We were all sweating out the deadline to sign 2014 draft picks on Friday afternoon with the Orioles still having 33rd round pick Brandon Koch unsigned, but fret no longer. The Orioles signed the right-handed pitcher right around the 5pm deadline, giving them 31 signed draftees out of the 38 picks that they made in the draft.
There was no immediate word about what kind of signing bonus Koch received. The O's could offer him up to $100,000 without any of the bonus counting against their draft bonus pool, with any amount over $100,000 counting against the pool. However, the Orioles reportedly used up nearly all of their pool money in signing their rounds 3-10 picks, so they probably didn't have much to offer Koch.
Since 2012, then the hard slot value system was introduced, the Orioles have signed 30+ draft picks every year. They signed 30 of their 40 picks in 2012 and 31 of 41 picks in 2013. They signed all of their first 16 picks of this year's draft, starting with third-rounder Brian Gonzalez, who was the first player they picked this year.
The most notable of their unsigned players is 25th round pick Brandon Bonilla, the son of former Oriole Bobby Bonilla.
A complete list of the Orioles draftees who signed:
|3||Brian Gonzalez||LHP||Archbishop McCarthy HS|
|4||Pat Connaughton||RHP||Notre Dame|
|5||David Hess||RHP||Tennessee Tech|
|6||Tanner Scott||LHP||Howard College|
|9||Austin Anderson||3B||Ole Miss|
|10||Jay Gonzalez||OF||Univ. of Mount Olive|
|11||John Means||LHP||West Virginia|
|12||Nigel Nootbaar||RHP||Univ. of Southern California|
|13||Matt Trowbridge||LHP||Central Michigan|
|14||Gerrion Grim||RF||Jefferson College|
|15||Alejandro Juvier||2B||Doral Academy (HS)|
|16||Tanner Chleborad||RHP||Washintgon State|
|17||Jean Cosme||RHP||Colegio Sagrada Familia (PR)|
|18||Matthew Grimes||RHP||Georgia Tech|
|20||Zach Albin||RHP||UConn - Avery Point|
|21||John McLeod||LHP||Wake Forest|
|22||Josh Walker||RHP||New Mexico|
|23||Zeke McGranahan||RHP||Georgia Gwinnett College|
|24||Lucas Long||RHP||Univ. of San Diego|
|27||Austin Pfeiffer||SS||Univ. of Arkansas-Little Rock|
|29||Patrick Baker||RHP||Anne Arundel CC|
|30||Mike Burke||RHP||Univ. of Buffalo|
|31||Riley Palmer||3B||S. New Hampshire Univ.|
|33||Brandon Koch||RHP||Temecula Valley HS|
|35||Tad Gold||CF||Endicott College|
|38||Keegan Ghidotti||RHP||Ouachita Baptist Univ.|
Most all of these picks have already gotten their pro careers started with either the Gulf Coast League Orioles or the Aberdeen Ironbirds.
The Orioles signed only four high schoolers, but they picked only eight to begin with. The only high school player they picked in the top ten rounds was their third rounder, Brian Gonzalez.
One simple truth of the draft is that most of these names will end up turning into nothing, because they're drafted largely with the intent of being organizational filler. However, you never know who might develop something new once they get into the professional ranks. Even Albert Pujols, the game's greatest player for several years, was a lowly 13th round pick.
That's a longshot for any one player. The Orioles would probably be happy if one of these lower-round picks turns into the next Mike Yastrzemski, a 14th round pick who's jumped two levels just this season and is now tackling Double-A Bowie.