Day 2 of the MLB Draft is where the players who get drafted start having longer and longer shots to make the big leagues, but there is still potential talent to be found if you pick the right player and get lucky. The Orioles made their picks in rounds 3-5 and added players who they hope might develop into big league roles, even if they might not be future stars.
In the third round, they picked Garrett Cleavinger, a 6'1" left-handed pitcher from the University of Oregon. Their fourth round pick was Ryan McKenna, a center fielder from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Dover, New Hampshire. With their pick in the fifth round they grabbed another high school outfielder, Jason Heinrich from River Ridge Middle HS in Florida. That's three outfielders in six picks for the Orioles, and one player who might end up as an outfielder.
Cleavinger, picked at #102 overall, was rated as the #185 prospect on the Baseball America 500. The MLB.com scouting capsule on Cleavinger has this to say:
He has a quick arm and his delivery does add some deception. The effort in that delivery does make it a bit more difficult for him to find the strike zone more consistently. A team that feels it can unlock that plus velocity out of Cleavinger is likely to take him in the earlier rounds, thinking a lefty setup man might evolve. At worst, Cleavinger does have the deception to be a specialist down the line.
So just on the surface that sounds like a best case of being a Zach Britton-type of reliever in that he's a lefty with the potential to throw hard, with a medium case of ending up just a LOOGY, which would still be a good outcome for a third round pick.
Also, with the Orioles already having a catcher named Steve Clevenger, this Cleavinger-Clevenger battery needs to happen, somehow.
Cleavinger struck out 66 batters in 40 innings as he saved nine games for the Ducks this season. NCAA hitters batted only .153 against him, although he did also walk 17 in that time.
McKenna, a right-handed batter listed at 5'9" and 175 lbs., comes from a place where you don't necessarily expect to grab a lot of baseball players. The last NH high school player to have much success is Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke. His hometown is listed as Maine, which is sure to delight the Maine contingent in the MASN broadcast crew if McKenna makes it to the bigs.
The MLB.com scouting capsule about McKenna says:
McKenna definitely has some tools to help him make an impact. He can really hit, with a line-drive approach and more power to come as he matures. He has very good speed from the right side of the plate and is a threat on the basepaths. That speed gives him the chance to stay in center field and he has more than enough arm for the position. He's strong, stocky and athletic.
With the standard caveat that everybody sounds good when you only look at the positives on their scouting report, those are some nice positives to have on the scouting report. McKenna actually rates higher on the Baseball America 500 (#161) than either of the two players the Orioles drafted prior to him.
For Heinrich, listed at 6'1" and 205 lbs., the MLB draft crew recognized him right away as being a player who they described as having "a ton of raw power" and being kind of an "all or nothing guy at the plate." They recalled a memorable performance at the Perfect Game WWBA World Championship that probably put him on some draft boards. Heinrich was ranked as the #188 prospect by Baseball America.
His capsule on MLB.com says:
The Central Florida commit is a big risk, big reward kind of high school bat, one with a ton of raw power. He's shown flashes of it during what's been a rain-soaked senior season for him in Florida, but not with the consistency he showed in Jupiter. He does have the ability to make loud contact and hit for power to all fields. Heinrich's offensive profile fits best in right field and he does throw enough to be able to stay there. He's not overly athletic, but he's far from a sloth on the bases and in the outfield.
Not to sound like a broken record, but if it was a sure thing that he could hit, then he would have been a first round pick. They seem to think he's got some power and maybe that will translate at the professional level. The Orioles have one fifth round pick (though they didn't draft him) who turned into quite a power hitter on their roster: Chris Davis.
Heinrich has some long odds to have that kind of outcome, but it can be done.
Through five rounds, the Orioles have grabbed four position players and two pitchers.