Would it bother you if the Orioles draft a first-round pitcher?
By Dan Connolly
Jun 08, 2009 at 12:48 PM
Major League Baseball's draft kicks off Tuesday night, and it is now a made-for-TV event on the MLB Network.
God help us all.
I remember back in 2001 standing around a writer's cell phone -- the only one with a speaker phone -- asking questions of the Orioles' scouting director at the time about the new first-round pick, Chris Smith, who was a mystery to all of us (and still is).
Now, the draft has its own show. Progress, I guess.
Anyway, the Orioles are on the proverbial clock with the fifth pick. It looks as if all-world San Diego State pitcher Stephen Strasburg will go to the Washington Nationals, and then the Seattle Mariners likely will select University of North Carolina first baseman Dustin Ackley with the second pick.
If either of those two falls, the Orioles will grab one. But they won't drop that far.
With Ackley off the board, there really isn't a position player that is a slam-dunk at No. 5. Georgia high school star Donavan Tate (who has a dual football/baseball scholarship to UNC) is risky but intriguing. USC shortstop Grant Green had an uneven collegiate season and may have dropped out of the top ten.
That means with the fifth selection in the first round, the Orioles will take ... a pitcher.
It could be a high schooler. It could be a collegiate one.
But they are going to get another pitcher. Bank on it. It goes with Andy MacPhail's philosophy of "growing the arms."