Written by Chris Slade
Welcome to the 2014 MLB draft where the Orioles 3rd rounder will receive as much attention as it ever will with it being their first pick of the draft.
Day one has concluded and we are just 15 picks away from No. 90, the Orioles first selection in the draft.
For all the draft junkies out there that have been paying attention to the names of interest 100-to-200 players deep like myself, who stands out to you as a possible fit for the Orioles at No. 90?
It's a tough one predict as at this stage of the draft as the list of potential candidates for this pick is big and opinions vary on who's a 3rd round talent.
But for discussion's sake, I thought I'd list several names that I like.
(I'm no expert at this and I'll be thoroughly impressed at my guesswork if one of the following player's I mention actually gets taken by the Orioles at pick 90)
Chris Ellis - RHP - Ole Miss - Really like this kid for the 3rd round. Hope he's still on the board. Command needs improvement and slider is below average but I like the plus fastball and changeup.
Jace Fry - LHP - Oregon State - Polished lefties that put up stellar results in the Pac-12 seem like "safe" picks to me. Fry's upside may only be a 4th starter but he's a good value for the 3rd round and may have a chance at reaching that upside rather quickly.
Aaron Brown - LHP/OF - Pepperdine One of the better two way athletes in the country. His future is on the mound where he has three solid average pitches and pitched very well for the Waves this year. The possibility of a slight boost in stuff while concentrating on pitching full time intrigues me.
Brian Anderson - 2B/OF - Arkansas He can hit and still has some projection in his power tool. I'm intrigued by his offensive minded second baseman profile if he can stick there. May also be an option at third with his athleticism and arm strength.
Jeren Kendall - CF - Kendall is an absolute burner and looks like a potential plus defender in center. His offensive profile is similar to Josh Hart in my opinion so he might be someone Gary Rajsich (who raved about Hart before and after draft day last year) is looking at if available.
Casey Soltis - RF - Soltis has a real nice looking left handed swing and could develop a plus hit tool in my opinion. He's not a real toolsy athlete but has enough arm for right and could be a nice find in the 3rd round. Maybe a Nick Markakis-light
Keaton McKinney - RHP - What I like about McKinney is that he features one of the best changeups in the prep class and a low 90's fastball with movement too. Drawbacks are concerns about his arm action and mediocre breaking ball but I like his durable 6'5, 220 pound frame and think he has a chance at a mid-rotation ceiling.
Cobi Johnson - RHP - I like his projectable frame, bloodlines (Dad pitched in bigs, now a roving instructor with Blue Jays) and advanced feel for pitching.
Boom/Bust high school pitcher...
Dylan Cease - RHP - The upside play, Cease has one of the livelier arms in this class but an elbow injury that has kept him out since March dropped his stock. If available and his bonus demands aren't unreasonable, he could be a worthy gamble for the O's. If not, pass.
(Update: The more I think about it, the more I could see the Orioles taking a college reliever with their first pick. They don't have much bonus pool money to spend and are in win-now mode, so it may make sense to target someone like Adam Ravanelle of Vanderbilt or Oregon's closer Jake Reed, whom they can fast-track to the majors as relievers.)
Visit the Orioles Hangout Message Board