O's target potential fast risers in 2010 Draft
No discrimination between pitchers vs. hitters in late rounds
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles entered the 2010 First-Year Player Draft in need of talent throughout their farm system. And for a team that currently sits in last place in the Majors, they targeted players that could be ready for the big leagues sooner rather than later.
At the conclusion of 50 rounds, Baltimore's 49 picks were disbursed pretty evenly between the mound and the field, with 23 pitching prospects selected compared to 26 hitters. But 35 of those players came from the college ranks, while just 14 -- including third overall pick Manny Machado -- were chosen right out of high school.
"It seemed like that's how our board was set up," Orioles director of scouting Joe Jordan said Tuesday. "So many of the high school players that are going to demand money, we knew were going to go from pick four to pick 84, so we really tried to position as many of the college guys that we liked on our board where we had a chance to get them once we started picking again."
Their focus on college talent was concentrated more on batters than pitchers, with a lopsided ratio of 20 college batters compared to six high schoolers and a more even breakdown of 14 college hurlers compared to eight prepsters.
In a Draft heavy on right-handed arms, the Orioles followed the trend, choosing 19 right-handers compared to four lefties. The club seemed to be interested in relief options early on, with its first two pitchers selected -- UCLA's Dan Klein in Round 3 and Cal's Dixon Anderson in Round 6 -- having worked primarily out of the bullpen in college, though Jordan projects Klein as a starter.
When it came to position players, Baltimore's choices were concentrated on outfielders (eight), shortstops (seven) and catchers (seven). The focus on shortstops was no surprise, as it addresses a major organizational need. Moreover, the O's top two shortstops, Machado and fifth-rounder Connor Narron, each project as possible third basemen down the road. The focus on catchers, however, was a bit more curious, considering they spent four picks last year on catchers -- including two in the first 11 rounds -- and chose Matt Wieters fifth overall in 2007.
"We knew what we wanted to do in the first round," Jordan said. "Beyond that, we just got some kids we wanted that happened to play those positions, so that's good."
Finally, the O's seemed to like drafting teammates in a few cases. They chose three pitchers from Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego -- lefty Wynston Sawyer (Round 8) and righties Nathan Williams (Round 45) and Philip Walby (Round 50). The Orioles also picked three players from UCLA and two each from San Jacinto College North and UNC-Wilmington.
Noah Rosenstein is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.