Baltimore Orioles: 5 Worst Draft Reaches in the Last 5 Years
It's very hard to evaluate draft reaches in baseball because most of the rankings are incredibly subjective and players may be undervalued or overvalued very easily.
The Orioles have done a pretty good job of drafting in the past few years, and even though their organization is not incredibly deep at the moment, they have done a good job of drafting the best available for the most part.
Joe Jordan, the scouting director, has brought in some very good young pitchers, but the development hasn't been as good as it could be.
I evaluated players as reaches based on their ratings in the draft and how easy it would be to sign them. For players a couple years back, I also included the talent passed up to get them.
Here are the Orioles' biggest reaches in the past five years.
5. Kyle Simon – Round 4, 2011
This isn't too much of a reach, but there were probably some better players available at the spot.
Kyle Simon was ranked the 99th-best college player before the season by College Baseball Daily, but was only the 73rd-best right-handed pitcher in the draft, according to Baseball America.
It's a little early to tell, but the Orioles may have passed up some better arms for a guy that might have slipped into the later rounds.
4. Randy Henry – Round 4, 2009
Randy Henry wasn't that bad of a pick and he has been very successful this year for the Delmarva Shorebirds, but I can't help but think what could have been had the Orioles selected the player that was drafted one round and one pick later.
The Orioles have a hole at first that could have been filled by Brandon Belt, but they passed in favor of Henry and let him slip away to the Giants, where he is now a top prospect.
3. Mike Wright – Round 3, 2011
Mike Wright is similar to Kyle Simon in that he just wasn't ranked that high but was still selected very early.
Wright was actually the next-best righty after Simon, but the Orioles decided to take them in reverse order. Both picks may be good, but I still can't help but think that the O's could have had Wright later and taken someone better in the third round.
2. Mychal Givens – Round 2, 2009
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Mychal Givens was sort of a "need pick" because the Orioles had a huge hole at short and needed to start developing players that could one day fill the position.
Givens was a bit of a reach because they drafted him at short, where he has struggled mightily, when they could have taken advantage of his mid 90s fastball as a future power relief arm.
That said, the second round would probably be more for a higher potential player. Andy Oliver and Jason Kipnis are both players selected later in the round that could have helped more, and Givens could have probably slipped because he had high demands.
1. Matt Hobgood – Round 1, 2009
Matt Hobgood is a reach only because he is perceived as a signability pick.
I can see why he was highly touted as a pitcher, and he was clearly one of the better high school guys in the draft, but it's hard to see now after second-guessing the Orioles passing on Jacob Turner and Zack Wheeler to get Hobgood for cheaper. Turner and Wheeler are now top pitching prospects for the Tigers and Giants, respectively.
Hobgood has struggled, which makes the pick look worse.
He has had trouble staying healthy, but hopefully he can come back soon and reestablish himself. The Orioles would love to see him develop alongside Dylan Bundy to form a strong combo in the future.