We’re less than two months away from the MLB Draft, which means it’s time to focus on possible O’s prospects of the future. The 2011 draft class looks to be one of the most impressive groups of talent in years, and Orioles Nation will provide full coverage up until and through draft day.
The 2011 pack is lead by UCLA righty Gerrit Cole, who has recently drawn some Stephen Strasburg comparisons. Cole can dial his fastball up to 99 mph and throws what most consider to be two plus secondary pitches in a changeup and curveball. Anthony Rendon had the most hype of any 2011 draft prospect entering this season, but Cole has completely stolen the show.
While there’s almost no chance Cole drops to the Orioles at #4, so much can change from now up until draft day, which is what makes the MLB draft more fun to follow than other major sports’ drafts.
There is no shortage of pitching this year, with the both the college and prep ranks boasting loads of potential impact players, making the top players hard to distinguish. College hitting seems to be the weak point of this year’s draft, with the top of the class mostly loaded with pitchers and prep bats.
Although the Orioles own the 4th pick, we’ll be following Baseball America’s Mid-Season top 50 list and previewing their top 12 draft prospects, which are as follows:
1. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Rice
2. Gerrit Cole, RHP, UCLA
3. Danny Hultzen, LHP, Virginia
4. Sonny Gray, RHP, Vanderbilt
5. Jed Bradley, LHP, Georgie Tech
6. Bubba Starling, OF, Gardner-Edgerton HS, Kan.
7. Francisco Lindor, SS, Montverde Academy HS, Fla.
8. Trevor Bauer, RHP, UCLA
9. Dylan Bundy, RHP, Owasso HS, Okl.
10. George Springer, OF, Connecticut
11. Taylor Guerrieri, RHP, Spring Valley HS, S. Car.
12. Archie Bradley, RHP, Broken Arrow HS, Okl.
Of course, if a prospect emerges and puts himself into top 10 consideration, or we hear a name linked to the Orioles, we’ll add the player to our preview.
Over the next few weeks the players listed above will be broken down by Don Olsen, who’s our Director of Scouting and a former Minor League baseball player, Dan Sanchez, who’s our Senior Editor, and me, Jordan Tuwiner. All three of us have been reading up on the draft and watching video over the last few months.
So be sure to follow along over the next few weeks as we bring you the most detailed & thorough Orioles draft content you’ll find anywhere on the web.
Before we get the series kicked off, here are some links of interest for further reading on the draft and the prospects: