Rajsich has a similar strategy for this week. The organization's draft board is talent-based — with signability issues factored in — and does not stress a position or need. Rajsich said he has been given no directives. If the best guy available plays a position in which the Orioles appear to be set now and in the future, such as shortstop, he is still going with that pick.

"I've not been directed any such way. I think when you have true competition in an organization it is good," Rajsich said. "If you have two good players, well, one of them can move. There is nothing wrong with that. So that doesn't come into play for me unless I am told, and I have not been."

Perhaps the best player available in the draft is Georgia prep center fielder Byron Buxton, who has drawn comparisons to former Oriole Eric Davis for his tools and makeup. Buxton, however, likely won't get past the Seattle Mariners, who have the third pick.

There is no consensus No. 1, but the Houston Astros may be targeting Stanford University right-hander Mark Appel, who may be the most polished pitcher in the draft. He is one of three collegiate right-handers, along with University of San Francisco fireballer Kyle Zimmer, and LSU draft-eligible sophomore Kevin Gausman, whom the Orioles likely will consider.

A college pitcher is a safe bet to land with the Orioles, but if they decide on a position player, and Buxton is gone, one intriguing scenario is Puerto Rican shortstop Carlos Correa, who is shooting up draft boards and has been scouted by Rajsich.

If the Orioles want high upside and are willing to go with a high school pitcher — as they did last year with Bundy — the choice could be California prep lefty Max Fried, whom Baseball America ranks as the best southpaw in the draft.

It would be somewhat surprising if the Orioles went outside of those six with their first pick. That's partially because this draft is not considered particularly deep — especially compared to last year, when as many as eight players were legitimately top-pick quality.

"I heard about that [one] and I can tell you there is no Dylan Bundy in this draft," Rajsich said. "And the fact that we got him four, I give the Joe Jordan regime here all the credit in the world, because they got a good one."

Rajsich believes he will get "a good one" when the dust settles Monday night.

And there's a sense — certainly a hope — that the Orioles got a good one last November.

"Selfishly, we hated to lose Gary," Minasian said. "Obviously, it is great for him and his career. And he is definitely the right guy for that job. It was an outstanding hire."


Meet Gary Rajsich

Name: Gary Louis Rajsich

Age: 57

Birthplace: Youngstown, Ohio

Title: Orioles' Director of Scouting, first year

Playing career: 11th round pick of the Houston Astros in 1976. A first baseman/outfielder, batted .236 with three homers in 149 big-league games in parts of four seasons (1982-85) with the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants. Still holds Triple-A Norfolk record for most career homers (52).

Scouting career: Began in 1990 with the Major League Scouting Bureau; with Boston Red Sox from 1994-2006; Texas Rangers, 2006-09; Toronto Blue Jays, 2009-11.

Family: Wife, Linda; sons, Lou and Lee; older brother, David, pitched for three seasons in majors, 1978-80 for New York Yankees and Rangers.

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