There’s pitching talent galore at the top of the MLB Draft first round, but the Orioles will have to hope the 10 teams in front of them don’t pick them first.
Some mock drafts have Baltimore choosing 6-foot-2 left-handed pitcher Ryan Weathers of Loretto, Tenn., the Gatorade National High School Player of the Year and son of former major league pitcher David Weathers. But that’s only if Weathers, also linked to the San Diego Padres at No. 7, doesn’t get selected earlier.
Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez of Texas, also linked to the Pittsburgh at No. 10, has developed more quickly than anticipated. His fastball can hit 98 miles per hour and has an arsenal of other pitches. California high school RHP Cole Winn, who recorded a 0.23 ERA this season with 101 strikeouts, is also a possibility for the Orioles at No. 11.
Given that the O’s rank 29th this season on overall batting, they may be considering a position player in the first round.
Arizona high school third-baseman Nolan Gorman has also been linked to the Orioles. Gorman won the Under Armour High School All-American Game and MLB All-Star Game High School home run derbies this year. Some scouting reports expect Gorman could make a smooth transition to first base at a higher level.
"Obviously, we haven't had the kind of season that we were hoping for, and it's time for us to look at our competitive position and see where we can help our ballclub internally and for the future," Duquette said.
If a team that loses a qualifying free-agent shares in his revenue, then the team is given a compensatory pick between the first round and Competitive Balance Round A, provided the free-agent signs for at least $50 million. If he signs for less, the team’s compensation pick will come after Competitive Balance Round B.
31. Tampa Bay Rays (Compensation for Alex Cobb, who signed with Baltimore — the Orioles lose their second-round pick.)
32. Tampa Bay Rays (Compensation for not signing Drew Rasmussen (OSU).)
33. Kansas City Royals (Compensation for Lorenzo Cain for signing with Milwaukee — the Brewers lose their third-round pick.)
34. Kansas City Royals (Compensation for Eric Hosmer, who signed with San Diego — the Padres lose their second-round pick.)
35. Cleveland Indians (Compensation for Carlos Santana, who signed with Philadelphia — Phillies lose their second-round pick.)
Competitive balance round A:
All teams with either the 10 smallest markets or 10 smallest revenue pools are given an additional pick at the end of the first or second round. Last year, six picks were assigned to the end of the first round based on an MLB winning percentage/revenue equation. The remaining eight teams were assigned an extra selection after the second round. This year, the reverse will occur — eight picks in Round A and six picks in Round B.