Draft Round Table: Who Should the Orioles Take First?

Termarr Johnson participates in the Major League Baseball All-Star High School Home Run Derby. (Photo by Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images)
Termarr Johnson participates in the Major League Baseball All-Star High School Home Run Derby. (Photo by Matt Dirksen/Colorado Rockies/Getty Images) /

The Orioles have the first selection in the draft tonight, so here at Birds Watcher we are each chiming in with who we think the O’s should pick.

Tonight is the start of the 2022 MLB First Year Player Draft, and the Baltimore Orioles have the first overall pick.  Fans in Birdland have been debating for months over who should be the next elite prospect to join an already-stellar farm system.  Since Mike Elias keeps his cards very close to his chest, scouts are still where the Orioles are going.

The front office is considering five players, but they are really considering two different paths.  They could go with the best player available, or they could go underslot to save money for later.  I asked my fellow contributors here at Birds Watcher for their opinions on who the Birds should take, and much like industry insiders, we have a favorite but no consensus.

For a general preview of the Orioles draft, you can click here.  If you are looking for a mock of all four Baltimore picks tonight, click here.

Vitor De Sousa Silva

“My first pick and why: Termarr Johnson
Not only for the mocks, but I don’t think Elias will change his modus operandi in his draft management. Termarr is the best left-handed hitter, arguably the best hit tool in this class. It fits the last two first round choices and I’ll be fine with that. Eutaw Street would be welcome for Termarr.”

Michael Najarian

“I think the Orioles should be taking Druw Jones at number one. Guys like Termarr Johnson and Jackson Holliday will likely make sense if the Orioles want to save a little money with the first pick, but Jones is simply the best player out of the players the Orioles have been scouting, with his defense and running being very highly rated, and both his contact and power hitting not far behind. The Orioles would be wise to use the first overall pick on him.”

Cameron McGuire

“For the first pick in tonight’s draft, I believe the Orioles should select Druw Jones because Jones seems to be the best overall player in the draft and the most versatile.  Of all the players available tonight Jones seems to have the biggest superstar potential and if the Orioles want to truly compete for World Series Championships on a yearly basis, then they will need some superstar talents to supplement the players already in the system who are safe bets to be good players.

“The only issue with Jones is that he might be the most expensive to sign which may affect the Orioles draft later on.  Historically, Mike Elias has shown that he is skeptical to sign players with a high signing bonus in the first round, but I still believe the Orioles should take the risk and draft Jones.”

Ben Schneider

For my part, I also think the Orioles should go with Druw Jones.  He seems to be a cut above the rest of this year’s class, in which case he is worth giving the full slot bonus of over $8 million.  Mike Elias is not afraid to do this, since he went with Adley Rutschman in 2019, when he was in a tier of his own.  If the front office does not view Jones as well above the rest, then taking Termarr Johnson makes sense to spread more money to the following picks while also getting the best hitter in the draft.