While the first round is certainly the most exciting of the draft, don't tell Cal Ripken (2nd round), Eddie Murray (3rd round), Mike Boddicker (6th round), Mike Flanagan (7th round), or Steve Finley (13th round) that the next several aren't just as important. For that matter, don't tell Zach Britton (3rd round), Jake Arrieta (5th round), or Jim Johnson (5th round).
Who will join Dylan Bundy in the ranks of newest Orioles? The draft starts back up at noon and thankfully the O's didn't throw their second round pick away on a relief pitcher this year, so they'll be up fourth. I'll do my best to update this space with the draft picks (at least through round ten), along with information and notes on the players.
Complete coverage of the draft can be found at MLB.com's Draft Central. Just try not to think about the fact that going into today the Rays have already drafted as many players as the Orioles will through ten rounds.
Here are the O's selections through the first ten rounds. For information on the players, check below the jump. To see who the Orioles drafted after the tenth round, head on over to MLB.com's draft tracker.
2nd: Jason Esposito, 3B, Vanderbilt
3rd: Mike Wright, RHP, Eastern Carolina University
4th: Kyle Simon, RHP Arizona
5th: Matt Taylor, LHP, Middle Georgia College
6th: Nick Delmonico, 3B/1B/C, Farragut HS
7th: Trent Howard, LHP, Central Michigan University
8th: Johnny Ruettiger, CF, Arizona State
9th: Devin Jones, RHP, Mississippi State
10th: Philip Wilson, RHP, University of Virginia
1) The Orioles selected 3B Jason Esposito from Vanderbilt in the second round. Prior to the draft, Baseball America ranked him at #77. MLB.com was much more optimistic, placing him at #40. Check out his scouting report from MLB.com here. From the description:
The infielder can square up some balls but hasn’t always hit consistently. His swing is a little choppy at times, but there’s still enough power potential for people to remain interested. While he’s played shortstop at Vandy, most feel he will have to move to third base as a pro. He’s gotten a bit thicker in his lower half and has stiffened a bit, impacting his range, his speed — which grades out as a tick below average — and perhaps his performance at the plate.
He’s got a plus arm and could be a very solid third baseman, especially for a team that thinks his power will play at the next level, though being advised by Scott Boras could temper some teams’ excitement.
2) With their third pick, the Orioles took RHP Mike Wright from Eastern Carolina University. Ranked #187 by Baseball America prior to the draft, I'm not sure what the thought process on that is. I hadn't even heard his name before now. Here is what Roch Kubatko put together on the pitcher:
In the third round of the First-Year Player Draft, the Orioles used the 94th overall selection on East Carolina right-hander Mike Wright.
Baseball America rated Wright as a fifth- or sixth-round talent and the 74th-best right-hander in the draft. The Orioles disagree.
Wright was 6-4 with a 2.79 ERA in 16 starts, with 30 walks and 75 strikeouts in 100 innings. He lost 2-0 to St. John's in Game 2 of the Charlottesville Regional on Friday, allowing two runs and seven hits, with four walks and five strikeouts, in eight innings.
Here's the bio on the 6-foot-5,195-pound Wright.
3) In the fourth round, the Orioles selected RHP Kyle Simon from Arizona. Simon was ranked at #183 by Baseball America prior to the draft. Perfectgame.org says that Simon gets a "ton of ground balls on 2-seam FB, up to 92." And well, that's all I can find on him at the moment.
4) Nick Delmonico, the Orioles' 6th round pick, is a third baseman/catcher/first baseman from Farragut HS in Tennessee. He is a left-handed batter. Delmonico is ranked 42nd in the draft by MLB.com and 88th by Baseball America. From MLB.com's scouting report:
Delmonico's baseball IQ comes out particularly when he's at the plate. He has a nice left-handed swing, with average bat speed. He's more of a hitter now, with perhaps average power, but he does have some loft in his swing. He's got an extremely advanced approach at the plate, especially for a high school hitter, and rarely offers at a ball out of the strike zone.
When all is said and done, though, it will be his bat that carries him into the early stages of the Draft.
6) Trent Howard, the LHP selected by the O's in the 7th round, was listed by John Sickels as a sleeper prospect in the draft. Sickels says:
Trent Howard, LHP, Central Michigan University: 6-2, 200. Excellent performance this year: 2.12 ERA, 84/19 K/BB in 76 innings, 58 hits. Pitched decently in the Cape Cod League last year with a 4.13 ERA for Hyannis but a sharp 36/8 K/BB in 31 innings. Doesn't burn the guns but has a good three-pitch mix. John Klima has some good video of this guy.
7) The Orioles' pick in the 8th round was Johnny Reuttiger, a left-handed center fielder from Arizona State. Reuttiger makes the BA top 200 at #181. Baseball Beginnings says of Reuttiger:
ASU center fielder Johnny Ruettiger has that Jacoby Ellsbury body type – long, lean, tall and loose. He has a nice and easy left-handed swing, though he’ll probably need to shorten it a touch in the future. He’s a gazelle-like runner, better underway, needs to improve the first step. It hurts his run times to first a little bit. The watch might tell you he’s at least average, but underway, he’s slightly above-average. This first step quickness translates to centerfield, where he’s also better underway.
That link includes some video, so check it out.
8) Devin Jones of Mississippi State got the call from the Orioles in the 9th round of the draft. Says Matthew Stevens of the SDN's Bulldog Blog:
Jones could be the classic example of scouting potential versus statistics at the college level. Jones currently has a 4.45 earned run average and made eight starts this season for the Bulldogs but it’s the way his best pitches (fastball and slider) project at the professional level that could make him the first MSU player selected this June.