Toronto 6, Baltimore 5
Box Score / Play-By-Play / AP Summary
The Orioles once again find themselves in the midst of a losing streak, dropping their third straight game, and third straight to divisional opponents not housed in Boston or New York. Baltimore fought back in the late innings after Toronto grabbed the early lead against Chris Jakubauskas. The momentum seeming to shift definitively in the O's favor after Matt Wieters launched his sixth homerun of the year in the eighth inning -- a two run blast off of reliever Mark Rzepczynski. But Felix Pie was stranded at third base in the eighth, Nick Markakis was stranded at second base in the ninth, Derrek Lee was stranded at second base in the tenth, and Adam Lind ended the game in the bottom of the eleventh with a lead-off walk-off homerun off a hanging splitter from Koji Uehara. Jake Arrieta will try to stop the skid this evening.
Of interest to me this morning is an article by Baseball America's Matt Eddy, who took a look at the track record for college pitchers that signed Major League deals out of the Draft between 2001 and 2010. As part of my responsibilities as an associate scout for a Major League organization, I spent Saturday at the ball field with my area scout watching one of our draftees, speaking with his family and trying to figure out how much our organization should offer the young man to try and entice him to sign. Throughout the game we touched on a couple of our other signees and our progress towards signing them, the draft in general, and the media coverage of the draft (the loudest chuckle came when it was mentioned that one prominent outlet referred to a pre-glasses Ricky Vaughn-esque prep arm as a "strike thrower"). We eventually made our way to discussing Dylan Bundy (Baltimore's First Round selection) and our best guesses as to what a final contract would look like.
Much has been written about Bundy, and a few minutes of "Googling" will reveal a common sentiment that Bundy is generally as advanced as the college arms in the class, and thus could move very quickly through the minors. In presenting my best guess as to the final deal, I stated that the primary sticking point will likely be whether or not Baltimore gives him a Major League deal. My colleague took the opposite stance, stating they'll have no issue doing as much, and would be right to do so. To be clear, our opinion on the matter should have no impact on the actual negotiations, and neither of us saw enough of Bundy this spring to provide actual insight into how the process should shake down -- this was just two evaluators (one good; one learning) spitballing.
It is natural that Matt Eddy's piece caught my eye when I scanned through my morning readings, and as soon as I hit "publish" on the blogger.com interface I am going to forward the article to my Area Scout to stimulate further discussion. Essentially, Eddy concludes that the players offered Major League deals were "worthy" according to draft time evaluations, but neither the size of their deal nor the number of options they ultimately burned through (anywhere from zero to four) correlated with their future success. The group of 14 arms was a true mixed bag, with successes such as Justin Verlander, Mark Prior, David Price and Jeremy Guthrie (with Brian Matusz and Max Scherzer each showing promise) and flops the likes of Dewon Brazelton, Craig Hansen and Andrew Miller, with a whole lot of tweeners and TBDs*.
While the article doesn't point us in a particularly useful direction with regards to determining the correct course of action for Baltimore and Bundy, it does illustrate that even the surest arms in a given draft are not necessarily "safe", and even the arms that ultimately make it can take drastically different paths on their way to productivity.
* - Jeremy Guthrie's name was orginally mentioned twice in this sentence.