Draft Team

Here was the draft team we selected. We selected the best player remaining on our rankings every time the Baltimore Orioles were about to draft. For information on who the Orioles actually selected, click here.

1. Matt Wieters, c, Georgia Tech

Wieters draws Joe Mauer comparisons because of his size and his complement of tools. Wieters hits for average and power as a switch-hitter. Scouts expect him to hit .280 with 30 homers annually in the big leagues. Despite his size (6-foot-5), he’s a plus defender who can stay behind the plate. He hired Scott Boras as his adviser which caused him to fall to the Orioles with the fifth overall pick. He signed for a record $6 million bonus.

4. Steven Hill, 1b, Stephen F. Austin State

The Orioles lost their second and third round picks for signing relievers Danys Baez and Chad Bradford, so we skipped those picks. Hill has legendary power; he set the program’s single season and career homer records and finished third in Division I in 2007. He was drafted as a first-baseman, but the Cardinals used him as a catcher. He dominated at short-season and Low-A. He’ll open at High-A and could quickly develop into a versatile pinch-hitter with the possibility for more.

5. Jeremy Hefner, rhp, Oral Roberts

Hefner was under the radar in two years at Seminole State Junior College, but he made the most of his one year in Division I baseball. He impressed scouts with a low 90s fastball that he spots effectively, a solid slider, a curve and a changeup. He’s big (6-foot-5) and has good mechanics. His stats were equally impressive: 107 strikeouts in 86 innings, a strikeout to walk rate that exceeded 3.5, and a 3.03 ERA. He could be a middle of the rotation starter in the big leagues in two years.

6. Chance Chapman, rhp, Oral Roberts

We drafted and signed only two pitchers in 2007 and both of them are former Golden Eagles. Chapman’s best pitch is a big league slider and he also throws a low 90s fastball with life. He finished the year tied for second in ERA and tenth in strikeouts, which included a 17 strikeout performance versus Arkansas and 19 strikeouts against Centenary. He could slot at the end of a big league rotation or could move to the bullpen.

7. Travis Jones, 2b, South Carolina

Jones spent two years at Lake City Community College after he elected not to sign with the Phillies in 2005. His best tool is his speed and also has a plus hit tool and good pop. He turned those tools into performance in his first year at USC, hitting .318/.416/.594 with 18 homers. He’s a good defender but doesn’t have the arm strength to move from second base. The Georgia native was drafted by the Braves and started his pro career at Low-A.

8. Justin Frash, 3b, Hawaii

Frash was under the radar despite putting up solid numbers for the Rainbows. In his senior campaign, he hit .346/.471/.510 while playing at Les Murakami Stadium, once of the most unforgiving environments for hitters. Frash has good plate discipline, but has never hit for much power and doesn’t have any other tools of note. The Athletics drafted him in the 27th round and he struggled in short-season.

9. Brandon Haislet, of, Hawaii

Haislet was the best prospect in the Pacific Rim. He’s a plus runner and has the tools to stay in center-field. However, scouts were turned off by a swing that’s full of holes. However, Haislet did post good numbers in his first season in Hawaii (he spent two seasons at Consumnes River Community College). He was not drafted and returned to Hawaii for his senior season.

10. Dominic de la Osa, ss, Vanderbilt

Osa lept onto the prospect scene thanks to a huge junior year for the Commodores. He hit .378/.452/.727 with 20 homers. He had hit 16 homers in his freshman and sophomore years combined. He also has plus speed and arm strength. Osa never settled into a position in college and profiled best as a utility player in the pros. Projected to be a third-round pick, he fell to the Tigers in the tenth round and returned to school.

11. Larry Gempp, Jr., of, Illinois-Chicago

Gempp’s resume compares to favorably to any other college hitter in the country. In three years at UIC, he finished third in career RBIs, fourth in hits and tied for second with Tigers centerfielder Curtis Granderson in home runs. Gempp led the Flames to a Horizon League title in 2007 and a berth in the Long Beach regional. Despite his impressive career, Gempp wasn’t drafted and has not been signed by any team.

12. Mike Bianucci, 3b/of, Auburn

Bianucci put together two impressive years in tough SEC competition, but scouts weren’t impressed by his performance. Despite hitting 22 homers in two seasons at Auburn, scouts thought the draft-eligible sophomore had a grooved and stiff swing that wouldn’t play well with wood. Because power is his only plus tool, Bianucci would have to move to left field as a pro. The Angels drafted him in the 23rd round, but Bianucci elected to return to school.

13. Donald Brown, of, Pepperdine

Brown was an underrated piece of a Waves team that advanced to the Long Beach regional in 2007. In three seasons, Brown has never had an on-base percentage less than .400. However, he has never hit more than three home runs in any season and doesn’t wow scouts. It should be noted that Pepperdine’s Eddy D. Field Stadium is one of the most pitcher-friendly in the country. Brown was drafted in the 37th round by Seattle, but returned to Malibu.

14. Derek Schermerhorn, 1b, Wichita State

We’ve leaned towards polished college bats with impressive track records, and Schermerhorn fits the mold. He’s a contact hitter with good bat speed and a compact swing. He’s athletic (he played first base, third base and shortstop at Wichita State) and he’s at least an average defensive first baseman. However, he has never shown much power and doesn’t show a true plus tool other than his hitting ability. He went undrafted in June but signed with the Cubs and advanced to Low-A.

15. Jeffrey Rea, 2b, Mississippi State

Rea has been a staple of a Bulldogs team that won the Tallahassee regional in 2007. His batting average never dipped below .300 in four years at Mississippi State and his 335 career hits is a Bulldogs record. Rea is also a plus runner. However, Rea doesn’t stand out in any particular tool and he doesn’t have the arm strength or range for shortstop. The Cubs drafted him and played him in centerfield in his pro debut. He handled an aggressive jump to High-A with aplomb.

16. Ben Humphrey, 1b, Central Michigan

Humphrey offers size and power potential from the first base position. A transfer from Olney Central Community College, he hit 13 homers and slugged .626 in his first season for the Chippewas. He followed up that season by raising his batting average and on-base percentage in his senior season. Scouts were impressed by his bat speed and power but note that he can get too pull-happy. The Rays drafted him in the 28th round and he struggled in his pro debut.

17. Dan Milano, c, Northeastern

Milano flew under the radar, but he’s a dependable catcher with an impressive track record for the Huskies. He put up impressive numbers in his senior season, hitting .337/.413/.645 with 13 homers. Friedman Diamond is another pitcher-friendly park, so these stats are even more impressive. The Rhode Island native was drafted by the Red Sox and played ten games at Short-Season.

18. Charlie Kingrey, of, McNeese State

Kingrey has been on the map for many years. He’s started more than 45 games in each of his four years at McNeese State and his OPS has never slipped below .850. He saved his best for his senior season. In 2007, he hit .360/.435/.672 with 15 homers. He was drafted by the Cardinals in the 22nd round and saw 20 at-bats in the Rookie league.

19. Trey Sutton, 2b, Southern Mississippi

Sutton has been under the radar for three years for the Golden Eagles, but his resume is quite impressive. In three years, he has never had an OPS less than .900. He led Southern Miss in batting average and was awarded with NCBWA All-American honors and his third All-Conference USA award. He wasn’t drafted and returned to Hattiesburg for his senior campaign.

20. Justin Snyder, 2b, San Diego

Snyder was ranked by Baseball America in its top 200 prospects list, but he fell to our 20th round selection. Snyder was a three year starter in college who projects as a No. 2 hitter. He got good bat control and takes plenty of walks. He also has solid gap power but doesn’t profile as a power hitter. He was drafted as a second-baseman but could move to centerfield. Snyder needs to work on his base-stealing and his bunting. He was drafted by the Yankees and played well in Short-season.

21. Ross Oeder, 2b, Wright State

Oeder doesn’t have the tools of a premium prospect, but he does have the stats. He was the Horizon League’s tournament MVP in 2006 and the league’s best player in 2007. He had one of the most impressive seasons of any Division I player, hitting .408/.496/.649 in his senior season. Oeder fell to this spot because he’s only 5’8″ and doesn’t have great tools. The Cardinals took him in the 28th round and he played his first pro season in Short-season.

22. David Wood, 1b, Texas State

Wood rewrote the Bobcats’ record book after transferring from Temple Junior College. He set Texas State’s single season hit and RBI record and he also led the 2007 team in doubles and home runs. He has raw power but was not drafted. The Royals signed him after the draft and hit .318/.369/.493 in Rookie league.

23. Pat Venditte, rhp/lhp, Creighton

Venditte’s story is one of the most intriguing in college baseball. A walk-on at Creighton, Venditte developed into a dominant reliever by pitching with both hands. As a righty, he touches 91 mph with an overhand curve. He only throws 81-85 mph as a left-handed pitcher and he shows a slider. In a big league bullpen, he could an opposing manager’s nightmare. The Yankees drafted him in the 45th round, but he returned to Creighton and will graduate with a business degree in the spring.

24. Brendan Duffy, of, Oral Roberts

We were so enamored by the Golden Eagles’ prospects that we considered transferring to the Tulsa school. We took Jeremy Hefner and Chance Chapman in the first ten rounds, and Duffy fell to us in the 24th round. He’s a speedy centerfielder who stole 21 bases in 25 attempts in the spring. He hit .356/.456/.444 in 2007. His biggest weakness is his lack of power; he’s only hit two homers in two seasons at Oral Roberts. He went undrafted in June and returned for his senior season.

25. Steve Susdorf, of, Fresno State

Susdorf is a big-time slugger who has improved every year. He’s hit 26 homers in the last two years and he started every game for the Bulldogs. He’s got a mature approach at the plate and he was awarded first team All-WAC honors in 2007. The Tigers drafted Susdorf in the 27th round, but he opted to return for his senior season and complete his degree in civil engineering. He leads a Fresno State squad that earned a #18 ranking in Baseball America’s preseason poll.

26. Enrique Garcia, rhp, Miami (FL)

Scouts have been on Garcia for a long time; he was drafted in 2005 from Potomac State Junior College and again in 2006. He turned down both offers and attended Miami in 2007. Despite an ordinary 3.82 ERA, he put up good secondary stats. He posted a 2.6 strikeout to walk rate and only allowed three homers in 92 innings. He pitches off a low 90s fastball that hits 92 mph and a below-average breaking ball. He turned down another signing bonus, this one from the Cubs after their 34th round selection. He’ll be #10 Miami’s Saturday starter.

27. Brett Bukvich, lhp, Mississippi

Bukvich is buried on deep Ole Miss pitching staff that features two future first-round draft picks: Cody Satterwhite and Lance Lynn. Bukvich, a redshirt sophomore last season, has been used as a swingman in his college career. He’s put up respectable numbers, posting a 2.5 career strikeout-to-walk ratio in two seasons. He’s been bitten by the home run bug; he allowed nine home runs in 2007. He was not drafted and returned for his junior season. He’s got a chance to be a Sunday starter behind Satterwhite and Lynn.

28. Casey Coon, of, Arkansas

Coon transferred to Arkansas from the Community College of Southern Nevada prior to the 2007 season. In his lone season for the Razorbacks, he hit .312/.425/.485 with nine home runs. However, he’s small (5-foot-11) and he doesn’t have a true position. He might become a valuable bench player who can play multiple positions. He was not drafted in June and returned to Fayetteville for his senior season.

29. Austin Adams, of, Texas Christian

Adams has been a staple of the Hornfrogs program for four years. He was recruited to Baylor to play football and after redshirting his freshman year, he transferred to TCU. Adams has played regularly since he arrived in Fort Worth and never had an on-base percentage lower than .400 or an on-base plus slugging less than .920 in four seasons. He capped off a great career with a .328/.414/.597 line and 14 homers in his senior season. He was named the 2007 Mountain West Conference Tournament MVP and first team All-Mountain West Conference for the second consecutive year. He graduated in the spring with a business degree after earning the 2006-2007 Dutch Meyer Male Scholar-Athlete award. He was not drafted and is pursuing his MBA.

30. Jay Brossman, 3b, Utah

Brossman is rare college player who moved to a more challenging position as a pro. The Utes’ four year first-baseman, Brossman hit .341/.414/.588 on his way to his fourth all-conference selection. He has also set Utah’s career marks for hits, RBI, doubles and total bases. The Angels drafted him as a third-baseman and played him there in Rookie ball. His pro debut was impressive, but scouts were concerned that he didn’t consistently draw walks or hit for power and noted that he feasted on mistakes from younger pitchers. He’s advance to Low-A in 2008.

31. Zach Groh, rhp, Binghamton

Groh, like Charlotte righty Adam Mills, is a pitcher who’s long on performance and short on velocity. As a redshirt junior in 2007, he was named to the America East all-conference first team. In 2006, he led the nation in ERA for much of the season and finished with a 1.85 ERA. Groh’s best pitch is an outstanding slider and he also throws a changeup and a curve in any count. He also has good command of a fastball but its velocity (85-88 mph) is well below average. He was not drafted and returned for his redshirt senior season for the Bearcats.

32. Kyle Paul, c, Missouri State

Paul made a quick impression when he arrived at Springfield after a two year stint at Vernon College. In his first season for the Bears, he tied for the team lead with 14 doubles and three triples while slugging .485 and reaching base at a .396 clip. That year earned him a spot on the all-tournament team. When Paul was not drafted in June, he returned to Missouri State for his senior campaign.

33. Nate Recknagel, 1b, Michigan

Recknagel was the rock of the Wolverine’s offense that advanced to the Super Regionals (and lost to eventual champion Oregon State). His junior season was his career best as he hit .352/.452/.612 with 12 homers. He won the Bill Freehan award as Michigan’s top hitter and also picked up the Nashville Regional MVP, Academic All-Big Ten and All-Big Ten second team. Perhaps Recknagel’s strong academic standing clouded his signability because he was not drafted in June and returned to Ann Arbor.

34. Josh Yates, 1b, Arkansas State

Yates came to Arkansas State after spending two seasons in junior college. He made an immediate impression for the Indians, hitting .376/.431/.716 in his junior season and .338/.429/.662 in his senior campaign, which he opened with a 21-game hitting streak. He was also stellar in the classroom. His 3.86 GPA in accounting earned him a spot on ESPN’s All-Academic first-team. He was not drafted.

35. Curt Smith, 3b, Maine

Smith entered 2007 as the best prospect from the mid-major America East conference. In 2006, he hit .390/.455/.592 and was a top prospect in the New England Collegiate League. He didn’t maintain his high standard in 2007 as he “only” hit .351/.391/.576. He plays shortstop for Maine, but he’s a tweener as a pro. He doesn’t have enough range to be a pro shortstop, but not enough power to make an ideal third-baseman. He was not drafted in June and returned for his senior season.

36. Dustin Renfrow, rhp, Southeast Missouri State

Renfrow transfered to the Redhawks in 2007 after two seasons at Jefferson Community College. He made an immediate impact, leading the staff in innings pitched and putting up the 40th best ERA in the country (2.46). More impressive than his ERA is his walks per nine innings (2.08 ) and his strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.19). He was not drafted and returned for his senior season.

37. Jordan Dodson, of, Rice

Dodson has been a steady but unspectacular player for the Owls. He’s started more than 120 games in the last two seasons and he hit .302/.412/.476 in 2007. His walk rate is impressive but Dodson has never shown much power. At The Woodlands High School in Texas, Dodson was a two-way recruit, showing 88-92 mph from the right side with an adequate breaking ball. However, he has only pitched seven innings in college. He is only an adequate defensive outfielder and is probably stuck in left field as a pro. He was not drafted and returned to Rice for his senior season.

38. Drew Hoisington, cf, Toledo

Hoisington jumped onto scouts’ radar with a Mid-American conference best 12 home runs in 2007, doubling his combined total in his freshman and sophomore seasons. He also has solid speed; he had 32 career steals in three seasons. However, he hit only .295/.375/.586 and hasn’t had a history of hitting for power. He wasn’t drafted and scouts will be looking to see if 2007 was a fluke. If it wasn’t, his power-speed combination could make him enticing.

39. Kurt Davidson, c/1b, Akron

Davidson is rewriting the Akron Zips record book from A-Z. His final homer of the season broke the team’s career mark. In addition to his ten home runs, Davidson led the Zips in at-bats, runs, hits, RBI, total bases, slugging percentage, and walks. He started all 47 games, including 23 at catcher. His power is undeniable, but he’ll have much more value if he can prove to scouts that he can stay behind the plate as a pro. Scouts weren’t convinced and he returned to Akron for his senior campaign.

40. Matt Bolt, of, Illinois State

Bolt put together a steady four-year career in Normal. His best season was his sophomore campaign, when he hit .323/.443/.479 for the Redbirds. That performance earned him All-Missouri Valley Conference first-team. His junior and senior seasons were less impressive and he graduated with a degree in management. He was not drafted in 2007.

41. Trent Kline, c, South Carolina

In 2003, Kline was arguably the best high school catcher in the country. Four years and three schools later, he was part of a deep Gamecocks team that advanced to the Super regionals. He’s always been an excellent defensive catcher with soft hands and a sub-1.9 pop time to second base. He had a strong commitment to North Carolina, but never played a game for the Tar Heels. Instead, he spent 2005 at St. Petersburg Junior College. He transfered to South Carolina in 2006. In 2007, he hit .317/.407/.489. The Giants drafted him in the 49th round and he signed right before the signing deadline in August. He projects as a backup catcher.

42. Rob Musgrave, lhp, Wichita State

Musgrave is the model for the polished lefty who posted one of the best ERAs in the country in 2007. He works off a high 80s fastball that touches 90 mph. He can throw his solid changeup or curveball in any count and he has pinpoint command. He posted a 0.68 ERA in the summer of 2007 in the Jayhawk League after he recorded a 2.59 ERA and a bananas 5.0 strikeout to walk ratio. He was not drafted in June but is sure to get a look as a senior sign. He projects as a back of the rotation starter who could advance quickly through the minors.

43. Nolan Keane, of, Missouri State

On a team that also featured 2007 first-round pick Ross Detwiler and our 32nd round selection Kyle Paul, it was Keane who was voted most valuable player by his teammates at the close of the 2007 season. Keane led the Bears in home runs (nine), slugging percentage (.507) and runs scored (45). As a junior, he hit .314/.403/.507. However, he’s only 5-foot-9 and 170 lbs, but he profiles as a power hitter. If he gets a chance as a pro, he’ll likely get stuck as an outfield tweener. Hopefully, he’s studying hard towards his restaurant administration degree.

44. Seth Williams, of, North Carolina

Williams led a deep Tar Heels offense that lost in the College World Series finals for the second consecutive year to Oregon State. He’s regressed some since his freshman season (when he hit .280/.359/.593). At that time, scouts thought he could handle center-field, but now his solid average speed and strong arm profile better in right field. Scouts aren’t impressed by Williams’ swing so he profiles as a fourth outfielder in the big leagues. That scouting report should have earned him a selection in the first ten rounds, but signability concerns caused Williams to fall out of the draft. He’s back in Chapel Hill for his senior season.

45. Doug Pickens, c, Michigan

Pickens played nearly every position at Michigan, but his shot at making the big leagues is if he stays behind the plate. He was Michigan’s high school player of the year at Brother Rice High School in 2004. When he arrived at Ann Arbor, he played second base and outfield and didn’t move back to catcher until 2007. He has at least an average hit tool, but not enough power to play corner outfield as a pro. He’s got good tools defensively behind the plate, but he needs to re familiarize himself with the position. He hit .338/.381/.472 as a junior in 2007. He was drafted in the 50th round by the Indians and signed for $100,000. He’ll make his pro debut at Low-A.

46. Jordan Lennerton, 1b, Oregon State

Lennerton transfered to Corvallis after two seasons at El Paso Community College. He was penciled into the lineup immediately and hit .313/.410/.539 with 10 homers for the national champions. He was productive all season, but his power was inconsistent. Scouts would like to see Lennerton make more consistent contact and show more of the power he displayed in junior college. He was not drafted and returned for his senior season.

47. Jared Prince, cf, Washington State

If Prince was eligible for the draft in 2006, he might have been a first-round pick. He hit .401/.492/.618 in that freshman season in the outfield and also served as the Cougars’ No. 1 starter. He was a first-team freshman All-American and was named to the 2007 Preseason All-American second-team. Prince couldn’t live up to the hype. A shoulder injury caused him to abandon pitching and he only hit .277/.383/.375 as a draft-eligible sophomore. When healthy, Prince shows plus bat speed and an above-average arm. He’s got enough range for centerfield, where his line-drive approach works best. He is not considered a pitching prospect anymore. He was not drafted in 2007 and is out to prove that 2006 wasn’t a fluke.

48. Kevin Koski, of, Southern Illinois

Koski’s resume at Southern Illinois is impressive. He’s been a full-time starter since his freshman year. His best season was his sophomore campaign when he hit .380/.450/.446 and ended the season with a 35 game hitting streak, the best in Salukis history and came within one hit of the Southern Illinois career hit record. He’s a steady hitter with solid plate discipline. He was not drafted after his senior season in 2007 and was signed by the independent Southern Illinois Miners of the Frontier League. In 25 games for the Miners, he hit .297/.363/.429.

49. David Gruener, lhp, Portland

Gruener spent two disappointing years at Notre Dame before transferring to Portland before the 2007 season. He benefited from the change in scenery, recording a 3.51 ERA in 89 2/3 innings. His 3.41 strikeout to walk ratio was impressive and his five complete games in 11 starts led the Pilots. He was rewarded with All-WCC honorable mention. Scouts are looking to see if he can repeat his success; he was not drafted in June.

50. Jesse Seykora, 3b, Northern Illinois

Our final pick went to Seykora, who wrapped up a steady career at Northern Illinois in June. He spent two seasons at North Iowa Area Community College before transferring to the Huskies before the 2006 season. He had a strong senior season, hitting .320/.392/.536. In one eight game stretch, he hit .500 with five home runs, 15 RBI and 17 runs scored. He was not drafted and graduated with a degree in business.

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