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Greg Pappas

FWIW: My thoughts on the O's draft

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Greg, I agree with your analysis. I didn't like the top 4 picks at all; would much rather have one of Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, or even Hancock at 1:2.  Imo, a team in full rebuild mode cannot afford to roll the dice on every single pick (even with just 5 rounds).  To me it appears that Elias bought 6 Powerball tickets and is staking the Os future on one of those numbers hitting. 

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5 hours ago, cnmilton said:

Greg, I agree with your analysis. I didn't like the top 4 picks at all; would much rather have one of Martin, Lacy, Gonzales, or even Hancock at 1:2.  Imo, a team in full rebuild mode cannot afford to roll the dice on every single pick (even with just 5 rounds).  To me it appears that Elias bought 6 Powerball tickets and is staking the Os future on one of those numbers hitting. 

Thanks.  I also would have taken a number of other players at #2 over Kjerstad.  We may discover that Martin wanted 8.6+ to sign, and Elias figured that was just not going to work for him. I get that. Elias is a bright guy, so I'd have to say that the powerball analogy seems way off.  Kjerstad is not just another guy, and was legitimately regarded among the top 10 players in the draft.  I suspect he'll be a good RF (or LF) for us. Westburg is another well-regarded bat at either SS or 3B. Getting Baumler and Mayo was where the draft hinges, for me. If they turn out... either one of them... to be good big leaguers, the sting of losing out on Martin will feel much better.

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To me the wild card in this draft is Anthony Servideo.  He was not a prospect at all heading into the season, but he was one of the best players in the NCAA at the time the season ended in March.  Did he make a great leap forward, or did he just have a hot streak?   

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One of my big problems is all of the college kids drafted have a lot of swing and miss in their games, and all of them struggled until this shortened college season with the bats.  Did they start showing their true potential, or was it the lesser out of conference competition making them look better than what they actually are? Personally, I would prefer guys who can get on base over the home run or strike out players.  

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When it becomes known, I'd be curious to hear the actual bonuses your 2nd through 6th guys get, plus say regular slot value for Theoretical 1-2 Martin.  The reality of him falling to 5 will cost him some money IRL but not this exercise.

Was our pool 13.7?  If this Group of Six ends up 15+, that's probably about where I'd guess it is an impossible group to land even if the club won most of the negotiations.

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3 hours ago, OrioleDog said:

When it becomes known, I'd be curious to hear the actual bonuses your 2nd through 6th guys get, plus say regular slot value for Theoretical 1-2 Martin.  The reality of him falling to 5 will cost him some money IRL but not this exercise.

Was our pool 13.7?  If this Group of Six ends up 15+, that's probably about where I'd guess it is an impossible group to land even if the club won most of the negotiations.

It still wouldn't accurately reflect where I would have taken them, though I understand where you're coming from. I'd be surprised if they exceeded 13.7. Time will tell.

Austin Martin went 5th.
McMahon went 46th.
Van Eyk went 42nd.
Casey Martin went 87th
Bedell went 122nd
Elder went 156th
 

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I think the Kjerstad-Martin swap is vastly over-rated by those bad-mouthing the decision.  Partly because two other teams passed on Martin and mostly because Kjerstand is a very, very well regarded prospect.  He was pretty much a consensus top 10 guy.  It's not like we signed a Cadyn Grenier type to a below slot deal, we signed a guy who has made major improvements to his swing and hitting results since last year and outhit Martin and Torkelson on the USA Collegiate National Team and was out-slugging Torkelson this year before the season was shut down.

I would have been fine with Martin and then two of Bitsko, Shuster, Miller, McMahon, Beeter, Van Eyk and Fulton. 

I am fine with how the draft turned out, but the final result was most likely not the best case.  Elias took a shot at other possibilities - in every mock Jordan Walker made it out of the first round.  In half of them, Bitsko made it out of the first round.  We could have ended up with any number of scenarios besides the one that actually happened.  Elias took a chance that resulted in a massive influx of talent and along the way entertained possibilities of multiple other high-end, higher-ranked talents falling to the Os.

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54 minutes ago, hoosiers said:

I think the Kjerstad-Martin swap is vastly over-rated by those bad-mouthing the decision.  Partly because two other teams passed on Martin and mostly because Kjerstand is a very, very well regarded prospect.  He was pretty much a consensus top 10 guy.  It's not like we signed a Cadyn Grenier type to a below slot deal, we signed a guy who has made major improvements to his swing and hitting results since last year and outhit Martin and Torkelson on the USA Collegiate National Team and was out-slugging Torkelson this year before the season was shut down.

I would have been fine with Martin and then two of Bitsko, Shuster, Miller, McMahon, Beeter, Van Eyk and Fulton. 

I am fine with how the draft turned out, but the final result was most likely not the best case.  Elias took a shot at other possibilities - in every mock Jordan Walker made it out of the first round.  In half of them, Bitsko made it out of the first round.  We could have ended up with any number of scenarios besides the one that actually happened.  Elias took a chance that resulted in a massive influx of talent and along the way entertained possibilities of multiple other high-end, higher-ranked talents falling to the Os.

I've read this thing about how two other teams passed on Martin, as if that validates anything. Perhaps Martin was asking for 1st pick slot, which may be may be why the Marlins and Royals passed, rather than talent. We'll never know.
I agree that Kjerstad is well-regarded and stated so earlier in the thread, but I believe the talent gap between he and Martin is significant.  I see Austin Martin as a perennial all-star and Kjerstad as an above average regular with the upside to be even better and make an all-star team a couple of times. Of course we'd have to say that Baumler and Mayo should factor into the equation as well.  Add their careers to Kjerstad and maybe that would show just why this was a great move by Elias. 

Who knows... Elias may have been annoyed with Martin/Boras' asking price and decided to go the underslot route. Again, we'll never know. I can only judge things based on my (very) limited understanding of these prospects and the events that unfolded.  We may find out some important things in the days, months or years to come, shedding light on this draft and why Elias did what he did.

This thread was an opportunity for me to share my thoughts in a manner that (I felt) was done with respect. I finished the OP by saying that I hope that Elias proves out in the end.  I'd LOVE it if this draft is considered a great one years from now and then I'll happily say I was wrong (who am I anyway?) and Go O's.

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If the Orioles selected Kjerstad at lets say 7 when he was the 15th highest rated prospect, nobody would have cared much. The issue is that Elias passed up what was considered 1B in the draft at #2. The decision to not draft Martin to save money for other draft picks makes more sense to me in deeper drafts as that savings could be spread out to sign more than two over slot players. I would rather have them draft Martin, not meet his demands (if he holds firm) and then pick 1:3 next year. I think teams had huge negotiating power this year with guys who were coming from college. I was 99.999% sure the Orioles were landing a top talent here and they reached.

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Just now, GoldGlove21 said:

If the Orioles selected Kjerstad at lets say 7 when he was the 15th highest rated prospect, nobody would have cared much. The issue is that Elias passed up what was considered 1B in the draft at #2. The decision to not draft Martin to save money for other draft picks makes more sense to me in deeper drafts as that savings could be spread out to sign more than two over slot players. I would rather have them draft Martin, not meet his demands (if he holds firm) and then pick 1:3 next year. I think teams had huge negotiating power this year with guys who were coming from college. I was 99.999% sure the Orioles were landing a top talent here and they reached.

Most years the perceived gap in talent between 2 and 10 is significantly greater than between 7 and 15.

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8 hours ago, Three Run Homer said:

To me the wild card in this draft is Anthony Servideo.  He was not a prospect at all heading into the season, but he was one of the best players in the NCAA at the time the season ended in March.  Did he make a great leap forward, or did he just have a hot streak?   

The word I have heard is that Servideo's glove plays at the MLB level. The question mark is his bat. 

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11 hours ago, Jammer7 said:

The “rankings” that all of us refer to are made by people who are not scouts, aside from Keith Law. Jim Callis, Jon Mayo, the Baseball America crew, etc...they are journalists. They hang out at prep tournaments and showcases and glean information from scouts. They text people and correspond in other ways to gather information given to them by those who form educated opinions. They do a great job disseminating information to the readers and listeners. But opinions vary.

Mike Elias, Sig Mejdal, Brad Ciolek and the rest of the professional scouting staff put a lot of work in this Spring behind the scenes. So did every other team’s staff. Probably not as much info sharing. Maybe even more misinformation than in past years. This was a year where info was particularly proprietary. 

I was surprised at some of the picks, sure. But I am not upset at all. I trust Mike Elias to do right by the Baltimore Orioles. The first four picks were not “sexy,” but Mayo and Baumler seem like they were solid over slot guys. I like their profiles. Guys that we likely would have seen rise if they had played their senior years. They were taken in rounds where the Orioles felt good about the risk after getting their guys earlier who would not have been there in rounds 4-5. 

In fact, all of their college picks were having good or great starts to 2020 as well. The spin has been that they were all about to blow up. We’ll never know about that. Did they all make meaningful development strides in the off season? Should we discount the numbers due to small samples? IDK.

Like every year, we’ll remember to judge this draft in 4-5 years. I feel strongly that Heston Kjerstad was not the 10th best player as I keep reading here. I have him around 4-5. The signability goes into the value, sure. I wanted Austin Martin, or Asa Lacy, but Kjerstad and Veen were next for me. And if Martin, and his agent Boras, wanted 8.4 million, I would pass too in the Orioles situation. Maybe they did not believe in him as an infielder, and not a top shelf CF. Maybe Martin did not want to come to Baltimore, who knows. I think it is certainly possible that when all is said and done, we will get as much production from Kjerstad as we would have from Martin. They just go about it in different ways. 

I welcome the new Orioles to the fold. I look forward to seeing how this draft works out and seeing our boys back on the field. I need them back on the field. 

Good post. Speaking of Keith Law...

Quote

Keith Law on the Orioles Draft:

Outfielder Heston Kjerstad (1) is a big power bat with some tools, but he’s also a right fielder and has had issues with swinging and missing, enough that I think this pick was a reach at No. 2 with Austin Martin still on the board (among others). If that pick was to save money, rather than a straight preference for Kjerstad, they didn’t take advantage of it at pick No. 30, the first selection of the Competitive Balance A round, where they took Mississippi State shortstop Jordan Westburg, a very good athlete who also strikes out too much and has to work on pitch recognition as well as reducing his leak at the plate. The Orioles took Hudson Haskin (2), an age-eligible sophomore from Tulane who has a very unorthodox swing but raked in 2018 as a freshman, ranking among the leaders in the AAC in OBP and slugging. He’s got a chance to stay in center field thanks to his plus speed, which gives him an above-average regular ceiling. Ole Miss shortstop Anthony Servideo (3) was atrocious on Cape Cod last summer and has a huge swing that has led to a lot of strikeouts even with composite bats. He’s a plus runner but doesn’t have another above-average tool. He did get off to a hot start this spring in nonconference play, beating up on pitching from Xavier, Louisiana-Monroe and Alcorn State.

Coby Mayo (4) is a very tall high school third baseman whose footwork probably pushes him to an outfield corner or first base; he has the swing for power but gets way over his front side and looks like he’ll be vulnerable to offspeed stuff. Carter Baumler (5) was supposed to be a tough sign due to his commitment to TCU; he’s a projectable right-hander with a good body and solid-average velocity with some feel to spin the curveball, but nothing is above-average yet. It feels like the Orioles tried to shave money at the top, but then didn’t target the right players with the savings.
 

Elias is a bright GM with a quality staff and as you said, time will tell how this draft plays out. Hopefully you and others can understand how I would be disappointed that we didn't take Keith Law's (and other's) #1 rated player (Austin Martin) and one lauded as among the best hitters and competitors in the draft in a long time. That idea had me excited.  That's why I'm disappointed. However, in a couple of years we may look back and see that this was a good decision and worked out very well for us.  That's what Elias gets paid to do... make important decisions. Sharing my thoughts was important to me, yet I still support Elias, as you do. 

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Very thoughtful OP, Greg.    It will the interesting to see how much $ the players you would have selected receive, to see if we could have squeezed them all in.   And, it will be fun to look back on this thread in 5-10 years and see how your scenario would have played out, compared to the players we chose.    

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