The O’s have come to terms tonight with two more draft picks.
They have agreed on deals with high school pitcher Jaime Esquivel, drafted in round 28 and right-handed pitcher Alex Schmarzo from St. Mary’s College in California. Schmarzo was drafted in round 48.
Esquivel got a $225,000 signing bonus.
Meanwhile, the O’s still need to come to terms with top pick, high school shortstop Manny Machado. Scouting director Joe Jordan said there were no contract talks today with Machado but he didn’t expect any and this one, as expected all along, is going down to Monday night’s deadline.
“Well, no, I haven’t spoken with Manny at all. Again, that’s not suprising. This thing will get going tomorrow. It’s an industry wide thing right now, that’s what is going on.
“All hell is going to break loose tomorrow when it comes to signings. There are more first-round high picks that haven’t signed this year than any year since we put in the deadline. It’s just the way it is.”
Jordan remains confident the O’s will sign Machado.
“Absolutely, I haven’t changed. I’m right where I thought I’d be the night before the deadline with the negotiations with Manny Machado.”
Esquivel is 6’3”, 180-pound right-hander out of South Houston High in South Houston, Texas. He had a college commitment to Rice.
“He’s been waiting on us for quite some time and I’ve been putting him off,” Jordan said of Esquivel.
“He’s the first of the backup plans. I kind of expected to sign him anyway, regardless of what we did above us but it would have been tight as far as making everything work.
“I’m very excited about it. I saw him throw and liked what I saw. This kid is walking away from Rice University. He’s a high school pitcher that will take some time, but Rich Morales, our area scout, did a great job with his family and he wants to be an Oriole. That’s what he told us tonight.”
Jordan said Esquivel resembles a current Major League hurler.
“Physically, out on the mound, it’s striking how similar he looks to a young Matt Garza. I mean, it’s scary to me. He looks like a young Matt Garza.
“His fastball velocity is up to 92 and they’ll be more in there once we get him built up some. But he has a really good ability to spin the breaking ball, a really good curveball.
“He’s very competitive. I saw him this summer when it was about 105 in Houston and I really liked what I saw. He’s got arm strength and the ability to spin the breaking ball.”
The 21-year-old Schmarzo goes 6’3”, 210 pounds and is from Palo Alto, California.
“It may not be exciting just on the surface, but this guy has had really good numbers in wooden bat leagues, the Northwoods League the last two summers,” Jordan said.
The Orioles have now come to terms with 36 of their 49 selections from the June draft.