On Monday evening, Major League Baseball completed its first draft lottery with the Cleveland Guardians coming out as the big winners, thus receiving the first overall pick in the 2024 draft. The Baltimore Orioles have three early picks to work with and we have all seen the type of magic that Mike Elias has been able to perform in his previous drafts.
The six teams with the worst records from 2023 were entered into the lottery. The 12 other teams that did not make the playoffs will draft in reverse order, followed by the teams that made the playoffs in reverse order of how they finished in the postseason. The first pick the Orioles will have in the upcoming draft is at #22.
The Birds have some history of drafting in the #22 spot on three occasions. The first time was in 1978 when they selected Robert Boyce. Boyce spent four seasons in the Orioles organization but never made it above Single-A. The second time was in 1997 when the O's selected Jayson Werth. Werth spent 15 seasons in the major leagues with four different teams (none of which were the Orioles) and was an all-star.
Most recently, the Orioles selected Hunter Harvey 22nd in the 2013 draft. After struggling to earn consistent playing time in parts of three seasons in Baltimore, Harvey traveled around the Beltway and has put together two strong campaigns with the Washington Nationals the last two seasons.
The #22 spot has not had the greatest draft history. Marcus Stroman (2012) and former Oriole Kyle Gibson (2009) are the two noteworthy players drafted 22nd that are still in the league. Craig Biggio (1987), former Oriole Rafael Palmiero (1985) and Terry Francona (1980) are the most noteworthy retired players drafted 22nd, so Elias will see if he can work his magic in this year's draft.
The Orioles also received the #32 draft pick as a prospect promotion incentive resulting from Gunnar Henderson winning the AL Rookie of the Year. Finally, the Orioles will have the 34th overall draft pick and first in the Competitive Balance Round A. The competitive balance rounds are calculated using a formula combining revenue, winning percentage and market score to award draft picks to teams in the bottom 10 in revenue or market size.
All three of these picks will occur before the second round officially begins. Elias and company have plenty of time to prepare, and I can't wait to see who they bring in.