MLB Draft: Who Are the Baltimore Orioles Projected to Pick?
As the 2021 MLB Draft approaches, who do the experts believe the Baltimore Orioles will select with the fifth overall pick?
For the first time since the inaugural 1965 draft, Major League Baseball’s first-year player draft will be included as part of the midsummer All-Star festivities. Although the draft is typically held in June, MLB decided to move the draft into July due to a lost season of scouting players at both the high school and college levels. This year, the Baltimore Orioles own the fifth overall selection in the MLB Draft and will look to continue strengthening their farm system.
Rights to the first overall pick belong to the Pittsburgh Pirates, followed in order by the Texas Rangers, Detriot Tigers, and Boston Red Sox. Unlike in 2019 when the Orioles had a very easy time selecting catcher Adley Rutschman with the first pick in the draft, determining this year’s top talent is a little tougher. A quartet of prep infielders roams the top of the draft board alongside Vanderbilt’s dual starters, Louisville’s highly-touted catching prospect, and a pair of toolsy college outfielders, any of which could see themselves selected within the first few picks.
Here’s who the experts predict the Orioles will select in the first round of the 2021 MLB Draft:
FanGraphs – Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State
Eric Longenhagen and Kevin Goldstein of FanGraphs project the Orioles to select college outfielder Colton Cowser per their mock draft piece this past Tuesday. This season at Sam Houston State, Cowser came into his own, posting an OPS of 1.170 with career-best figures in home runs and stolen bases. According to Longenhagen and Goldstein, there are models suggesting that Cowser is the second-best college bat in the draft behind only Louisville’s Henry Davis, who the Orioles would likely select if he were to fall through the first four picks.
According to THE BOARD from FanGraphs, Cowser is a low-risk selection. Here’s an excerpt from his scouting report:
"Cowser has the best bat-to-ball skills in this draft. He tracks pitches with laser-guided precision, is able to make mid-flight adjustments to breaking balls, and he’s adept at hitting pitches on the outer third to the opposite field. Folks clamoring for more balls in play will love watching Cowser hit."