Baseball America released its top 200 draft prospects list, and No. 1 is Vanderbilt left-hander David Price, followed by Georgia Tech catcher Matt Wieters, Cypress (Ca.) High third baseman Josh Vitters, Seton Hall (N.J.) Prep right-hander Rick Porcello and Chatsworth (Ca.) High corner infielder Mike Moustakas.
For more, go to www.baseballamerica.com.
The Orioles have the fifth pick in the draft, which takes place June 7. They love Wieters, but so do a lot of teams, and he's not expected to be on the board when it's the Orioles' turn.
North Carolina State right-hander Andrew Brackman could be there, and if you like 6-foot-10 pitchers who also can rebound, he's your guy. The Orioles have checked him out, as well.
Though you never can have enough pitching, the Orioles really need to concentrate on position players. Scan their farm system and you'll see there's a need. Infield, outfield, possibly behind the plate if Brandon Snyder remains at first base beyond this season, which is a possibility. He's at low Single-A Delmarva, a long way from the majors for anyone not named James Hoey.
The Orioles also would like to nab a college player, someone who's close to being ready. But either way, at No. 5, they'll most likely be dealing with a Scott Boras client. He's tied to a slew of top prospects. There's no avoiding him.
Last night, I got the strongest sense yet that Danys Baez will be working the middle innings, preferably in games where one bad pitch won't determine the outcome, until he gets straightened out. Manager Sam Perlozzo doesn't want to give the impression that he's lost confidence in Baez, but he's already laying off him in the eighth inning. Now he'll have to do it in the 10th, too, unless he's out of pitchers.
"It's tough," said last night's starter, Jeremy Guthrie. "I've had months of that at a time. I've definitely been there. Everybody's been there. Pitchers, infielders, outfielders, in whatever aspect of the game. It's not an easy game. So much of it is confidence and he's a very confident guy and he's going to get right back where he wants to be and where he's been most of his career. It's not a problem. He's just going to keep working."
Working is fine. It can be done in the bullpen under Leo Mazzone's guidance. It can be done in blowouts, if the Orioles ever get involved in one again.
It just can't be done in close games anymore.