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Just a Quick Note on Orioles' Draft Strategy


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During my time in Sarasota I've had the opportunity to talk to quite a few minor league players, the vast majority of whom are recent draftees on the lower level squads.

Conversation after conversation, I've gotten the overwhelming impression that these kids had almost no clue that the Orioles were in on them.

Almost to a man, I've been told that several teams were engaged in frequent conversations with the player and had visibily come to see him pitch or set up a date for observation more than once. Even on or just prior to draft day, orgs had been in contact with the player with an estimation of where they'd like to take him if he's available.

But not the Orioles.

To me, it's an approach that's consistent with the theme of discretion and secrecy that governs Baltimore's organization from top to bottom. I suppose it also makes sense to be discrete about your interests when employing an overslot strategy after the first round.

Still, it's imperative that a team perform its due diligence on these guys. It appears that Joe Jordan relies heavily on his area scouts for info.

I'm making no judgment on this, I just thought I'd pass it along. The purpose for making this thread was really to point out that we shouldn't pay too much attention to the rumors we hear as draft day approaches. This is an organization that likes to keep its intentions under wraps.

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One drawback to this approach is that they may occasionally be blindsided by a kid's bonus expectations.

And is it really a big advantage for other teams not to know that the O's are interested? I guess in some cases it would be.

This is pretty commonplace in amateur scouting departments. Part of the game is trying to figure out who the other orgs are in on. I wouldn't consider Baltimore to be unique in these general practices.

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This is pretty commonplace in amateur scouting departments. Part of the game is trying to figure out who the other orgs are in on. I wouldn't consider Baltimore to be unique in these general practices.

Certainly not unique. Just a matter of degree.

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Certainly not unique. Just a matter of degree.

Sure. BAL wouldn't feel any need to hide the fact that they are heavy on Macahdo. With 'Zona picking before and after in the first round this year, they might need to be closer to the vest on, say Hultzen, in case Arizona is expecting to get him with their second pick.

Generally, though, there is no incentive NOT to keep your appraisals close to the vest. As long as you can do your meetings/house visits and gather the info your org requires, you don't GENERALLY get points for wooing pre-draft. One interesting question I think your point raises is to what degree the area scout is interacting with the player/family, and what criteria BAL uses to weight certain off-the-field aspects of a player.

Regarding AB's point re-bonuses, welcome to one of the tricky aspects of scouting, as has been explained to me. There are a bunch of "tricks" to implement in trying to figure these things out, some of them that might not sit well with the public (not illegal reasons, don't worry).

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One drawback to this approach is that they may occasionally be blindsided by a kid's bonus expectations.

And is it really a big advantage for other teams not to know that the O's are interested? I guess in some cases it would be.

Another drawback would be that the O's don't form a rapport with the kid. Sometimes if a player wants to go to a certain team, they can be convinced to scare off other interested team with outlandish signing demands.

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Another drawback would be that the O's don't form a rapport with the kid. Sometimes if a player wants to go to a certain team, they can be convinced to scare off other interested team with outlandish signing demands.

These instances occur, but in my opinion are not the norm. Particularly if a player is getting any sort of advice from representation, they are not going to cut off potential interested teams. After all, a drafting org -- even one with a good rapport, isn't really guaranteeing anything for the kid. One player they had rated a little higher falls and all of the sudden this kid has scared away other suitors and is left being drafted a couple rounds later with diminished leverage.

The team has time to sell the player on the org between June and August. I do agree that it's important for the Area guy to get to know players he is recommending, for sure.

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I can only speak from a limited bit of information here in this thread, but I can tell you that there are two draftable prospects the Orioles are following here in Central Florida...and both prospects are aware of it.

Conversely, Malcolm Clapsaddle RHP, was drafted in the 34th round two years ago by Baltimore. He and his family had no idea the Orioles were on him. They called him the evening of the first day and asked him if he would sign for 4th round slot. He declined. They took a flier in the 34th round on the third day of the draft and offered $500,000 to sign at end of summer. He declined and went to Georgia, now at Santa Fe CC looking to get drafted again.

To me, I would want to know the kid. Maybe they can see enough by observing and asking around. Maybe you can get an even better read sometimes.

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