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Orioles Draft Report Card

Best Pro Debut: RHP John Maine (6) struggled with his command all spring, going 5-8, 5.61 as a Charlotte junior. He straightened himself out after signing, going 2-1, 1.45 with a 60-7 strikeout-walk ratio in 43 innings. Short-season and Class A hitters batted just .172 against him.

Best Athlete: RHP Hayden Penn (5) showed Division I basketball potential before committing to baseball. At 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds, he’s projectable and already touches 94 mph on occasion. OF Zach Davis (28) has a chiseled physique but is raw. LHP Adam Loewen (1), the fourth overall pick who has headed to Chipola (Fla.) JC, also could have been a first-round pick as a power-hitting outfielder. He could have been mentioned in most of these categories had he signed.

Best Pure Hitter: OF Val Majewski (3) regained his stroke when he stopped trying to hit homers to impress scouts.

Best Raw Power: OF Corey Shafer (2) was one of the best lefthanded power hitters in the draft. He also has a nice swing, so he won’t be a one-dimensional hitter.

Fastest Runner: SS Levi Robinson (34) isn’t a burner, but he’s a plus runner whose first-step quickness and instincts make him even more dangerous on the bases.

Best Defensive Player: OF Tim Gilhooly’s (4) arm and range are both assets in right field. SS/2B Gera Alvarez (16) is solid at both middle-infield positions and projects as a useful utilityman who can hit a little and steal an occasional base.

Best Fastball: Maine works in the low 90s and tops out at 95 mph. RHP Paul Henry (7), who had more success as a shortstop than a closer at Ball State, saw his fastball peak at 94 after becoming a full-time pitcher. Loewen throws in the low to mid-90s at 18.

Best Breaking Ball: Until Loewen’s hard 12-to-6 curveball becomes Baltimore property, this distinction belongs to Henry’s hard slider.

Most Intriguing Background: Loewen is the highest-drafted Canadian ever. 3B Brandon Fahey’s (12) father Bill caught for 11 years in the majors.

Closest To The Majors: If Maine keeps throwing strikes and performing like he did this summer, the Orioles won’t be able to hold him back.

Best Late-Round Pick: OF Neal Stephenson (17) has a nice lefthanded swing and batted .310-3-40 in short-season ball. LHP Jason Cierlik (23) has an average fastball and shows flashes of a plus curveball.

The One Who Got Away: Baltimore lost the rights to just two players, both of whom have high ceilings. RHP Mark McCormick (11) hit 98 mph last spring but didn’t show much control of his pitches or his emotions. He’s at Baylor. Another strong RHP, Allen Ponder (50), opted for Alabama.

Assessment: While the Orioles signed some promising players, they can’t consider this a successful draft if they don’t sign Loewen as a draft-and-follow. If they lose him, a compensation pick around 40th overall won’t be much of a consolation prize.

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