My board has changed a little...
(The ranking here is based on the Orioles not overall talent)Top 8
RHP Lucas Giolito* (Is he really healthy? Is he the same guy?)
OF Byron Buxton (Loads of Potential)
RHP Kevin Gausman
(Could be a #2 SP or a #5)
RHP Mark Apple (Of the top prospects, could be the most underwhelming)
C Mike Zunino (Fine prospect at a position where he would be second fiddle)
OF David Dahl (Safe bet to be a fine corner outfielder with good power)
SS Carlos Correa (Probably a third baseman with a really good bat)
RHP Kyle Zimmer (Could be a #3 SP but right now a FB/CB guy that has a lot of questions)Lots to read here, I felt my opinions needed to be written down and would love feedback from others
I ranked Giolito first as prior to injury he was the early consensus first overall choice. I have to think that every MLB team has a good feel for where this player really is and what his floor/ceiling actually is. Unlike armchair GM's like me that rely upon web sources which are always suspect. The question is: Does he go first overall or is he available at the tenth pick? For me it's really a toss up between him and Buxton.
Many sources have warned that Buxton is no sure thing. That said though he has a chance to become that rare "Arch-Type Ricky Henderson" something every team would love to have on the roster. I've even ready some predicting a long minor league carreer. That may be so, however this is a rare tool guy.
At this point is where I place the second tier guys. Gausman is whom most sources have the Orioles picking as I do myself. Everything I read says his fastball is something of beauty and his change up is pretty solid. That said successive pitches need work. Right now that is his slider and curveball so he is going to need time and instruction. That fastball though makes him easy to place at #3 on my Orioles draft board.
Another guy that has a sweet fastball is Mark Apple and like Guasman needs some help with his secondary pitches. He's not had the season that scouts had hoped for and I wonder is he playing worried? Sometimes prior to the draft we worry about pitchers playing up to the radar gun. This year I am asking is this guy afraid of lowering his draft stock? That may well be a silly question on my part that is out of bounds. Something though is wrong and that is my best guess. Regardless right now that Fastball is good and the slider isn't bad either. The change up will take some time. He's likely safer than Guasman but the potential isn't so high.
Mike Zunino is arguably the second best talent in this year's draft. As an Orioles fan I am somewhat biased as we have an excellent Catcher. If I took that out of it he would be the easy #3 on my board. He projects to be an outstanding defensive catcher being solid all around as well as having power at the plate. I have this nagging feeling that he will drop to fifth or sixth pick in the draft which means someone will overvalue Correa and look really foolish in five years.
This is where most people following the draft will strongly disagree with me but I really like David Dahl. Everything I read says he has no chance to stay in Center field but will be an outstanding corner outfielder that will profile nicely at the number three hole in any lineup. Additionally while he doesn't have elite speed he is ever so slightly above average on the bases and should hit for close to .300 Basically an everyday outfielder with more power than Nick Markakis. I do not think he is a prospect in the same league with the Royals' Wil Myers, but he will become an excellent everyday guy at a position the Orioles seem to lack talent.
I should note that some folks are high on Carlos Correa. He may well become a fine player. However Don's observation from a few weeks ago has me re-thinking it.
Carlos Correa - There is more contact in the bat than power, but enough pop to profile at any position outside of 1B. The glove and range, plus the bottom heavy body has always made me move him off.
We have a guy we aren't sure will stick at SS now and while depth up the middle is a wonderful thing, I just do not think it's the right player for that risk at this time. Additionally it's still a projection that his "Pop" at the plate will represent a good value at third base. I may eat crow in a few years but I feel strongly that this is a player teams whisper that he may be elite when he isn't.
Kyle Zimmer one thought to be a potential choice for the team looks more like an Andy McPhail type player to me. Yes his fastball looks good and he has a curve that is solid. However, his fastball velocity isn't consistent and I do not know that his third pitch will ever really come on. That said I do not feel that he is a good value at 1:4 To my thinking it would make more sense to select Wacha or Fried and bring them along very slowly.
Now if you actually read all of that please enjoy and throw eggs at my board that stacks the prospects regardless of the Orioles situation
OF Byron Buxton
RHP Lucas Giolito
C Mike Zunino
RHP Kevin Gausman
RHP Mark Apple
SS Carlos Correa
OF David Dahl
RHP Kyle Zimmer
RHP Michael Wacha
LHP Max Fried
As you see I think a great deal of Buxton in both lists. With Giolito its his medical questions and how long it will be before his minor league career begins. Quality Catchers do not grow on trees and I think Zunino has what teams need. Beyond this it is a matter of risk and potential. Can you live with Correa at 3B? Gausman and Apple as average starters? If anyone moves up I think it's Dahl and if any of the teams picking early have the luxury of time with starting pitching then Wacha and Fried will be good selections.
Sorry for the book. But please respond. I think we can easily figure out how the draft will fall.