Orioles 2019 Draft: Rounds 3 through 10
The Orioles have been on the clock for over 7 months, and now crunch time has begun. The draft is a little over two weeks away, and a good portion of the franchise’s future rides on the results of those 36 picks made over three days. Over the next two weeks, I’ll be discussing some of the choices that the Orioles face, focusing in on 1) Round 1 Pick 1, 2) The rest of Day 1, Round 2 and Comp. Round B, 3) Day 2, Rounds 3 through 10, and 4) the final draft model results.
At this point in the series, we’ve covered all of Day 1 in the draft—consisting of the Orioles picks at 1, 42, and 71. Day 2 of the draft consists of Rounds 3 through 10, and represents a bit of a financial puzzle. As we’ve discussed, the Orioles have $13.8 million to pay their first 11 draft picks—Rounds 1 through 10. Additionally, any bonus given to a player in Rounds 11-40 over $125,000 also counts against this draft pool. This pool represents a soft cap, and the penalties for going over various thresholds include taxes on the excess or possibly the loss of future draft picks.
Maximizing one’s talent while avoiding the penalties of going over your pool is essential for any team. With this in mind, let’s focus on the best players the Orioles can draft at each of their 8 picks on Day 2, along with Seniors that can be utilized to stay under the draft pool cap. For the non-Seniors, we will focus on players with a Baseball America ranking.
(You can discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
Pick 79 (3): $780,040 Slot
Kyle Brnovich: Col RHP, BA Rank: 108, DRAFT Score: 0.88 (64th) Lots of strikeouts (Over 11.5 per 9 innings), potentially plus-plus slider. Odd delivery and below average fastball raises many questions, but an intriguing prospect.
Alec Marsh: Col RHP, BA Rank: 98, DRAFT Score: 0.71 (80th) Rapidly improving young Friday night starter with five average pitches with a potentially plus fastball. Hasn’t been doing it long enough to be higher on the list, but could be a steal.
Thomas Dillard: Col OF, BA Rank: 105, DRAFT Score: 0.75 (74th) Outfielder—has been a catcher in a pinch—with above-average power and a good batting eye. Numbers are worse against better SEC pitching, so raises concerns about his ceiling in pro ball.
Ryan Jensen: Col RHP, BA Rank: 110, DRAFT Score: 0.75 (77th) Still new to starting, but took a big step forward this year. Fastball runs up to 98 MPH with very good movement, but his control can be spotty.
Pick 108 (4): $538,200 Slot
Karl Kauffmann: Col RHP, BA Rank: 134, DRAFT Score: 0.83 (69th) Sinker-Slider combo that can occasionally be inconsistent. Limits the walks and has a decent reliever fallback option.
Levi Stoudt: Col RHP, BA Rank: 113, DRAFT Score: 0.73 (78th) Consistent starter with a lower ceiling. If his secondary pitches improve, he could be a useful back-of-the-rotation starter.
Grant Gambrell: Col RHP, BA Rank: 112, DRAFT Score: 0.68 (84th) Great looking pitcher who shows electric stuff but has troubles with command and consistency. Could be a fast riser if it all comes together.
Kyle McCann: Col C, BA Rank: 136, DRAFT Score: 0.65 (91st) Questionable chance to stick at catcher but non-questionable power—22 homeruns—and eye—22% walk percentage. If he can stick at catcher, he’s a valuable asset.
Pick 138 (5): $402,000 Slot
Dan Hammer: Col RHP, BA Rank: 164, DRAFT Score: 0.66 (85th) Big stuff, big strikeout numbers, but control problems exist. Scouts think he can make the adjustments for more consistency.
Drake Fellows: Col RHP, BA Rank: 162, DRAFT Score: 0.65 (88th) Friday-night starter on one of the best teams in the country. Plus slider but leads the SEC in wild pitches and HBPs.
Hunter Gaddis: Col RHP, BA Rank: 167, DRAFT Score: 0.65 (89th) Starter who, despite a head whack and delivery recoil, strikes out over 11 per 9 innings and only walks 2 per 9 innings.
Davis Daniel: Col RHP, BA Rank: 155, DRAFT Score: 0.65 (90th) Top-100 draft prospect whose season was derailed by Tommy John surgery. When healthy, fastball tops out at 97 MPH with solid secondaries.
Pick 168 (6): $301,600 Slot
Jack Ralston: Col RHP, BA Rank: 202, DRAFT Score: 0.66 (86th) Overhand delivery presents a unique challenge to hitters, but he’s an older player with a minimal track record.
Casey Legumina: Col RHP, BA Rank: 207, DRAFT Score: 0.63 (95th) Former reliever moved to the rotation touching 96 MPH with his fastball. However, an injury throws a cloud over his draft status.
Morgan McSweeney: Col RHP, BA Rank: 198, DRAFT Score: 0.62 (98th) Major raw stuff, but equally major control issues without an obvious delivery tweak to fix the problem.
Zach Peek: Col RHP, BA Rank: 194, DRAFT Score: 0.59 (104th) Strike-throwing from a small conference whose results have backed up a bit in his Junior year.
Pick 198 (7): $235,100 Slot
Todd Peterson: Col RHP, BA Rank: 219, DRAFT Score: 0.55 (124th) Overhand delivery presents a unique challenge to hitters, but he’s an older player with a minimal track record.
Jack Little: Col RHP, BA Rank: 221, DRAFT Score: 0.52 (136th) Low arm angle generates lots of strikeouts despite less electric stuff.
Tony Locey: Col RHP, BA Rank: 197, DRAFT Score: 0.50 (142nd) Friday night starter with a high bullpen chance due to control issues.
Kasey Kalich: Col RHP, BA Rank: 226, DRAFT Score: 0.49 (144th) JuCo transfer with a 98 MPH fastball that he can work up in the zone. Lack of track record and no rotation chance keep him down here.
Pick 228 (8): $186,300 Slot
Conor Grammes: Col RHP/3B, BA Rank: 246, DRAFT Score: 0.61/0.43 (Pitcher/Hitter, 100th/182nd) Big fastball, big strikeouts, big walks. As a hitter he has good power, plate discipline, and bat speed.
Tim Elliot: Col RHP, BA Rank: 244, DRAFT Score: 0.56 (117th) Reliever converted to a starter this year and has put up his best year thus far. Three offerings—fastball, changeup, and slider—project as at least average.
Colin Peluse: Col RHP, BA Rank: 236, DRAFT Score: 0.54 (126th) Solid freshman and sophomore years, but has gotten knocked around in his junior year. Average grades on pitches with ability to throw strikes.
Cam Shepherd: Col SS, BA Rank: 247, DRAFT Score: 0.49 (147th) Light-hitting shortstop from a strong conference. Solid in the field, but not particularly flashy.
Pick 258 (9): $159,200 Slot
Will Ethridge: Col RHP, BA Rank: 277, DRAFT Score: 0.60 (102nd) Workhorse starter with bunches of average grades on pitches and control. Needs an extra tick on something to move up boards.
Trey Benton: Col RHP, BA Rank: 257, DRAFT Score: 0.51 (139th) Swingman with an arm injury late in the college season. Was putting up his best season in terms of strikeouts and strikeouts per walk.
Jacob Kostyshock: Col RHP, BA Rank: 236, DRAFT Score: 0.49 (149th) Good velocity from a low slot, despite his thin frame (6’4″, 175 pounds). Questions exist if he is able to start as he has been exclusively a reliever in college.
Riley Ornido: Col RHP, BA Rank: 263, DRAFT Score: 0.47 (153rd) His fastball has backed up, but he sports a plus-plus splitter that could play up if his fastball velocity comes back.
Pick 288 (10): $147,900 Slot
Garrett Stallings: Col RHP, BA Rank: 299, DRAFT Score: 0.73 (79th) Average stuff plus advanced command and pitchability yields above average results.
Sean Mooney: Col RHP, BA Rank: 387, DRAFT Score: 0.65 (92nd) Young righty was heading for his best season until Tommy John surgery ended his year early.
Gavin Hollowell: Col RHP, BA Rank: 296, DRAFT Score: 0.56 (116th) Big reliever—no potential to start—with a big arm and upside as a reliever.
Tanner Brubacker: Col RHP, BA Rank: 294, DRAFT Score: 0.55 (123rd) Physical pitcher who has a record of success at the JuCo level and in one year at UC Irvine.
10 Cost-Saving Senior Signs
MD Johnson: Col RHP, BA Rank: NA, DRAFT Score: 0.45 (167th) Tall,skinny senior who is young—Turns 22 in July—and has put up his best year this year, striking out over 10 per 9 innings.
Codie Paiva: Col RHP, BA Rank: NA, DRAFT Score: 0.43 (179th) Senior with good control and nice deception. Moved into the rotation in his junior year and has continued to thrive.
Hunter Slater: Col 1B/OF, BA Rank: NA, DRAFT Score: 0.43 (181th) Undersized for 1B, but four seasons batting over .300 and tapped into his power his junior and senior years for a combined 23 homeruns.
Hunter Parsons: Col RHP, BA Rank: NA, DRAFT Score: 0.43 (187th) Average to below-average stuff coming out of a low-3/4 slot. Solid results and has occasionally dominated—8 IP, 11 K, 0 BB against Creighton.
Alec Wisely: Col RHP, BA Rank: NA, DRAFT Score: 0.41 (205th) Starter in his senior year, but delivery screams reliever. Despite the delivery, has good control and is able to get guys out with his fastball-curveball combo.
Joe Davis: Col 1B, BA Rank: NA, DRAFT Score: 0.40 (220th) Big 1B with a clean swing that can generate good power—53 HR over four years.
Kevin Strohschein: Col OF, BA Rank: NA, DRAFT Score: 0.38 (245th) High average—career .359—and power—63 homeruns and .270 ISO.
Joe Genord: Col 1B, BA Rank: NA, DRAFT Score: 0.37 (265th) Deep load generates his power, but still is able to put bat to ball and avoid strikeouts.
Sam Lanier: Col RHP, BA Rank: NA, DRAFT Score: 0.35 (292nd) Reliever who has always put up strikeouts, but has just this year cut down the walks in a major way.
Matt O’Neill: Col C, BA Rank: NA, DRAFT Score: 0.35 (303rd) Ivy League catcher with a huge senior season, .405/.527/.620. while catching 36% of attempted basestealers.
Where Do We Go?
As we can see, after the first two rounds the expected contribution drops off very quickly. Because of that, it’s not unreasonable that many of these players mentioned in later rounds could go much earlier. Even further, there are so many players that I didn’t mention who should be in consideration for any of these spots.
In these rankings, many of the players are college righthanders. This is because in the later rounds, pitchers tend to be better bets to provide some value to teams, as they have more variability and the bullpen as a fallback option if they can’t start. That said, they aren’t sure shots by any stretch. Most have, at best, a 30% chance of making the majors. That said, I tend to prefer higher-upside players. Alec Marsh, Kyle McCann, Dan Hammer, Conor Grammes, each of these players has that high ceiling. All the team needs is to hit on one of these players to provide an incredible amount of excess value.
Next Monday, we’ll look at the final draft rankings before the draft on Tuesday, followed by articles looking at the Orioles’ picks after each day of the draft.
Dr. Stephen Loftus received his Ph.D. in Statistics from Virginia Tech in 2015 and is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Sweet Briar College. Prior to that, he worked as an Analyst in Baseball Research and Development for the Tampa Bay Rays, focusing on the Amateur Draft. He currently writes at FanGraphs and Baltimore Sports and Life, with previous work available at Beyond the Box Score. As a lifelong fan of the Orioles, he fondly remembers the playoff teams of 1996-97 and prefers to forget constantly impending doom of Jorge Julio, Albert Belle's contract, and most years between 1998 and 2011.