Much of the focus ahead of Monday's Major League Baseball draft, and specifically the Orioles' first overall pick, is on the consensus top prospects: Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman and Texas high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr.
They’re not the only candidates to go No. 1, though, and the Orioles won't be limiting their top-of-the-board preparations to just those two players.
Among the leaders in predraft evaluations, including Baseball America, MLB.com, ESPN and FanGraphs, a few players have created a second tier behind that pair.
Here's a look at some of the other well-regarded players outside the top two who could interest the Orioles if their assessments of Rutschman and Witt aren't as fawning as the public's.
Even though he lacks the same switch-hitting prowess or defensive value that make Rutschman the total package, the right-handed-hitting Vaughn has all the same offensive attributes that make him appealing to a team looking to add impact to its farm system.
He was named the nation's top college player in 2018 while hitting .402/.531/.819 with 23 home runs and 63 RBIs as a sophomore, and despite not getting much to hit, is still batting .387/.549/.728 with 15 home runs this year.
He is considered to have true elite power, according to many public scouting reports, with the ability to drive the ball to all fields without overcommitting and making his swing vulnerable. His bat will carry him to the majors in short order, but as a right-handed hitter with a first base-only defensive profile, he leaves a lot of the boxes blank for a team in search of a transformational No. 1 overall pick.
Shortstop C.J. Abrams, Blessed Trinity (Ga.) HS
Witt is at the top of the prep shortstop pile, and so many selected early in the draft from that player pool have gone on to have tremendous careers. Abrams also has many of the traits you'd want from a shortstop taken with such a high pick, but not all of them.
He's considered an elite runner with good contact skills, but requires refinement at shortstop and has a very valuable fallback position in center field. He'll have to grow into his power as well. For Abrams to get selected No. 1 overall, it would be with the idea of getting him into pro ball and steeping him in some of the modern methods the Orioles want to use to improve players, hoping his athleticism with the right refinement produces an elite player.
A product of the same high school as Orioles prospect Ryan Mountcastle, Greene comes out of Hagerty with a similar profile: He can really hit. Multiple outlets, including Baseball America and MLB.com, refer to him as the best pure hitter in the draft, with the added bonus that he's a left-handed batter.
The comparisons with Mountcastle don't exactly end there, though Mountcastle eventually grew into his power in a way scouts hope can happen for Greene. He fits a corner outfield profile, and there doesn't appear to be enough speed for him to play center field. But there's plenty of value in a no-doubt big league bat, and that's the type of noise that teams are tasked with sorting through to get the best player possible at No. 1.
Outfielder JJ Bleday, Vanderbilt
The younger brother of the new High-A Frederick development coach, Adam Bleday, JJ has the type of track record that makes his credentials pretty unimpeachable.
He carried his strong sophomore year into an impressive showing with wood bats in the Cape Cod League last summer, and broke out from a power standpoint with 26 home runs as a junior. He still managed to walk as often as he struck out this year as well, and has done so each season at Vanderbilt.
Bleday seems to have the arm for right field, but not the range for center field, and if he ends up at a corner spot, the power he's started to show this spring will be useful there.
Outfielder Hunter Bishop, Arizona State
Unlike some of the other college players who could be selected early in Monday's first round, Bishop's breakout with the Sun Devils has made him a truly different player, to the point that teams will have little way of gleaning how real it is. He's added more utility to his swing to hit for average and tap into significant raw power, can run and can stick in center field.
It will take a team that really trusts what it sees this spring to pull the trigger on Bishop this high — let alone with the top overall pick — but there's more information than ever to help a team decide.