Sensing a trend toward college players in O's draft

If you look at the Orioles' draft picks this year through 30 rounds, the O's have certainly grabbed much more college than high school talent with the picks so far.

Of the Orioles' picks through the first 20 rounds, they selected 16 college players. Through 30 rounds, they took 21 college and nine high school players.

Over the last three years of drafts combined, from 2008 to 2010, the Orioles selected 100 college players to 49 from high schools.

After the Orioles took high school pitcher Dylan Bundy in the first round, the club went with college pitchers for most of the next several rounds. They took seven pitchers, six from colleges, among their picks in the first 10 rounds.

One last note on high school and college picks: Among the O's picks in the first 10 rounds over the last three years, there was a roughly 2-to-1 edge for college players with 19 selections to 10 high school players.

This year, there was a 4-to-1 ratio as they selected eight college players and just two high schoolers in the top 10 rounds.

Those two high school players, though, are top talents taken by the club. They took Bundy in the first round and later took Nicky Delmonico, a corner infielder and catcher, in the sixth round with the 185th overall selection.

Delmonico has a college commitment to Georgia. If the Orioles can sign the son of former Tennessee coach Rod Delmonico, it will likely take an overslot bonus.

By the way, fans should not fret over whether the O's can sign Bundy. That talk of his demand for $30 million isn't being taken seriously by anyone in the sport. He won't get anywhere near that for his bonus.

The top high school pitcher selected last year - Jameson Taillon, the second pick in the draft by Pittsburgh - got a $6.5 million bonus. Bundy could be in that ballpark. perhaps, but the Orioles seem very confident they can sign Bundy, although it could come down to the mid-August deadline like it usually does for the top picks.

I hope you saw my story on the Orioles drafting K.J. Hockaday in the 14th round out of Bel Air's John Carroll High. Hockaday broke Mark Teixeira's record for career homers in the MIAA conference.

Hockaday has a college commitment to Maryland. Must be nice to be wanted by two of the area's top baseball organizations in college and the pros.

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