O's have already come to terms with some draft picks

Orioles scouting director Joe Jordan said he could not yet give us the names, but that the club has come to terms with some of its draft picks already.

"We have actually come to terms, I'm not going to give the names yet, but we've come to terms with at least two of our top 10 round picks. We are really, really close on a couple of other guys. There are three players in our top 10 still playing, so no work has been done on them. I expect that to happen in the next few days," Jordan said during a Camden Yards press conference with reporters today.

"I think we got some good value on things and we took a couple of players that we will follow closely this summer. It gives us a chance to go from having a strong draft to maybe having an exceptional draft."

Jordan admitted this to reporters today: Dylan Bundy was not the highest rated player on his draft board.

"No he wasn't. He was not the top player on our board but he was up there. I'll be honest, he wasn't on top of it."

Jordan talked about taking so many college pitchers early in this draft.

"We have some good pitching prospects (on the farm) but starting pitching-wise we felt like it had gotten a little thin at the top of the system, so the way the draft came off, we targeted right. College pitchers that we felt like we could get in the system and if they do what we expect them to do, they could get to the middle of the system fairly quickly. I like the arms," Jordan said.

He was asked if his draft budget is similar to last year when the Orioles spent about $9.2 million on draft picks.

"When this thing shakes out in August, we'll look back and say they had all the support that they needed to do what they wanted to do."

Several draft analysts have characterized the Orioles 6th-round pick, Nicky Delmonico from a Tennessee high school as being potentially difficult to sign. Jordan agreed that could be the case.

"Yes. He's the type of player that, if you look at three years from now, if he goes to school and does what we expect him to do, his draft position will be better than it was this year. But he's also a player that, boy you have to choose your words carefully. Yeah, he's going to be tough (to sign). We like him, but again, that's a long way down the road until we can see if that is going to be a possibility."

Jordan said Delmonico is likely to play third base if signed and could also play some in the outfield, but probably not at catcher. He did catch some this year.

Jordan said second-round pick, Vanderbilt infielder Jason Esposito, who played some shortstop in college, would likely play at third or second in the pros.

With the Orioles dropping their Bluefield affiliate and one Dominican Summer League team after last year, Jordan said, that would have an impact on this draft.

"We are not going to sign near as many players as we have the last few years. There's no need to. We are going to be able to concentrate our assets where we want to. We won't have to fill rosters near to the extent that we have in the past," he said.


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