Orioles Draft Report Card

We analyze Baltimore's 2009 draft class




QUICK TAKE
The Hobgood choice may determine how this draft is remembered, but taking him allowed the O's to take chances on Ohlman and Coffey. By diversifying, Baltimore got the impact up-the-middle talent it wanted in Ohlman and Givens while also getting power arms.
POSITION PLAYERS

BEST PURE HITTER: The Orioles believe 1B Tyler Townsend (3) can hit for power and average. He struggled (.143) in his debut, due in part to a sore wrist, after hitting .426 in the spring at Florida International and .387 last summer in the Valley League. >> BEST POWER HITTER: With his 6-foot-4, 200-pound frame, C Michael Ohlman (11) resembles Jayson Werth, whom the Orioles drafted in the first round in 1997. Ohlman has similar 25-30-homer power potential. Townsend also has plus power. >> FASTEST RUNNER: OF Branden Webb (30), who spurned Southern California for a $250,000 bonus, is a well-above-average runner with an athletic 6-foot-2, 190-pound frame. >> BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER: The Orioles drafted Mychal Givens (2) because they believe in his shortstop defense and athleticism. He has a premium arm and the tools (first-step quickness, good hands) to be an above-average defender.

PITCHERS

BEST FASTBALL: Scouting director Joe Jordan saw RHPs Matt Hobgood (1) and Randy Henry (4) up to 96 mph this spring. They do it very differently, as the burly Hobgood is listed at 245 pounds while Henry has a lithe, athletic body. Hobgood's velocity dipped after signing, and he topped out at 91 in instructional league. LHP Cameron Coffey (22) ran his heater up to 94 before having Tommy John surgery in March, while LHP Ashur Tolliver (5) has hit 96 in the past. >> BEST SECONDARY PITCH: RHP Ryan Berry (9) has an excellent feel for his knuckle-curve, throwing it for strikes when needed and burying it at other times.

ODDS AND ENDS

BEST PRO DEBUT: 2B/3B Ty Kelly (13) was a midseason New York-Penn League all-star but struggled in the second half for short-season Aberdeen, batting .265/.357/.310 overall. RHP Jake Cowan (10) pitched just 24 innings at Aberdeen, where he went 1-2, 2.25 with 27 strikeouts. >> BEST ATHLETE: Givens, who ran his fastball up to 97 mph on the mound and has a quick bat at the plate, was a legitimate two-way prospect. >> MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Like his father Al, a former Orioles all-star, Steve Bumbry (12) is a lefthanded-hitting center fielder. 1B/3B Mike Flacco (31), who hit .272/.325/.417 at Rookie-level Bluefield, is the younger brother of Ravens quarterback Joe. He missed two seasons of athletic competition due to a stress fracture in his back. >> CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Berry, if he's healthy after a muscle strain in his throwing shoulder that slowed him last spring. The Orioles are wary of the track record of Rice pitchers, but Berry checked out with their medical staff. >> BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: Coffey, who got a round-record $995,000 bonus, and Ohlman ($990,000) are being counted on to be the best of this bunch. >> THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: Auburn recruit RHP Garrett Bush (15) has a pitcher's frame and gained velocity after giving up catching in the spring.