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Can someone explain to me how Seton Hall Prep right-hander Rick Porcello, rated the top high school pitcher in the country, lasted until the 27th pick, when the Detroit Tigers grabbed him?

The Orioles used their fourth-round pick on pitcher Tim Bascom. The Padres took him in the sixth round last year out of Central Florida and he didn't sign after injuring his knee late in the season. He also lost his college eligibility.

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Here's more on their first-round pick, catcher Matt Wieters:

As a sophomore, Wieters batted .355 with 15 homers, 71 RBIs, 72 runs scored and a .606 slugging percentage - joining Jason Varitek as the only catchers in Georgia Tech history to earn first-team All-America honors. And as a freshman, he was named Atlantic Coast Conference Rookie of the Year.

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"I've been doing the college draft for 32 years," said Scott Boras, who's advising Wieters, "and I haven't seen a college catcher of this skill level."

Boras was asked during a conference call with reporters whether he'd seek a major league contract for Wieters.

"The negotiating aspect of this is going to be done by Matt and his family, and what they seek or don't seek in this process is going to be something that's their own pursuit," he said. "Generally, when I advise families, I don't have a requirement of any type of contract, whether it be major league or minor league, and I advise families that's not the relevant issue when you negotiate for players. I think the relevant issue is the value of the player and his skills to a particular major league team."

Now here's what scouting director Joe Jordan said:

"As the front office looks at it and we start getting into the negotiations, it may be to our advantage to explore that. It will be our decision if we do that."

Asked to describe his relationship with the Orioles, Boras said, "A couple years ago, Mike Flanagan and I were up until 5 o'clock in the morning at the winter meetings talking about players. I've known (vice president) Jim Duquette a long time. I consider them to be solid baseball people."

(corrected graph) The Orioles don't seem worried about signing Wieters, which makes me assume they've discussed parameters with Boras and don't believe the two sides are far apart. Remember how Boras and Jim Duquette sat next to each other during the Anaheim series? Think they were swapping recipes?

"We feel like, at the end of the day, this guy is going to be part of our history here," Jordan said.

The Orioles must find a way for Wieters and Brandon Snyder, their top pick in the 2005 draft, to co-exist.

"I think both bats will play," Jordan said. "From an organizational standpoint, we'll have to look at it as it relates to Brandon. But his bat's going to hit in a major league lineup. We'll figure that out."

I just hope Ramon Hernandez's feelings aren't hurt.

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