FanGraphs.com took an in-depth look at the 40-man roster makeup of every Major League Baseball team. The findings show that the Orioles’ 40-man roster construction mirrors that of many other teams.
FanGraphs lists 11 Orioles as being acquired by the team through the First-Year Player Draft, with the major league average at 12. It lists seven added via free agency (with the MLB average at seven). There are 13 Orioles that were acquired through a trade (average is 14). There are three added via an international signing (average is four). There were three players added via waivers (average is two) and three through the Rule 5 draft (average is one).
Click here to read the story and see the breakdown for every team.
In using WAR to predict production for the 2016 Orioles, FanGraphs projects this:
* 15.8 from draft (average is 12.3)
* 3.5 by a free agent (average is 6.6)
* 9.3 by trades (average is 12.5)
* 2.0 through international (average is 3.6)
* 1.2 via waivers (average is 0.4)
* 0.4 through Rule 5 (average is 0.2)
If you add that total projected WAR, you get 32.2, which is under the big league average of 35.5 and ranks last among American League East teams. Boston is projected to produce 44.5 WAR, followed by Toronto and New York at 40.6, and Tampa Bay at 35.5.
Now let me say that I come up with different figures for some of the Orioles categories. I count 14 players on the current O’s 40-man that the team originally drafted. I’ve got 13 that came through a trade, three via free agency, four as international signings, four via the Rule 5 draft and two on waiver claims.
My O’s roster breakdown:
Draft picks: Parker Bridwell, Zach Britton, Dylan Bundy, Oliver Drake, Kevin Gausman, Mychal Givens, Brian Matusz, Tyler Wilson, Mike Wright, Caleb Joseph, Matt Wieters, Manny Machado, Christian Walker and Nolan Reimold.
Free agents: Miguel Gonzalez, Ubaldo Jimenez and Chaz Roe.
Trades: Brad Brach, Chris Jones, Chris Lee, Chris Tillman, Andrew Triggs, Francisco Pena, Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones, Efren Navarro, Mark Trumbo, Jimmy Parades and Odrisamer Despaigne.
International: Jonathan Schoop, Dariel Alvarez, Hyun Soo Kim and Henry Urrutia.
Rule 5: Jason Garcia, T.J. McFarland, Ryan Flaherty and Joey Rickard.
Waivers: Darren O’Day and Vance Worley.
There are some blurred lines here. Someone might consider that Garcia was acquired by a trade after the Rule 5 draft, which he was. But I put him in the Rule 5 category since the club had to abide by the Rule 5 rules in using him in 2015.
Some might consider Kim a free agent signing since any team could have acquired him. But I put those four players I listed in the international category because one (Schoop) was signed as an international amateur and the other three played internationally before they were added by the Orioles.
The players who were drafted were selected in eight different drafts. Here is the breakdown:
2008: Drake, Joseph and Matusz
2010: Bridwell and Machado
2011: Bundy, Wilson and Wright
2012: Walker and Gausman
Of those 14 players, there are five that were drafted in the first round: Bundy, Gausman, Machado, Matusz and Wieters. Two were taken in the second round: Givens and Reimold. Two were taken in the third round: Britton and Wright.
Just two were selected in the tenth round or higher, Wilson and Drake. Wilson was taken in Round 10 in 2011 out of the University of Virginia. Drake was a 43rd-round draft pick in 2008 out of the Naval Academy.
It is interesting to note where the O’s stand among other teams with the draft. If we go with 14 Orioles (not 11) as original Baltimore draft picks, only seven clubs have more original draft picks currently on their 40-man rosters. San Francisco has the most at 24, with St. Louis next at 23.
With an average of 12 drafted players on all 40-man rosters and some teams (Oakland and Atlanta) having as few as four, it highlights the draft math we have talked about often here. It is hard to take a drafted player and get him to the majors. It is much, much harder to produce an All-Star or elite player.
Of course, these numbers reflect players originally drafted by an organization and not just any drafted player. Davis was a fifth-round pick that flourished as an Oriole, not with his original team in Texas. Jake Arrieta was a fifth-round pick that hit it big with the Cubs and not the Orioles.
What should we make of all this? Probably no big conclusions can be reached except that teams need to look for players everywhere and talent can be added many different ways. The goal is to assemble a roster that can win in the regular season and postseason, not one that produces the most homegrown players or players that can be listed in another specific category.