I think it’s time to change topics and write about something else besides the frustrating Orioles season to this point. Let’s look at the future Orioles that may help turn this franchise around. The 2010 First-Year Player starts Monday, June 7, at 7 p.m. The Orioles hold the number three overall pick, but don’t pick again until the third round at number 85 overall (the O’s second round pick, 53 overall, was lost when they signed Mike Gonzalez).
I believe there are only two possibilities with the third pick. Washington will take Bryce Harper. Pittsburgh picks second, and they are hard to read for drafting, sometimes opting for “signability” over talent (the passed on Matt Wieters in 2007). The next three prospects are probably Manny Machado, Jameson Taillon, and Drew Pomeranz, possibly in that order. Pittsburgh seems to have Machado and Pomeranz at the top of their list, and I could see them going either way. Machado is a high school shortstop from Miami who has a high ceiling. Pomeranz is a 6’5” left handed pitcher from Ole Miss who will probably cost less and is more of a known commodity having spent three years pitching in the SEC.
I would love for Pittsburgh to take Pomeranz, and leave the Orioles with their choice of either Machado or Taillon, who is a 6’6” right-hander who can touch 99 miles per hour on the radar gun. Pomeranz will most likely be a pretty good pitcher, but I don’t see him as much more than a number three starter on a good team. There is a chance the Orioles could take Pomeranz, if available, but I think that would be a mistake. Taillon, from Texas, gets compared to the big Texas power pitchers like Roger Clemens (sans steroids). Machado gets A-Rod (sans steroids) comparisons from scouts being a five-tool shortstop from Miami.
These two may not be the next Rodriguez or Clemens; in fact I doubt they are. I like Taillon, and think he will be the better player in the future. Pitching’s always at a premium, and as the Orioles know, very few pitching prospects turn out to be aces. However, in a farm system with not many exciting hitting prospects, I wouldn’t complain about a top shortstop either. I don’t think the Orioles can go wrong if both are available at this pick, choosing between a potential number one starter and a five-tool shortstop both at key positions on the diamond. Pray the Pirates take Pomeranz so the Orioles can be in this position. That said, the top three would most likely be Harper, Machado, and the Orioles picking up Taillon.