
How does a guy like that fall in the draft? “It’s a junior college thing, you know and maybe a situation where guys didn’t think they could sign him.
“But I’ve got a really good area scout up there and he doesn’t have to have guys in the first five rounds. He knows talent, we had him evaluated higher than that. We even ran into a doubt we could sign him, but in that draft, JK made a phone call and he was signable.”
Who was your scout there? “James Keller. The same guy that signed David Hernandez in the 16th round.”
If you missed our earlier series of articles with Joe Jordan -
Click here as he discusses the O’s top five picks.
Click here for his take on picks six through ten.