10 September 2011

Reviewing Joe Jordan's Drafts (Second through Fifth Rounds)

Rounds two through five often offer a bevy of talent that was slated for first round consideration, but dropped due to poor performance during the season.  This gives a scouting director a great deal more leeway in choosing where he feels there is the greatest value.  I think these are the rounds where you see what he actually thinks.  It is where draft boards begin to greatly diverge and where many a casual observer grows restless as his or her team repeatedly passes over individuals deemed as having superior talent by the board devised by the writers at Baseball America.  Sometimes players are passed over due to signability issues, but also because the scouting directors prefer others.  It is even more difficult to assess success in these rounds because there are so few individuals who will ever play in a meaningful fashion in the Majors.

Below we will once again compare Joe Jordan's selections to those selected in the following three selections.

Joe Jordan was up against a collection of scouting directors from the Cleveland Indians, Florida Marlins (from where Jordan had been hired), Chicago White Sox, and the New York Yankees (ChiSox's 2nd round pick).  Of these groups, the Marlins and Indians, to some extent, were the more respected groups at this time.  Only three really notable picks in rounds two through five for all of these teams.  Those would be the Orioles' Nolan Reimold, the White Sox's Chris Getz, and the Marlins' Gaby Sanchez.  That qualifies as average for this year.

Based on the round, the Orioles were up against the Giants, Diamondbacks, Rangers, Nationals, Brewers, or Padres.  The four most notable players in this grouping of sixteen selections were the Padres' Wade LeBlanc, the Rangers' (now Orioles') Chris Davis, the Orioles' Ryan Adams, and the Orioles' Zach Britton. If all the team had to claim was Ryan Adams, this would be an average showing.  Britton's selection makes this above average.  Imagine how good this draft would look if the team had selected someone other than Billy Rowell in the first round.

With the Flanagan and Duquette investment in relief pitchers, Jordan was without a second or third round pick in exchange for signing Jaime Walker and Danys Baez.  The others teams involved were the Nationals, Brewers, and Rockies.  Jordan came out of those two picks with Jake Arrieta who profiles as a solid bullpen arm or a mid to back end rotation arm.  The only other player taken of consequence is the Brewers Caleb Grindl who is looking more and more like a quad-A guy, but there is still hope for him.  With Prince Fielder heading to other pastures, Grindl will likely be given more opportunities at the MLB level.  As such, at worst you can say that Jordan was average, but it appears he once again scored a decently valuable MLB piece as he did the prior year.

Where the first three years look average to above average, it is these next four years that are more questionable and more difficult to measure.  The 2008 draft has some interesting players in Xavier Avery, LJ Hoes, and Greg Miclat.  None of them appear exceptional talents.  Likewise, the non-Orioles selections include guys like Anthony Gose and Brandon Crawford.  Perhaps the most valuable piece is Zach Stewart who likely is more reliever than starter.  Likewise, the 2009 draft has some interesting names such as the perpetually injured Tyler Townsend as well as players like Mychal Jones and Chris Dominguez.  However, the Giants' selection of Brandon Belt blows everyone else away.  Nothing looks particularly interesting to me from the 2010 draft and the 2011 draft is a bit too difficult to get a current read on (though I love Dillon Howard).

During this time I count four interesting pieces: Zach Britton, Brandon Belt, Zach Stewart, and Chris Dominguez.  I hesitate including Jake Arrieta in that grouping.  Joe Jordan actually performs about averagely.  As many things that may be wrong about the Orioles in general, it does not seem Jordan is a major issue here.  He has not done anything remarkable, but that is a good record to have.

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