With the second-pick in the MLB draft, the Baltimore Orioles had the opportunity to pick up some young players with serious potential.
It’s no secret that the Baltimore Orioles have several needs, but it seems like they did not use the 2020 draft to fill them.
With the second pick, it was certain the O’s would not get Spencer Torkelson, the big hitter who went to the Detroit Tigers. But, the O’s were expected to pick up the next best player on the list: Austin Martin. He didn’t go until the Blue Jays snapped him up with their #5 pick.
Overall, the Orioles draft was less than exciting. These are the players they selected:
- #2: Heston Kjerstad – Outfielder from Arkansas
- #30: Jordan Westburg – Shortstop from Mississippi State
- #39: Hudson Haskin – Outfielder from Tulane
- #74: Anthony Servideo – Shortstop from Mississippi
- #103: Coby Mayo – Third baseman from Stoneman Douglas HS
- #133: Carter Baumler – Pitcher from Dowling Catholic HS
Of course, no one knows what these young men will do in the future. But, the Orioles already seem to have a bunch of outfielders with Austin Hays and Yusniel Diaz waiting to hit the field behind Anthony Santander, Trey Mancini, DJ Stewart, and Dwight Smith, Jr.
The team has struggled with shortstops lately, which is why they signed Jose Iglesias to a one-year contract for 2020. Gunnar Henderson is an 18-year-old short stop who was expected to play in rookie ball this year.
If you were expecting something grand and exciting from the O’s in the draft, you were most likely sorely disappointed. The big question is why the Orioles did not take Austin Martin? After Torkelson, he was labeled the “best pure hitter” in the draft. Lights-out pitching and hitting win games, so why on earth would a team pass on Martin?
The only answer that seems to make sense is that the Orioles did not want to pay him. That’s why the draft was so disappointing. Dan Connelly with The Athletic tweeted:
So, in a way, the Orioles did punt the draft. They didn’t want to spend, so they chose not to invest in the second-best hitter, who proved himself in college. The Marlins and Royals most likely did the same thing, as they also passed on Martin. But, those two teams are low-spending, like the Orioles.
More from Orioles Draft
- Orioles Conclude MLB Draft with Some Intrigue and Risk
- Orioles Go for Depth on Day Two of Draft with Eight Picks
- Orioles Draft Dylan Beavers in Competitive Balance Round
- Baltimore Orioles: Draft Day One Recap and Analysis
- Draft Round Table: Who Should the Orioles Take First?
The Orioles first pick, Kjerstad, is a free-swinging lefty. Teams can always use them, but was he really the best choice? He was expected to go in the top 20, but number two might have stretching it a bit. One of the most notable number two picks in recent draft history is Alex Bregman who hit .337/.409/.514 with 21 home runs in three seasons.
Despite the controversy with the Astros and his bitterness about being picked second, he has lived up to being a top first-round pick. Does Kjerstad have what it takes to live up to this? Possible, his three-year college career with Arkansas includes a slash of .343/.421/.590 with 37 career home runs.
It’s tough to grade a draft until after the players get into the league. So, the best way to assess the draft is to assign it with a “meh” as the front office did not go with the player who was deemed better than the rest. Instead, they tried to save money. Typical.