With the Fourth pick in the first round of the 2012 MLB first year player draft, the Baltimore Orioles select…
Not so fast there. The Orioles possess the 4th pick in this year’s draft. This years draft has been considered one of the weakest drafts in the some time. There is no clear-cut 1st pick and there are many scenarios that the Orioles scouting team has to be prepared for.
Entering his 1st draft as the Orioles Director of Scouting, Gary Rajsich will look to make his mark on the organization. Rajsich is replacing Joe Jordan, who left the organization for Philadelphia, and definitely encountered his fare share of troubles on draft day.
Some of Jordan’s draft busts included third baseman Billy Rowell, who was picked one selection before Cy Young pitcher Tim Lincecum, and most recently Matt Hobgood.
Rajsich has had less than half a year to assemble a scouting team and prepare for the draft; which makes this years draft exceedingly more difficult than any other year.
Experts are saying that there is no aces or one starter as far as pitchers go in this years draft. There are three quality right handers that are all similar in draft stock and project as number two pitchers in the future. Then again, projections are just projections. The top right-handed pitchers are Mark Appel, Kevin Gausman, and Kyle Zimmer.
Mark Appel is a 6’5 pitcher that currently attends Stanford University. His fastball sits at 94-97 MPH. He has a hard slider and a very good circle change. The three pitches in his arsenal are solid but he has struggled with command in games. Appel has the top pick in the draft by many scouts for a while. We will see if their predictions are correct on Monday.
Kevin Gausman is a sophomore pitcher out of LSU. He is 6’4 and he has a mid 90’s fastball that he can up to 99 MPH. He has a 4 seam and a 2 seam fastball. Those pitches are accompanied with an MLB ready changeup. Gausman’s slider is above average and has good break and he has a developing curve ball. He was a 6th round selection two years ago out of high school and some scouts see Gausman as the top overall pitcher in the 2012 draft.
Kyle Zimmer is a 6’3 strong right handed pitcher out of the University of San Francisco. Zimmer is the late riser of the group. Zimmer has the best fastball of the group, which he throws in the upper 90’s and throws it consistently for strikes. Zimmer also has a power curve ball in his arsenal as well as a slider and an above average changeup. Zimmer hides the ball well in a very smooth delivery to the plate. The knock on Zimmer was that his velocity decreased during the course of his collegiate season. If he can gain stamina and strength, Zimmer may end up being the top pitcher from this draft class in the long run.
There are also three position players that the Orioles will look very hard at with the number four pick if they are available. They are Byron Buxton, Mike Zunino, and Carlos Correa.
Byron Buxton is a 6’1 high school outfielder out of Georgia. Buxton is widely considered the best overall player in the 2012 draft. He is a 5-tool outfielder that has drawn comparisons to B.J. and Justin Upton. He has tremendous speed, which allows him to turn singles into doubles. His outstanding arm complements his plate approach. The only knock on Buxton is his power. Though he is only 18, most scouts presume that his power numbers will increase as he matures.
Mike Zunino is a 6’2 Junior catcher from the University of Florida. Zunino has a great bat and can develop a pitching staff. He has drawn comparisons to Jason Varitek. Zunino can hit with power to all fields and has a clutch mentality. His ability behind the plate is above average, however he does not have Matt Wieters’ ability. If the O’s were to draft Zunino he would most likely move to 1st base. He is a middle of the order bat that the O’s have needed for some time.
Carlos Correa is a 6’4 high school shortstop from Puerto Rico. Correa’s stock has risen dramtically lately, and has become to top shortstop in the draft, surpassing Arizona State’s Devin Marrero. Correa has every tool except speed and he projects to have an incredible bat with plus power at the major league level. Draft wise Correa is being compared to Orioles prospect Manny Machado. As far as major league players go, Correa is being compared to Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies. I know what you’re thinking, why the heck would the Orioles draft another shortstop? This guy is my sleeper pick. If the pitchers who Baltimore likes are off the board and he is the top player on the board, the Orioles should draft him. Its not often you could have two future A-Rod’s in one farm system. It’s a good problem for the O’s to have. Some see Correa battling with Buxton as the best two players in the draft.
Those are my top six draft-able players for the O’s. There are many routes the O’s can go. He are the possible scenarios.
- If Byron Buxton falls to number four, then there is no chance he falls further. If available the Orioles draft Byron Buxton.
- Of the arms available, I see Appel going in the top two picks, leaving Gausman and Zimmer.
- If Zunino passes Seattle, and Buxton has been drafted I would believe that the Orioles would take him.
- If it is a choice between Correa, Appel and Gausman/Zimmer, it would be very interesting.
Here is my Mock Draft of the first 6 picks:
- Houston Astros- Mark Appel
- Minnesota Twins- Byron Buxton
- Seattle Mariners- Mike Zunino
- Baltimore Orioles- Kyle Zimmer
- KC Royals- Kevin Gausman
- Chicago Cubs- Carlos Correa
So there it is. I see the O’s taking Kyle Zimmer from San Francisco. Any of these six players would add positive depth to the organization needing a boost in talent. Good luck to Gary Rajsich in his 1st Draft as the Orioles Director of Scouting.
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