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Monday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles are on the clock for the #1 pick

It’s a big day for the Orioles rebuilding project. Here’s hoping they nail the #1 pick tonight.

Baltimore Orioles Introduce Mike Elias - News Conference Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Today is finally the day. The 2019 MLB draft begins tonight, and the Orioles, after having weeks to scout and make up their minds, get their first crack at the talent from this year’s draft class.

Will it be Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, as just about every draft prospect writer thinks that it should be? Will it be high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. instead? Or perhaps a surprise outside these top two prospects, like first baseman Andrew Vaughn, or someone else entirely?

The draft begins at 7pm and the Orioles will make their first pick not too long after that. They also have their second round selection tonight, as well as the competitive balance selection. Rounds 3-10 will take place on Tuesday, with the draft racing through rounds 11-40 on Wednesday.

The #1 pick is the thing that could have the biggest future impact on the franchise out of any other personnel move that they make this season. It is, as a former vice president of this country once said, a big effing deal. Nail it and the rebuild will really feel like it’s off to the races; whiff or even hit a single when somebody else in the top five makes the home run pick and a future where the Orioles play good baseball again will feel that much farther off.

It’s not going to be the big league team generating much excitement, anyway. The weekend’s series against the Giants was a reminder of that. Facing a poor offense that had been playing badly, the Orioles gave up a bunch of runs in consecutive games on their way to losing the series. They dropped the finale, 9-1, a game in which they did not score after the first inning. Check out Drew Bonifant’s recap of the game for the not-so-lovely totals.

Chris Davis could be returning to the roster and the lineup as soon as tomorrow in Texas. Mark Trumbo’s rehab is set to move into a new phase as he heads to Triple-A Norfolk this week. The idea of watching both of these guys regularly in a 2019 Orioles lineup is not exciting, especially with the recent power surge from Renato Nunez. This season is a thing to be endured on the way to something hopefully better, and it’s not much more than that.

Mike Mussina was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame 135 days ago. The Orioles have not yet announced any plans to retire his jersey number or erect his statue at Camden Yards.

Around the blogO’sphere

Orioles option Wilkerson and Wynns after 8-1 loss (School of Roch)
The O’s aren’t keeping us in suspense about how the roster will change when Davis returns - Stevie Wilkerson has been dropped to Norfolk in advance. With Wynns being sent down, it looks like Chance Sisco will be making his way back to MLB on Tuesday as well.

How the Orioles can use the second-largest draft bonus pool to their advantage (Baltimore Sun)
The Astros selecting Carlos Correa and signing him to an under-slot bonus is something Mike Elias described as a “perfect storm” that he doesn’t think he’d be able to duplicate in quite the same way here.

Advanced data and analytics will factor in big this draft (Steve Melewski)
“It’s not the 90s any more,” said Sig Mejdal, and I may have done a little fist pump when I read that.

Buster Posey, Adley Rutschman’s ideal comparison, sees what potential No. 1 pick could bring Orioles (Baltimore Sun)
Matt Wieters was a fine Oriole, but if the Orioles do draft Rutschman, I hope he turns out much more like Posey than Wieters.

Birthdays and anniversaries

A number of former Orioles were born on this day. They are: 2003-04 reserve catcher Robert Machado, 2002 one-gamer Izzy Molina, 1997 utility infielder Aaron Ledesma, 1981-88 outfielder Jim Dwyer, and 1960-63 slugger Jim Gentile. Today is Diamond Jim’s 85th birthday, so an extra happy birthday to him.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you as well! Your birthday buddies for today include: Salem witch trials figure Reverend John Hale (1636), father of modern geology James Hutton (1726), poet Allen Ginsberg (1926), author Marion Zimmer Bradley (1930), author Larry McMurtry (1936), and Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell (1952).

On this day in history...

In 1781, Jack Jouett, the “Revere of the South,” went on a midnight ride in Virginia to warn Thomas Jefferson and members of the Virginia legislature about a British raid which had the aim of capturing Jefferson.

In 1839, Chinese Qing dynasty official Lin Tse-hsu destroyed 1.2 million kilograms of opium that had been confiscated by British merchants. This sparked what history now recognizes as the First Opium War.

In 1940, during World War II, the last remaining men of the British Army were evacuated from Dunkirk, France after a successful nine-day rear guard operation.

In 1943, Navy sailors and Marines clashed in Los Angeles with some Latino youths; these are remembered as the Zoot Suit Riots.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on June 3 - or at least, until something happens later, when the Orioles make their first three picks of this year’s draft. Have a safe Monday.