Scouting directors have turned the corner and are heading home in the First-Year Player Draft.
There are thirty rounds now in the books and today the clubs select for rounds 31 through 50 when the draft resumes at Noon.
O’s scouting director Joe Jordan talks about his goals for today and those final 20 picks.
“Obviously the (draft) board has been decimated, but we’re going to look for whose got top end. Do we have the ability to chase another guy or two?
“If there are rosters that need to be filled, we’ll attack that as far as Aberdeen, Bluefield and the Gulf Coast League. That’s really what the day is about.”
In round five on Tuesday, the Orioles took switch-hitting third baseman Connor Narron whose father Jerry was an O’s coach in 1993 and 94.
The younger Narron, from C.B. Aycock high school in Goldsboro, North Carolina may not be easy to sign, but Jordan expects it to happen.
“He’s a kid where it may take a little time to get it done. But we feel good about what it’s going to cost, his desire to go play and it’s just a matter of doing it the right way. He’ll be playing, he’ll be playing this summer.”
Narron does have a college commitment to North Carolina.
In round six, the O’s selected Cal Golden Bear RHP Dixon Anderson, who went 5-4, 5.17 this season with 45 strikeouts in 76 2/3 innings.
“He fell because he didn’t have a good year and he wanted some money,” Jordan said. “Some of my best scouts on staff saw some good days and had good numbers on him.
“We have some work to do on the delivery. But it’s a power sinker, the guy can really sink the ball. We try to focus on those type of fastballs in each draft. But like I said, I’m working off a couple of guys in my room that really saw him good. I trust our pitching development like I’ve said many times. I think it’s a good fit, a really good fit.”
Four of the Orioles first six draft picks are college players, and Jordan said he thought the picks could fall that way.
“It seemed like that’s how our board was set up. So many of the high school players that are going to demand money, we knew were going to go from pick number four to pick 84. And, so we really tried to position as many of the college guys that we like on our board where we had a chance to get them once we started picking again (after not having a second-round pick).
The O’s drafted five catchers and three shortstops among their picks in the first 30 rounds.
“We knew what we wanted to do in the first round. Beyond that we just got some kids that we wanted that happened to play those positions.”