The first three picks have lined-up pretty well with some reasonable targets allowing us to grab in areas of need without sacrificing level of talent. Keeping in mind the goals Craw and I each laid out in our Draft Strategy piece, the 5th Round could be a spot to grab some falling signability players, or medium risk/medium reward college talent.
After the jump, our three targets for the 5th Round...
My best guess is that Lorenzen (the third target listed at 4:3) will not be the selection there. That is, that one of Hague/Roberts will be available. Assuming that is the case, both 3:3 and 4:3 should be pretty close to slot - maybe a slight bump above. That opens-up 5:3 for a nice stab at a talent that may have fallen, or a slightly underdeveloped player with big upside. For your consideration, a target representing each, as well as one easier sign in case Lorenzen ends-up being the "get" at 4:3:
Bobby Wahl, RHP, West Springfield HS (Va.)
Wahl is a projectable righty with a wide, workhorse frame that has just started to fill-in. He sports a four-pitch mix (FB/CB/SL/CH) with a fifth (CT) on the way, and all show at least average projection, with his slider and fastball both potential plus pitches. His velocity was generally high-80s through the summer and fall, bumping to the 89-91 mph range this spring and touching 93/94 on some guns. A commitment to Ole Miss means it will likely cost some money to pry him away at this point in the draft (where slot is considerably lower than he could get three years from now), but Baltimore is in an excellent position to make a strong move at a promising, semi-homegrown talent. With the projection remaining, Wahl could be a legit mid- to front-end starter when all is said and done, and would likely start-off a step behind (level-wise) the likes of a Taillon or Whitson. If you're still not sold, his favorite player growing-up was none other than the Iron Man. PnR Scouting Report on Wahl here.
Austin Southall, 1B/OF, University HS (La.)
Southall has a strong lefty swing with potential above-average hitting and power awaiting him after some refining. His run through the showcase/tournament circuit was strong and his spring was solid, but a reportedly strong commitment to LSU means it could cost a little more money to sign him then his current skillset might suggest. He moves fairly well in the outfield corner, and has more than enough arm for right field, but in all likelihood he tops out at an average defender. That means the bat will really have to carry him. I look at this as an opportunity to take a potential Top 100 bat, capable of both hitting for average and power down the line, before it reaches its max value. There is risk, to be sure, but I like the gamble here - particularly with some safe slot talent to scoop up in the rounds ahead. My video of Southall down in Jupiter, Fla. last October here. Includes a homerun to right/center.
Bobby Doran, RHP, Texas Tech
Doran is a big, physical righty with the repertoire to potentially stick as a starter, but also a two-pitch combo that could play well in the pen should he wind-up there. His fastball can get up 93/94 mph, but is more regularly in the 90-92 mph range (and he can hold that velocity deep into starts). His best secondary is a mid- to upper-70s 2-plane curve that flashes above-average and shows good shape. A bit of an uneven season likely keeps him out of early round consideration, but I caught him down in Houston where he handled a solid Rice offense to the tune of 7 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB and 5 SO, and he topped that outing later in the year against Missouri, posting 8.1 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB and 16 SO. The PnR Scouting video from the Houston College Classic can be seen here.
I've probably been aggressive in rounds 3 and 4 to make up for the loss of a second rounder selection. Assuming Taillon was selected in the first, this means that I need to start targeting players for slot. As such, players like Bobby Wahl will not be targeted here. If Taillon is not selected in the first or if the third and fourth round picks look like slot players, then this pick might be different. Regardless, I will focus on three slot players that fill needs for the shadow organization.
Jimmy Hodgskin, LHP, Bishop Moore HS (Florida)
I like Hodgskin. He flashes 90/91 with his fastball, but works in the high 80s. It is a pretty average pitch. What makes it work though is that he has a plus caliber changeup that is very advanced for his age. The difference in velocity between the two is just greater than 10mph and the arm action for either pitch is very similar. What prevents him from being considered from going higher, besides the speed of his fastball, is that he has not shown much feel for his breaking ball. His curve is very inconsistent, meaning that he rarely seems to know where it is going. If he can develop his curve to be an average offering, he may be able to carve a career as a backend rotation arm. Otherwise, he stands a good chance to be a solid middle reliever.
Scott Alexander, LHP, Sonoma State
Alexander has been a prospect that many have followed due to his above average fastball that runs into the mid-90s and adequate secondary offerings in the form of a slider and a changeup. Two issues have haunted him. One, injuries. Alexander lost a good deal of developmental time in High School with bicep tendinitis. It is also rumored that injuries suffered last summer resulted in Alexander losing his spot in the Pepperdine rotation and was the impetus for his move to Sonoma State. As far as I know, though, that has not be validated. The other problem Alexander has is that although his pitches are fierce, he does not have much command over them. He is prone to high pitch counts and extreme bouts of wildness. That said, there is an off hand chance he could be a very valuable left hander coming out of the pen if he cannot greatly improve his command.
Cito Culver, SS, West Irondiquot HS (New York)
Culver would be an excellent addition to the organization and help out with depth up the middle. Culver is athletic with plus speed and a strong arm that reached into the low 90s when pitching. Hailing from New York, he has less experience than players from the warmer states down south with their year round baseball. As such, he movements are a little rough at shortstop and his hitting mechanics need some work. He was able to maintain a high level of contact this past season, which is somewhat promising. At the moment, he is committed to the University of Maryland - College Park. I think fifth round slot money would buy him into the professional ranks. I think he has a good chance of becoming a solid utility player with a focus on defense. If his bat comes around, then he just might be a starter.
Monday (5/31) - Three Suggested Targets (1:3)
Tuesday (6/1) - Three Suggested Targets (3:3)
Wednesday (6/2) - Three Suggested Targets (4:3)
Thursday (6/3) - Three Suggested Targets (5:3)
Friday (6/4) - Quick Hits: Two Targets Each (6:3 - 10:3)
Monday Morning (6/7) - Dream Draft; Orioles Draft Chat (11am - 1pm EDT).