In an interview Wednesday night with MASNsports.com, O’s scouting director Joe Jordan provided an update on his scouting meetings this week. He also indicated he may now know which player he will take with the third pick in the first-round on Monday.
At least he seems to have settled on his first choice at this point.
“I think we have a scenario that we want to happen. But we are spending a lot of time talking about the other scenarios and try not to fall victim to overlook the obvious. I think we know what we want to happen and we’ll spend as much time talking about if that doesn’t happen, how do we handle it and where do we go.”
The latest draft projections from Baseball America’s Jim Callis and ESPN’s Keith Law still have the top three picks going this way on Monday:
1st - Nats take catcher Bryce Harper
2nd - Pirates take shortstop Manny Machado
3rd - O’s select pitcher Jameson Taillon
The Orioles do not have a second-round pick, that was lost as compensation for the signing of reliever Mike Gonzalez. I asked Jordan how that impacts this draft for the Orioles.
“It has an impact. Any time you have to wait 81 picks between your first and second pick, it impacts not only how you prepare for it, but how you look at it.
“I think it will probably have more influence on our third-round pick and beyond definitely than the first pick, it won’t have any influence there. It is what it is, we’ve known all year we don’t have a second-round pick. It’s not something that just was sprung on us and we scouted with that as our gameplan.”
Jordan has said the lack of offense on the Major League level this year and the fact the O’s minors features more pitching than hitting prospects, will not impact what he does with his first-round pick. He does admit he could be thinking more about adding offense starting with that third-round selection.
“I would say we have had that conversation many, many times in that room in three days. And really for the last three and a half months. We just didn’t wake up and think that is something we need to prioritize. I think we are prepared for it. Believe me, we are there with you as far as that way of thinking.”
There is talk that a player like Taillon would seek at least five million in a signing bonus. If the O’s spend that much on the first pick, would it mean fewer signings of over-slot players later in the draft?
“What you do is you run your draft with the expectation of signing as many players as you can. That’s what we’ll do. As the summer goes along, we’ll have to take a look where we’re at. If we like them and want to do that, that is what we’ll do.
“There is always a time where you are at the end of your money and can’t sign any more guys. But we are going to have a complete budget, we fully expect to take some of those (over-slot guys),” Jordan said.
More draft coverage coming: Consider my blogs to be draft central over the next few days. Check the archives for other recent draft stories and coming up between now and the draft will be more stories with Jim Callis and Joe Jordan, plus an interview with Michael Taillon, Jameson’s dad.
I will provide any updates I get on the O’s possible first pick over the next several days and Monday check out this site often for some special draft-day coverage.