Through two days of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft, the Orioles have selected 11 players overall - six position players and five pitchers, with four of the selections being college players and seven from high schools. The Orioles selected four outfielders, three right-handed pitchers, two left-handed pitchers, and two infielders.
Here are the selections so far:
Round 1 (#25) - DJ Stewart, OF, Florida State Univ.
Round 1 (#36) - Ryan Mountcastle, SS, Hagerty (FL) HS
Round 2 (#68) - Jonathan Hughes, RHP, Flowery Branch (Ga) HS
Round 3 (#102) - Garrett Cleavinger, LHP, Univ. of Oregon
Round 4 (#133) - Ryan McKenna, CF, St. Thomas Aquinas (NH) HS
Round 5 (#163) - Jason Heinrich, LF, River Ridge Middle (Fla) HS
Round 6 (#193) - Jay Flaa, RHP, North Dakota State Univ.
Round 7 (#223) - Gray Fenter, RHP, West Memphis (Ark) HS
Round 8 (#253) - Seamus Curran, 1B, Agawam (Mass) HS
Round 9 (#283) - Jaylen Ferguson, CF, Arlington (Tx) HS
Round 10 (#313) - Reid Love, LHP, East Carolina Univ.
The Orioles drafted eight players on Tuesday, the second day of the three-day draft, with selections in Founds 3 through 10. Five of the eight were high school players.
Scouting director Gary Rajsich was pleased with the day for the Orioles.
“Really good,” Rajsich said. “I think we got a good balance of players. We got the players that we wanted, and we feel really good walking away from today.
“Each draft presents something different, and this year is high school-strong, and we drafted into the strength of the draft. The position players in high school are good and we wanted to grab some bats this year and we’ve done that.”
Lefty Garrett Cleavinger was the O’s first selection on Tuesday, which came in Found three. His fastball has touched the mid 90s, and he fanned 29 batters in 13 innings in the Cape Cod League last summer.
“He is a college left-handed power arm with two really good pitches. He throws strikes. He could be close to the big leagues and a fast mover through our system,” Rajsich said of Cleavinger.
Rajsich said he was surprised that high school right-hander Gray Fenter was still on the board when the Orioles drafted in Round seven.
“We realized, talking to their advisor, that we have the funds to do it,” he said of trying to sign the pitcher. “It’s a big arm for us. Maybe a top of the draft, first-day type talent that we were able to get in the seventh round, so we were very excited about that one.”
Baseball America ranked Fenter No. 135 on their top 500 prospects, and the scouting report said this about him:
Fenter has two of the better pitches you’ll see from this year’s prep class, starting with a 90-94 mph fastball that touches 96-97 at its best. His fastball has surprising sink for a 5-foot-11 righthander and he pairs it with an inconsistent, but nasty breaking ball.
“He’s a very mature kid and is strong,” Rajsich added. “Has a live, loose body, so he is going to be durable. He has a fresh arm and only has been pitching a couple of years. He pitched for Team USA last year. He’s been thrown into the kind of competition we like to see young guys go through. He’s just a baby in terms of pitching. So it’s a fresh arm, and his ceiling is high.”
Was he good enough to be drafted as high as the second or third round?
“Yeah he could have,” Rajsich said.
Another interesting pick was Curran in Round 8, who played his high school ball at Agawam in Massachusetts.
“He was here for a workout on June first. He’s a big giant of a kid and really strong. He has a live bat, really swings it hard. We’re looking for great power potential out of him,” Rajsich said.
The draft concludes later today, starting at noon, as all clubs makes selections in Rounds 11 through 40.
“We are going to do what every club is going to do. We’ll look for passed-over guys with talent that have been overlooked,” Rajsich said. “We have a couple of guys that we feel good about that we don’t have to get to right away because we don’t think that everyone has seen them. It will be a long but exciting day.”