Baseball America’s Jim Callis gives the Orioles high marks on the draft

Now that the draft is over, how did the Orioles do?

We won’t know for sure on that for a few years, but few analysts know the draft better than Baseball America’s Jim Callis and he gives the Orioles high marks.

“They got the best pitcher in the draft and depth after that,” Callis said. “They got tremendous quality and quantity. There’s an expression that every scouting director tells every GM on draft day they had the best draft in baseball. But I think this is a very good draft for the Orioles. It has the makings of a terrific draft. We won’t know for a few years for sure but on paper it looks very good.”

Callis believes the Orioles got a special talent in first-round pick, pitcher Dylan Bundy.

“You could argue that they got perhaps the best player in the draft. If not the best player, they at least got the best pitcher in Dylan Bundy,” Callis said. “I know there was some talk they might go for Archie Bradley because Bundy had a $30 million price tag and they were possibly going to go with Bradley.

“But in the end they got Bundy. In a draft with tremendous depth in college pitching, I kept having scouts tell me that Bundy might be better than all the college arms including Gerrit Cole who went number one.

“I don’t know what you could want Bundy to do better. He has stuff and not just the fastball, a good breaking pitch and advanced changeup. He’s got command, athleticism and an easy, balanced delivery. His work ethic is off the charts. I don’t know what more you could want him to do. He’s one of those guys that could make a draft all by himself.”

Callis said the Orioles got a good player and good value in second-round pick, Jason Esposito from Vanderbilt. He liked several other picks including seventh-rounder pitcher Trent Howard, eighth-rounder, outfielder Johnny Ruettiger and 12th-rounder, outfielder Jason Coats. He said several of their picks could have been taken higher.

Coming tomorrow: More of my interview with Callis and his take on specific players the O’s selected and his take on Bundy’s contract negotiations.

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