For the Orioles scouting staff, the home stretch has arrived.
Months of scouting, watching video, talking to coaches and players, and writing reports culminates in what has happened the last two days with the actual drafting of players.
Ten rounds of this draft is in the books and the draft concludes today, starting at 1 p.m., with rounds 11 through 40.
In an interview last night after day two was in the books, O’s scouting director Gary Rajsich looked ahead to today. He said the deeper the draft goes, the more he relies on his staff. He and his top national scouts spend most of their time scouting the top players that have already been drafted.
“We are going to try and get deep into our scouts’ lists to see who they really like (today),” Rajsich said. “This is the part of the draft where the area scout really gets to show his colors and get those guys he really feels strongly about.
“You have to really listen to your scouts and what they are recommending to you because, obviously, the crosscheckers and myself don’t get down to (scout) these guys much.”
Will there be any specific areas of focus for the Orioles today?
“No, we are still after the best pitchers and players,” Rajsich said. “At some point, maybe down late 20s or maybe 30th round or so, we’ll address a need in the organization. But I stress to my people we still want prospects there. We don’t want just a guy filling up a position.”
One intriguing player the Orioles added yesterday was a left-handed pitcher from Canada. The Orioles selected 17-year-old Travis Seabrooke from Crestwood Secondary School in Ontario in the fifth round Friday.
“He is a player that we targeted last summer and liked,” Rajsich said. “He’s 6-5 and 210 pounds, and we think he can be a real good one. Got a pretty good sinker, curveball and changeup, and we plan to develop him as a starter.
“He is on the Canada junior national team and those guys play quite a few games. Most recently, we scouted him in the Dominican Republic. He pitched five strong innings, struck out seven and gave up only two hits against some of the better high school Dominican hitters. We are pleased with how far he has come in the year we’ve been scouting him.”
Even though the draft isn’t even over yet, Rajsich has a pretty good idea of the number of players he expects to sign.
“Last year, we were around 30 and I expect it will be about the same,” he said.
The Orioles drafted one player Friday that might be called a signability pick. They selected Fresno State catcher Austin Wynns in the 10th round.
The recommended slot amount signing bonus for that pick is $135,300. If the O’s sign Wynns for less, they can use any savings elsewhere in the draft. But if he doesn’t sign, they lose that money. The O’s are expected to sign Wynns for less than that amount and that savings can be used on other signing bonuses.
As a college senior, Wynns does not have the bargaining leverage of possibly returning to college to play another season. The Orioles like Wynns’ potential but they also used a strategy here that many teams, including the Orioles, employed last year in drafting a college senior to help with their allotted draft budget.
Check back on my blog today for more draft coverage.
Click here to watch my segment with Tom Davis on “O’s Xtra” on MASN last night when we discussed the draft and some of the Orioles’ top picks.
Look here: It is a longshot to get a star player on the final day and in the final rounds of the draft, but it can happen. Click on this picture provided by MLB.
The Orioles drafted former reliever David Hernandez in the 16th round and in recent years like some players taken late in the draft in Oliver Drake in round 43 and current Frederick pitcher Tim Berry, taken in the last round, round 50 in 2009. The draft doesn’t even have that many rounds anymore.