After looking at a few comments on the message board, I figured it might be a good time to hit the reset button and think about these selections in a somewhat constructive manner. At least, constructive within my own mind. Perhaps the way I think about these amateurs could help spur some conversation.
Hunter Harvey, RHP, Bandys HS (Catawba, NC)
first thing people mention about Hunter is his father, Bryan Harvey.
The second thing they mention is Hunter’s oft-stated preference to never
have to open a college textbook. The third thing they mention is that
Hunter is a solid pitching prospect. His pitches have been largely
inconsistent, which is not surprising for a high school pitcher.
However, they tend to grade out well with him projected to have a fringe
plus fastball, a plus curve, and an average change. Hunter also has
some room left on his frame to add another 20-30 lbs, which could help
add another couple miles per hour and that could greatly improve his
fastball and change. His ceiling is a mid-rotation arm, but he has
shown plus plus velocity in short stints that may play up as a
reliever. This could give the team options if he struggles as a
Why do I like the pick?
Although he went
earlier to the Dodgers, I had some concern about the team picking up a
“safe” college starting pitcher like Chris Anderson. That profile is of
a guy who would sit at the back end of a rotation and chew up innings.
Anderson is not a sure thing to be that, but it basically is his
ceiling and a likely one to hit (as prospects go). My preference when
we are talking about hit draft picks is that you need to select for
stardom. As we look around in free agency, we see innings chewers
available on the market. Guys like Joe Saunders or Jeremy Guthrie are
there every year. They can be acquired and be somewhat overpaid. Star
players rarely hit the market anymore. To acquire a star, you typically
have to pay a king’s ransom in prospects and then give the player a
contract close to what the free market would suggest. The scarcity of
those star players means, to me, that you have to go gonzo.
qualifies as a gonzo selection. If he can use his frame to add weight
and, therefore, some velocity to his fastball then he may wind up
becoming an upper mid-rotation arm. If that fails, his fastball and
curve should play well as a late inning arm. So what we have is a solid
upside with a rather safe floor. This does not mean you can write him a
ticket for the big leagues, but that the risk is diversified and he
stands to be a name we will be getting used to in Baltimore in some
Why would I have selected someone else?
are two players I would have chosen instead of Harvey depending on the
perspective. If we choose to look at this from a pitching perspective, I
would have taken Rob Kaminsky (LHP, St. Joseph HS, Montvale NJ).
There are two big strikes against him: velocity around 90 mph and has
no room in his frame for growth. The two big things in his favor are
that he is a lefty and he has the best curveball in the draft.
Additionally, he probably uses his curveball better than anyone else in
the draft and it works well against both sides of the plate. As a
polished lefty with a big curve, he would likely move quickly through
the minors. However, it is difficult for me to look at the pluses and
minuses with the conclusion that Kaminsky is significantly better of a
selection than Harvey.
My inclination would have been to lean towards a college bat. I like Phillip Ervin (OF, Samford).
Another little guy at 5’10 and 200 lbs, but he flat out performs well.
He is not quite the wonder that I thought Jackie Bradley Jr. was a few
years back, but I look at him similarly. In terms of overall value, I
thought Bradley was worthy of the 5th pick in the draft. I think Ervin
was worth the 10th. His plate coverage, solid eye, and good power
places him somewhere in center or right field with a high floor. I
think his ceiling is that of a 3-4 WAR player out there.
Josh Hart, OF, Parkview HS (Lilburn, GA)
is, more or less, the high school version of the Ervin selection. He
is a little further away from being fully baked, so you can forgive some
of his flaws that may turn him into more of a tweener like Ervin. You
can basically cut and paste my thoughts on Ervin here with the caveat
that there may be some unlocked potential with Hart.
Why do I like the selection?
plays into the potential all star model that I think you need to have
at the top of the draft. You need to find these potentially very good
players here. Hart should be able to play center well or a corner slot
very well. His bat can develop into something that works well for left
or center and you can envision him becoming a somewhat traditional lead
Why would I have chosen someone else?
way I saw the draft unfolding was that by this point it would be thick
with arms. I think that play out to be the case. It was one of the
reasons why I leaned heavily on a college bat with that first pick.
When we arrived at this one, we had several arms that I thought were
equivalent of Harvey’s, such as Devin Williams (RHP, Hazelwood West HS MO), Bobby Wahl (RHP, Ole Miss), and Hunter Green (LHP, Warren East HS, KY).
I think Josh Hart probably had the best available profile of the
remaining outfielders, but that he pales in comparison to Ervin while
those pitchers all look just as promising to me.
Chance Sisco, C, Santiago HS (Corona, CA)
do I know about Sisco? Not much. I have difficulty projecting high
school catchers. Receiving skills do not seem exactly intuitive for me
from an analytical standpoint. That said, I am told he is athletic, but
raw behind the plate with a bat that could wind up being above
average. He is considered to be a very slow climber up the ladder due
to the development he will need from both his glove and bat.
Why do I like the pick?
organization simply lacks catchers the profile as major league
starters. It makes sense that some planning needs to be made to beef up
that position within the franchise because Wieters is unlikely to be
the team’s catcher six years from now. Guys like Sisco, but maybe not
Sisco, need to be drafted and signed to provide greater depth. I have
no issues with the selection. Some people may point to him being in the
100s according to Baseball America’s rankings, but that is not exactly a
great way to use that tool. There is a great deal of variability on
that table to the point that it is common for many mid-100 players to be
ranked above guys in the 50s for several teams. In other words, if you
dislike this pick then focus on the player and not on some list.
Why would I have chosen someone else?
this point in the draft, I have selected Ervin and an upside pitcher. I
think my strategy was better tailored for the strengths of this draft,
but the difference between the two strategies is not that great. I only
think that Ervin is a far better prospect than Hart. At this point, my
focus would remain on pitchers with Jake Brentz (LHP, Parkway South HS, Manchester MO), Bobby Wahl (RHP, Ole Miss), and A.J. Puk (LHP, Washington HS, Cedar Rapids, IA)
available. Of course, I find it surprising that a couple of these guys
are available. I have Brentz and Wahl pretty high on my board, so I am
wondering if there are bonus requests that I am unaware of. Brentz
might be set on college and Wahl might be convinced a healthy junior
year will reward him with a couple million more. That said, a signable
high upside arm here is what I would focus on instead of generating
positional depth where there are weaknesses in the organization. In
other words, I think there are Siscos available later on.
Orioles have set themselves up with three high schoolers who should be
easy signings. None appear to be reaches, although that may be the case
with Sisco. If Sisco is a pre-draft deal kind of guy, then the team
may be looking for talent that drifts today. Although, saving money at a
second round slot does not really give you a lot of extra cash to spend
later. For today, I would look at Wahl, of course, but also power bats
like Rowdy Tellez (1B, Elk Grove HS, Elk Grove, CA), Trey Michalczewski (3B, Jenks HS, Jenks OK), and Conrad Gregor (1B, Vanderbilt).
My focus at this point would have been to look at middle infielders and
catchers today along with a potential bat like Gregor.
Anyway, on with the festivities of day 2.