Draft day in Major League Baseball has arrived and it’s really the first of three days when teams will draft over 20 rounds. The Orioles have the No. 1 pick in the draft tonight, which will begin sometime not long after 7 p.m. ET. They have 12 picks over the first 10 rounds, and 22 over 20 rounds of selections.
Tonight the draft will run through the second round and then Competitive Balance Round B, so the O’s first four picks will come tonight. The draft resumes Monday at 2 p.m. ET with rounds three through 10, and at the same time Tuesday with rounds 11 through 20.
A few O’s draft notes:
* For the third time in team history, the Orioles have the No. 1 overall pick. They selected Ben McDonald No. 1 in 1989 and Adley Rutschman in 2019.
* The O’s total draft pool of $16,924,000 to sign players is second largest in draft history.
* The Orioles have five selections among the first 81 picks, selecting at 1, 33, 42, 67 and 81.
* The slot amount for the No. 1 pick is $8,842,200 and it is $2,313,900 for the O’s pick at No. 33.
So the O’s have a whopping total of $11.156 million slotted for just their top two picks. That amount is more than the total draft pools for 25 of 30 major league teams this year. Their total pool amount of nearly $17 million is almost two million more than of the next closest team, Arizona, at $15.1 million.
I asked MLBPipeline.com’s Jim Callis how having such a large pool helps the Orioles this year.
“It gives you a great opportunity to add to a minor league system that is already on the rise and in as good a shape as its been in a long time," he replied. "It gives you a lot of resources. That slot amount of around $8.8 million for the first pick, I don’t think they will spend all that, no matter who they select. Even if you take the best player available you are going to save some money there.
“That amount is also so high, if they are willing to go to the five percent overage, which is the penalty to where you don’t lose future draft picks - and they have gone to that line in the past - that gives you another $800,000-plus in spending power too. It’s going to give them the opportunity to get really good players,” he said.
Callis also noted the money alone doesn’t mean it will always work out for a team. In other words, the Orioles could have the extra dollars to sign someone they really like if that player falls to No. 33. But the player might not make it to that pick.
Here is a listing of the Orioles' picks in the first 10 rounds, and the slot amount for each pick.
Teams can go over or under any of those amounts, but any overage must come out of the team's total pool. The slot amount for a pick is lost if a team does not sign that player. Any amount past $125,000 for players in rounds 11-20 comes from the club's total pool amount. Teams can sign non-drafted players after the draft for up to $125,000 each, but any overage must come from the team's total pool. Baseball America reported that players selected after the 10th round who don't sign and then attend junior college can sign as a draft-and-follow for up to $225,000. That money does not count against the pool.
Round 1 (No. 1 overall) – Slot is $8,842,200
Competitive Balance Round A (No. 33) – Slot is $2,313,900
Round 2 (No. 42) – Slot is $1,861,000
Competitive Balance Round B (No. 67) – Slot is $1,026,300
Round 3 (No. 81) – Slot is $793,600
Round 4 (No. 107) – Slot is $571,100
Round 5 (No. 137) – Slot is $426,600
Round 6 (No. 167) – Slot is $319,600
Round 7 (No. 197) – Slot is $249,000
Round 8 (No. 227) – Slot is $197,200
Round 9 (No. 257) – Slot is $167,800
Round 10 (No. 287) – Slot is $155,700
Having five of the first 81 picks provides a great chance for the Orioles to do some damage here. In recent drafts they picked up some key players in similar spots, selecting Jordan Westburg (No. 30), Ryan Mountcastle (No. 36), Gunnar Henderson (No. 42), Keegan Akin (No. 54) and Kyle Stowers (No. 71).
In the top 10 rounds of his three drafts with the Orioles (the 2020 draft was just five rounds), Orioles general manager Mike Elias has made just four picks that were pitchers. The Orioles selected Griffin McLarty in round eight and Connor Gillispie in round nine in 2019. In 2020 they took Carter Baumler in round five, and last year they selected Carlos Tavera in round five.
So their first eight picks in 2019 were position players, and that was true of the first five picks in 2020 and the first five last year also.
The Futures Game: O's infield prospect Gunnar Henderson played third base and batted first for the American League last night in the All-Star Futures Game at Dodger Stadium.
He went 0-for-1 with a walk and reach base twice and scored twice. He walked in the first inning and advanced first to third on a wild pitch and then later scored. He reached on an error and also scored in the third.
The AL team won the game 6-4 over the NL squad.
O's win again, plus draft coverage tonight: The Orioles beat Tampa Bay by that same 6-4 score on Ryan Mountcastle's two-run single in the 11th inning. The Orioles (46-45) won for the 11th time in 12 games and are 22-10 their past 32 games.
Adley Rutschman's pinch-hit homer in the eighth tied this game as the Orioles improved to 5-3 their last eight games versus Tampa Bay after going 3-27 in the previous 30 against the Rays.
The team continues to show character and guts and Saturday's come-from-behind win was the latest example. They will be least a .500 team at the All-Star break.
Tune in tonight at 6:30 p.m. and I will be a part of the coverage on the MASN All-Access Orioles Draft Show. It will air live on our social media platforms on outlets like Facebook and YouTube.
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