2011 Draft Report Card: Baltimore Orioles


Bundy could be the draft's best player, and Wright has a live arm, making this a strong pitching class. Esposito and especially Delmonico must come through to bring Baltimore some bats.
Bonus Spending: $8.4 million
BEST PURE HITTER:  The Orioles put $1.525 million behind their conviction that 3B Nicky Delmonico (6) will hit enough to play a corner spot. He has a smooth lefthanded swing and advanced approach when healthy. BEST POWER HITTER:  In a class with seven signed position players, Delmonico stands out. He has shown plus raw power at his best. FASTEST RUNNER:  The Orioles didn't sign any burners, but OF Jalen Simmons (24) has turned in 70 times on the 20-80 scale in 60-yard runs. OF Johnny Ruettiger (8) is a tick slower, but his speed plays better at this stage. BEST DEFENSIVE PLAYER:  3B Jason Esposito (2) has excellent footwork, good hands and easy infield actions and probably could handle shortstop or second base. His play at third draws comparisons to Ryan Zimmerman and Matt Dominguez.


BEST FASTBALL:  RHP Dylan Bundy (1) may have had the best pure stuff in the draft. He touches triple digits and usually sits in the 94-98 mph range with his four-seamer, and he throws strikes with both that and his low-90s two-seamer. RHP Mike Wright (3) hit 96 while striking out Rice's Anthony Rendon in the spring and sits in the 92-94 range as a starter. BEST SECONDARY PITCH:  Bundy has an advanced arsenal, with a power curveball in the upper 70s as well as an impressive changeup for his age. Wright's slider has plus potential.


BEST PRO DEBUT: LHP Trent Howard (7) went 3-2, 3.48 with 45 strikeouts in 41 innings for short-season Aberdeen. RHP Tyler Wilson (10) posted a 1.91 ERA in eight starts over 33 innings at two levels. RHP Mark Blackmar (16) pitched 18 scoreless innings in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League. BEST ATHLETE: The 6-foot-4, 195-pound Simmons had a football scholarship to Presbyterian, which plays at the Football Championship Series level. MOST INTRIGUING BACKGROUND: Bundy's older brother Bobby reached high Class A in the Orioles system this season. Delmonico's father Rod is the former coach at Tennessee and coached the Netherlands in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, while his older brother Tony plays in the Dodgers system. Ruettiger's uncle Dan "Rudy" Ruttiger was the Notre Dame football special-teamer who inspired the movie. CLOSEST TO THE MAJORS: Bundy is the rare prep who combines plus stuff and polish. RHP Kyle Simon (4) could move quickly as a reliever if his velocity bounces back to the low 90s after a heavy college workload. BEST LATE-ROUND PICK: The Orioles gave RHP Zach Davies (26) a $575,000 bonus to keep him from going to Arizona State. His athletic 6-foot, 165-pound frame and command of a four-pitch mix reminds scouts of former Sun Devils ace Mike Leake. THE ONE WHO GOT AWAY: The O's made runs at several more bats, including OF Jason Coats (12), who returned to Texas Christian, and oft-injured South Carolina OF Adam Matthews (23).