04 June 2018

Orioles Draft Targets 1:11(11)

If you are a veteran reader of the site, then you know my general take on the draft.  I think what one should do is take either other worldly talent or the best college hitter.  If there is no second coming and the best college hitter is clearly an overdraft, then you overdraft and use those savings betting on a high school talent that wants an overslot.  In other words, I think you want superstars from the draft, but you at least need talent to pan out.  College hitters are one of the better ways to ensure a greater likelihood of something good happening.

Be sure to take time to listen to former Camden Depot writer, current 2080 baseball writer Nick Faleris on Locked on Orioles discussing the Orioles and the 2018 draft.

With that in mind, I am focusing on what talent is likely available at the Orioles first selection, 11th overall.

Jonathan India, 3B
CRAP: 55
India really is the ideal pick here.  He is an advanced bat that likely has a quick path to the Majors and a glove that should easily stick at the hot corner.  As Faleris notes in the podcast, what dings India is that his performance last summer with a wood bat left a lot to be desired.  Poor wood performances, particularly when bookended by successful collegiate campaigns, can point toward a swing that is honed for metal bats.  Adapting the swing to a wood bat may add time to the developmental path or result in a swing that cancels out a great deal of power.

It appears that most analysts gloss over the wood bat issue and think he can move forward easily enough.  However, once you get past the first few picks in any draft you will find warning flags.  That said, he would likely be my primary target.  Our CRAP model sees India as the second best collegiate position playing talent, best only by catcher Joey Bart.

Griffin Conine, OF
Duke University
CRAP: 50/55
Conine is the son of former MLB player Jeff Conine.  He carried a ton of helium with him into the season due to his great play the previous summer.  However, his first month or so was mired in a slump with only a recent tear making his performance look on par with other college bat first players.  He looks to be a left fielder as his arm likely will not play in right field.

Looking around, the rankings largely put Conine in around the supplementary round or into the second round.  I do not agree.  His season happened, but so did he proficiency in a wood bat league as well as great play down the stretch this year.  That unevenness looks bad, but does it really look as bad when you compare what he has done to the performance of others?

To me, he looks like a very solid bat and might even could be gotten for less than the slot, which would open up money later on to take chances on some promising high school talent.

Jarred Kelenic, OF
Waukesha West HS
Jarred Kelenic is a high school and deviates from my normal plan.  He is the guy with the superstar talent.  When you look at the Orioles, do you take the guys with the solid player ceilings or do you take someone who might be a multi-MVP kind of guy?  Kelenic is a true five tool player who looks a lock to stay in center field.  He is a player you look at and dream about building an outfield around him.

CRAP, as you probably know, is a collegiate model and only handles position players.  It knows nothing about Kelenic.  So, my interest here is predominantly due to the scouting outlook on him.

Soon, I will post the sandwich round post.


Pip said...

Jon, can you go into a bit of detail about why there’s such a difference between wood and aluminum bats and why switching is a big deal?

Jon Shepherd said...

It stems from a few things. You have slightly more time to react to a pitch when you have a metal bat just because of weight. Second, you can make your swing even quicker by shortening it up and you still retain a lot of your power. Third, the sweetspot on a bat is larger on a metal one than a wood one, so you can have more error in your timing.

Pip said...

Thank you. I was trying to consider variables beyond mass.
As a cellist, I can’t imagine using anything but wood, so I appreciate your supplement.

Pip said...

Someone nobody has mentioned.
Grayson Rodriguez?