While he was not talking in any specifics about tonight’s draft, Orioles manager Buck Showalter was asked his take today on the age-old draft question: Should a team take a college player that can get to the majors quicker, as opposed to a high school player that could eventually be the better player?
“I think it depends on who they are,” Showalter said. “If you look at, for us to get where we want to go, we hope one of the guys we might draft become a one or two starter. For us to challenge consistently (in this division), we have to have people that can match up with their starting pitching. And position players and everything and that can be high school or college.”
So sometimes you look more for the upside over a player that gets there quicker?
“Yes, exactly. It’s the biggest jump in professional sports, I’ve said it a million times, from the minor leagues to the big leagues. Same with amateur players,” Showalter said.
“I think you make a mistake pigeonholing yourself into one or the other. Looking at places that go all high school or all college, (those teams) have had real challenges with that. I’ll tell you what’s become real popular is JuCo pitchers. You look at the media guides, there are a lot of JuCo guys pitching in the big leagues.”
This may not give any specific insight into tonight’s draft for the Orioles, but it’s interesting that he mentioned the upside with a player that might become a No. 1 or No. 2 starter over one that gets there quicker.
Coming tonight: I’ll recap what O’s scouting director Joe Jordan says later tonight after the Orioles make their selection around 7:25 p.m. or so. Later tonight, you can call in and talk live about the O’s draft and this game tonight (oh yeah, the game) when I host Baltimore Baseball Tonight at 10 p.m. on 105.7 The Fan in Baltimore.