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

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6 minutes ago, Roll Tide said:

As mentioned in the other thread.... I think Elias is a bust. I have not been impressed with his trades, signings, and now 2 drafts. Beyond AR whom you or I could’ve drafted. 
 

On the international front it’s definitely improved but there was nowhere to go but up

Man, I admire the passion but you're acting like Auburn just took Alabama behind the woodshed.

I wasn't crazy about the start of draft either but I can see the strategy behind it and I actually like the strategy.  I've said it before, I'll say it again, I'd have gone a different route than Kjerstad if not picking Martin to kick this draft off...but that's alright.  Kjerstad has a lot of power and was off to a great start this year, I get it.   And maybe Elias had enough intel to know what it would take to sign him and some of the other options at #2 and all things considered, liked Kjerstad best.

It's still too early to tell about Elias man, try to remove some emotion here and look at this objectively.  He's had two drafts but we really can't start to look at last years draft because the minor league season got wiped out, we don't know if we have any fast risers or not.  He also doesn't have a lot of options to trade from, let's not pretend other teams are breaking down our door to give us quality prospects for our fringe MLB talent.  

So the jury is still out, anyone that doesn't have an axe to grind has to see it that way.  But I will also say that Elias has been aces in regards to making himself available to the media, to the public and to the fans.  IMO, that counts for something. 

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45 minutes ago, Moose Milligan said:

Man, I admire the passion but you're acting like Auburn just took Alabama behind the woodshed.

I wasn't crazy about the start of draft either but I can see the strategy behind it and I actually like the strategy.  I've said it before, I'll say it again, I'd have gone a different route than Kjerstad if not picking Martin to kick this draft off...but that's alright.  Kjerstad has a lot of power and was off to a great start this year, I get it.   And maybe Elias had enough intel to know what it would take to sign him and some of the other options at #2 and all things considered, liked Kjerstad best.

It's still too early to tell about Elias man, try to remove some emotion here and look at this objectively.  He's had two drafts but we really can't start to look at last years draft because the minor league season got wiped out, we don't know if we have any fast risers or not.  He also doesn't have a lot of options to trade from, let's not pretend other teams are breaking down our door to give us quality prospects for our fringe MLB talent.  

So the jury is still out, anyone that doesn't have an axe to grind has to see it that way.  But I will also say that Elias has been aces in regards to making himself available to the media, to the public and to the fans.  IMO, that counts for something. 

Didn’t you swear your allegiance to the Rays the other day after the 3rd round? 😛

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2 minutes ago, Roll Tide said:

Didn’t you swear your allegiance to the Rays the other day after the 3rd round? 😛

Hey man, I was frustrated and caught up in the moment.

And it wasn't the Rays, it was the Marlins.  Get it together.

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There’s a lot of hubris in this thread.    Be humble.    It’ll be three years at least before we get an idea as to whether Elias was right to pass on Martin.

Before the draft, I offered the opinion that I’d rather go with the BPA than go underslot and hope for added value later.   Elias went the opposite way.    But IMO he’s not thinking Kjerstad was anything close to the 10th best player in the draft.   He’s thinking Kjerstad is a 4-5 talent who he can get for a no. 10 price.     And that’s a rational thing to do, if you believe that.    
 

Personally, I’d still have preferred to get Martin.   I like his skill set.     But Elias may well be proven right, and we’ll see.  

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2 hours ago, Frobby said:

There’s a lot of hubris in this thread.    Be humble.    It’ll be three years at least before we get an idea as to whether Elias was right to pass on Martin.

Before the draft, I offered the opinion that I’d rather go with the BPA than go underslot and hope for added value later.   Elias went the opposite way.    But IMO he’s not thinking Kjerstad was anything close to the 10th best player in the draft.   He’s thinking Kjerstad is a 4-5 talent who he can get for a no. 10 price.     And that’s a rational thing to do, if you believe that.    
 

Personally, I’d still have preferred to get Martin.   I like his skill set.     But Elias may well be proven right, and we’ll see.  

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.

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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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  • Posts

    • Clearly I am failing to get my point across. I'm tired. Have any opinion you want. At the end of the day, you have an opinion, I have facts. My facts state that Elias has dumped one player that became an impact player and he has not acquired any. Does that mean he will never acquire any? No.  Does it mean he missed something of that the technology may not always have the answers, incomplete. I like a lot of what Elias has done in changing things within the organization, but so far his talent evaluations of players he's brought in have not been very good. Grant it, these guys are waiver claims and few of them will turn into anything, but so far he's found middle/long relievers and utility guys or sub par guys they've run out as starters the last two years. I expect things to improve, but what we don't know yet is whether he will be given a budget to help improve the team in the future. Afterall, if they are really making coaching moves based on salary (I still don't believe this) then you can throw away any chances of the team being competitive soon so he will need to build completely from within. My hope was that Elias had the technological and scouting eye to find unearthed talent in other organizations. Instead, he failed to pick up Yaz's potential and the guys he has selected have not shown they are part of a winning future.  Sure, maybe we can give him a pass on Yaz, but he also hired the coaches yet the SF coaches in less then a few weeks found a way to make Yaz an impact player. The man at the top gets credit when things go well, but also must take the blame when they don't.  
    • I know Elias wants to know if he missed something in his evaluation, sure. Why wouldn't he. But I doubt he is losing sleep over this. Yaz was traded on March 23, 2019. At that time, he was a 28 year old OF with average speed, maybe an average arm, below average power for a corner OF that does not play CF. He's 5-10 178 lbs. and was no longer a prospect. He was slowed by injuries, often playing dinged up. Dan Duquette alluded to his injuries in an interview that I saw and stated he had struggled with his progression. He had never really excelled in AAA. He was behind Austin Hays, Yusniel Diaz, Anthony Santander, Ryan McKenna, Cedric Mullins and DJ Stewart for playing time in AA/AAA OF playing time. No one knew that several of these players would struggle with injuries and inconsistency, but they were all much more highly regarded prospects than Yaz. At that time, the only AAA OF he was more highly regarded than was Jaycob Brugman, and he was absolutely terrible. Elias decided to cut bait so that actual prospects could play meaningful innings and get the developmental at bats. No other team even thought so much of him as to take him in the rule 5 draft. Did the Giants know something? No, they just got lucky that this one panned out. They had no idea he would do what he has done, no way.  As far as the technology, it isn't something that will diagnose and fix every swing. It gives you lots of data, and it takes time, more than a few weeks, to work through any changes/adjustments needed. Obviously, Elias and his staff were not impressed with what they saw compared to the other guys. Then, Yaz was traded and something changed over the next few months in AAA for him. Great for him. Maybe he started to make good changes from what he learned from the Elias staff, but it took time to begin to show in games. That is often the case with swing changes, approach adjustments. Maybe it was the Giants who found something. Maybe it was something else, who knows.  Was he going to be the same player in Baltimore, facing the AL East? IDK, I would guess likely not. There have been many examples over they years of players who had impact careers out West and got traded to an Eastern team, only to struggle. Would it have been nice to see him do that here in Baltimore, of course. I just don't see why this has become such a hotly contested thing. Hindsight is easy to see clearly. His tools have never indicated this kind of production. There is not one prospect report that says he would do anything like he is doing.  I know you are pretty positive about Elias and Sig. To point to Elias's failure to produce waiver wire pick ups and minor trades into an impact player is incomplete, honestly, in COVID 2020 crazy season. He has no money to spend, and yet most of the ML team was picked up off waivers and minor league free agency and still competed on most nights. The final record looks worse than it was. I would say his record was excellent in the first half. Santander got hurt and many young players struggled badly. Solid approaches went out the window entirely.  Pedro Severino had an OPS north of .850 in July/August and he began to look like an all star (offensively), but he chased much more in September and his numbers faded badly to .250/.322/.388/.710 Jose Iglesias was an impact signing, despite the injuries and many at bats in the DH role .373/.400/.556/.956 Hanser Alberto is what he is a well below-average defender with little power, and he faded badly in September as well .283/.306/.393/.698 Pat Valaika was very good, I thought, for what his role is. .277/.315/.475/.791 Rio Ruiz is probably not the answer at 3B, but I think he gets one more year to see if he can figure it out .222/.286/.427/.713 Richie Martin will be vastly improved, he reported so much stronger than in 2019 and I think his injury robbed him of a breakout of sorts, the swing looked so much more fluid and quick in Spring camp. Ramon Urias might just make Alberto expendable, and I believe he will hit and produce better overall numbers and play better defense. Obviously, Dwight Smith Jr. was a failure. Early in 2019, he certainly looked like he was a certain upgrade to Yaz. The the injuries in late May, neck and shoulder. He has not been the same since. Most of the resources have gone into minor league and international infrastructure. To criticize Elias for the Yaz trade in hindsight, honestly it's silly. No one batted an eye at the time of the deal. Can we just be happy for the guy and not look for someone to blame? If there is a pattern here, then ok, there's a problem. This one baffles everyone because no one saw this coming. And where would Yaz play in our OF next season? Over Mountcastle, Santander, Hays, Mullins, Mancini...? 
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