Baltimore Orioles 2010 Draft Update: Who's Going To Sign, Who's Not?
We're only one day away from the Major League Baseball draft signing deadline, and so far, it's looking like the Orioles draft is shaping up to be one of the most impressive of any team, and, by the way, one of the more expensive.
As of today, the O's have signed seven of their top ten picks, with the lone exceptions being number three overall pick Manny Machado, sixth-round pick Dixon Anderson, and seventh-rounder Matthew Bywater.
And Machado is pretty likely to get done, since, come on, who doesn't sign their number one overall pick, especially when he's a top three talent? All you would be doing is screwing yourself.
So, here's a quick run-down of notable Orioles draftees, and how likely it is they're going to sign, and for those who have signed, like the above Daniel Klein, what their path to the Majors looks like now that they have signed.
Manny Machado, SS, Brito Miami Private HS
Pay no heed to Machado's parry to Bryce Harper's Facebook post about both players heading to Junior College at Southern Nevada; both of these guys are going to sign.
Both players are also represented by Scott Boras, so you know that the only hold up is deciding how much over slot both will sign. And while Harper is looking to lock down at least $10-12 million, the range for Machado is much less, around $4-6 million.
That's still a load of money and you know the O's are going to try to squeeze every last penny out of that bonus check before they hand it over to Machado.
Baseball America's Jim Callis recently spoke to MASN's Steve Melewski about Machado and stated that while he isn't up to par with all the A-Rod comparisons, he is definitely a better all-around player than fellow shortstop Tim Beckham, who went number one overall two years ago.
Beckham was considered a five-tool shortstop who had the range and defensive chops to stay at short, so the over on that comparison is quite intriguing. However, Beckham has done nothing but struggle since turning pro, so let's hope that Machado doesn't have that same problem.
In any case, look for the O's to ink Machado slightly before the midnight deadline for around $5 million, and for him to instantly become the Orioles top prospect.
Daniel Klein, RHP, UCLA
It was a great move for the Orioles to tab UCLA closer Daniel Klein with their third-round pick, a fantastic move to sign him, and an absolute bargain that they were able to ink him for only $499K, as reported by Baseball America's Jim Callis.
Klein was a closer at UCLA, and will most likely pitch out of the bullpen for the remainder of this season, but his long-term future lies in the rotation, as a starting pitcher.
Right now the plan for Klein is to have him report to Aberdeen, and get a handful of appearances in. After getting his feet wet, the next step is to have him move up and pitch at either Frederick or Bowie in a playoff-type situation. Whichever team is lucky enough to be bequeathed Klein is getting a shutdown closer, who dominated this past season for the Bruins, en route to their first College World Series championship game appearance.
Next season, Klein will make the transition to starting, where he features a plus fastball that has some sink to it, and three average complimentary pitches (curveball, slider, changeup). As a starter he profiles as a mid-rotation pitcher.
Adding Klein gives the Orioles another experienced college arm that could move quickly through the system, a la Ryan Berry, who has already worked his way up to High-A ball.
Trent Mummey, OF, Auburn
Since the O's inked Mummey to a $252k deal back in late June, he's been raking at the plate for Aberdeen, the O's short-season squad.
After a stellar junior season at Auburn, in which he slaughtered SEC pitching to the tune of a .366 average, with 17 home runs, 54 RBI, and 56 runs in only 36 games, the five-foot-ten outfielder is hitting .270 with 15 doubles, two triples, three home runs, 24 RBI, and 28 runs scored in 45 games.
When recently asked about Mummey, BA's Jim Callis said that Mummey was an average player all-around, with the chance for slightly above average across the board. Given the O's lack of five-tool outfielders, especially those with a chance for power, Mummey was a mandatory sign for the organization.
He could work his way up to Delmarva by the end of this season, with a long shot at Frederick to start the 2011 season.
Connor Narron, SS, C.B. Aycock HS
The son of former Major League manager Jerry Narron, Connor was the Orioles fifth-round pick this past June. Despite his mid-round drafting, the younger Narron was widely considered a top-two rounds talent before this season.
However, some poor performances and even poorer reviews about his work ethic tainted his stock and the O's were lucky enough to snag him late, for a signing bonus estimated between $400,000 and $600,000.
The O's put Narron right to work after inking him last week, and he's already managed to squeeze in two games for the team's Gulf Coast League squad. Last night saw him notch his first professional hit. Unfortunately, his debut the night before didn't go as well, as the 18-year-old Narron struck out in all three of his at-bats.
The O's went shortstop heavy in this draft, and Narron could be one of the better pickups, and a definite fail-safe in case they fail to ink Machado. Right now, Narron is almost a five-tool guy, who switch-hits to boot. He has very good speed, and although he may eventually have to slide over to third base, for right now he'll be taking ground balls at shortstop.
Dixon Anderson, RHP, California
I may have spoke too soon when I tabbed Anderson as one of the top 20 prospects in the Orioles system a few weeks ago. At the time it appeared likely that he would sign, but as we creep closer to tomorrow's deadline, there isn't really too much progress with the six-foot-five right-hander from the University of California.
And Steve Melewski from MASN.com is now reporting that any talks between the O's and Anderson are pretty much dead.
Anderson didn't have the kind of season you'd look for in a sixth-round pick (5.17 ERA and a 45-32 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 76.2 innings), but you have to take into account that the big flamethrower was forced into a starting role as a junior, a role he doesn't profile as a professional.
In fact, the O's saw Anderson as a back-end reliever, with the outside shot at him developing into a closer.
He has the mid 90s heat, and his fastball has a ton of sink, ideal for late-inning action. He also tosses a decent curveball, and occasionally tinkers around with a splitter.
The decision might seem odd for Anderson to return to school, especially taking into account that next year's draft class is much deeper than the 2010 class. However, you can't really have a much worse season than the one the righty had, so he very well could improve his stock.
Matthew Bywater, LHP, Pepperdine
The news on Bywater isn't as dismal as on Anderson, but the reports right now are indicating that he too will return to college.
The six-foot-two left-hander has refuted those reports, stemming from comments made by Joe Jordan, director of scouting for the O's, saying that he is still open to signing with the club and that both sides are still in negotiations on a contract.
According to Jordan, however, the team went over-slot with third-round pick Daniel Klein, making it highly unlikely that they'll go over to get Bywater.
If the O's manage to ink Bywater, they'll be getting an innings-eater, who in 13 starts last year for Pepperdine, tossed five complete games and three shutouts. He struck out 83 batters in 97.2 innings and posted a 6-5 record and 2.40 ERA.
If they fail to sign him, he will most likely be the second of Baltimore's top ten picks to return to college.
Wynston Sawyer, C, Scripps Ranch HS
The Orioles inked Sawyer, their eighth-round pick to a contract in late July, and they're very optimistic about the player, who profiles as a power hitter who can stay behind the plate.
At Scripps, Sawyer packed on 20 pounds for his senior year, and made scouts take notice by hitting .400 with ten doubles, two triples and seven homers, and by driving in 38 runs in 32 games.
He also dramatically improved his skills behind the plate, and now profiles as a catcher long-term.
Sawyer has played three games, also for the GCL O's and has yet to reach base via hit or walk, but the O's are plenty confident about him.
Especially about his power.
Parker Bridwell, RHP, Hereford HS
If Parker Bridwell sounds like a football name, that's because it is.
If the Orioles hadn't swooped in and swayed Bridwell away from football, he'd be on his way to Texas Tech to compete for a starting job next year.
Instead, the projectable right-hander will be pitching for the Orioles, where the team feels his athleticism, and low 90s stuff will play quite well.
Bridwell is quite the athlete, lettering in baseball, football, and basketball his senior year at Hereford, but the Orioles made it clear that his future is in baseball, where the youngster struck out 102 in only 65 innings this past season, posting a 7-2 record.
Bridwell has joined Sawyer and Narron in the Gulf Coast League, but has yet to see any action.
Clayton Schrader, RHP, San Jacinto College North
The O's have found quite a steal in Schrader.
The six-foot, 200 pound righty began his college career at Texas-San Antonio, but after one season, he transfered to San Jacinto, where he emerged as a shut-down closer on the best JUCO team in the country.
Schrader posted 11 saves and struck out 44 batters in only 26.2 innings, utilizing his mid 90s heat, and above-average slider.
He also features a decent curveball, but many feel that since his long-term future lies in the bullpen, that he should give it up and just focus on being a fastball-slider pitcher.
Schrader was on his way to pitch out of the Oklahoma Sooner's bullpen before the O's stepped up and inked him to a deal, and now he becomes one of the most impressive bullpen arms that the O's have in their system.
And as the early results (four strikeouts in four innings) prove, Schrader will be very good.