Orioles Think Tank

Orioles Coverage for the Information Age

Day 1 (Part 2), Plus the Rest of the Draft

Posted by Mike on June 7, 2006

From here on out, I'll forego grading the picks.  After Round 5 or so, the picks are tougher to read and, obviously, are less consequential.  I'll tell you a bit of what I know about the players through the 10th round and then a few others worth tracking.

Round 6 (175)- Jason Berken, RHP (Clemson) 

Berken was highly regarded among Clemson's elite coaching staff, but was forced to have Tommy John surgery in 2005.  In his first year back, he showed 88-92 mph heat and good pitchability.  Concerns about his velocity dipping have to be tempered by the fact that it was his first season back from TJ.

At this point, a few of you may have questions about TJ surgery.  First off, it takes anywhere from 6 to 18 months to recover from.  After that, pitchers generally regain their stuff faster than their command, although a decrease in velocity is not uncommon the first year back.  With advancing medical technology, there have even been cases where a pitcher comes back from TJ and gains a few mph on his fastball.  That shouldn't be counted on, of course, but elbow ligament damage is far from the certain career-ending injury it once was.  Nick Adenhart is a good example of a player that was highly touted before TJ surgery and was able to be had late in the draft (14th rd.).  He came back strong and made the Angels look very smart, indeed.  In fact, his example probably has something to do with the proliferation of the strategy this year. 

Round 7 (205)- Josh Tamba, RHP (JuCo)

This might have been a slight overdraft on the O's part.  After transferring from Long Beach State, Tamba showed a 90 mph fastball and a marginal slider and changeup. 

Round 8 (235)- Jedidiah Stephen, SS (Ohio St.)

Most of the criticism surrounding Stephen centers around his inconsistent play.  For a senior drafted in the 9th round, he actually has an intriguing toolset; combining a strong arm, speed, and even a little power.  He might be a little more of a project than most 22 year olds out of major college programs.

Round 9 (265)- Brett Bordes, LHP (Ariz. St.)

Bordes projects to work in a relief role in the long-term.  He has good sinking action on his fastball, which can reach the low 90's.  He also has a breaking ball, but because of his arm slot, it can get slurvy (that's a bad thing).  All in all, he could end up a decent value for the 9th round.

Round 10 (295)- Emeel Salem, OF (Alabama)

Salem is a plus defender in CF, although he lacks ideal arm strength.  His speed is probably his best tool.  He does not have a very refined approach at the plate and has little power to speak of but he is adept at making consistent contact. 

Round 12 (355)- Brandon Tripp, CF (Cal. St. Fullerton)

Good actions in CF and is very athletic.  He could surprise.

Round 17 (505)- Anthony Watson, LHP (Nebraska)

Watson works with a solid three pitch arsenal (FB, CB, CU).  He led the Cornhuskers rotation in ERA (2.78) over the much-heralded Joba Chamberlain (Round 1S- NYY).  His 69 K's in 100 ip are less inspiring.

Talent-wise, Watson was better than a 17th rounder.  He fell because of his perceived bonus demands.  As a draft-eligible sophomore, Watson has extra leverage in contract negotiations.  He also had labrum surgery in 2004, so it's likely that his arsenal will continue to improve.  That or his arm will fall off.  The Orioles will monitor him this summer to determine if he is worth the price tag.  They have until he re-enrolls in the fall to get a deal worked out. 

Anyone else you'd like to hear about?  Let me know.

By the way, am I missing something or did Jeffrey Mayer not get drafted?  That's a shame. 


4 Responses to “Day 1 (Part 2), Plus the Rest of the Draft”

  1. Ben said

    By the way, am I missing something or did Jeffrey Mayer not get drafted? That’s a shame.

    I was looking for the same thing, and also didn’t see Jeff (Don’t Call Him Jeffrey Now) Maier’s name. Division III or not, the kid set school hitting records, is reasonably athletic and intelligent, and has PR value. You’d think he’d be worth a 50th-round pick for NY or Baltimore. Oh, sorry, I forgot, the Yankees have more PR than they need, and the Orioles wouldn’t know a good PR opportunity if it bit them in the a$$.

  2. Mike said

    I thought it was hilarious that Angelos said he wasn’t opposed to drafting the kid while Steinbrenner essentially said that he wouldn’t waste a pick on a novelty.

  3. bradley said

    ha! steinbrenner won’t go in on a novelty unless he can spend at least a few mill on it.

    remember steve balboni!


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