With their pick in the compensation round of the MLB Draft, #36 overall, the Orioles selected shortstop Ryan Mountcastle from Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Florida. Before the draft, they were believed to be mostly interested in college hitters, but that only lasted for so long. Their Florida scout must have gotten a lot of work this year.
This is the first time that the Orioles ever had the chance to pick in this round. They were awarded the pick when Nelson Cruz signed with the Mariners. What a concept - when you have good players and they leave in free agency, you get a chance to draft another potentially good player.
Mountcastle was not rated as high as you might expect for a player being drafted at #36. He was 122nd on the Baseball America 500, 108th on the Fangraphs list, and not ranked at all on the top 125 list published by Baseball Prospectus. That being the case, one has to wonder whether this is a pick that's meant to save money to use it elsewhere. Of course, it's also possible that the Orioles saw him more than others and liked him better than other teams.
After the pick was made, the TV crew on MLB Network noted that Mountcastle is likely destined for either third base or the outfield, but they praised "lightning-quick bat speed."
The slot value for this pick is $1,711,900. Mountcastle is committed to Central Florida.
The Orioles selected D.J. Stewart at #25 overall in the draft. They'll have one more pick on day 1, coming in at #68 overall.