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Greg Pappas

O's 2020 MLB Draft Chat: Picking #2/30/39/74

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15 minutes ago, Greg Pappas said:

Here's a new piece about 5 potential draft choices for the O's, from Dan Connolly of TheAthletic.com. It's behind a paywall ($).

Note: Perhaps one other (long shot) prospect Dan could've added is HS OF'er Zac Veen.

I will only share this bit on Asa Lacy: 

 

That is a good article from Dan Connolly. In this draft, I really like Lacy a lot and would be just fine with him at #2. Though I would slightly prefer Martin if Tork is gone. Not much wear and tear this year, which is not the norm for college juniors who are Friday night starters. 
 

Regarding Veen, I guess maybe DC thinks the O’s will be conservative here and not go HS based on the limited data. I like Veen a lot, from what I have seen and heard. Some of my Scorpions friends tell me he is the real deal with a ton of upside still. But there is a considerable amount of risk there, and none of us want to see the Orioles blow this pick. Not with Martin, Tork, or Lacy there. He could save money for picks 30/39, sure. But he may be giving away a championship caliber player in Tork, Martin or Lacy. Gonzalez is such a wildcard, and he would be a ballsy pick for Elias when he could have taken the other three. Gonzalez might be a legit hitter with more power than most think, but Elias has better be right if he takes him to save money. He would have to be Altuve without the plus speed for this pick to work for me. 

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Here are the scouting reports of two similar players.  Both are 6’ 180.  Both played infield and play in SEC.   Great comparison.

Player A              Player B

hit  60                  65

power 50             50

Run 50                 55

arm 55                 50

Field 50               55

overall 55            60

.

player A    Alex Bregman

player B     Austin Martin

 

 

 

 

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The latest mock from Jonathan Mayo... https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-mock-draft-june-3?t=mlb-pipeline-coverage

Quote

We’re one week away from the Draft (June 10-11 on MLB Network/ESPN) and there’s still no change at the very top. The top four remains the same from my mock two weeks ago and Jim Callis’ last week. I switched things up a little bit after that, but the top 10 names seem to be holding steady.

There continues to be some buzz about deals being cut at the top of the first round (with teams looking to save some of their bonus pool for other picks), but that’s an annual tradition that rarely ever plays out. After that, it gets a little grey, especially as we get near the end of the first round where there’s a deep pool of college right-handers that are somewhat interchangeable.


1. Tigers: Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Arizona State
No change at the top. He’s still atop the board and there's no reason to project any different pick for the Tigers.

2. Orioles: Austin Martin, 3B/OF, Vanderbilt
There is a lot of scuttlebutt around New Mexico State’s Nick Gonzales or Florida prep standout Zac Veen going here in a deal, but it’s not strong enough to stray from the the top pure hitter in the class.

3. Marlins: Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M
The top three stays the same; Lacy had separated himself a bit as the top arm in the class and all signs point to the Marlins going that route.

4. Royals: Nick Gonzales, 2B, New Mexico State
It’s been all about the bats here, with Gonzales still in the lead for me, narrowly over Veen.

5. Blue Jays: Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota
This could come down to more of a certainty with the college arm in Meyer or the upside of Veen’s bat.

 

 

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The great draft analyst Jim Callis, of MLB.com, was just on 105.7 FM, the Fan.  He reiterated that it's 50/50 between taking Martin and taking a discounted position player, like Gonzalez or Veen.  He doesn't hear anything about the O's having interest in Lacy or any other pitcher at #2. 

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If Gonzales glove is solid, he would be my pick. Wouldn't be unhappy with Veen either. I understand he is a super prospect. I'd pass on Martin and the Boras factor. Lacy would be my third choice due to control issues.

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On 6/3/2020 at 9:11 PM, WI O’s Fan said:

Here are the scouting reports of two similar players.  Both are 6’ 180.  Both played infield and play in SEC.   Great comparison.

Player A              Player B

hit  60                  65

power 50             50

Run 50                 55

arm 55                 50

Field 50               55

overall 55            60

.

player A    Alex Bregman

player B     Austin Martin

 

 

 

 

Glad someone else made this comparison. I have been thinking of Martin as our potential version of Bregman for some time now. 

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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/

 

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4 hours ago, calsmanystances said:

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/

 

An excellent post.

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On 5/31/2020 at 2:57 PM, Jammer7 said:

That is a good article from Dan Connolly. In this draft, I really like Lacy a lot and would be just fine with him at #2. Though I would slightly prefer Martin if Tork is gone. Not much wear and tear this year, which is not the norm for college juniors who are Friday night starters. 
 

Regarding Veen, I guess maybe DC thinks the O’s will be conservative here and not go HS based on the limited data. I like Veen a lot, from what I have seen and heard. Some of my Scorpions friends tell me he is the real deal with a ton of upside still. But there is a considerable amount of risk there, and none of us want to see the Orioles blow this pick. Not with Martin, Tork, or Lacy there. He could save money for picks 30/39, sure. But he may be giving away a championship caliber player in Tork, Martin or Lacy. Gonzalez is such a wildcard, and he would be a ballsy pick for Elias when he could have taken the other three. Gonzalez might be a legit hitter with more power than most think, but Elias has better be right if he takes him to save money. He would have to be Altuve without the plus speed for this pick to work for me. 

Anyone care to share some of this content for those of us who don’t have access?

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My thoughts as we get nearer to draft day--

I want Torkelson or Martin, being virtually split on who I favor. I'd be very happy to get either, though the odds greatly favor the Tigers taking Tork.

The rumors/chatter about Elias going underslot like he did in 2012 with Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers, have me concerned, yet not as adamantly against it as I've been. 

 

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13 hours ago, Greg Pappas said:

My thoughts as we get nearer to draft day--

I want Torkelson or Martin, being virtually split on who I favor. I'd be very happy to get either, though the odds greatly favor the Tigers taking Tork.

The rumors/chatter about Elias going underslot like he did in 2012 with Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers, have me concerned, yet not as adamantly against it as I've been. 

 

I’m usually very against that strategy on principle but.... dang Correa and McCullers? I’d say it worked that time. Totally depends on the evaluation of the players considered. Looking at the 2012 draft, I remember Buxton being pretty clearly the consensus top guy and taking Correa was a gutsy pick. 
 

I’m going to trust Elias no matter what, but I’d be much happier with Martin. Hopefully he’s seeing the Bregman comps, too. 

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Don't overthink it.   Martin.  Torkelson if Martin somehow goes first.    I think they are just negotiating whether directly or indirectly by suggesting the underslot scenario.  If Martin drops down a spot or two he loses money.   So having him think that they are trying to save some money on the #2 slot.   Just my guess and hope.   Lacy sounds good but there is so much risk on pitcher's health and the control is not A+.   I wouldn't hate Lacy at #2 but I'm not for it.   The HS OF is a corner guy so it's all about the bat.  Martin is more proven and can likely play 3B, 2B or CF.    Martin seems like a no brainer to me if he's there.   He would be a complete no brainer if he was a SS.  Semi no brainer at 2B.   Even at 3B or CF, his overall games seems to be the best of anyone, HS or college.   

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43 minutes ago, RZNJ said:

Don't overthink it.   Martin.  Torkelson if Martin somehow goes first.    I think they are just negotiating whether directly or indirectly by suggesting the underslot scenario.  If Martin drops down a spot or two he loses money.   So having him think that they are trying to save some money on the #2 slot.   Just my guess and hope.   Lacy sounds good but there is so much risk on pitcher's health and the control is not A+.   I wouldn't hate Lacy at #2 but I'm not for it.   The HS OF is a corner guy so it's all about the bat.  Martin is more proven and can likely play 3B, 2B or CF.    Martin seems like a no brainer to me if he's there.   He would be a complete no brainer if he was a SS.  Semi no brainer at 2B.   Even at 3B or CF, his overall games seems to be the best of anyone, HS or college.   

This is mostly where I am. I think we will see Martin taken. He is the best player available. His bat will play anywhere. If he was a legit proven SS, he would likely not be available at #2. I would play it safe and take Martin

The Boras factor certainly is in play. Perhaps they are trying to save as much of the slot as they can for picks 30/39, which, in my opinion, are huge in this draft. Even if this speculation saves 300-500k from the #2 pick, it is worth it. There may certainly be some serious HS talent there, and it will not come cheap. Then they could maybe go underslot at rounds 3/4/5. 

Zac Veen, however, may end up being much more athletic than most think. He is still growing and developing. When he gets more coordinated and comfortable in his own body, and gets stronger, I can see the Bellinger comps. He is fluid and loose, just needs to add more strength and explosiveness with training and nutrition. If Elias goes this route, it is risky, sure. But I won’t be upset with it if he saves some money and takes top sliding talents with 30/39. 

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Just now, Jammer7 said:

This is mostly where I am. I think we will see Martin taken. He is the best player available. His bat will play anywhere. If he was a legit proven SS, he would likely not be available at #2. I would play it safe and take Martin

The Boras factor certainly is in play. Perhaps they are trying to save as much of the slot as they can for picks 30/39, which, in my opinion, are huge in this draft. Even if this speculation saves 300-500k from the #2 pick, it is worth it. There may certainly be some serious HS talent there, and it will not come cheap. Then they could maybe go underslot at rounds 3/4/5. 

Zac Veen, however, may end up being much more athletic than most think. He is still growing and developing. When he gets more coordinated and comfortable in his own body, and gets stronger, I can see the Bellinger comps. He is fluid and loose, just needs to add more strength and explosiveness with training and nutrition. If Elias goes this route, it is risky, sure. But I won’t be upset with it if he saves some money and takes top sliding talents with 30/39. 

Boras can't do a lot here.  It would very likely cost any of these top picks a lot of money to not sign and go back to school for a senior year.

I'd be fine with picking 1-3 in next year's stacked draft.

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