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What grade do you give the 2021 Draft?  

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  1. 1. What grade do you give the 2021 Draft?



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There's an old saying that "all models are wrong, but some models are useful." If this FO is indeed using advanced modeling to aid in their draft picks and following the results of their models (vs. Jim Jordan's "I just like the guy" while drafting Hobgood at 1:5), I feel infinitely better about the guys that the current FO is selecting because there's some science behind their decisions.  I'd bet that college hitters are the easiest to project using such advanced models, so again, that might explain the strategy of taking the players that their models rate most highly. I'm ok with all of this. Let's see how it turns out.

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3 hours ago, ScGO's said:

I wonder how trustworthy a lot of the national rankings were, especially since baseball was difficult to scout, let alone play, during Covid.  Maybe these are guys the O's scouts and data guys were able to observe more, or gain more info on than others.  They all seem really interesting.  The extra Covid eligibility explains some of the older players, but perhaps they used that extra year to figure some things out and can advance quickly.

I also have a theory that the O's analytics department has identified the start of a trend towards a return of Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, George Brett type hitters.  Athletic, high average hitters that strike out less than they walk.  Hitters that can challenge the shift, put balls into play, make things happen.  Get on base, stay on base.  This will mingle well with the high OBP and power guys, which alone, result in too many K's.  I wonder if this draft is trying to get ahead of the curve on this potential change

I also wonder if they are trying to save a little money in this draft because they will most likely have the #1 pick in next year's draft.  Our spending will be much more next year if we decide to take the best overall player like we did in 2019.

Agreed.  Really seemed to focus on guys who could make contact.  There need to be some players who can beat the shift and put the ball in play.  Hoping he is ahead of the new trend.

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4 hours ago, Moose Milligan said:

Wow, the grades are all over the place. 

Almost as if the MLB draft is a crapshoot and no one really has any idea how to evaluate the talent much less the strategy when you have the added complexity of slots, bonus money, and signability concerns. 

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I gave it a C-.  I think Norby was a good pick, and Cowser is a good prospect although he's not who I would have picked at 1:5.   But if the idea of drafting Cowser was to go underslot and use the savings elsewhere, I would have preferred taking some high-upside high school players rather than a couple of college sophomores.   

My biggest issue is that this draft seems woefully unbalanced.  I understand that Elias may have a model that tells him that certain categories of players are a bad value this year, but drafting only one pitcher in the top 10 (and only 3 pitchers in the top 10 or top 5 in the last 3 drafts), and drafting only one high school player out of 20 picks seems like putting all of your eggs in one basket. 

How often do lightly-regarded college pitchers picked after round 10 actually become productive major leaguers?   How are all of these outfielders supposed to get at bats?   How exactly is this team supposed to get better without investing some draft capital in pitching?  (And if the answer is "international players", why did most of the bonus money in January 2021 go to position players?)

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Unless they really didn't like something specific about Rocker, he's the kind of guy who could be helping the MLB team by 2023 at latest.  We are absolutely desperate for pitching.

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I gave it a solid B because we got some good talent. Yes, it was a safe draft, but I don't think that's a bad thing. I certainly would like to have grabbed more pitching in the first 10 rounds, but I  think they took the best available. 

Looking at other teams, I think their fans are probably scratching their heads and complaining like many here. I see a lot of 4YR players being drafted by everyone. If you're an Angels fan, you might be smiling on the outside, but truly worried.

Okay, it's a weird year, so let's stay positive and see how this draft class develops and helps us at the big league level. Who knows, maybe a record number of this draft class will reach the Majors.

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I give the draft a D as I think the O's went underslot at #5 and should have grabbed a HS SS, imo.  The O's Mlb pitching is putrid.  A least one premium arm in the first 3 rounds should have been drafted.  If the O's underspend their draft allotment by a million or more, I'm downgrading to an F.

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Goldstein and Longenhagen on the Effectively Wild podcast were perplexed by the Orioles draft.  They couldn't figure out where the savings for Cowser went and were surprised they didn't get a high school overslot with first round talent.   

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Really impossible for a layman to grade... however

1. All you have to do is look at the AS game rosters to see that elite talent comes primarily from guy drafted out of HS or international signees that are also all under 18. College positional players are not likely to get you all star talent and the Orioles need some all star talent

2. The draft was supposed to be deep at SS the O's are very thin at SS, they didn't draft a SS

3. I didn't see any descriptions of the O's picks that called them elite defenders, rocket arm, etc. In fact I saw descriptions that indicated the guys would be at best league average defenders. I've been saying for years the O's need to make defense a priority (see Tampa Bay), but they continue to draft a bunch of COF/DH guys.

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Yea I think we all recognize that the Os are way more familiar with each player than we are.  Of course, that has always been the case and the Os failed miserably, generally speaking, in the draft for decades.  So while we weren’t “experts”, many of us were correct when we slammed drafts.

With that said, everyone places way more confidence in Elias and gives him and his staff the benefit of the doubt mainly because they had a good track record in Houston, at least with positional talent.

One thing is obvious..they value position players more than pitchers.  I think that’s the right philosophy.  But they also value safe and maybe safe is the way to go with the covid situation.  We will see on that but I just keep Going back to 2 concepts that bother me about this draft:

1). Why did we tank to get the players we did?

2)  Where is the high upside, elite level talent that was available when we picked?  
 

I don’t put much, if any, weight in the rankings.  The reality is the Ml teams have rankings way different than the publications and that shows every single year.  What I do put weight on is when player X is consistently ranked high AND have been since before their season even started.  When you get a general consensus on a player for around a year, I think that matters.  
 

We’ll see how it plays out.  Like I said, I like the first 3 picks (Trimble more after hearing Nick talk about him) but I don’t think they got BPA with any of them. (Maybe Norby depending on where you had him and all the HS talent slotted). I think we had to bring in a high upside, elite talent early and I don’t think they did that and if you aren’t doing that, why are you throwing seasons?

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15 minutes ago, webbrick2010 said:

Really impossible for a layman to grade... however

1. All you have to do is look at the AS game rosters to see that elite talent comes primarily from guy drafted out of HS or international signees that are also all under 18. College positional players are not likely to get you all star talent and the Orioles need some all star talent

2. The draft was supposed to be deep at SS the O's are very thin at SS, they didn't draft a SS

3. I didn't see any descriptions of the O's picks that called them elite defenders, rocket arm, etc. In fact I saw descriptions that indicated the guys would be at best league average defenders. I've been saying for years the O's need to make defense a priority (see Tampa Bay), but they continue to draft a bunch of COF/DH guys.

I don’t think the last criticism (re corner OF/DH) is really fair.    Looking at 2019, Elias drafted two catchers, three shortstops and three centerfielders in his first eight picks.   Maybe some of those SS/CF get moved to less demanding positions eventually but they are athletic enough to play up the middle.  Last year, they did pick a corner OF no. 1, but they then chose two shortstops, a CF, and a 3B who does meet the description of having a rocket arm (Mayo).    This year we took two CF, a 2B, a SS, two C, two 3B and two corner OF.  I actually think Elias’ drafts have stressed athleticism much more than Rajsich’s did.

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24 minutes ago, webbrick2010 said:

College positional players are not likely to get you all star talent

You can keep saying this but it's not going to make it an accurate statement. Like at all. 

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11 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

Yea I think we all recognize that the Os are way more familiar with each player than we are.  Of course, that has always been the case and the Os failed miserably, generally speaking, in the draft for decades.  So while we weren’t “experts”, many of us were correct when we slammed drafts.

With that said, everyone places way more confidence in Elias and gives him and his staff the benefit of the doubt mainly because they had a good track record in Houston, at least with positional talent.

One thing is obvious..they value position players more than pitchers.  I think that’s the right philosophy.  But they also value safe and maybe safe is the way to go with the covid situation.  We will see on that but I just keep Going back to 2 concepts that bother me about this draft:

1). Why did we tank to get the players we did?

2)  Where is the high upside, elite level talent that was available when we picked?  
 

I don’t put much, if any, weight in the rankings.  The reality is the Ml teams have rankings way different than the publications and that shows every single year.  What I do put weight on is when player X is consistently ranked high AND have been since before their season even started.  When you get a general consensus on a player for around a year, I think that matters.  
 

We’ll see how it plays out.  Like I said, I like the first 3 picks (Trimble more after hearing Nick talk about him) but I don’t think they got BPA with any of them. (Maybe Norby depending on where you had him and all the HS talent slotted). I think we had to bring in a high upside, elite talent early and I don’t think they did that and if you aren’t doing that, why are you throwing seasons?

I heard Kevin Goldstein actually say the opposite regarding the safety of position players this year.  He said that he thought because of COVID and small sample sizes that teams were more comfortable with drafting pitchers since there is a lot more pitching data available.  I also think there is the possibility that because a fair amount of teams went underslot that they stole guys we might have been interested in.  

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4 minutes ago, baltfan said:

I heard Kevin Goldstein actually say the opposite regarding the safety of position players this year.  He said that he thought because of COVID and small sample sizes that teams were more comfortable with drafting pitchers since there is a lot more pitching data available.  I also think there is the possibility that because a fair amount of teams went underslot that they stole guys we might have been interested in.  

That’s possible..which is why I mentioned the other night that if everyone goes underslot, it hurts the strategy overall.

The Orioles reportedly went underslot last year to get Blitsko.  He got taken.  That’s the problem with the underslot theory.  You don’t know if the player(s) you want will be there later on or not.  That’s why you take your BPA in R1.  You absolutely can still go overslot later in the draft if you take a player you put slot or even overslot for.

The Mets went way over slot for Rocker.  I would bet they have at least one overslot player that they will pay for in this draft.

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2 minutes ago, Sports Guy said:

The Orioles reportedly went underslot last year to get Blitsko.  He got taken.  That’s the problem with the underslot theory.  You don’t know if the player(s) you want will be there later on or not. 

As I’ve said before, there’s no way the O’s went underslot because they thought one particular player would be there the next time they picked.   They might have hoped Bitsko would be there, but they don’t follow that strategy unless they’ve got multiple targets for the overslot money and are confident that they’ll have options they really like.  

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