The Orioles have come to terms with three more draft picks, including the grandson of Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, although there have not been any official announcements yet by the club.
The O’s have agreed with their eighth-round pick, Notre Dame first baseman Trey Mancini, their 10th-round selection; Fresno State catcher Austin Wynns; and their 14th-round pick, outfielder Mike Yastrzemski from Vanderbilt.
All three players are expected to report to short-season Single-A Aberdeen.
Mancini, who was ranked as the draft’s 230th best prospect by Baseball America, is a player with power potential. For the Irish this year, he batted .389 with seven homers, 54 RBIs and a .431 OBP.
Wynns was a three-year starter and batted .279 this year as a senior with three homers and 24 RBIs.
Yastrzemski hit .312 this season for Vandy in 66 games with 19 doubles, three homers and 43 RBIs. A lefty hitter and thrower, he played on Vanderbilt’s 2011 College World Series team. He may not make it to Aberdeen by opening night this Monday, but should be there a few days after that first game.
Earlier, the O’s came to terms with catcher Alex Murphy out of Calvert Hall, their sixth-round pick, and infielder Jeff Kemp from Radford University, their 33rd-round pick. Kemp, a Bowie, Md., native who played at Baltimore’s Archbishop Spalding High, has already reported to Aberdeen.
Yesterday, Baseball America reported the O’s agreed with their 16th-round selection, 18-year-old first baseman Randolph Gassaway from Riverwood International Charter School in Georgia.
Aberdeen will open a new season in the New York-Penn League at home on Monday night at 7:35 p.m. The IronBirds roster is still a work in progress as some of those draft picks begin to report.
For now, we know that right-hander Sebastian Vader, the club’s 18th-round pick in 2010, will be the IronBirds’ opening night starting pitcher. Right-hander David Richardson, a 17th-round pick from 2010, is expected to start Tuesday night.
Matt Merullo is set to start his first year as Aberdeen manager with Alan Mills returning as pitching coach and Jon Matthews serving as field coach.
Two former players, Paco Figueroa and Scott Beerer, have also joined the staff at Aberdeen as coaches to give the young players sent there plenty of coaching and instruction help.
“It shows the investment that the organization is making in these young players,” Merullo said today about the extra coaches. “Paco has done a great job with the infielders in just the five weeks’ time since he joined us at (extended) spring training.
“We all understand that not just one coach gets through to one player. Nobody has that big of an ago. Millsy has the longest career of all of us. But as coaches, we know it’s not our time anymore, it’s about the kids. As long as we communicate as a staff among us about the message we send to the players, it doesn’t matter who actually delivers it.”
Merullo is a former big league catcher with the White Sox, Indians and Twins. He was also a scout for 13 years. This is his first season in the Orioles organization and he said the energy and instruction that players were getting in extended spring training, he hopes can carryover when Aberdeen’s season begins.
“I was around guys like Milt May, Orlando Gomez, Scott McGregor, Wilson Alvarez. Do the math and you are getting up near 100 years of major league playing and coaching time,” he said.
“Seeing the kids make progress and feel good about themselves is the whole key. The game will let you know how bad you are. Sometimes you need human beings around to remind you how good you are.”
Merullo, a high energy guy himself, wears uniform No. 27 to remind his players to play hard for all 27 outs. He will conduct workouts with his still-developing roster of players the next few days at Ripken Stadium heading into Monday’s season opener.