Baltimore Orioles Preparing for 2015 MLB Draft


There is no Baltimore Orioles game, but the organization will still be working around the clock today as the 2015 MLB Draft is set to take place tonight.

The Orioles own the 25th pick in addition to the 36th pick as compensation for the loss of Nelson Cruz. The 36th selection is the final pick of first round. They also own the 68th pick which is in the second round which will also be made tonight.

The ball club has used their first-round pick on a pitcher in three of the last five years. The most recent first-round draftee was Hunter Harvey, while the Orioles also selected Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman in back-to-back drafts with the fourth overall selection. The Orioles did not draft in the first or second round last season after signing qualifying offer free-agents Ubaldo Jimenez and Cruz.

The Arizona Diamondbacks hold the first selection in this year’s draft and are expected to take Vanderbilt shortstop Dansby Swanson. David Rawnsley of released his mock draft this morning and has the Orioles selecting catcher Chris Betts of Wilson High School in Long Beach, California with the 25th pick and middle infielder Scott Kingery of the University of Arizona with the final pick of the first round. Rawnsley is the former Assistant Scouting Director for the Houston Astros and national writer for Baseball America. 

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Draft picks in baseball are different than other sports. A first-round pick in a NFL or NBA draft is expected to contribute immediately. Draft picks in baseball spend a few years in the minors seasoning before they make a contribution at the professional level. While the Orioles have had recent success with their draft choices, it also certainly possible that the player never reaches the MLB. For many in the front office, this is their moment to shine.

“It’s really exciting for us because we really have the opportunity to make an impact on the organization this year,” Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich said.

Rajsich has said that this year’s class has a lot of high school talent. There are plenty of shortstop prospects available, while the catcher position is rather weak this year. There is a lot of uncertainty entering this draft as the past few years, and the Orioles plan to go with the best player available. You are used to hearing that phrase if you are a Baltimore Ravens fan as well.

“It’s like Christmas,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “We’ve got some really good people running that thing, so I’m looking forward to adding some pieces.”

The MLB Draft is set to being at 7 p.m. and will be broadcasted on the MLB Network.

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