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Nick, how would you currently rank the top college arms as of Mid-May?


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Nick, how would you currently rank the top college arms as of Mid-May? If you had the O's pick right now and had to pick a college arm, which guy would you select? Would you take a HS arm instead despite the known risks?

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Nick, how would you currently rank the top college arms as of Mid-May? If you had the O's pick right now and had to pick a college arm, which guy would you select? Would you take a HS arm instead despite the known risks?

I was actually struggling with this last night while finishing up a "should draft" piece for my site -- I was really stuck on who BAL should select.

As far as college arms specifically, I'd rank them as follows:

Gerrit Cole (rhp, UCLA)

Sonny Gray (rhp, Vandy)

These are the top two arms for me with a bit of separation from the pack

Taylor Jungmann (rhp, Texas)

Alex Meyer (rhp, Kentucky)

Jed Bradley (lhp, Georgia Tech)

Danny Hultzen (lhp, Virginia)

This is tier 2 -- very tightly packed within this group and I could make arguments for different order. Above is how I would personally rate it right now. Meyer has a chance to jump to tier 1 if he finishes May strong.

Tyler Anderson (lhp, Oregon)

Matt Barnes (rhp, UConn)

Trevor Bauer (rhp, UCLA)

This is tier 3. Seperation between 2 and 3 is not as big as between 1 and 2. I could see any of these guys as top 10 overall 10 picks, but not really as top 5 arms.

As far as HS arms, I'd say Dylan Bundy (rhp, Owasso HS, Owasso, Okla.), Danny Norris (lhp, Science Hill HS, Johnson City, Tenn.) and Archie Bradley (Broken Arrow HS, Broken Arrow, Okla.) are the three I'd consider at Baltimore's pick. Jose Fernandez (rhp, Alonso HS, Tampa, Fla.) is just outside.

To me, the choice should be between four players, and I'd take whichever of these players is available.

Tony Rendoni (3b, Rice)

Cole (rhp, UCLA)

Derek "Bubba" Starling (of/rhp, Gardner Edgerton HS, Gardner, Kan.)

Sonny Gray (rhp, Vandy)

Limited just to pitchers, I would take the best available in this order:

Cole

Gray

Jungmann

Meyer

If signability was a potential issue for either Jungmann or Meyer I'd have no issue grabbing the best deal out of them, Bundy, Hultzen, J-Bradley, Norris, A-Bradley, and spending seven figures on any talent that slips to the 2nd 3rd and 4th round (and there will be talent slipping there).

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Stotle,

As you probably know, Law's 4th version of his Top 100 was published yesterday. He has moved Meyer up and Gray down, but notes that Gray's drop is merely due to whether an organization views him as a starter or elite closer. In your mind, is Gray a definite starter or not?

Thanks.

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This might be the first time in 4 years that Nick and I have had a big difference in the top 4. Funny thing is the gap between players is small enough that it's not really worth a disagreement to me. I like Rendon, and Cole, then some separation, then Hultzen, Bradley, Starling and Bundy just barely ahead of Jungmann, Gray and then everyone else.

It's an odd year the way the talent separation works, it's not like you are looking at being the first loser out on one of the top picks, because the top picks could really be almost the entire top 10.

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Stotle,

As you probably know, Law's 4th version of his Top 100 was published yesterday. He has moved Meyer up and Gray down, but notes that Gray's drop is merely due to whether an organization views him as a starter or elite closer. In your mind, is Gray a definite starter or not?

Thanks.

I have very little doubt that Gray is a starter. The only potential knock I see is that because of his height he doesn't get great extension or angle on his pitches. BUT -- he more than makes up for that (in my opinion) by boasting two legit future 70 pitches in his 93-96 fastball and hard power curve. The trajectory on his breaking ball isn't great, but because the break is so hard and late it doesn't need to be. The lack of extension on the fastball gives hitters a little more time to read it, but the velocity and life help to negate that advantage.

He has also showed some improvement with his change (though it's still inconsistent) and has continued to work on adding a slider (which may ultimately be more effective as a cutter). Over the last two spring/summers he has held his velo late in games and all the way through the summer while pitching for Team USA. He's durable, has big stuff and absolutely goes after hitters. Love him.

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Stotle,

As you probably know, Law's 4th version of his Top 100 was published yesterday. He has moved Meyer up and Gray down, but notes that Gray's drop is merely due to whether an organization views him as a starter or elite closer. In your mind, is Gray a definite starter or not?

Thanks.

If there is any concern as to whether a guy can stick as a starter he should not even be in the discussion for the Orioles selection.

Nick,

Is Cole or Meyer a potential TOR guy?

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If there is any concern as to whether a guy can stick as a starter he should not even be in the discussion for the Orioles selection.

Nick,

Is Cole or Meyer a potential TOR guy?

Tony, have you heard anything about what the Orioles are thinking?

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I have very little doubt that Gray is a starter. The only potential knock I see is that because of his height he doesn't get great extension or angle on his pitches. BUT -- he more than makes up for that (in my opinion) by boasting two legit future 70 pitches in his 93-96 fastball and hard power curve. The trajectory on his breaking ball isn't great, but because the break is so hard and late it doesn't need to be. The lack of extension on the fastball gives hitters a little more time to read it, but the velocity and life help to negate that advantage.

He has also showed some improvement with his change (though it's still inconsistent) and has continued to work on adding a slider (which may ultimately be more effective as a cutter). Over the last two spring/summers he has held his velo late in games and all the way through the summer while pitching for Team USA. He's durable, has big stuff and absolutely goes after hitters. Love him.

Sir, I read somewhere that with Gray has what is an understatement that his delivery was "Max Effort". Which along with many being concerned he doesn't stick as a starter or durability to remain one for long. In your opinion is that hogwash?

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If there is any concern as to whether a guy can stick as a starter he should not even be in the discussion for the Orioles selection.

Nick,

Is Cole or Meyer a potential TOR guy?

Both are. Both have legit 70 offerings up top (FB/SL) with Cole displaying command over the stuff for a longer period of time. Both are big bodies, with Meyer a little taller/lankier and having more difficulty repeating his mechanics.

Those two and Gray jump out as having monster, true TOR stuff. Interestingly enough, the the biggest concerns with Gray and Meyer come from their respective sizes. Gray's I discussed above; Meyer has trouble getting the long limbs to work fluently together and has had serious control issues his entire collegiate career up until this spring. Throughout the spring, Meyer has gotten more and more consistent. My assumption is that area scouts have been dying to write him up as an ace because of the stuff, but have most likely had to wait until recently to to do so because the inconsistencies have just been too great. The SEC tournament will be HUGE, I imagine, as SD/X-checkers will want one last look before makign the call. It also wouldn't surprise me to see Arizona work out a deal with him and pop him at either 3 or 7.

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Sir, I read somewhere that with Gray is was an understatement that his delivery was "Max Effort". Which along with many being concerned he doesn't stick as a starter or durability to remain one for long. In your opinion is that hogwash?

He has thrown with those mechanics his entire life. I saw him in July of 2009 and he was pumping 96s. This spring he has consistently taken that velo into the 8th and 9th inning. The biggest concern with the mechanics, for me, is not durability at all -- rather command. But he has the potential to be a Lincecum-type producer if everything clicks. Period bouts of command issues, but pure stuff capable of working around it. Lincecum and Oswalt are the two comps of hung on Gray at different points over the past two years.

Lincey's numbers his junior year at Washington:

IP - 125.1

IP/Start - (approx., as he made 5 relief appearances -- may be less if several multi-inning relief appearances) 6.90

SO/9 - 14.3

BB/9 - 4.5

H/9 - 5.4

HR/9 - 0.60

Gray's numbers this year:

IP 83.1

IP/Start - 6.9

SO/9 - 10.26

BB/9 - 3.56

H/9 - 5.85

HR/9 - 0.22

Gray is also an excellent athlete that could see improvements in consistency of mechanics once he is working with pro coaches (not that Corbin and his staff don't do a fine job at Vandy).

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For reference, here is the public video I've taken of some of the guys I mentioned:

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Per the other thread, Law has us drafting Bauer as of now.

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Tony, have you heard anything about what the Orioles are thinking?

Preliminarily I heard they were looking hard at the college arms, but that doesn't really mean much. With the system short of starting pitching prospects now that Matusz, Arrieta, Tillman and Britton are in the big leagues, I think they need to retool and getting a top college arm that can help out within two years should be a priority.

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