Will the O's be thinking offense in the draft?

Many fans are wondering if the Orioles will make a concentrated effort to add some offense in the First-Year Player Draft that begins with the first round tonight at 7 p.m.

With the third overall pick in round one tonight the O's could wind up with prep pitcher Jameson Taillon or high school shortstop Manny Machado. Most draft projections have the O's taking one of those young players, which ever the Pirates don't select with the second pick.

After that, there are indications the O's will possibly look to add some offense, maybe some college hitters, over the next several rounds of the draft.

I asked scouting director Joe Jordan if offense will be a focus for him in this draft?

"I don't feel like we haven't done that (in recent drafts), to be frank about it. In 08, when we took Matusz at one, we followed up with two high school position players that we really liked. I love what they've done. (Xavier) Avery is doing nothing but getting better and L.J. Hoes is one of the best hitters we have in our system.

"The inventory can run out pretty quickly. Last year we took Tyler Townsend and he's been hurt and we've got to get him on the field, but you know, that was a priority, was a college bat. Givens was a position player that we had evaluated in the second round.

"For two straight years, we have followed up with position player, position player. We're aware of where we're at. We've got to get some of these guys healthy and get the development going. Get them to Double and Triple-A so we can give Andy some options.

"I feel very responsible for some of the situation we're in that, he hasn't had the options. I mean, he hasn't. Hell, I've got to be honest about it. Brandon (Snyder) is hitting .230 or something in Triple-A and he needs to be hitting .280 and giving us the option to come up here and put him at first base.

"But he's not doing it right now. Reimold came up here last year as a rookie and did a great job. He's had some stuff going on and we've got to get him back. Bottom line is I haven't given him enough options."

The Orioles will have just one selection tonight as the draft will continue only through the supplemental first round picks.

The draft resumes with the second round at Noon on Tuesday.

Join me later today for some special draft-day coverage.

O's selections in the draft:
Round one - 3rd overall pick
Round two - no selection
Round three - 85th pick
Round four - 118th pick
Round five - 148th pick

The O's will have a selection every 30 picks thereafter through the 50th and last round.

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