NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Gary Rajsich just finished his first year as Orioles director of scouting and now he and his staff are deep into preparations for the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. Rajsich is here with the Orioles' staff in Nashville for the Winter Meetings.
Earlier today, I talked with Rajsich for a video interview in the busy lobby here at the Gaylord Opryland Convention Center and Resort.
Rajsich is pleased with the progress his first draft class made this season in the O's minors.
"We think some of our guys progressed very nicely through our system. The early years, their first years, a lot of it is just getting used to pro ball and the lifestyle. They were able to produce and fit in nicely, so we're encouraged that they'll be able to advance a level or two next year and keep improving."
After selecting Kevin Gausman with the fourth overall pick last June, now, after the Orioles won 93 games, Rajsich won't make his first pick until the 24th selection next June.
"We think it's going to be a deep draft so we think we'll get a good player down there," he said. "Personally, I don't really like drafting at the top because that means then our major league club wasn't very good the year before so I don't mind picking down in the draft. The draft next year is deep enough and we'll find a good player."
Rajsich said Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette keeps close tabs on the club's draft prep and he likes it that way.
"He's very involved in the draft," Rajsich said. "He watches video and he's very active in the draft room, leading up to the draft. He comes to our pre-draft workout at Camden. I like that, it makes us feel we're an important part of the ballclub."