When the First-Year Player Draft rolls around come June will the O’s be in the market for a position player or another pitcher?
Some wonder if, with a farm system stocked pretty well with pitching but some say short on position player talent, the O’s will opt for the position player this time.
The Orioles have the third pick in the draft following Washington and Pittsburgh.
Andy MacPhail was a guest on the Scott Garceau show Tuesday on 105.7 FM the Fan in Baltimore, the O’s flagship radio station.
He was asked about the club’s thinking with its top pick for this June.
“I talked to (scouting director) Joe Jordan and we rely on him to make the picks. I do get the sense from him, where we are selecting, which is third, he’s very confident we’ll have a high-quality player there. There are position players and pitchers there.
“I do think if you look around our club, in the end we’ll be guided by what Joe thinks is going to be the best player. But, if you look at our club with Jones, Pie and Tejada, it is easier to procure a position player than to get a meaningful pitcher.
You just have to look at the free agent market to see the kind of contract that free agent pitchers get. They are more vunerable because they have been pitching longer. You saw what it took to get a C.C. Sabathia or Burnett, now Josh Beckett.
“They are expensive and they are fragile. It seems to me, you can find a bat a lot easier than you will find a meaningful starter. At the same time, as Joe points out, you are likely to get luckier in the draft with pitching beyond the first round or two than you are with a position player.
“So I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t pick a position player third in the country this June depending upon what was out there. If he thinks it’s going to be a meaningful bat that will be in the middle of our lineup for some time.
“I’m more into the philosophy as we were when we selected Brian Matusz. At that time, Joe was sorting through Smoak, a switch-hitting first baseman or Matusz. I was glad he came down on the side of the pitcher. To me, they’re irreplaceable and if you have one they can make such an impact on your season.”