Jordan looking for some toughness in this draft

A familiar criticism of the Orioles at times in recent years has been that there is a losing culture around the organization.

They need more players that have toughness and just refuse to lose, some say.

O's scouting director Joe Jordan said, in addition to talented players, he is looking for players just like that this year in the First-Year Player Draft, which begins at 7:00 p.m. Monday night.

"I don't want to make a statement against anyone that's here, but what we've really tried to make a point of emphasis this spring is we've got to get some guys that are not going to accept anything less than being successful.

"If it means throwing under someone's chin, fine. If it means taking someone out at the plate or at second base, because that's how the game should be played, fine.

"Our guys (scouts) have been out to find that. They tell me about some players, 'Joe, this is kind of the guy you were talking about.' It's my job to do that and our staff.

"This is a hard game and if you are not willing to fight every night, it's going to get you. They're going to bury you, in the American League East especially," Jordan said.

Jordan will pull the trigger on the third pick in round one on Monday night. It's the Orioles highest selection in the draft since Ben McDonald was the overall number one pick in 1989.

"It's a double-edged sword," Jordan said. "We want to get away from that, but I'm glad this year we do (pick third). I like the players that we're going to be picking from that high."

The Orioles are struggling on offense big time in 2010 and Jordan admits he could be looking for a bat with the Orioles second pick, which will come in the third round.

"What we would like to do is find a college bat, that we like. That may be difficult, because there is not as much inventory with that in the draft. That's what I'd like.

"If there is a player that is rated very highly on our board that has fallen because of signability or an injury or something like that, if they're rated so much higher than a college bat that we like some, then I'll have to make that call. We may have to stay with the best player."

Jordan said he would have 50 to 75 names on his main draft board on Monday and the rest of the players are ranked by position.

Note: Both ESPN and Baseball America predict that high school SS Manny Machado will be the O's first-round pick after the Nationals take Bryce Harper and the Pirates select prep pitcher Jameson Taillon.

Join me Monday for special draft-day coverage.

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