The First-Year Player Draft is now just a week away and the Orioles have the third pick in the the first round next Monday.
It’s their highest pick since they drafted Ben McDonald with the first overall selection in 1989.
Which ever player they select with that pick could cost a lot of money in a signing bonus. O’s scouting director Joe Jordan said that money will not be a factor in deciding which player to take.
“It’s not something for me that will be separator. We are just going to take the highest player left on our board when it’s our turn and we’ll do what it takes to get the player signed.”
So there is no player you would avoid drafting because of his possible signing bonus demands?
“No, not at all. Not if I like them enough, that’s always the ingredient. There are reasons you decide, yes, we will do this. There are some years you just don’t. This year I think we’re fine.”
Many draft projections have Washington taking catcher Bryce Harper first with Pittsburgh then selecting either high school shortstop Manny Machado or prep pitcher Jameson Taillon. The O’s, most project, would take which ever player the Pirates don’t among that pair.
With the Major League Orioles sporting baseball’s worst record, is there more pressure on Jordan this year to get draft talent that can help the O’s as soon as possible?
“There is no one in this draft that will help our Major League team this year. There are college players that could reach the Majors next year. Whether they will end up having the impact, who knows. I’m very aware of how things are going for our Major League club. But there is nothing we can do in this draft to help our Major League team (this year).
“You have to be very careful to look at it short term. It is what’s really the best answer in the long run. Because this thing will turn around. I’m tired of saying it and people are tired of hearing it.
“There are some guys at Triple-A, that, if not already ready, are close to ready to help our club. People don’t get to hear the comments I do from our development guys. They don’t get to read the game reports from the guys in the minors and hear how much progress is being made and what a good job guys like John Stockstill and Brian Graham are doing.
“It’s not as desperate as people think. It’s bad at the Major League level right now and hopefully we can turn that, but it’s not a barren system.”
Jordan will spend all this week in Baltimore meeting with his top scouts and staff to set up his draft board.
“We are all coming in to Baltimore during the day on Sunday (yesterday) and our meetings start on Monday. We’ll get all the names in front of us, watch a ton on film and review every stat and all our information. It’s seven long days of just sifting through it and getting the board built.
“The best thing about this week is it’s me and the people I trust the most in this business. My supervisors, my cross checkers. It’s an opportunity for us to close the doors and bang it out. It’s a great week, I love it.
“We will scout to the end and get our final looks. And not just at the top guys. We want to find another Zach Britton in the third round. We want to find a David Hernandez in the 16th.”
In a recent interview, Jordan said he has narrowed his choices for that third pick, but had not settled on his final choice yet.
“Yeah, it’s down to five or six. It’s not important to have it down to three right now. I don’t have to do that just yet.”
If you missed it, here is another article that was published a few days ago with more from Joe Jordan on the draft.