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2020 Orioles draft review: Elias ends up with three first round talents

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44 minutes ago, Roll Tide said:

The problem as I said a few posts ago.... I really haven’t liked the outcome of the trades, signings, or the draft. He’s improved the scouting and international departments, but it’s easy considering that both were poor under PA’s decision making. It’s easy to see that the problems weren’t likely previous GMs.

Please do share what you’d have done differently? Since you apparently hate every player-related move Elias has made.

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I think what gets lost here is the type of teammate a player is as well as the type of talent a player shows. We only see the latter but we must never discount the former. Austin Martin while good on paper may very well be a tough guy to peg for this reason. Everything I have seen from Kjerstad is a guy who has taken every opportunity to not only make himself better by facing varied competition but also has a great desire to be a great teammate in the clubhouse. That type of difference is impossible to illustrate in video clips. His desire to wear that "more than just an athlete" shirt for draft day just rubbed me the wrong way. While I think he will be successful, I think it's important to note some interesting red flags that may arise in the future with a fella like that. In every interview when asked about what Kjerstad brings to the table he makes sure to note his desire to be a good teammate. I know it's probably not going to resonate with you guys but I think back to the poster who saw Bryce Harper play. Here is a guy who everyone saw was an incredible talent but the things we dont see which later arose with Harper were his impossibility to be a good teammate. He stated that Harper will never win a WS and I agree. We saw that with him fighting in the clubhouse and that's only the public display we saw at a game. Elias is building something special in Baltimore by bringing in quality players who will also work well with each other. Adley also indicated exactly the same type of characteristics as well as Rodriguez. These are high quality players from exceptional families who are mature beyond their years. They will approach the game in a different way. We are years away from proving any of this will bear out but I am ecstatic at Kjerstad being the guy who will make you guys proud. I firmly believe the Orioles will contend for a WS within five years. John Means is another guy who exemplifies these qualities. These are the players that Elias is targeting and I think it's the Oriole way just as it was of our past greatness in the 60s. You can not coach personality. You either have it or you do not. I think after talking with the players the way the scouts have, you can see that very clearly. I'm not at the point to say that Martin will be a cancer in the clubhouse. I dont think that's fair to levy on a kid, but I could see glimpses of something that did not sit right. Time will tell but when you look at the type of power hitter to succeed at Camden, it's difficult to look at Kjerstad not projecting perfectly in Baltimore. I think we will all be pleasantly surprised with this kid and I think Elias chose very wisely with this kid.

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39 minutes ago, Explosivo said:

I think what gets lost here is the type of teammate a player is as well as the type of talent a player shows. We only see the latter but we must never discount the former. Austin Martin while good on paper may very well be a tough guy to peg for this reason. Everything I have seen from Kjerstad is a guy who has taken every opportunity to not only make himself better by facing varied competition but also has a great desire to be a great teammate in the clubhouse. That type of difference is impossible to illustrate in video clips. His desire to wear that "more than just an athlete" shirt for draft day just rubbed me the wrong way. While I think he will be successful, I think it's important to note some interesting red flags that may arise in the future with a fella like that. 

Martin has a pretty sterling reputation in this regard.   And last I checked, Vanderbilt won the College World Series last year, with him as one of the team’s stars.    

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5 hours ago, Roll Tide said:

The problem as I said a few posts ago.... I really haven’t liked the outcome of the trades, signings, or the draft. He’s improved the scouting and international departments, but it’s easy considering that both were poor under PA’s decision making. It’s easy to see that the problems weren’t likely previous GMs.

I don't think it's easy to see that, I think it's easy to see that Peter Angelos put significant constraints on previous GMs and it at least appears that his boys don't.  I don't think it's trivial to take a team that's years behind in development and turn it around.  And although I would have preferred Martin at #2, we'll see how Elias' strategy plays out in a few years. It was an unconventional and arguably risky draft strategy, but it'll be a long time until we can make a clear statement on how it did at acquiring talent.

I'm also curious about what signings you're disappointed in.  The amateur/international guys?  If so, I think patience and a few more signing periods will tell that story. 

This was always going to be a long game.  Fans want results yesterday, but that's not how this works.

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One more point.  I've always argued that you should grade drafts based on the information available at the time.  If you draft Fred Smith and Fred Smith was the best available player and a year later he gets hit by a rickshaw and his career is over, you can still get a very good grade for the pick.  You did what made sense at the time of the draft.

The Orioles have thrown a wrench into that, because I don't know that anyone really has the information necessary to grade this appropriately.  At least I don't have a good idea of where the overslots would have gone if money wasn't an option.  I don't know if Kjerstad was really a top-five talent because of metrics and reports that aren't publicly available.  I think the best we can do is say Elias went unconventional, and with that comes risk, but possibly also reward.

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16 hours ago, Roll Tide said:

Can you provide anything to solidify your insight? Was Richie freaking Martin ever rated at or near the top of his draft class? Did any venue ever grade his hit tool at 70? Was Martin even drafted in the 1st round? No ....He was drafted in the 38th round .NO!!!!!!!...there is simply no comparison Sir!
 

On Martin

https://www.prospectslive.com/mlb-draft/mlb-2020-mock-draft-2020


These are just opinions too  but since you posted the link:  They may not value Kjerstad #2 but this write up has no hint that it would be lunacy to take him higher.  We’ll see.  I’m cautiously optimistic.  
 

 

 

 

14. Texas Rangers

TEX.png

Heston Kjerstad, OF

 
 
 
School: Arkansas
 
 
PL Contributor: Joe
If the Rangers luck out and find Arkansas Razorback OF Heston Kjerstad fall into their lap, they’ll be an awfully smitten bunch. Kjerstad brings one of the most polished bats in the nation to Globe Life Park. The hit tool is comfortably a 55, though probably is a 60-grade offering. The power on the other hand is a sure 60 on the scale. It’s a sweet left-handed swing with few holes. Kjerstad’s liability is in the field where he grades as an average, maybe a shade below average corner outfielder. He takes poor routes in right field, and isn’t smooth by any means, but he does possess a slightly above average arm that should play just fine in left field. At worst, he’s a solid first baseman with added outfield versatility and the benefit of the designated hitter spot in the American League. There’s a little Kyle Schwarber in his profile that would profile splendidly behind Joey Gallo in the Rangers lineup.
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Declaring a draft genius or lunacy at the time is pretty much a loud guess. Either way. The Orioles have earned a low opinion and Elias is probably tarnished some by the Houston scandal. I can see the low opinion. But he came to build a system and he brought some sharp people.
 

I think this is an important draft because it’s shorter and because we drafted up top. And I think it will hurt the rebuild if the choices flop. But the reverse is also true. If we hit on 3 that is a significant step forward. The reality is we won’t know till later. But this doesn’t feel like the lameness of old. I personally would have liked more pitching. But it is clear that in two drafts the Elias team has decided there isn’t anywhere near enough talent for position players. Most of baseball agrees with that and I think justifies the course of action. 
 

 

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4 hours ago, Frobby said:

Martin has a pretty sterling reputation in this regard.   And last I checked, Vanderbilt won the College World Series last year, with him as one of the team’s stars.    

Couldn't agree more @Frobby. Seems like an excellent kid.

Judging Martin as "a fella like that" and comparing him to other players who come from "excellent families" all because he wore a t-shirt supporting black athletes and Americans is troubling to say the least.

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2 hours ago, DrungoHazewood said:

At least I don't have a good idea of where the overslots would have gone if money wasn't an option.

Right.  As much as the MLBPA puffs its chest it isn't a salary cap game, the pools make the draft so.  

I think part of it then the draft pick priority becomes the player where your own assessment most exceeds the consensus assessment.

But that's not all.  I suspect the Orioles Mayo/Baumler assessments are further above consensus than the Westburg/Haskin/Servideo ones but they could wait being reasonably sure that 26, 27, 28, 29 other teams simply didn't have the $1.75M to be their White Knight to pick pro instead of NCAA for their ~ age 19-21 seasons.

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It's more than just the shirt he wore. It's the interviews Martin gave prior and lack of interviews post. There is something missing with the kid. I'm not a scout as most here are not, but there is an intangible that is missing there for me. With Kjerstad, he checks all boxes and I cant wait to see him put up 20-30 bombs in Camden. It's the perfect park for him. He also took on much more varied competition than Martin by playing on the USA team. He saw a ton of different styles of pitching and cranked on all of them. I think the best is truly yet to come with him while Martin, though has a plus hitting tool, does not have meaningful power. Go take a look at his highlights, its single, double city. In college. With a metal bat. He got on base a ton, but that's a piece that does not have the same game winning impact as a bat like Kjerstad. I think we struck gold while also lining up for huge value in the 4th and 5th rounds. Drafting Martin would not accomplish that.

Besides, Kjerstad is a true blue collar success story.

Edited by Explosivo

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15 minutes ago, Explosivo said:

It's more than just the shirt he wore. It's the interviews Martin gave prior and lack of interviews post. There is something missing with the kid. I'm not a scout as most here are not, but there is an intangible that is missing there for me. With Kjerstad, he checks all boxes and I cant wait to see him put up 20-30 bombs in Camden. It's the perfect park for him. He also took on much more varied competition than Martin by playing on the USA team. He saw a ton of different styles of pitching and cranked on all of them. I think the best is truly yet to come with him while Martin, though has a plus hitting tool, does not have meaningful power. Go take a look at his highlights, its single, double city. In college. With a metal bat. He got on base a ton, but that's a piece that does not have the same game winning impact as a bat like Kjerstad. I think we struck gold while also lining up for huge value in the 4th and 5th rounds. Drafting Martin would not accomplish that.

 

I just cant shake to think Martin is a primadonna while Kjerstad is a true blue collar success story.

Martin played on the USA team with Kjerstad.  Kjerstad did outhit both Martin and Tork for the team, but Martin was on the team.

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12 minutes ago, Eric-OH said:

I totally agree with your take.  Martin may have the ‘hit tool’ but his attitude (not a criticism)doesn’t seem to vibe with the players I’ve met. I can’t call it focus either but I just never saw him meshing with this group.  It is not a knock on his game or himself as a guy. 
Kjerstad seems a better fit near the top of the OF depth chart and much more of a grinder. That would place him right into the ranks as a current O’s minor leaguer.  I’d wish Martin all the luck in the world if he wasn’t drafted by the Jays.  

You guys must use a lot of saccharine in your coffee because it’s pouring out onto your keyboards. If this was Jeopardy, this would be “Baseball cliches for $200.”  I sure hope the Orioles didn’t hire Elias and Sid and staff an analytics department to pick “grinders” with the right “attitudes” who “mesh”. 

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3 hours ago, CallMeBrooksie said:

Couldn't agree more @Frobby. Seems like an excellent kid.

Judging Martin as "a fella like that" and comparing him to other players who come from "excellent families" all because he wore a t-shirt supporting black athletes and Americans is troubling to say the least.

If Martin had worn a Don't Tread On Me hat, would you feel the same way?

I also saw a red flag with Martin choosing to use the biggest moment of his career thus far to make a political statement.  Some want their entertainers to be in line with their own politics. I personally just want to watch baseball. I don't want the drama. To each their own.

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5 minutes ago, beantownrefugee said:

If Martin had worn a Don't Tread On Me hat, would you feel the same way?

I also saw a red flag with Martin choosing to use the biggest moment of his career thus far to make a political statement.  Some want their entertainers to be in line with their own politics. I personally just want to watch baseball. I don't want the drama. To each their own.

I didn’t watch the draft (after the O’s pick) and didn’t see the t-shirt.    I do believe intangibles matter.    But I don’t think you judge them from a t-shirt.    (Well, maybe if it said “Selfish and Proud” like some a-hole I saw carrying a sign on TV a couple weeks ago, I’d make a judgment about that.)    But all the reports I’d read pre-draft about Martin’s demeanor and will to win were positive.    And like I said, his supposed “something missing” didn’t seem to stop Vandy from winning the CWS.

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