Thinking about the draft

America's Next Top Model Cycle 10 winner and CoverGirl model Whitney Thompson will throw out the ceremonial first pitch tomorrow night at Camden Yards. And I'll admit, I have no idea what it means to be a Cycle 10 winner.

I believe the last time Jose Canseco made it to Cycle 10, he hit 44 home runs that season.

Ravens running back Willis McGahee will throw out the first pitch Sunday.

If Brian Billick was head coach, the ball would go six yards and the Orioles would have to punt.

I know there's a lot of interest in the upcoming draft. I'll be covering it for The Sun, and we'll run a preview before next Thursday.

The Orioles have chosen position players the past three seasons with Joe Jordan at the controls as scouting director - catcher-turned-first baseman Brandon Snyder, third baseman Billy Rowell and catcher Matt Wieters. They'll take the best player available and not focus on a "need pick," though Wieters fit both profiles. 

San Diego left-hander Brian Matusz and Missouri right-hander Aaron Crow have gotten a lot of attention from Orioles scouts, but it seems unlikely that they'd pass on Vanderbilt third baseman Pedro Alvarez if he somehow drops to No. 4. He's being "advised" by Scott Boras, which could cause a few teams to pass. The Orioles had positive dealings with Boras last year (Wieters, Jake Arrieta), and aren't likely to shy away.

Given the need for a first baseman - unless you've already got Mark Teixeira coming here - South Carolina's Justin Smoak is intriguing.

I'm rooting for Tulane pitcher Shooter Hunt, just because I want to hear certain people try to pronounce his name on the air.

Unlike last year, there isn't a consensus No. 1 overall pick. Everyone knew the Rays were taking Vanderbilt pitcher David Price, but they're not as predictable in 2008. High school shortstop Tim Beckham, not to be confused with Universitiy of Georgia shortstop Gordon Beckham, is the favorite at the moment. They've also been linked to Alvarez.

I'll dive a little deeper into this topic in the coming days, but if you're Jordan, what direction are you leaning?  


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