With draft time fast approaching, we're spending this week taking a look at the picks in recent drafts by the Baltimore Orioles. Yesterday Kevin Ebert examined the 2009 draft, and today I'm tackling 2010. So step back in time with me, to a time when the Orioles were still a laughingstock. The 2010 draft took place on June 7-9 and when it started the Orioles were 16-41, their .281 winning percentage good for last place in the A.L. East, 21 games out of first place.
The O's 98 losses in 2009 was the most games they lost in their entire 14-season losing streak, and their abysmal 64-98 record secured them the third overall pick. They fell five games short of the Bryce Harper sweepstakes, but I think you'll all agree that their first pick has worked out pretty well so far. We'll need to take solace in Manny, though, because the rest of the draft turned out pretty badly (though in fairness, it's not like there were a lot of big picks the O's just missed, it wasn't a great draft class after the top picks).
Let's look at the first five rounds for the Orioles, followed by a look at the members of the 2010 draft class that are still in the O's organization.
1st Round, 3rd Overall - Manny Machado - Brito Miami Private School (Miami, FL) - SS
Unlike the previous year, when the Orioles selected Matt Hobgood with the 5th overall pick, there was little complaining when Machado was selected by the Orioles. He was a month shy of his 18th birthday when the draft took place, and made his professional baseball debut in late August. He played two games in the GCL and seven with the rookie league Aberdeen IronBirds. He didn't get much playing time, but made a good first impression by going 11-for-36 with a double, a triple, and a home run.
Machado started the 2011 season with the low-A Delmarva Shorebirds, and after 38 games in which he knocked around Sally League pitching to the tune of a .276/.376/.483 hitting line, he was promoted to the high-A Frederick Keys for the remainder of the season.
With the Baltimore Orioles in contention for the first time in fifteen years in 2012, Dan Duquette made the gutsy move to call Machado up to the majors in August 9th, just a month after turning 20 years old. There was much hand wringing over the decision by the fans, as Manny would be playing third base instead of his usual shortstop and hadn't exactly been lighting the world on fire at AA Bowie. But the move worked out as Manny helped the team get to the playoffs and followed up with 2013 that defied expectations with a wRC+ of 101 and an unbelievable +35 DRS.
Machado is still getting back to speed in 2014 after off-season knee surgery, but there is no reason to think he'll be anything but a star from the Orioles for a number of seasons to come.
Potential picks not taken: Chris Sale (I don't think I'd trade Manny for anyone, but you gotta admit that Sale's numbers would look good on the O's)
2nd Round - Nobody
The Orioles thought that signing relief pitcher Mike Gonzalez to a two-year contract was worth their 2nd round pick in 2010. Gonzalez blew two out of three saves to start the 2010 season and then went on the disabled list until July. He then served as a mediocre relief pitcher for the rest of 2010 and 49 games in 2011 before he was traded to the Rangers.
Picks that could have been made if the O's had a pick: Andrelton Simmons, Jedd Gyorko, Drew Smyly
3rd Round, 85th Overall - Dan Klein - UCLA - RHP
Klein was a relief pitcher out of UCLA, but the Orioles had designs to turn him back into a starting pitcher. He'd already had one shoulder surgery while in college, and sadly his injuries continued to plague him. He had two more shoulder surgeries while with the Orioles, and in May 2013 retired from baseball. Klein was considered a high risk/high reward guy when he was drafted, and the risk won.
Potential picks not taken: Addison Reed, Tyler Thornburg, Josh Rutledge
4th Round, Trent Mummey - Auburn University - CF
Trent Mummey was another guy who struggled with injuries, unable to play even one full season in his four years in the Orioles minor-league system. He was released earlier this year.
Potential picks not taken: James Paxton, Kevin Chapman
5th Round, Connor Narron - Charles B. Aycock HS (Pikeville, NC) - SS
Narron was considered a long shot to sign with the Orioles as he was thought to be committed to attending college. But the Orioles got their man, not that it mattered. In four years Narron never got out of A ball and was released this past March.
Potential picks not taken: Pretty much anyone other than Narron.
2010 Orioles Draft Picks Still in System
Wynston Sawyer - 8th Round: Sawyer is a catcher in A+ and is organizational filler.
Parker Bridwell - 9th Round: After two tries in low A ball, RHP Bridwell is now in A+ and struggling mightily. He is still in the starting rotation, but it only seems a matter of time before he's moved to the bullpen or worse.
David Richardson - 17th Round: Richardson is a 23 year old who is sitting in the Shorebirds bullpen. That's all you need to know about that.
Sebastian Vader - 18th Round: RHP Vader is in the Shorebirds rotation and is so far having a decent year. He's a non-prospect, but I root for him.
Sammie Starr - 34th Round: Middle infielder Sammie Starr has been playing mediocre baseball in the O's system for five years now. He'll be gone soon, and I'll miss his name. He even pitched in a game this year!
Jake Pettit - 42nd Round: It's ridiculous, but there is an argument to be made that LHP Pettit is second-most successful player of all the Orioles 2010 draft signees. He's with the AA Bowie Baysox this year and is struggling as a starter.