The Baltimore Orioles will have three picks among the first 40 in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft.
After the last two weeks of happenings around Birdland, one thing is for certain, the most entertaining part of 2020 for the Baltimore Orioles will be the June Major League Baseball Draft. With the shipping off of Jonathan Villar and Dylan Bundy, it’s clear that the tank is moving at full speed ahead, meaning another race for the top overall pick in the amateur draft.
Their 54-108 record in 2019 was six games better than that of the Detroit Tigers, giving the Orioles the number two pick in the 2020 draft, one year after selecting former Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman with the number one overall pick in 2019.
Major League Baseball recently announced Competitive Balance picks for the 2020 draft, additional draft picks after the first and second round. These picks are given to “all teams that have either one of the 10 smallest markets or 10 smallest revenue pools,” as explained by MLB.com.
The Baltimore Orioles have been awarded the first pick in Competitive Balance Round A (after the first round), giving Mike Elias picks number 2, 31, and 40 to begin the 2020 MLB draft.
For an organization looking to rebuild not just the major league roster but also an entire farm system, these three selections should go a long way in adding elite prospect talent to the minor leagues.
According to Jonathan Mayo and the staff over at Pipeline, this year’s draft is full of first-round quality college pitchers. A well-developed college arm, or two, sounds like the perfect type of player to target with these three picks within the top 40, seeing as their major league timeline should match up well with current young arms in the system like Grayson Rodriguez, DL Hall, and Drew Rom.
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Naturally, that’s not the direction Jim Callis has the Baltimore Orioles going with the second overall selection. In his top 10 mock draft, Callis connects the Orioles to Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson.
Despite his elite power, drafting Torkelson would be a hard sell to Orioles fans, especially if University of Georgia RHP Emerson Hancock is still available. Callis has the Tigers taking Vanderbilt shortstop Austin Martin with the top overall pick. If this year’s crop of pitchers are as highly-touted as early reports indicate, the Orioles have to take advantage.
We’re still half a year and a full college season away from the 2020 draft, so plenty can change until then, but if Orioles fans are having to rely on Asher Wojciechowski and Alex Cobb to help round out the top of the rotation alongside John Means, it’s never too early to start looking ahead to draft time.
I can’t see Mike Elias getting rid of draft picks, but Competitive Balance picks can be traded before the start of the draft. For a look at the current draft order (as of December 5th), you can check it out here at MLB.com.