In this review of MLB drafts, the Orioles scored well

Baseball America published a very interesting article recently as the publication ranked each major league organization by its draft success in the decade starting in 2010 and running through the 2019 draft.

They ranked the teams in terms of total Wins Above Replacement those drafts produced. They counted WAR no matter for which team it was accumulated. So the Orioles scored for Manny Machado, but also for Zach Davies, for instance.

It may be a surprise to some fans, but the Orioles ranked second among American League East teams and eighth in the major leagues. Over the five drafts from 2010 through 2014, 30 players selected by the Orioles reached the majors and produced WAR numbers. Some players have a negative WAR. That counts too.

The publication included in its top five teams Houston (103.8 WAR), the Chicago White Sox (101), Minnesota (96.1), Toronto (95.1) and the New York Mets (93.9).

Baseball America concluded that, “the Orioles drafted a wealth of talent from 2010 to 2014, which, through either direct contributions or trades, helped them win more games than any other American League team from 2012 to 2016.” And also that, “the Orioles drafts of the 2010s have a chance to look even stronger in a few years - their final three first-round picks of the decade (DL Hall, Grayson Rodriguez, Adley Rutschman) rank among the top 50 prospects in baseball.

Joe Jordan was the O’s scouting director through the 2011 draft. Gary Rajsich served in that role from 2012 through 2018.

The Orioles ranked eighth with 86.7 WAR. That put them ahead of Boston (ninth, 80.9), Tampa Bay (19th at 52.5) and the New York Yankees (28th at 30.6).

The Orioles drafted five players that produced WAR in the majors from the 2010 draft, six in 2011, five in 2012, 10 in 2013, four in 2014, three in 2015 and one in 2016. None yet for the other seasons, but that should soon change through players including Keegan Akin, Cody Sedlock, Hall, Zac Lowther, Michael Baumann, Rodriguez and Rutschman, to name a few.

Mancini-Bearded-Rounds-Bases-Black-Home-Sidebar.jpgHere is the current career WAR for every player the Orioles drafted and signed since the 2010 draft:

36.9 - Manny Machado, 2010
10.2 - Kevin Gausman, 2012
8.0 - Zach Davies, 2011
6.8 - Dylan Bundy, 2011
6.6 - Josh Hader, 2012
5.9 - Trey Mancini, 2013
4.5 - John Means, 2014
2.9 - Mike Yastrzemski, 2013
2.4 - Christian Walker, 2012
1.8 - Donnie Hart, 2013
1.3 - Parker Bridwell, 2010
0.9 - Chi Chi González, 2010
0.9 - Tim Adleman, 2010
0.7 - Tyler Wilson, 2011
0.7 - Stephen Brault, 2013
0.5 - Austin Wynns, 2013
0.3 - Hunter Harvey, 2013
0.3 - Chance Sisco, 2013
0.2 - Austin Hays, 2016
0.2 - Stephen Crichton, 2013
0.2 - Jason Coats, 2011
0.1 - Colin Poche, 2012
0.1 - Jimmy Yacabonis, 2011
0.0 - Nicky Delmonico, 2011
0.0 - DJ Stewart, 2015
- 0.1 - Branden Kline, 2012
- 0.1 - Tanner Scott, 2014
- 0.1 - Ryan Meisinger, 2015
- 0.2 - Scott Copeland, 2010
- 0.3 - Stephen Tarpley, 2013
- 0.4 - David Hess, 2014
- 0.9 - Cedric Mullins, 2013
- 1.1 - Stevie Wilkerson, 2014
- 1.3 - Mike Wright, 2011

While the O’s scored big with Machado, they still had to hit with the pick and did. That one player produced more WAR than the Yankees did combined in 10 drafts with every pick over the same time frame. No player taken No. 3 overall has produced as much WAR as Machado since Evan Longoria, who produced 54.2 WAR after he was taken third in 2006. Machado’s WAR is about equal to every other pick taken third overall combined since 2010.

One could say you should score big with a player taken as high as Machado. But click here to see how many teams picking third could not do that.

Who knew that players like Yastrzemski, Walker and Hart would rank in the Orioles’ top 10 in such a listing.

It is hard to draft well, and this exercise is another example of that. Also, the Orioles fared better than probably a lot of their own fans would believe. They did, in fact, produce homegrown talent that helped them win starting in 2012. And while their first three top picks of the decade were No. 3, No. 4 and No. 4 overall, they didn’t even have a top pick in 2014, when their first selection was No. 90. From 2013 through 2017, they picked no higher than No. 21 overall.

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