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Avoiding Boras clients again?

Are we avoiding Boras clients again?  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. Are we avoiding Boras clients again?

    • Yes, the Orioles are purposely avoiding Boras clients again
    • No, it's just a coincidence or no Boras client was a fit with the Orioles

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In last year's draft, the Orioles did not pick a single Scott Boras client. Now it could be just a coincidence, but the Orioles did not shy away from Boras in the 2007 draft at all. The Orioles will have opportunities to pick Boras clients in this upcoming draft but it remains to be seen if we will do so.

So was it just a coincidence, or are we back to avoiding Boras clients under Andy MacPhail?

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I didn't vote because I think the truth is somewhere in the middle.

Totally avoiding all Boras clients? No, that would be dumb. And it's not like there are dozens and dozens of Boras clients in the draft (at least, I don't think so). I'm sure the number is small enough that it's possible to miss them without any kind of conspiracy. I THINK Boras cherry-picks the studs, thereby limiting his client list. But I could be wrong.

OTOH signability is always a consideration, and with a Boras kid you have to figure that's a potential obstacle to signing that must be dealt with.

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Who are the Boras clients in the 10 top this year?

I believe it is a situation of two prospects on the board. If it's close, pass on a Boras client. Anyways, here is a list.

Top Boras clients 2009 Draft

Dustin Ackley, 1B, UNC

The best pure hitter in the draft class, Ackley is an on-base machine with impressive gap power and surprisingly excellent speed. He was named Baseball America’s Freshman of the Year after hitting .402-.448-.591 with 20 doubles, 10 homers (one of which came off a broken bat) and 11 steals in 73 games, then followed that up with a .417-.503-.597, 21 double, 7 homer, 19 steal campaign as a sophomore. Ackley had Tommy John surgery last summer and will be ready when the college season starts tomorrow, although he’ll begin the year playing first base to limit his throwing. He’s athletic enough to handle center field where he’d obviously have more value, and he’s expected to move there later this season once he’s far enough away from TJ. It’s unlikely Ackley could fall all the way down to 29th overall (barring a major setback with the elbow) because he’s such a dynamic talent, and should be among the first four of five players taken on draft day.

Kentrail Davis, CF, Tennessee

Davis has done the “drop in the draft” thing once already, going from being one of the top fifty draft prospects to an unsigned 14th round flier of the Rockies in 2007 Draft. He offers the best power-speed combination in the entire draft class, having developed extraordinary upper body strength by working for his father’s construction company as a child. He missed part of his freshman season last year because of a minor car accident, but he hit .330-.435-.583 with 7 doubles, 13 homers and 7 steals after returning to the lineup. Davis may have to move to left down the line because he’ll presumably fill out his 5′9″, 195 lb frame and doesn’t have the arm for right. He’ll also have to work on his plate discipline. He has the tools to be a 20-20 player with above average defense in left field, and in an absolute best case scenario he’s a 30-30 center fielder with slightly above average defense. Because he’s a draft eligible sophomore and a Boras client, that chances of Davis dropping precipitously in the draft are great if no one bites in the first two rounds.

Grant Green, SS, USC

A classic example of a guy who was best off going to school, Green went from a rail thin high schooler with interesting tools to a five tool middle infielder and the best position player in the draft class. He’s cut from a similar cloth as Troy Tulowitzki and Evan Longoria, although he’s not quite the defender Tulo is and not quite the hitter Longoria is. Green hit .390-.438-.644 with 15 doubles, 9 homers and 10 steals in his breakout sophomore year, answering all the questions about his bat that existed as prepster. There are concerns that the 6′3″, 180 pounder might have to slide over to third as he fills out, which would obviously decrease his value, but he’d remain a valuable player. Widely considered to be the second best talent available for the draft, there’s almost zero chance he makes it past the Orioles and the fifth overall pick even with Boras backing him.

Andy Oliver, LHP, Oklahoma State

You may remember that Oliver won a landmark case against the NCAA last week, a ruling that has eliminated the “no agent” rule for amateur baseball players. With his eligiblity restored, he’ll reclaim his spot atop the Cowboys rotation and head into the year with a big weight off his shoulders. A top 100 talent back in 2006, Oliver is a big lefty (6′3″, 200 lbs) with firm stuff (92-93 mph fastball, good breaking ball, decent changeup) and decent control (3.30 BBper9 before he was ruled ineligible last year). He’s a top 10-15 talent right now, and now there aren’t any concerns that he may not be allowed to take the ball this year. He dropped his previous agent for Boras and will cash in this year for sure. Landing Oliver with any of their picks would be a major coup for the Bombers.

Stephen Strasburg, RHP, San Diego State

Strasburg is true development success story, going from an unheralded and undrafted high school pitcher in 2006 to the top talent available in the 2009 draft. A strong armed closer as a freshman, Strasburg moved into SDSU’s rotation last year and established himself as the best pitcher in the country. His status as the top talent in the draft class was cemented when he struck out 23 Utah Utes in an early April start. Not only was he the lone amateur pitcher on the USA Olympic team last summer, he was the best pitcher on the staff, flirting with a no-hitter in his first start. Standing 6′4″, 220 lbs, Strasburg has the best fastball (sits 94-96 and touches 100), the best breaking ball (mid-80’s slider) and the best command and control (180-31 K/BB ratio in 134.1 career IP) in the draft class. He’s on par with David Price in terms of talent, although Price was more polished and left handed. There are some concerns that his fast twitch delivery is an injury waiting to happen, but he does a good job of repeating it and has never missed time due to injury. Barring major injury or an extremely poor junior year, Strasburg will be the first player taken in June, and surely will not make it past his hometown Padres and the third overall pick.

Donovan Tate, OF, Cartersville HS (Georgia)

The son of former Bucs running back Lars Tate, Donovan might have the best five tool potential in the entire draft class. He’s a superb athlete with a strong arm, so much so that he was a top quarterback recruit and has a full scholarship in hand to play football (and baseball) at UNC. Tate has very good speed and oodles potential with the bat, although he needs to work on his plate discipline to avoid getting taken advantage of by more experienced pitchers. He currently plays center field, but will probably have to slide over to right when he fills out his 6′3″, 200 lb frame. The top high school hitter in the draft and arguably the top high school prospect overall, it’s tough to see the Braves letting the local boy slide past them with the seventh overall pick, Boras client or not.

Jacob Turner, RHP, Westminster Christian Academy (St. Louis)

Turner is all about projectability because his present package doesn’t scream stud prospect. He’s got an ideal pitcher’s frame at 6′4″, 205 lbs, and the hope is that he’ll cut a foot off his 89-91 mph fastball as he fills out. Although his changeup is just rudimentary right now, Turner’s big breaking curveball is an out-pitch, and arguably the best curveball in the high school ranks. He’ll need to tighten up his command and work on little things like holding runners and fielding his position. The natural comparision is Tim Melville, last year’s St. Louis darling, but Turner isn’t nearly as polished or as athletic as Melville. The UNC recruit is a first round talent, there’s a good chance Turner will still be available when the Yanks first selection rolls around.

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It's a skewed poll because Boras signs a lot of the top guys, but he doesn't often bother with guys expected to go lower in the draft. So we might only get only one or two chances to sign a Boras client each year, which makes it much easier to not draft one.

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I think just about everyone in MLB dreads working with Boras because he is such a tough negotiator, but he is one of the two or three best agents in baseball and a necessary evil to deal with. I think Andy and Joe are smart enough to do business with him, especially because most of his prospects are top-talent.

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I can see us going with the non-Boras client over a Boras client if we rate them very similarly, just like we'd go with a guy who fills a need over someone who doesn't if we rate them very similarly. But we aren't going to take a lower-rated player over a higher-rated player just because of Boras.

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