The Orioles had two more chances in the drafts first two rounds to add talent on Monday night. With their second round pick at #42 overall, they selected shortstop Gunnar Henderson from Morgan Academy in Alabama. To close out their night at #71 overall, they selected Stanford outfielder Kyle Stowers.
Henderson was ranked as the #27 prospect on MLB Pipelines rank of the top 200 draft prospects of this class. Thats good to get at #42. Fangraphs had Henderson more in line with where the Orioles picked him, rating him #40, while Keith Law ranked him 41st in the class. He is committed to attend Auburn, though the Orioles are surely confident he will sign with them if they are using a pick on him this high in the draft.
Its OK if the Orioles dont select Adley Rutschman, but it would be a bummer
The draft analysts all note that Henderson is still just 17 years old on draft day. The Orioles may be a team who places value on younger high school seniors rather than older ones, believing that their ceilings are higher due to their being able to compete with less experience. The optimistic scouting report from Pipeline, who ranked him the highest:
Each team is given a different budget that they must work within to sign their entire draft class. Every pick is allotted a value. A team may exceed that assigned value if they wish, but they must still adhere to the constraints of the overall budget. The thought is that the Os may be able to sign a non-Rutschman player for less than slot value and then use those savings to nab another talented player later in the draft by wooing him with an over-slot offer.
Draft prediction thread: Who does Texas take?
One of the better hitters in this years high school class, Henderson produces a lot of hard contact from gap to gap. He has shown more bat speed from the left side of the plate this spring and his power is catching up to his hitting ability as he continues to add muscle to his 6-foot-3 frame. He has been a little faster this year as well, more consistently recording above-average run times.
There seems to be an expectation that Henderson will be the kind of prospect who slides from shortstop to third base as he gains weight and power. He also played basketball in high school.
Stowers, the Stanford outfielder, was something of a polarizing player among the draft prognostication community. The optimists on his potential were at Fangraphs, where he was rated the #32 prospect in the class – just phenomenal value at #71. More middle of the road is MLB Pipeline, where he is the #78 prospect. Law did not include Stowers in his top 100 at all.
So in the comments, list who you think the Rangers will take at #8, #41 and #50. Lets see if anyone gets all three right, and if not, who gets the most right.
Stowers had a middling year due to issues with swing and miss, partially because he takes such a big, aggressive hack. That style of swinging is appealing to many teams, though, as it makes it likely that hell hit for power in games. A sneaky good defender in center field, Stowers has some margin for error on the swing and miss if he can stay there.
Those evaluators who believe that Stowers will not be able to stick in center field are probably the ones who rated him lower. The same is true for those who dont think that Stowers will be able to overcome the swing and miss issues in the professional ranks. He batted .306/.370/.519 with eight homers in 52 games for the Cardinal this season.
The slot value for the #42 pick is $1,771,100. For pick #71, it is $884,400. While the Orioles might get a chance to do an overslot signing either with these picks or later ones, their choice of the drafts premier talent at #1 in Adley Rutschman means they didnt really have the money available to try to take a tough sign who might want $3.5 million or $4 million to pass on his college commitment.
Matthew Thompson, Goss teammate at Cypress Ranch, also is considered a Top 100 prospect with a chance to be selected Monday.
Astros win 4th straight despite Martins stuggles
These are not places in the draft where teams have historically found future star talent. Since the draft began in 1965, there have been just three players taken who exceeded 10 career Wins Above Replacement, with the most recent of these being 2005 #42 pick Clay Buchholz. Of those drafted and signed from #71, four have reached double digit WAR in their careers, most recently Justin Masterson, the 2006 #71 selection.
FSU MLB Draft Tracker
A draft pick can still be a success even if the team manages to find a player who is more of a useful regular than a star. Even a guy whos only capable of 1.5-2 WAR per season for a few years is valuable because thats one spot where a team does not have to spend money on a free agent. The likelihood is that there was at least one such player who has that kind of future in MLB available at #42 and at #71, so hopefully the Orioles found the right guys.
1:17 Get an early look at the 2019 Redskins in their game jerseys 1:00 Vernon Davis teamed up with Nando's to help his charity 1:29 Mystics enjoy home court in Washington opener 1:24 Rob Ryan sees Redskins as a 'Top 5 defense' 1:55 Leonsis preaching patience as Wizards search for GM Its official, the Baltimore Orioles now know the man who will help lead their rebuild and resurgence in the years to come. By selecting catcher Adley Rutschman with the first overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft the Orioles are bringing in someone who many believe is the most talented prospect in years.
The draft will roll on through rounds 3-10 on Tuesday afternoon beginning at 1pm. The Orioles select next at #79, then again at #108 and every 30 picks thereafter. Picks through round 10 have assigned slot values that decrease as the draft moves along, down to the Orioles 10th round pick having a slot value of $147,900. Teams generally take college seniors who will sign for $10,000 or less in rounds 7-10 and gain back some slot money that way.
Speaking of improving his game, thats exactly what Rutschman has done year after year. Following his freshman season in which he only batted .234, Rutschman could have just wallowed in his minor struggles and hoped for better fortune next year. He didnt do that. Instead, he retooled his swing and began making large strides. His sophomore season saw him bat .408 while recording 102 hits and driving in 83 runs. Somehow finding a way to top that, he batted .411 in 2019.
Any player drafted in rounds 11-40 can be signed for up to $125,000 without counting against the teams bonus pool, with any amount over $125,000 being applied to the pool. Those rounds will take place on Wednesday, also beginning at 1pm.
Video: Adley Rutschman 2019 1st Overall Pick: Highlights and Draft Day Reaction
1:17 Get an early look at the 2019 Redskins in their game jerseys 1:00 Vernon Davis teamed up with Nando's to help his charity 1:29 Mystics enjoy home court in Washington opener 1:24 Rob Ryan sees Redskins as a 'Top 5 defense' 1:55 Leonsis preaching patience as Wizards search for GM Crab cakes and football, thats what Maryland does.
Yes, you read that right. This situation went viral over the weekend after Rutschman stepped to the plate with no outs in the bottom of the seventh and Oregon State trailing Cincinnati 5-2 in the first round of the NCAA Baseball Regionals. Rather than pitch to him and risk maximum damage, the Bearcats decided it would be best to intentionally walk him and let just one run score.
For newest Oriole Adley Rutschman, this is an especially fitting movie quote. The Oregon State catcher famously kicked for his schools football team as a freshman, though he assured NBC Sports Washington that hes washed when it comes to that career.
Heres what No. 2 pick Bobby Witt Jr. could mean for the Royals
I actually got a comment on my Instagram about that, Rutschman laughed. I didnt understand it, but now that youre bringing that up, big fan of crab cakes. Im a big time food person, and I like quality food, and seafood is definitely along those lines as well.
Feel free to let Rutschman know on social media where the best local spots are for great crab dishes.
Its crucial for him to speak well of seafood to ensure continued success in his career, regardless of whether or not he really believes it.
A dynamic athlete that starred at Morgan Academy in Selma, Henderson had a monster senior season that cemented his place early in the 2019 draft. In 32 games he batted .559 with 11 home runs, 17 doubles and 75 RBI while being the center of attention in every game he played.
Thankfully for Os fans, it seems like hes telling the truth. Yet another reason why Rutschman was the perfect pick for Mike Elias first selection in Baltimore.