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  1. 28 of 29 first round picks have now been signed. Garrett Mitchell (20th overall to the Brewers) is the lone unsigned first-rounder. Of the 28 signed first-rounders, the largest underslot in terms of dollar amount are: 2. Heston Kjerstad: $2.59 million 23. Carson Tucker: $930,000 17. Nick Yorke: $910,000 8. Robert Hassell: $880,000 18. Bryce Jarvis: $830,000 25. Jared Shuster: $540,000 3. Max Meyer: $520,000 The largest underslot by percentage: 2. Heston Kjerstad: 33.25% 23. Carson Tucker: 31.74% 17. Nick Yorke: 25.20% 18. Bryce Jarvis: 23.85% 25. Jared Shuster: 19.71% 14. Justin Foscue: 19.55% 8. Robert Hassell: 16.99%
  2. An admission by the team and the player (obviously his agent as well), that but for the O’s picking him 2nd overall, none believe he would have gone prior to 8th overall (slot bonus of $5.18 million).
  3. In the shortened 2020 season, Arkansas, like everyone else in the conference, did not make it to the SEC schedule. Kjersatd put up his numbers in 16 games against: Eastern Illinois (Ohio Valley Conference)-He went 7-12 with 4 HR 10 RBI, 2 walks and 1 k. Gonzaga (West Coast Conference)-He went 4-16 with 0 HR 1 RBI 3 walks and 4 k's. Oklahoma (Big 12)-In the 1 game played, he went 2-5 (2 singles) 0 RBI 0 walk and 1 K. Texas(Big 12)- In the 1 game played, he went 3-5 with 1 HR 2 RBI. Baylor (Big 12)-In the 1 game played, he 2-3 with a 2B 0 RBI no walks no K's. Illinois St.(Missouri Valley Conference)- In the 1 game played, he went 2-5, 1 RBI no walks no K's. South Alabama (Sunbelt Conference)-In their 3 game series, he went 5-13 with 1 HR, 5 RBI, 1 walk 2 K's. Grand Canyon (Western Athletic Conference)--2 game series, he went 5-8 with 1 RBI 1 walk and 1 K. Kjerstad played 2 of his 16 games against ranked teams. OU finished the truncated season 13th. Texas was 22nd.
  4. Oy. Westburg hit .294 last year (.279 in SEC games) with 6 HR. He struck out 69 times in 66 games (265 AB). In the brief 2020 season (16 games), he hit .317 with 2 HR and 15 Ks (66 AB). I don't know what to say other than this is not anything resembling an overslot. We took two high strikeout, swing and miss guys from the same conference as Martin, who didn't strike out and hit .424 with more walks than strikeouts. How many times have you asked yourself, "I wish our prospects didn't have the 'he strikes out too much and needs better control of the strike zone' label? Well, we added two guys that K a lot. Kjerstad had a 33% chase percentage. In college. How will that go when he faces pitchers throwing 5 MPH harder, with better breaking balls and command?
  5. No one can argue with a straight face that Kjerstad was best player available. He hit .319 in the SEC last year. Martin hit .424. Kjerstad struck out 65 times and walked 21 last year. Martin walked more than he struck out. Kjerstad is a corner OF. Martin will play CF, 3b and/or 2b. Kjerstad was rated about 10th on most mocks and player rankings. Martin was 1 or 2. So, we have decided that getting the best player available at 30 is more important than finding the best player available at #2.
  6. I've said it once before but I'll repeat it again. Martin crushed it in the SEC in the last full college baseball season (2019). No running up his numbers against inferior non-conference competition. He hit .424 with a .500 OBP in SEC games last year. JJ Bleday hit .304 in SEC games in 2019 (he hit .347 overall in 2019). Heston Kjerstad (who will be a first round pick next week and I've seen rumors connecting him to an underslot deal with the O's) hit .319 in SEC games in 2019. In the limited season they had in 2020 (they didn't even get to the SEC schedule), Martin hit .377 and had 10 walks and only 2 k's with a .507 OBP in 16 games. In terms of power, he hit 10 HRs as a sophomore (2019). You know how many Rustchman hit as a sophomore? 9. We don't know how many Martin would have hit as a Jr (he had 3 in 16 games which, if he had as many at bats as last year, would be 15 over a full season). Rutschman jumped from 9 to 17 as a junior. No, I am not saying he is Rustchman. I'm trying to provide some context for his power potential. The scouting reports I have read talk of Martin's elite exit velocity, swing, plate discipline and a tremendous will to do what it takes to win. For all the talk about his defense, he made the All SEC defensive team at 3B last year. The vote was not conducted among the fans or media. The leagues coaches did the voting. We are picking second for a reason. It's my opinion we can't pass on Martin to do an underslot deal in the hope that a top talent falls to 30 and we are able to sign him. From today's Detroit Free Press: The Detroit Tigers have the first pick in the MLB draft, and the two top players available are Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson and Vanderbilt’s Austin Martin. Torkelson is a great power hitter. By all accounts, he is driven and competitive, and I think the Tigers are going to pick him. In fact, there is a lot of logic in taking Torkelson — he’s the best power hitter in this draft and he fills an organizational need. But it is not an easy decision. In many ways, the Tigers are faced with a new-age dilemma: Should they take the home run hitter or a guy who can do everything well — make hard solid contact, get on base, get great jumps, take the extra base and have the versatility to contribute all over the field — all the things that add up to wins in the new analytics? Most mock drafts have the Tigers taking Torkelson. But Vanderbilt baseball coach Tim Corbin told me something about Martin that caught my attention. When Corbin was watching the recent ESPN documentary about Michael Jordan, he saw something that reminded him of Martin. “Not to compare Michael Jordan and Austin Martin because I'm not doing it,” Corbin said. And then, well, he pretty much compared them. Not their skills. But their mindset. “When you start looking at people like that, they're far and away unique,” Corbin said. “They're different. And the piece that stands out the most is, guys like Michael Jordan, guys like Austin Martin, they compete all the time. It doesn’t matter the scenario you can put Austin Martin in. If he’s at the batting cages, or the fields, he wants to kick your ass all the time, period. That's all he's doing and he's pushing others and he's relentless when he does it. That's who he is.” If Corbin were a young, inexperienced coach, I’d dismiss those statements quickly as somebody blowing smoke to promote his player. But Corbin has been through this drill dozens of times. He has had more than 70 players drafted since 2003, including 15 players taken in the first round. Two of his players have been taken first overall: David Price (2007) and Dansby Swanson (2015). Last year alone, Vanderbilt had a school-record 13 players drafted. So when Corbin starts using terms like “unique” and “different,” considering his long history with developing future professional players, it’s time to pay attention. “You start watching (Martin) and you start to say, ‘Wow, this kid is a little bit unique,’” Corbin said. “There's a difference to what he's doing. He's winning games for you. Because he's moving on the bases. He's on base. His cleats touch first base so many times, but when they get beyond first base, his cleats get the third because of his own abilities.” Martin is a disciplined hitter with the athleticism to play several positions. Baseball America ranked him as the No.1 hitter in this draft, the No. 5 defensive outfielder and the No. 5 athlete. https://www.freep.com/story/sports/columnists/jeff-seidel/2020/06/05/detroit-tigers-mlb-draft-austin-martin-michael-jordan/3143729001/
  7. I have read some stories, and seen reports, that perhaps we should go underslot at #2 and use the savings for the 30th overall pick and/or the 39th overall pick. To me, when you are picking 2nd overall (or anywhere in the top 5), you need to pick the very best player available. You cannot pass on elite talent. Certainly doing so in the hope that a top talent will fall to 30 and you will be able to go overlslot risks the loss of an elite talent for a possibility which is out of your control. This is also a draft that is supposed to be deep in pitching. I bring all of this up because it appears that the Tigers are going to with Tork, which means Austin Martin will be available at #2. I think most would agree that the SEC has been the best conference in recent years. I think most would agree that the SEC was the best conference in the last full season (2019). In SEC games in 2019, Martin hit .424. Some players run up huge stats prior to conference play and then their numbers take a hit when conference games start. Not Martin. He destroyed SEC pitching . To compare, JJ Bleday hit .304 in SEC games in 2019 (he hit .347 overall in 2019). Martin also walked more than he struck out and every scouting report I read talks of his elite exit velocity and control of the strike zone. Even though it appears he will not be an MLB shortstop, he is going to play CF, 3B or 2B. Nick Gonzales has been floated in some mocks as an underslot guy for us at #2. Perhaps he will be a solid big league player. However, he played at New Mexico State which is approximately 3,900 feet above sea level, nearly 3,000 feet higher than any non-Coors park in MLB. In addition, the competition he faced was so far below what Martin faced that it isn't even funny. I read one story that in 3 seasons he only faced two teams that were even ranked (Texas A&m and Texas Tech). Lacy looks like he has good stuff. Solid lefty with a consistent 92-94 MPH fastball that can hit 96 or so and a really good slider. He was great in his 4 starts before the 2020 season was shut down. However, aside from the risk of being a pitcher, he made 21 career starts at A&M, 15 of which came last year. He walked 4.36/9 in 2019. Maybe if he had a full 2020 to prove his control and command was elite I'd feel differently, but I think there is too much risk there to pick him over Martin. Let's not overthink it. Take Martin, add him to Rutschman, Mountcastle, Hays, DL Hall and G-Rod and continue the rebuild on the proper trajectory.
  8. Arizona State's website and d1baseball list Tork at 6'1 205. Cal's website and d1baseball list Vaughn at 6'0 214. Here are the links: https://d1baseball.com/player/SMIcwFdg/spencer-torkelson/ https://thesundevils.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=8386 https://d1baseball.com/player/lG5tPbWe/andrew-vaughn/ https://calbears.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=13662
  9. Here are Torkleson's stats over the last two seasons: 2018: .320/.440/.743 25 HR 38 Walks 44 Strikeouts 2019: .353/.449/.702 22 HR 41 Walks 43 Strikeouts Here are Vaughn's stats over the same two season period: 2018: .402/.531/.819 23 HR 44 Walks 18 Strikeouts 2019: .374/.539/.704 15 HR 60 Walks 33 Strikeouts Vaughn hit for a higher average (.389 v. .338), walked more (about 25% more) and struck out less (about 58% of the frequency that Tork k'd). Torkelson, obviously, hit more homers (47 v. 38).
  10. Austin Martin really stands out to me. In SEC games, he hit .424. Some players run up huge stats before conference play and then their numbers take a hit when conference games start. Not Martin. He destroyed SEC pitching and I think many would argue that the SEC was the best conference in the country in 2019. As a comparison, Bleday hit .304 in SEC games (.347 overall). Martin also improved as the year went along, especially from a power perspective. We'll see how he does at SS this year (he played 3rd in 2019), but in even if he doesn't project as an everyday MLB SS, his bat, speed (22 steals as a freshman and 18 as a sophomore), strike zone judgment (40 walks 36 K's and a.486 OBP) and ability to play 3B, 2B or CF (he played CF for Team USA) have me very interested.
  11. Obviously watching O's games is brutal and not for the faint of heart. One thing I have noticed that I like is the black and grey t-shirt that our coaches and players wear. Unfortunately, I cant find it anywhere. I've searched the team store, MLB store, fansedge, majestic etc. without success. I have long arms and like t-shirts with the "longer" short-sleeves. This t-shirt looks perfect. In these times of woeful baseball, it's the little pleasures that sustain us! Any help finding it would be greatly appreciated. Here's what it looks like:
  12. https://www.theringer.com/mlb/2019/5/30/18645138/mlb-draft-andrew-vaughn-first-baseman-cal
  13. Vaughn went 7-13 with 4 HR this weekend, including an opposite field grand slam. On the season, Vaughn is 18-34, .529/.680/.1.176 (1.856 OPS) with seven home runs, 18 RBI, 15 walks, a HBP and five strikeouts.
  14. Thanks. I forgot to add that Vaughn did go to the Cape Cod League last summer before joining Team USA. He was really solid there with the wood bat. In 14 games, he hit .308 with 5 HR with a 1.022 OPS. One of his teammates was Bryson Stott, the SS from UNLV who will likely be a first round pick as well. In 12 games, Stott was .275 with a .708 OPS. Rutschman did not play in the Cape Cod League last year (if I recall it was due to his long season after winning the CWS), but he did in 2017. In 2017, in 20 games, he hit .164 with a .461 OPS. Admittedly these are small sample sizes and Rutschman has clearly grown as a player since 2017. It's just more food for thought on Vaughn and trying to put his numbers into perspective relative to his peers. If Rutschman continues to hit as he has at the start of this season, and as he did last year for OSU, who can complain if we draft him 1-1? My concerns with him are (i) how he struck out 40 times last year in 250 AB while Vaughn only struck out 18 times in the same conference, and (ii) he's a catcher and, to me, catchers are somewhat similar to RB's in that you know their prime is a short window of time and you likely don't want to sign them to a large contract when they get to free agency. By the time we are ready to win, how many years will we have left with Rutschman? The scouting reports that I have read on Vaughn are that his numbers are legit in that he is the best hitter in the draft, but I will leave it to guys like Luke who watch endless amounts of tape and know what they are talking about to weigh in on Vaughn's (and Rutschman's) hitting mechanics and swing plane. I just know that if someone told me we could draft Joey Votto or Paul Goldschmidt at 1-1, I'd say "sign me up."
  15. Just wanted to point out what Andrew Vaughn, the 1B from Cal (the Pac-12, same conference as Rutschman) has accomplished and is currently doing. In 2017, as a freshman, Vaughn stats were: .349, .414 OBP and .555 SLG (.969 OPS.] Last year, Vaughn won the Golden Spikes award. His stats were insane. .402 average, .531 OBP and. 819 SLG (1.350 OPS). Oh, he also had 23 HR 44 Walks and 18 K's. That's right, he not only walked almost 2.5 times for each K, he also had more HR's than K's. This season, Vaughn is putting up even better numbers. In 11 games, he's 11-21 (.524), 3 HR, 9 RBI, 14 walks and 3 K's. .714 OBP and 1.000 SLG (1.714 OPS). His college numbers dwarf those of Kris Bryant and Paul Goldschmidt. I understand that C has more value than 1B, but C also has a shorter life span. Vaughn deserves consideration at 1-1.
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