Baltimore Orioles

Players signed indicated in Bold

Round Overall Player Position School State Bonus
1 28 Gerrit Cole RHP Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS Calif.
Cole is the best righthander out of Southern California since Phil Hughes starred at Santa Ana's Foothills High in 2004. Cole's four-seam fastball ranges from 93-96 mph, occasionally peaking at 97-98. He adds a hard, late-breaking curve which shows bite, tilt and depth. Cole used his changeup sparingly early in the season, though he used it more later. Adding to Cole's considerable appeal to scouts is his tall, lanky and projectable frame, which is nearly ideal for a prep righthander. Scouts are split over whether Cole profiles as a starter or closer. He maintains velocity and pitch movement deep into games, but his inconsistent command and tendency to run up high pitch counts may move him to the bullpen. Some scouts have compared him to Mariners closer J.J. Putz. Cole does bring mechanical concerns. He lands on a stiff front leg, and he recoils his arm during his follow-through. Both hurt control and raise injury concerns. Complicating the situation, Cole's adviser is the Scott Boras Corp., which may eliminate many clubs from consideration. Cole also hasn't endeared himself to scouts or teammates with what one scout described as his immature mound demeanor.
1s 44 Jeremy Bleich LHP Stanford Calif. $700,000
Bleich, a Louisiana native, returned from his elbow strain in late May and could move into the first five rounds with a strong NCAA postseason. At his best, he sits in the 88-91 mph range with his fastball that has natural lefty movement, complemented by a solid curveball and a plus straight change.
2 75 Scott Bittle RHP Mississippi Miss.
Taken by the Yankees in the 48th round of last year's draft, Bittle elected not to sign and transferred to Ole Miss this season from Northwest Texas CC. He was thrown into the closer's role for the Rebels and has dominated SEC hitters all season, putting up Nintendo type numbers. He has tallied an almost 5 to 1 K/BB ratio, striking out close to two batters per inning pitched. Uncharacteristic for a closer, Bittle's fastball is just an average pitch, with velocity between the 88-91 mph range. However, Bittle pitches mainly off his cut fastball--a devastating late breaking pitch in the mid-80s that has two-plane movement similar to a slider. Bittle is able to command this pitch down in the zone and creates a ton of swings and misses by starting it just above the knees and having it drop just below the strike-zone. He also effectively mixes in a changeup, freezing unsuspecting hitters. At 6-foot-1, 212 pounds, and without an above-average fastball, Bittle does not fit the typical closer's profile in the major leagues. He will most likely be a long relief or setup man in the pros. Once signed, he should move quickly as his command and stuff are close to major league ready.
3 106 David Adams 2B Virginia Va. $333,000
Ranked as the No. 67 prospect in the 2005 draft by BA, Adams lasted until the 21st round, when the Tigers took him, because of a strong commitment to Virginia. He followed through on the commitment with the expectation that he would be the successor to Ryan Zimmerman at third base, though he has spent most of his time at second instead. After productive freshman and sophomore seasons at Virginia and in the Cape Cod League, Adams seemed to be on his way to possible first-round consideration. But he has had a disappointing junior year, batting .281--more than 100 points lower than his sophomore season. A gap-to-gap hitter with occasional power, Adams profiles as a second baseman at the pro level as well. He's an experienced hitter with an advanced approach and has a good track record of hitting with wood, though he has an unorthodox swing and scouts are unsure if it will play at the next level. In the field, Adams is fairly athletic and has the potential to be average defensively. He's also regarded as a good all-around baseball player with advanced instincts.
4 140 Corban Joseph SS Franklin (Tenn.) HS Tenn. $207,000
In a competitive field, shortstop Corban Joseph distinguished himself as the top prep position player in the state because he plays a premium position and swings lefthanded. Joseph has plus bat speed and routinely squares balls up, hitting for power and average to all fields with a short swing. Joseph is an average runner, but speed will never be his game. He has a chance to stay at shortstop but will always be known for his offense than his defense.
5 170 Chris Smith OF Centennial HS, Compton, Calif. Calif. $158,000
A lefthanded hitter who batted better than .700 this spring, Smith has good "now" hitting tools, though he has not shown it against upper-level competition yet. He has a balanced, compact swing and promising bat speed. He's an average runner presently and figures to become below average as his body matures. He is a solid defender in left field who gets good jumps and takes direct routes.
6 200 Brett Marshall RHP Sterling HS, Baytown, Texas Texas $850,000
Marshall presents a conundrum to scouts. After working at 88-91 mph with his fastball last summer, he jumped up to 96 mph at the outset of his senior season. His slider still needs some refinement, but it topped out at 86-87 mph. And his initial college commitment was to San Jacinto (Texas) JC, indicating that he could be fairly easy to sign. But since generating a lot of early season excitement, Marshall has backed up a little. He was sitting at 91 mph and topping out at 94 mph as the draft drew closer, and his slider wasn't as crisp. While he's wiry strong, he's also just 6 feet and 185 pounds and has some effort in his delivery, which also compromises his ability to repeat it and throw strikes. There's also talk that he's exploring the possibility of attending Rice, which could make it tougher for him to turn pro. There are a lot of differing opinions on Marshall, but he could be signable if a team likes him enough to take him in the second round.
7 230 Kyle Higashioka C Edison HS, Huntington Beach, Calif. Calif. $500,000
Kyle Higashioka has been one of the premier prep catchers in Southern California for three years, a superior defensive receiver to fellow Huntington Beach resident Hank Conger, a 2006 first-rounder. Higashioka does not have Conger's explosive bat. His righthanded uppercut impressed scouts at the 2007 Area Code Games and he has interesting power potential, though it's just pull power right now. His strong frame still has ample projection for his bat. Defensively, Higashioka receives the ball smoothly and is quiet behind the dish. With an accurate arm, he's consistently posting pop times in the 1.95-2.0-second range. He also has strong makeup and academic qualifications, and his commitment to California make it likely he'll be drafted well below where his talent would dictate.
8 260 Dan Brewer OF Bradley Ill. $125,000
Dan Brewer stood out on the Cape last summer, batting .297 (12th in the league) with seven homers (fourth) while playing five positions. In three years at Bradley, he has made the all-Missouri Valley Conference team at three positions: second baseman as a freshman, shortstop as a sophomore and outfield this spring. Scouts aren't sure where he profiles best. The optimal situation might be to make him an offensive second basemen, but his hands are a little stiff and he's better suited defensively for the outfield. He's a solid runner but doesn't have prototype speed for center field, and his opposite-field, line-drive approach doesn't provide the power desired on an outfield corner. His arm is slightly above-average.
9 290 Mikey O'Brien RHP Hidden Valley HS, Roanoke, Va. Va. $200,000
Righthander Mikey O'Brien throws his fastball at 90 mph and shows a good feel for pitching. He has command of a solid curveball and changeup and dominated high school hitters this season. The knock on O'Brien is his size. At 5-foot-11, he'll likely end up in college, and he is committed to Winthrop.
10 320 D.J. Mitchell RHP Clemson S.C. $400,000
Recruited as an outfielder, Mitchell didn't pitch at all his freshman year at Clemson. A career .241 hitter in college, he split time between hitting and pitching last season and found more success on the mound, tallying a 5-0, 3.27 record in 15 appearances. Following his sophomore season, he led the Cape Cod League with 58 strikeouts, including one 15-strikeout performance, and had a 1.47 ERA in eight starts. He has been Clemson's Friday night starter this spring, providing stability on a young staff. Athletic on the mound, Mitchell has long, wiry arms and legs. His fastball comes in between 89-91 mph, but with above-average movement. He creates natural sink and tail from his loose three-quarters arm slot. He complements his fastball with a sweeping slider and changeup. Mitchell is 6-feet, 170 pounds and has room to add more weight. Due to his size, durability is a question mark, but his live body and limited pitching experience intrigue scouts. He'll likely end up in the bullpen at the professional level.
11 350 Ray Kruml OF South Alabama Ala.
In the outfield, Alabama has speedy Ray Kruml, who transferred in from Indian Hills (Iowa) JC two years ago. Kruml is a gap-to-gap hitter who uses his speed to put pressure on defenses and take away runs in the outfield.
12 380 Luke Greinke RHP Auburn Ala.
Greinke was impressive in the Shenandoah Valley League last summer and was named league MVP. He was bothered by shoulder tendinitis this spring, however, and has not pitched up to expectations. His fastball sits between 88-90 mph, and his slider and changeup have flashed as above-average pitches. Greinke is an athlete on the mound and is a two-way player for Auburn.
13 410 Jack Rye OF Florida State Fla.
Rye is a lefty-swinging outfielder with raw power and hit better than .400 for the Seminoles this season.
14 440 David Phelps RHP Notre Dame Ind. $150,000
Another player who couldn't match his gaudy sophomore numbers is rigthhander David Phelps, who last year joined Aaron Heilman as the only pitchers in Notre Dame history with triple-digit strikeouts and a sub-2.00 ERA. Phelps hasn't commanded his curveball and changeup as well in 2008, but he's still 6-foot-3 with a quick arm and a 90-93 mph fastball. Like White, Phelps will go somewhere in the first eight rounds. His brother Mike pitches in the Cubs system.
15 470 Matt Richardson RHP Lake Mary (Fla.) HS Fla. $250,000
Shortstop Matt Richardson is also committed to UCF and could also be a dual threat. He is a tremendous defender in the middle of the diamond and has an above-average arm, which he uses to throw 92 mph off the mound. At the plate, Richardson is a singles hitter with little power.
16 500 Luke Anders 1B Texas A&M Texas
17 530 Addison Maruszak SS South Florida Fla.
18 560 Brandon Braboy RHP Indianapolis Ind.
Righthander Brandon Braboy is another small-college starter who emerged this spring. NCAA Division II Indianapolis recruited him from Rend Lake (Ill.) CC as a shortstop, but he has found a home on the mound as his fastball consistently touched 94-95 mph this spring. Though he's just 6 feet tall and 195 pounds, he generates his plus velocity more with arm speed than effort. His breaking ball and his command are still raw, but his arm strength is hard to ignore.
19 590 Mitch Abeita C Nebraska Neb.
20 620 Pat Venditte RHP/LHP Creighton Neb.
Switch-pitcher Pat Venditte couldn't match his 43 2/3-inning scoreless streak and 1.88 ERA from 2007, but he still had an amazing season nonetheless. Venditte appeared in 37 of Creighton's 58 games, leading he team in wins (nine) and saves (seven) while posting a 101-21 K-BB ratio in 86 innings. The former walk-on has thrown ambidextrously since he was 3, and he recorded a strikeout with each arm 17 different times this year. Scouts consider him more of a novelty than a true prospect, as his stuff is ordinary from both sides. As a righthander, he works with an upper-80s fastball and a curveball, slider and changeup. As a lefty, he drops his arm angle and utilizes a low-80s fastball and a slow, sweepy breaking ball. The Yankees drafted him in the 45th round last year, and someone will take him as a senior sign in the middle rounds this time.
21 650 Mitch Delaney 1B Western Texas JC Texas
22 680 Cory Arbiso RHP Cal State Fullerton Calif.
Righty Cory Arbiso had been more effective this season due to precise command, excellent mound presence and the ability to spot his 88-91 mph fastball in while working his sweepy slider and changeup away. He was draft-eligible last year and wasn't picked, and is expected to go in the seventh- to 12th-round range this year.
23 710 Ryan Wilkes SS Kentucky Ky.
24 740 Mike Lyon 3B Northeastern Mass.
Northeastern shortstop Dan Lyon and Holy Cross catcher Brendan Akashian have both garnered moderate interest as late senior signs. Lyon slugged 14 homers while batting .357 for the Huskies this spring, but he struggled against breaking balls and generates more interest for his decent hands and average arm; he profiles as an organizational middle infielder.
25 770 Jeff Nutt C Arkansas Ark.
26 800 Blake Monar LHP South Spencer HS, Rockport, Ind. Ind.
Few high school pitchers have a better pair of breaking pitches than lefthander Blake Monar does. His 12-to-6 curveball receives the most notoriety, and his slider is a potential out pitch as well. Monar's fastball is less impressive, parking in the mid-80s, and at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds, he doesn't project to add much velocity. He's committed to Indiana, and he may not be signable if he doesn't go in the first five rounds.
27 830 Garrison Lassiter SS West Forsyth HS, Clemmons, N.C. N.C. $675,000
Garrison Lassiter is a lefthanded-hitting shortstop. Lassiter has plus bat speed and the ability to hit for both power and average, but he's raw at the plate and in the field. He has a plus arm at shortstop but needs refinement on his defensive instincts.
28 860 Chad Gross OF Cuesta (Calif.) JC Calif.
29 890 Mike Jones OF Arizona State Ariz.
30 920 Ben McMahan C Bishop Moore HS, Orlando Fla.
The state of Florida has two prep catchers who stand out as impact draft prospects in Adrian Nieto (No. 73 in BA's predraft rankings) and McMahan. While Nieto is considered the better bat, McMahan is the superior receiver. McMahan made a push up draft boards last fall at the World Wood Bat championships when he led his team to a second-place finish. A Florida 4-A state champion in high school, McMahan knows how to win and is a natural leader on the field. He is athletic behind the plate and has a solid, durable frame. Known as a quiet receiver, he has a strong arm and improving catch and throw mechanics. Projected as a defense-first catcher, McMahan may also provide surprising offense. He has occasional power and above-average speed for a catcher with a chance to be an average hitter. If he's not selected early, signability may cause him to slip a long way because he's committed to Florida and is a strong student.
31 950 Spencer Lucian 2B Princeton N.J.
32 980 Andy Suiter LHP UC Davis Calif.
33 1010 Tommy Baldridge OF Coastal Carolina S.C.
34 1040 Brad Rulon RHP Georgia Tech Ga.
Senior righthander Brad Rulon led the Yellow Jackets staff in appearances this year and throws a fastball in the upper 80s and a plus curveball that he uses to put hitters away.
35 1070 Andy Shive RHP Azusa Pacific (Calif.) Calif.
36 1100 Chris Dwyer LHP Salisbury (Conn.) School Conn.
Anthony Hewitt isn't the only intriguing talent at the Salisbury School. Six-foot-3 lefthander Chris Dwyer is an impressive athlete who also starred as a quarterback for the Crimson Knights, but his baseball prowess earned him a scholarship to Clemson. Dwyer ran his fastball up to 92-93 mph early this season on a trip to Florida, but he worked in the 88-90 range most of the year without much life. He flashes an average breaking ball but lacks consistency with the pitch. Dwyer is already 20 and will be a draft-eligible freshman at Clemson, and most scouts consider him nearly unsignable this June.
37 1130 Justin Harper RHP Yavapai (Ariz.) JC Ariz.
Justin Harper entered the year as the state's top juco prospect but endured a poor season, posting a 7.06 ERA in a wood-bat league. As a starter early in the year, he worried too much about velocity, saw his stuff flatten out and got hammered. Harper was better late in a relief role, punching his fastball back into the 91-92 mph range (scouts saw him touch 95 last year), and at times he has a power slider. He won't go nearly as high as he could have, however, with a better season. Harper has committed to San Diego State.
38 1160 Clay Caulfield RHP College of Charleston S.C.
39 1190 Erik Lovett 1B Mount Olive (N.C.) N.C.
40 1220 Sam Mende SS Clearwater (Fla.) Central Catholic HS Fla.
41 1250 Mykal Stokes OF Tustin (Calif.) HS Calif.
42 1280 Clint Preisendorfer LHP San Diego Christian Calif.
43 1310 Matt Summers RHP Chaparral HS, Scottsdale, Ariz. Ariz.
Another two-way player, Matt Summers, also fits better in college, even though his fastball has reached the low 90s. He's more a thrower than a pitcher, and while he has loft power offensively, his metal-bat swing isn't conducive to pro ball at this point.
44 1339 Evan Ocheltree OF Wake Forest N.C.
45 1367 Creede Simpson SS Auburn (Ala.) HS Ala.
46 1394 Matt Veltmann RHP San Diego CC Calif.
47 1421 Ryan Flannery RHP Fairleigh Dickinson N.J.
48 1448 Rob Scahill RHP Bradley Ill.
49 1475 John Folino RHP Connecticut Conn.
50 1502 Nik Turley LHP Harvard-Westlake School, North Hollywood, Calif. Calif. $125,000