I spent much of the evening paying attention to the minor league draft. Boy, have times changed.
The Orioles made three selections Tuesday: California high school pitcher Matt Hobgood with the fifth pick overall, Tampa-area high school shortstop Mychal Givens in the second round (54th overall) and Florida International University first baseman Tyler Townsend in the third (85th pick).
Another 27 rounds will follow today with the remainder ending up Thursday.
Let's start by saying this is not the NFL draft. I've never seen any of these kids play. Not one. So I can't properly evaluate the picks.
That said, because Hobgood was listed as the 18th right-handed pitcher by Baseball America in their draft preview and, because he wasn't in the top 10 in mock drafts, some fans are bemoaning this as a terrible reach.
This kid was the Gatorade National Player of the Year this year, however. He went 11-1 with a 0.92 ERA at Norco High School in suburban Los Angeles. He struck out 101 and walked 26 in 68 1/3 innings while hitting 21 homers and batting .475 as a first baseman.
He's huge – 6-foot-4, 245-pounds – and throws in the mid-90s. He's apparently got a great attitude, which in part comes from the fact that his father died of cancer when he was 13 and he had to grow up quickly.
And he's a good interview already, pleasant, upbeat and well spoken.
So I am more than willing to give Joe Jordan and his staff the benefit of the doubt on this one. Are you? I am curious as to whether you were disappointed when you heard the pick or if you formed no opinion because, well, it's the baseball draft.
Daily Think Special: What's your take on the Matt Hobgood pick?