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Frobby

Ranking the best Orioles draft picks of the 21st Century

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Updated from last year to show the updated WAR totals and add Josh Hader at no 6.   Other than inserting Hader and moving everyone below him down a notch, I didn't make any changes to the rankings, though arguably I could have made some small adjustments (for example, moving Gausman up a spot).

1. Manny Machado, 1:3 pick 2010, 33.8 rWAR

2. Jake Arrieta, 5:5 pick 2007, 24.5 rWAR

3. Nick Markakis, 1:7 pick 2003, 32.4 rWAR

4. Zach Britton, 3:9 pick 2006, 11.7 rWAR

5. Matt Wieters, 1:5 pick 2007, 18.0 rWAR

6.  Josh Hader, 19:4 pick 2012, 4.0 rWAR.

7.  Zach Davies, 26:4 pick 2010, 5.5 rWAR

8.  Kevin Gausman, 1:4 pick 2012, 11.3 rWAR

9.  Dylan Bundy, 1:4 pick 2011, 4.6 rWAR

10. Jim Johnson, 5:7 pick 2001, 8.1 rWAR

11.  Mychal Givens, 2:5 pick 2009, 5.8 rWAR

12. David Hernandez, 16:13 pick, 2005, 6.5 rWAR

13. Caleb Joseph, 7:4 pick 2008, 4.5 rWAR

14.  Trey Mancini, 8:23 pick 2013, 2.5 rWAR

15.  John Maine, 6:4 pick 2002, 4.0 rWAR

16.  Brad Bergesen, 4:8 pick 2004, 3.2 rWAR

17.  Chris Ray, 3:7 pick 2003, 3.2 rWAR

18.  Mike Fontenot, 1:19 pick 2001, 4.5 rWAR

19.  Nolan Reimold, 2:13 pick 2005, 2.2 rWAR

20.  Donnie Hart, 27:23 pick 2013, 1.5 rWAR

21.  Brian Matusz, 1:4 pick 2008, 2.7 rWAR

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I had to edit my post above because I had omitted an important player: Josh Hader.   For now I’m inserting him in the 6th spot and sliding everyone else down one.

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1 hour ago, Frobby said:

Updated from last year to show the updated WAR totals and add Josh Hader at no 6.   Other than inserting Hader and moving everyone below him down a notch, I didn't make any changes to the rankings, though arguably I could have made some small adjustments (for example, moving Gausman up a spot).

1. Manny Machado, 1:3 pick 2010, 33.8 rWAR

2. Jake Arrieta, 5:5 pick 2007, 24.5 rWAR

3. Nick Markakis, 1:7 pick 2003, 32.4 rWAR

4. Zach Britton, 3:9 pick 2006, 11.7 rWAR

5. Matt Wieters, 1:5 pick 2007, 18.0 rWAR

6.  Josh Hader, 19:4 pick 2012, 4.0 rWAR.

7.  Zach Davies, 26:4 pick 2010, 5.5 rWAR

8.  Kevin Gausman, 1:4 pick 2012, 11.3 rWAR

9.  Dylan Bundy, 1:4 pick 2011, 4.6 rWAR

10. Jim Johnson, 5:7 pick 2001, 8.1 rWAR

11.  Mychal Givens, 2:5 pick 2009, 5.8 rWAR

12. David Hernandez, 16:13 pick, 2005, 6.5 rWAR

13. Caleb Joseph, 7:4 pick 2008, 4.5 rWAR

14.  Trey Mancini, 8:23 pick 2013, 2.5 rWAR

15.  John Maine, 6:4 pick 2002, 4.0 rWAR

16.  Brad Bergesen, 4:8 pick 2004, 3.2 rWAR

17.  Chris Ray, 3:7 pick 2003, 3.2 rWAR

18.  Mike Fontenot, 1:19 pick 2001, 4.5 rWAR

19.  Nolan Reimold, 2:13 pick 2005, 2.2 rWAR

20.  Donnie Hart, 27:23 pick 2013, 1.5 rWAR

21.  Brian Matusz, 1:4 pick 2008, 2.7 rWAR

 

Considering how long he seemed to be here, I'm surprised Reimold only accumulated 2.2 rWar.  Which is half of what Mike Fontenot accumulated.  O.o

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3 minutes ago, Mooreisbetter27 said:

 

Considering how long he seemed to be here, I'm surprised Reimold only accumulated 2.2 rWar.  Which is half of what Mike Fontenot accumulated.  O.o

The two had pretty similar careers: Reimold .745 OPS in 1556 PA spread over 8 seasons, Fontenot .734 OPS in 1586 PA spread over 7 seasons.   But Fontenot played on the dirt so he had somewhat more value.

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On 11/13/2016 at 10:43 AM, Frobby said:

Here's my ranking of the best picks the Orioles have made since 2000. That's really 2-3 full generations of players. My list takes into account where the player was drafted -- a guy taken in the 2nd round would be ranked higher than a player taken in the 1st round who has the same value. A player makes this list regardless of whether his value came with the Orioles, or some other team. However, I am not including guys we drafted but didn't sign. I'm also not considering guys who might have been good picks if injuries had not derailed their careers. I'm also not considering guys who haven't made it to the majors yet. Here's my list:

1. Manny Machado, 1:3 pick 2010, 24.4 rWAR -- He's the highest pick we've had in the last 17 drafts, and we made it count. Future Hall of Famer if he can stay healthy.

2. Jake Arrieta, 5:5 pick 2007, 19.8 rWAR -- Brilliant selection and signing by Joe Jordan, but unfortunately all of his value has gone to the Chicago Cubs after we traded Jake away for Scott Feldman.

3. Nick Markakis, 1:7 pick 2003, 29.1 rWAR -- Excellent choice and a future Orioles HOFer. Very nice value at no. 7 overall.

4. Zach Britton, 3:9 pick 2006, 10.2 rWAR -- Lots of value still to come for Britton. A steal in the 3rd round.

5. Matt Wieters, 1:5 pick 2007, 16.3 rWAR -- We were fortunate that he fell to us in the 2007 draft, and we did a good job in signing him. He never lived up to the hype after his first MiL season, but a very worthwhile pick at 1:5.

6. Kevin Gausman, 1:4 pick 2012, 6.2 rWAR -- Solid if unspectacular pick at 1:4. The best is yet to come. The way we moved him up and down the first couple of years may have slowed his development, but the good news is that he's under team control another four years because he's 21 games short of three years of service time despite spending parts of four seasons in the majors. Could move up the list if he can take his game up one more notch.

7. Dylan Bundy, 1:4 pick 2011, 1.8 rWAR -- You really have to close your eyes and guess where to put Bundy on this list. He's a very high pick so you have to take that into account, but I'm hoping that over the next five years he can be a staple of our rotation, and possibly our ace. He could move up as high as no. 3 if things break right, or he could drop a couple of notches. I still feel he has more upside than Gausman, but he needs to prove he can hold up before he moves up.

8. Jim Johnson, 5:7 pick 2001, 10.2 rWAR -- Excellent closer/set up guy for a few years, still serviceable for the Braves in 2016, 15 years after he was drafted.

9. Zach Davies, 26:4 pick 2010, 2.7 rWAR -- Looks to me like a solid BOR starter for a long time, maybe more. Amazing value in the 26th round. If he does well in 2017 I'd probably move him up on this list. Still furious that we threw this value away for two months of a mediocre corner outfielder.

10. Mychal Givens, 2:5 pick 2009, 2.6 rWAR -- You have to project a bit to rank Givens this highly, but he looks to me like he'll have an 8-10 rWAR career at least. Nice value in the second round, even if we did pick him as an infielder.

11. David Hernandez, 16:13 pick, 2005, 4.0 rWAR -- Awesome value for where he was picked. Traded away for Mark Reynolds.

12. John Maine, 6:4 pick 2002, 4.0 rWAR -- Decent BOR starter for a few years, but all his value was after we traded him away for Chris Benson.

13. Brad Bergesen, 4:8 pick 2004, 3.2 rWAR -- Had one excellent year as a starter, maybe could have done more if he hadn't foolishly hurt his shoulder filming a TV commercial

14. Chris Ray, 3:7 pick 2003, 3.2 rWAR -- Had a few good years in our bullpen before he blew out his arm.

15. Mike Fontenot, 1:19 pick 2001, 4.5 rWAR -- Serviceable career, but we threw him away in the Sosa trade.

16. Caleb Joseph, 7:4 pick 2008, 2.5 rWAR -- Did a solid job as our principal catcher in the 2014 playoff run, and sharing the load with Wieters in 2015. It remains to be seen if he has more value to give after a disastrous 2016.

17. Nolan Reimold, 2:13 pick 2005, 2.2 rWAR -- Might have done a bit better if he hadn't been injured so often.

18. Brian Matusz, 1:4 pick 2008, 2.7 rWAR -- Certainly the biggest disappointment on this list, considering where he was drafted, but he did provide some value as a starter in 2009-10 and as a LOOGY in 2012-15.

19. Tyler Wilson, 10:4 pick 2011, 1.0 rWAR -- Not sure he has much more to give, but for a 10th rounder, he gave us a bit of value.

Overall, it strikes me that this is a pretty short list. At some point, I am going to try to do the same list for the other four AL East teams and add them to the list. But in the meantime, I'm interested to see everyone's reactions to my rankings.

Brian Roberts. Draft: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 1stround (50th) of the 1999 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of South Carolina (Columbia, SC). Just missed the cut.
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Thanks for compiling and updating this list.

I'm struck by the predominantly low draft numbers of the guys we traded away or released to have MLB careers mainly with another team:

Hader, 19; Davies, 26; Hernandez, 16; Yaz, 14; Drake, 43, Bridwell, 9.

Of the list of ones "that got away" I omitted Arietta since he had a decent chance with the O's; and then near the bottom of the list there's Fontenot, 1, and Walker, 4.

Meanwhile of the eighteen keepers on the list, the only guys drafted lower than round 8 were Means, 11 and Hart, 27. 

The conclusion I come away with is that the O's were biased toward giving extra potential value to their higher drafted picks, and gave a much shorter leash to the "long shots" drafted lower, like Hader, Drake, and Davies, with the first two passing through other organizations as well. Which indicates that using draft rank as a measure of future value is not something confined to the O's. And maybe it makes sense.

I just find it interesting that when drafting, potential future value is translated into draft rank. From then on, it seems a player is prejudged by that draft rank, rather than updating true future value. And maybe something is lost in the translation?

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On 11/27/2018 at 1:43 PM, Frobby said:

I had to edit my post above because I had omitted an important player: Josh Hader.   For now I’m inserting him in the 6th spot and sliding everyone else down one.

Good call.

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19 hours ago, now said:

The conclusion I come away with is that the O's were biased toward giving extra potential value to their higher drafted picks, and gave a much shorter leash to the "long shots" drafted lower, like Hader, Drake, and Davies, with the first two passing through other organizations as well. Which indicates that using draft rank as a measure of future value is not something confined to the O's. And maybe it makes sense.

I just find it interesting that when drafting, potential future value is translated into draft rank. From then on, it seems a player is prejudged by that draft rank, rather than updating true future value. And maybe something is lost in the translation?

You draft based on tools and abilities that you think will translate to success at the major league level.  Sometimes a player has abilities that play well at lower levels that will probably be exploited in the majors.  You might be a relatively finished pitcher with multiple pitches and good command but an 88 mph fastball with little projection, for example.  That guy might get drafted in the 10th round.  He might also have a 2.25 ERA in Delmarva.  None of that changes the idea that you don't think his stuff will do well at higher levels. 

Every once in a while a Hader or a Davies will overcome perceived limitations.  It's not that you're wedded to their draft slot, it's that most pitchers with their general profile don't succeed in the majors.

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23 hours ago, now said:

The conclusion I come away with is that the O's were biased toward giving extra potential value to their higher drafted picks, and gave a much shorter leash to the "long shots" drafted lower, like Hader, Drake, and Davies, with the first two passing through other organizations as well. Which indicates that using draft rank as a measure of future value is not something confined to the O's. And maybe it makes sense.

I just find it interesting that when drafting, potential future value is translated into draft rank. From then on, it seems a player is prejudged by that draft rank, rather than updating true future value. And maybe something is lost in the translation?

That was Duquette's MO. Try to compete every year but without big free agency signings or trading top prospects. That meant trading a lot of B and C prospects to fill holes with Bud Norris and Gerardo Parra types. Good recipe to be kinda sorta competitive, but not really.

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21 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

You draft based on tools and abilities that you think will translate to success at the major league level.  Sometimes a player has abilities that play well at lower levels that will probably be exploited in the majors.  You might be a relatively finished pitcher with multiple pitches and good command but an 88 mph fastball with little projection, for example.  That guy might get drafted in the 10th round.  He might also have a 2.25 ERA in Delmarva.  None of that changes the idea that you don't think his stuff will do well at higher levels. 

Every once in a while a Hader or a Davies will overcome perceived limitations.  It's not that you're wedded to their draft slot, it's that most pitchers with their general profile don't succeed in the majors.

I think the group who left break into two categories — those who were traded for something of (perceived) value and those who were more or less abandoned.    I don’t think management gave up on Hader or Davies, they just wanted to win now and preferred to give up assets who weren’t in the majors yet.    I’ll also point out that while Davies was drafted in the 26th round, he was paid an overslot bonus of $500,000, which was (I think) about 3rd round money.    So it’s not like everyone thought his success was just some fluke that had no chance of being sustained.    I do think Duquette undervalued him, but it certainly wasn’t because of the round in which he was drafted.   

Guys like Yaz, Bridwell and Drake are in the “didn’t seem to have much value” category.   

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On 10/7/2019 at 12:07 PM, Aristotelian said:

That was Duquette's MO. Try to compete every year but without big free agency signings or trading top prospects. That meant trading a lot of B and C prospects to fill holes with Bud Norris and Gerardo Parra types. Good recipe to be kinda sorta competitive, but not really.

Good point, especially combined with DD's penchant for acquiring underachieving former high draft picks, in hopes they would finally make good on their pedigree.

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I wonder how much of our lag behind the Sox is drafting, and how much is player development?

Probably a little of both.  Or a lot.

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