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What do you think of this imbalance?


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It has been well-documented how imbalanced the O's minor league system is w/r/t pitching versus hitting. Our top ten prospects only include 2 no-doubt-about-it hitters (Snyder/Bell) and one pretty good bat (Joseph). One other very young guy may sneak into the bottom of our top 10 depending on whether Matusz/Tillman graduate.

With that in mind, here's a list of guys that I think are the highest ceiling guys we have signed the 2009 draft. Of the top 10 guys, 7 are pitchers. Indeed, the 7 pitchers may all have more upside than just about any of the hitters. We may add Ohlman, and that would be a nice shot in the arm for the hitters, but Dalles would be the guy who falls out of the top 10 anyway (IMO).

Matt Hobgood - RHP

Tyler Townsend - 1B

Randy Henry - RHP

Ashur Tolliver - LHP

Justin Dalles - C

Aaron Wirsch - LHP

Ryan Berry - RHP

Jarret Martin - LHP

Cameron Coffey - LHP

Brenden Webb - OF

The question for this thread is simple...is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Personally, I would obviously like another impact bat or two, but I'm all for directing a disproportionate share of our resources to pitching. The third best piece of the Bedard trade just (hopefully) netted us our 3b of the future and a good pitching prospect. The last piece in that trade (Mickolio) looks like a potential strong late-inning guy for a long time to come.

Quality pitching is simply more valuable than quality hitting.

IMO, if the O's continue to draft and develop pitchers in the manner that they have been over the last few years, we'll be able to upgrade with young position talent as needed while also growing a foundation capable of quieting the bats in the AL East.

Furthermore, though our system is pretty dry with position talent, the O's are actually in a solid position w/r/t young position players with a lot of upside. Given the fact that position players tend to break down less than pitchers, this imbalance is clearly called-for at this point in the franchise's development, IMO.

What say you?

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I think it's not so imbalanced. We have young position players (Reimold, Jones, Markakis, Wieters) at 4 positions. We have two top prospects (Snyder, Bell) at two others. We have Turner who looks legit at 2B. That's 7 guys at arguably 7 different positions. We have some very interesting prospects that will be in Bowie next year (Henson, Waring, Adams, Florimon, Joseph). I think things are much improved.

Exactly, we have three all-star capable kids under 26 plus Reimold plus Bell and Snyder. How clear is that? Crystal.

Can't stand the imbalance discussion. Sure, I'd like more hitting prospects, but all things equal, I'd rather have quality pitching prospects.

Nothing powers a team to a competitive position like top quality, cheap, young pitching. IMO, at a high level, while acknowledging the following is simplified, it's the difference between the Mets (Reyes, Wright) and the Giants (Lincecum, Cain).

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Look at the Bowie and Norfolk rosters. How many position prospects do you see besides Snyder and Bell?

The system is imbalanced. The Orioles teams of the 60's and 70's always had position players ready to take over for their ML counterparts without a dropoff. You can't say that right now.

While Hoes, Miclat and Avery looked to be answers last year, all but Avery have regressed this year.

We need more positional prospects via the draft or via amateur international signings.

You always see teams willing to trade young pitching, but they always seem to want to hang on to their position prospects and the reason is cheap hitting is more valuable than pitching IMO. Cole Hamels during his career year according to Fangraphs was not as valuable as Mark Teixeira during his career year.

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I think it's not so imbalanced. We have young position players (Reimold, Jones, Markakis, Wieters) at 4 positions. We have two top prospects (Snyder, Bell) at two others. We have Turner who looks legit at 2B. That's 7 guys at arguably 7 different positions. We have some very interesting prospects that will be in Bowie next year (Henson, Waring, Adams, Florimon, Joseph). I think things are much improved.

Me and you dont agree too much, but this I definitely agree with. Our minor league system may not have a ton of position prospects, but so what if we did? Theyd all be blocked. What we dont have is a ton of good pitching, and thats what we happen to be drafting, not really out of need now, but because we will always need more pitching in the future. Another good reason to draft pitching is because of the value. Pitchers hold the maximum value so, if we decide to trade away some of our pitching, we get more back then if we traded a 1B. That also could be the reason we have taken such a dive into good catching in the draft lately(Wieters, Joseph, Dalles, Ohlman) So with some of the spare parts, you get more back....

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Me and you dont agree too much, but this I definitely agree with. Our minor league system may not have a ton of position prospects, but so what if we did? Theyd all be blocked. What we dont have is a ton of good pitching, and thats what we happen to be drafting, not really out of need now, but because we will always need more pitching in the future. Another good reason to draft pitching is because of the value. Pitchers hold the maximum value so, if we decide to trade away some of our pitching, we get more back then if we traded a 1B. That also could be the reason we have taken such a dive into good catching in the draft lately(Wieters, Joseph, Dalles, Ohlman) So with some of the spare parts, you get more back....

I don't exactly agree. What I would say is that pitcher's hold the most peripheral value primarily due to higher attrition rates. What I mean is that you need more pitchers than position players because even if you consider the minors a wash once they get to the majors a position player may set you for 4-10 years while a pitcher may set you 2-5 years. Therefore, with so much turnover it is needed to keep on signing and developing pitching talent to make up for the failure rates.

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I started this thread hoping for this exact discussion. For years, I've been on the same side as most of you. I wanted to draft pitching until we didn't need any more, and then I wanted to draft more pitching. I still believe that.

However, JTrea made a solid point in another thread...which is that we can still get high value young pitching in the lower rounds. Now, it should go without saying that we can probably also get high value young hitting in the lower rounds too.

With that in mind, and with this draft MOSTLY in hindsight, I think next year should be the year that we target hitters early and often, much like we targeted pitchers this year.

Our pitching inventory, from top to bottom, is pretty ridiculous after this draft. I love that, but I'm really hoping that we start sending our resources to guys like Sano, Ohlman and top hitters next year.

This shouldn't be a long term organizational philosophical change, but I think it's time.

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I started this thread hoping for this exact discussion. For years, I've been on the same side as most of you. I wanted to draft pitching until we didn't need any more, and then I wanted to draft more pitching. I still believe that.

However, JTrea made a solid point in another thread...which is that we can still get high value young pitching in the lower rounds. Now, it should go without saying that we can probably also get high value young hitting in the lower rounds too.

With that in mind, and with this draft MOSTLY in hindsight, I think next year should be the year that we target hitters early and often, much like we targeted pitchers this year.

Our pitching inventory, from top to bottom, is pretty ridiculous after this draft. I love that, but I'm really hoping that we start sending our resources to guys like Sano, Ohlman and top hitters next year.

This shouldn't be a long term organizational philosophical change, but I think it's time.

I think it is slightly easier to project HS pitching than hitting. With that respect it might make more financial sense to go hard after overslotting pitchers unless there is a positional player with an advanced hitting approach. Otherwise, I figure it might be more cost effective to target hitters in the upper minors in trade or in free agency.

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I started this thread hoping for this exact discussion. For years, I've been on the same side as most of you. I wanted to draft pitching until we didn't need any more, and then I wanted to draft more pitching. I still believe that.

However, JTrea made a solid point in another thread...which is that we can still get high value young pitching in the lower rounds. Now, it should go without saying that we can probably also get high value young hitting in the lower rounds too.

With that in mind, and with this draft MOSTLY in hindsight, I think next year should be the year that we target hitters early and often, much like we targeted pitchers this year.

Our pitching inventory, from top to bottom, is pretty ridiculous after this draft. I love that, but I'm really hoping that we start sending our resources to guys like Sano, Ohlman and top hitters next year.

This shouldn't be a long term organizational philosophical change, but I think it's time.

I really don't think you can say in August of '09 who we should be drafting in June of '10. If the the best players available when you're drafting pitchers, why would you take a hitter that you rate lower? Just because he is a hitter? That way lies a disastrous draft. Look at all of the hitters we took early in the Brian Roberts draft year. He's the only one that stuck. Of course, I'd also have to admit that we were able to get a decent pitcher in the 6th round (Bedard), so there can be talent found throughout.

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I think it is slightly easier to project HS pitching than hitting. With that respect it might make more financial sense to go hard after overslotting pitchers unless there is a positional player with an advanced hitting approach. Otherwise, I figure it might be more cost effective to target hitters in the upper minors in trade or in free agency.

This is an interesting point. I agree in general, but we're not talking about just targeting hitters. We're talking about targeting stud hitters that can strike fear into the Yankees and Red Sox...guys like Smoak, Heyward or Wieters.

These types generally aren't attainable in prospect-prospect transactions, so they have to be targeted when they become VERY expensive FAs or when we are willing to trade away VERY high-value assets of our own.

To JTrea's point, I think it's probably worth it to take a chance on more HS guys in hopes that we end up developing our own Teixiera's moving forward. Otherwise, in MLB's current financial structure, we may never get them.

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This is an interesting point. I agree in general, but we're not talking about just targeting hitters. We're talking about targeting stud hitters that can strike fear into the Yankees and Red Sox...guys like Smoak, Heyward or Wieters.

These types generally aren't attainable in prospect-prospect transactions, so they have to be targeted when they become VERY expensive FAs or when we are willing to trade away VERY high-value assets of our own.

To JTrea's point, I think it's probably worth it to take a chance on more HS guys in hopes that we end up developing our own Teixiera's moving forward. Otherwise, in MLB's current financial structure, we may never get them.

I understand the point, but I just wonder the cost effectiveness of it. Without being able to get a read on how a batting approach will develop . . . it is often throwing cash away. Overslot HS kids are typically physical specimens who are rather raw. I don't know how good folks are at figuring out which ones to spend on and which ones to abstain. Although, I have not looked . . . I think most overslotting in later rounds goes out to pitchers.

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I really don't think you can say in August of '09 who we should be drafting in June of '10. If the the best players available when you're drafting pitchers, why would you take a hitter that you rate lower? Just because he is a hitter? That way lies a disastrous draft. Look at all of the hitters we took early in the Brian Roberts draft year. He's the only one that stuck. Of course, I'd also have to admit that we were able to get a decent pitcher in the 6th round (Bedard), so there can be talent found throughout.

I certainly don't mean to be saying the bolded portion. BPA, particularly at the top of the draft, is important to me.

I'm simply saying that - all things being equal - if we draft several Coffey's and several Webb's/Ohlman's/Devin Harris's, we should strongly consider sending more resources to the high upside batters in next year's draft.

I'm sure Jordan's targeting the highest value guys for signing, but I would expect that we could draft several hitters who are valued similarly to the Coffey's of the world.

Perhaps this is where I'm wrong though. Crawdad seems to be saying that it's easier to target high potential pitchers than hitters coming out of high school.

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It has been well-documented how imbalanced the O's minor league system is w/r/t pitching versus hitting. Our top ten prospects only include 2 no-doubt-about-it hitters (Snyder/Bell) and one pretty good bat (Joseph). One other very young guy may sneak into the bottom of our top 10 depending on whether Matusz/Tillman graduate.

With that in mind, here's a list of guys that I think are the highest ceiling guys we have signed the 2009 draft. Of the top 10 guys, 7 are pitchers. Indeed, the 7 pitchers may all have more upside than just about any of the hitters. We may add Ohlman, and that would be a nice shot in the arm for the hitters, but Dalles would be the guy who falls out of the top 10 anyway (IMO).

Matt Hobgood - RHP

Tyler Townsend - 1B

Randy Henry - RHP

Ashur Tolliver - LHP

Justin Dalles - C

Aaron Wirsch - LHP

Ryan Berry - RHP

Jarret Martin - LHP

Cameron Coffey - LHP

Brenden Webb - OF

The question for this thread is simple...is this a good thing or a bad thing?

Personally, I would obviously like another impact bat or two, but I'm all for directing a disproportionate share of our resources to pitching. The third best piece of the Bedard trade just (hopefully) netted us our 3b of the future and a good pitching prospect. The last piece in that trade (Mickolio) looks like a potential strong late-inning guy for a long time to come.

Quality pitching is simply more valuable than quality hitting.

IMO, if the O's continue to draft and develop pitchers in the manner that they have been over the last few years, we'll be able to upgrade with young position talent as needed while also growing a foundation capable of quieting the bats in the AL East.

Furthermore, though our system is pretty dry with position talent, the O's are actually in a solid position w/r/t young position players with a lot of upside. Given the fact that position players tend to break down less than pitchers, this imbalance is clearly called-for at this point in the franchise's development, IMO.

What say you?

I made a similar point about the imbalance in one of the Amateur Draft thread. I think it's alright to be slightly imbalanced on the side of pitching but this past draft was way too imbalanced for my liking.

In the 2009 draft, only six out of our first twenty five signed players are position players (Townsend, Dallas, Bumbry, Kelly, Schutz, Mooney). None of which "shout out" impact players. Our top three unsigned players from the draft (Givens, Harris and Ohlman) are positional players and all three seem to be very high ceiling guys. It doesn't appear we are going to sign any of those three players.

Cameron Coffey was drafted in the 22nd round. He is a lefthanded pitcher who underwent Tommy John surgery in the spring. He was given a $990,000 signing bonus. Our second round pick, SS Mychal Givens (like the pick or not) has tremendous upside potential. It's reported we offered him $750,000 to sign??? I don't get it.

How much have we offered Devin Harris and Michael Ohlman? We need a lot more impact positional players (like Avery and Hoes) in our system. We drafted some of those type players this year (Givens, Harris and Ohlman). We should know the demands of these kids before signing them. If we think it's too much money than more on to the next stud positional player on the draft sheet.

I love the fact the Orioles have been willing to go way over slot for some of these pitching prospects, but let's start doing the same thing with these positional players.

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Cameron Coffey was drafted in the 22nd round. He is a lefthanded pitcher who underwent Tommy John surgery in the spring. He was given a $990,000 signing bonus. Our second round pick, SS Mychal Givens (like the pick or not) has tremendous upside potential. It's reported we offered him $750,000 to sign??? I don't get it.

How much have we offered Devin Harris and Michael Ohlman? We need a lot more impact positional players (like Avery and Hoes) in our system. We drafted some of those type players this year (Givens, Harris and Ohlman). We should know the demands of these kids before signing them. If we think it's too much money than more on to the next stud positional player on the draft sheet.

I love the fact the Orioles have been willing to go way over slot for some of these pitching prospects, but let's start doing the same thing with these positional players.

Actually, I do get it. I love the fact that the O's have focused on building our system as a pitching factory. I hope that continues.

However, in light of the depth we've added in this draft (which I'm very happy with, FWIW), I think it's time to start doing what you're suggesting above.

I absolutely didn't think that on the day before the draft. I was still very doubtful about our reserves following the big three. That has now changed.

So, and I hate to bring this up, if we have a Smoak versus Matusz decision to make next year, I hope we go with Smoak. Last year, I wanted Matusz...and I'm still happy we got him.

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I made a similar point about the imbalance in one of the Amateur Draft thread. I think it's alright to be slightly imbalanced on the side of pitching but this past draft was way too imbalanced for my liking.

In the 2009 draft, only six out of our first twenty five signed players are position players (Townsend, Dallas, Bumbry, Kelly, Schutz, Mooney). None of which "shout out" impact players. Our top three unsigned players from the draft (Givens, Harris and Ohlman) are positional players and all three seem to be very high ceiling guys. It doesn't appear we are going to sign any of those three players.

Cameron Coffey was drafted in the 22nd round. He is a lefthanded pitcher who underwent Tommy John surgery in the spring. He was given a $990,000 signing bonus. Our second round pick, SS Mychal Givens (like the pick or not) has tremendous upside potential. It's reported we offered him $750,000 to sign??? I don't get it.

How much have we offered Devin Harris and Michael Ohlman? We need a lot more impact positional players (like Avery and Hoes) in our system. We drafted some of those type players this year (Givens, Harris and Ohlman). We should know the demands of these kids before signing them. If we think it's too much money than more on to the next stud positional player on the draft sheet.

I love the fact the Orioles have been willing to go way over slot for some of these pitching prospects, but let's start doing the same thing with these positional players.

Assuming the firgures are correct in the bolded section, I do get it. The Orioles valued Coffey more than Givens, but they were not sold that he would sign. So, JJ took him with a lower pick. He was said to be of a first round talent, so I'm not shocked.

As to the question at hand, I agree with JTREA :eek: and you, Mark, that I'd like to see more positional prospects in the higher levels of the system. We're not going to get them there if we don't draft some now and then and develop them. Boston and others manage to draft and sign both, so why not us? We've built up the value of the system with pitching, and I keep hearing we'll see trades to facilitate the acquisition of postional prospects. Well, I guess we'll see.

After Snyder and Bell, it's a big drop to Turner as the next best prospect in AA/AAA. And then who is after them? Blake Davis? Scott Moore? Wow! :o

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Assuming the firgures are correct in the bolded section, I do get it. The Orioles valued Coffey more than Givens, but they were not sold that he would sign. So, JJ took him with a lower pick. He was said to be of a first round talent, so I'm not shocked.

As to the question at hand, I agree with JTREA :eek: and you, Mark, that I'd like to see more positional prospects in the higher levels of the system. We're not going to get them there if we don't draft some now and then and develop them. Boston and others manage to draft and sign both, so why not us? We've built up the value of the system with pitching, and I keep hearing we'll see trades to facilitate the acquisition of postional prospects. Well, I guess we'll see.

After Snyder and Bell, it's a big drop to Turner as the next best prospect in AA/AAA. And then who is after them? Blake Davis? Scott Moore? Wow! :o

You forget the Figueroa brothers and Fiorentino. :D

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