Joe Jordan to the Phillies: 10 Best Draft Picks By the O's Scouting Director
The Orioles are still in the process of finding a new general manager to replace Andy MacPhail, but they are now facing another front-office hole as their director of scouting, Joe Jordan, has been hired by the Philadelphia Phillies as their director of player development.
Jordan's time with the Orioles lasted almost seven years and has directly impacted the present and near future of the Orioles with his contributions.
While some will look at Jordan's tenure with the Orioles as negative for drafting busts like Billy Rowell and potentially Matt Hobgood, I look at Jordan as a success, with the player development side of the team letting him down.
There are a lot of good players that Joe Jordan managed to bring to Baltimore, and that's where I'll direct my focus.
Here are the top 10 picks (who were also signed) by Joe Jordan in his seven drafts spanning from 2005-2011.
10. Jason Berken: Round 6, 2006 Draft
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Jason Berken has had an up-and-down career for the Orioles, but he has shown flashes at times that he may be a great reliever in the future.
Berken was a part of the big wave of rookie pitchers that included Brad Bergesen, Chris Tillman, David Hernandez, Brian Matusz, and Koji Uehara (granted he was in his mid-30s), but struggled mightily as a starter. When the Orioles switched him to relief in 2010, he flourished and was one of the best relievers of the first half.
While injuries derailed his career, he has been working his way back to being successful again. If Berken can regain his form, he may make Joe Jordan look a lot better.
9. Nolan Reimold: Round 2, 2005 Draft
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Nolan Reimold is another example of one of Joe Jordan’s picks that had some early success derailed by rough injuries.
A second round pick in Jordan’s first draft with the Orioles, Reimold has flashed power, patience, and speed that could help him become a force at the bottom of the Orioles lineup, but he needs to improve his defense and average.
One plus side on Jordan’s resume with Reimold is that Nolan is now a starter on the big league club.
8. Daniel Klein: Round 3, 2010 Draft
Dan Klein was actually drafted by Jordan twice, once in the 24th round in 2007 and again in 2010, but he waited until the second time around to sign with the Orioles.
A theme is starting to form of talented college players drafted by Jordan that suffer injuries and have to recover, as Klein was flying through the minors in his first professional year before suffering a shoulder injury that ended his season.
Klein looked like an inevitable September callup before the injury, posting a sub-1.00 ERA in 21 games before the injury. With a strong showing in spring training, he could start the year at Triple-A and make a push for the majors by midseason.
7. David Hernandez: Round 16, 2005 Draft
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David Hernandez had a terrific year at the back end of the bullpen for a team that won their division. Unfortunately, Hernandez was on the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Hernandez was the Orioles' Minor League Pitcher of the year as a starter and looked like he would be a great strikeout starter, but struggled with his pitch counts. When he was moved to the bullpen, his velocity increased and he became a lights out threat at the end of games.
Hernandez made his greatest impact when he was finally traded before the 2010 season as the key piece that brought Mark Reynolds to Baltimore.
6. Jake Arrieta: Round 5, 2007 Draft
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You probably thought I was going to stop talking about injured Orioles youngsters.
Jake Arrieta had a bone spur in his elbow that had to be removed and ended his 2011 season, but he led the Orioles in wins and strikeouts when he was shut down.
The fact about Arrieta is he needs to work on his control because his pitches are very good. His only issue is walking batters a lot and leaving the ball up to get hit out of the park.
Joe Jordan should be commended for finding such a talent in the fifth round, but Arrieta clearly needs to take a step forward to be successful in the majors.
5. Brian Matusz: Round 1, 2008 Draft
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It's saddening that Matusz is this low because he looked like one of the best young left-handed pitchers in the majors at the end of 2010, but an epic collapse in 2011 dragged him down.
Matusz had one of the worst season's ever by a major league starter with a 10.69 ERA in just under 50 innings this year. A lot of that came from missing a lot of time early with an early injury, but he was also missing wildly, so it was a combination of the two.
Joe Jordan made a fantastic pick by selecting Matusz, who could still be a force given some time, so I wouldn't take it back if I had the chance.
4. Dylan Bundy: Round 1, 2011 Draft
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Dylan Bundy still hasn't thrown a pitch professionally, but he has instantly supplanted Dan Klein and his brother Bobby as the Orioles' top pitching prospect.
From everything that has been said about Bundy, who has hit 100 MPH with his fastball, it seems that the Orioles may be developing an ace that could push the major league rotation when he turns 20 in 2014.
Jordan's legacy could be made fantastic by Bundy, who could turn into a savior for the Orioles' desperate pitching staff.
3. Manny Machado: Round 1, 2010 Draft
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Manny Machado, like Dylan Bundy, is young and not very experienced, but he showed in 2011 that he is everything that Joe Jordan advertised and more.
Machado struggled a bit at Single-A Frederick, but that's to be expected considering he is now only 19. He showed some power and hit for a pretty decent average, so he could become the star hitter of the next wave for the Orioles.
J.J. Hardy's extension allows the Orioles to take their time on Machado, which could bode well for Joe Jordan's legacy. Not needing to rush Manny could send him to instant stardom. I'm thinking Starlin Castro with better defense when I see Machado.
2. Zach Britton: Round 3, 2006 Draft
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Zach Britton may be the best find in Jordan's career considering he fell to the third round. Britton's rookie year was not perfect and he took some lumps, but overall, he impressed enough to look like a very good starter for the future.
Britton had some issues midseason in adjusting to hitters as they adjusted to him. He got hammered in back-to-back starts against the Red Sox and Yankees to the point that he was bad enough to set records.
As the season wound down more, it was clear that Britton was recovering although the innings increase may have taxed him at the end. He managed to finish the year with a .500 record and a team leading 11 wins, which is pretty solid for a rookie on a terrible team.
1. Matt Wieters: Round 1, 2007 Draft
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It's funny to look back at what people were saying about Matt Wieters before the start of the 2010 season. Many were expecting him to burst into the league with 30 home runs and a .300 average and carry the Orioles to success, but it took time and waiting paid off.
Wieters' defense was deadly and he will likely win a Gold Glove for the first time, but his offensive improvements overshadow the defense.
Many said Wieters could be "Mauer with Power" and the comparison is starting to take shape. The average just isn't there and it never will be, but the defensive ability is similar and Wieters managed to hit 22 home runs in his second full season, while it took Mauer five years to break 20 and he hasn't done it since.
It's not really that interesting to say that Joe Jordan has made some great first round picks considering he has picked very high in most of his years, but there are always teams that miss. Considering that the two picks before Wieters were Josh Vitters who hasn't passed Double-A and lefty reliever Daniel Moskos, people can pass on great talent and Joe Jordan should be recognized for pulling the trigger on a top talent.