It didn’t take long for some fans to get worked up over the possibility that the Orioles may take high school pitcher Archie Bradley with the fourth pick in tonight’s draft.
Before we go any further, please keep in mind that Keith Law has Bradley rated 5th on his latest top-100 board and Baseball America lists him 9th.
They would not be reaching into the late first-round to draft a player fourth, but Bradley’s name has not been linked to the Orioles much in the last few days and some fans seem thrown by the potential switch to this pick, if it happens that way.
The possibility exists, of course, that this is the player the Orioles wanted all along. It also could be a bit of a smokescreen as the draft approaches, and they will actually take Dylan Bundy or maybe Danny Hultzen. It has happened before.
Also, keep in mind that the draft almost always produces some surprises and there are always players picked that were not linked to certain teams. I would still think Bundy and Hultzen are in play somewhat for the Orioles, but it appears clear that Bradley has entered the picture and a few draft experts like Law now project the O’s will take him.
It doesn’t sound like Bradley would be a cheap or a slot pick to me. He has a football commitment to Oklahoma that whatever team that drafts him would have to buy him out of.
Baseball America wrote this about Bradley in their scouting report on him:
Teams weren’t taking his five-year, $20 million asking price seriously, though he could top the $5.25 million two-sport deal the Dodgers gave righthander/quarterback Zach Lee a year ago.
No one could call that price range cheap if that is what Bradley winds up getting.
Bundy’s price tag could potentially be an issue here. If his demands remain exorbitant right now, any club would have to consider the option to not pick Bundy and have more to spend on other, overslot players.
I guess, however, if the O’s have Bundy as clearly the best pitcher in the draft, it would be hard to pass over that. But we don’t know the price tag, although I am sure some fans would say take him at any price.
Finally, keep this in mind. This is the projection now, that the O’s have Bradley in mind for that pick. It could change 10 times over the next few hours. We’ve seen it before with the draft.
A note from Steve: By the way, since this is my third blog since midnight on the draft, I will come up for air for a few hours and actually cover the O’s game later today. If new info becomes available, I will update it here in this blog or on Twitter where you can find me @masnsteve.
If events warrant a new write up, I’ll post one. Should be an interesting afternoon and evening.
In his final mock draft, Baseball America’s Jim Callis has the O’s taking Bradley fourth overall.
ESPN’s Keith Law projects the O’s to take Bradley.
Here is Jonathan Mayo’s latest mock draft on MLB.com where he has the Orioles taking UVa lefty Danny Hultzen.
Jon Heyman of SI.com has the O’s taking Dylan Bundy in this mock draft out today.
Baseball Prospectus projects the O’s to take Hultzen.