2012 Draft Report Cards: Baltimore Orioles




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See also: Draft Report Card Index
POSITION PLAYERS

QUICK TAKE
Despite picking fourth overall both years, the Orioles may have grabbed the best pitcher in each of the last two drafts, and Gausman could move just as quickly to the majors as Dylan Bundy.
Bonus spending:$7.4 million
Best Pure Hitter: 1B Christian Walker (3) controls the strike zone well and makes consistent line-drive contact. A member of the last three all-College World Series teams while winning two national championships at South Carolina, he tied Dustin Ackley's CWS career hits record with 28. Best Power Hitter: Walker hit 30 homers in three years with the Gamecocks, and the Orioles think he has plus raw power and the hitting savvy to get to it. Fastest Runner: OF Ray Hunnicutt(40) can run the 60-yard dash in 6.5 seconds. SS Adrian Marin (3) is a step behind Hunnicutt but still has at least plus speed. Best Defensive Player: For the second time in three years, Baltimore grabbed a South Florida prep shortstop. Marin doesn't have Manny Machado's offensive upside, but he's a solid defender who may have a better chance to remain at shortstop.

PITCHERS

Best Fastball:
RHP Kevin Gausman (1) operates at 94-96 mph and routinely peaks at 98, continuing to do so during instructional league. LHP Lex Rutledge (6) has hit 98 in the past but topped out at 94 after signing. RHPs Branden Kline (2) and Brady Wager (9) can reach 95. Best Secondary Pitch:Gausman's split/changeup devastates hitters who are geared up for his fastball. Kline's slider is the best breaking ball in this crop, while Rutledge flashes a plus curveball.

ODDS AND ENDS

Best Pro Debut:
RHP Josh Hader (19) had a 1.88 ERA, 48-9 K-BB ratio and a .146 opponent average in 29 innings between two Rookie ball stops. Best Athlete: If his power develops as the Orioles hope, Marin could have five average or better tools. Hunnicutt drew interest from college basketball programs as a guard, while RHP Sean McAdams (14) had football offers as a quarterback. Most Intriguing Background: 1B Ryan Ripken (20) is the son of Orioles legend Cal Jr.; his uncle Billy also played for the club and his grandfather Cal Sr. managed the team. Ryan didn't sign and now attends South Carolina. C Steel Russell's (32) father John played in the majors and is Baltimore's bench coach. Closest To The Majors:Gausman threw three scoreless innings in the Double-A Eastern League playoffs. Once he masters a consistent slider, he'll be big league-ready. Best Late-Round Pick:Hader, who commands three pitches and saw his fastball velocity shoot into the low 90s after he signed. McAdams has a big, athletic frame and throws in the low 90s as well. The One Who Got Away: LHP Colin Poche (5) was the highest Orioles pick not to sign and is now at Arkansas, but RHP Derick Velasquez (15) has a higher ceiling. Velasquez is projectable and athletic with the chance to have three plus pitches. He transferred from Merced (Calif.) JC to Fresno State.