• Jun

    O's take high school infielder first

    Man it’s good to be back in the Baltimore area. There’s nothing like an event happening and being able to cover it yourself. Obviously that was hard to do from Hawaii. But here we are, the 2006 amateur draft and off I went to Camden Yards.


    It wasn’t that easy though since it took me some serious headaches in order to get to the press draft room at Camden Yards.  First off I was running late, then add in the fact every light in Baltimore takes like three minutes each and you hit every one, I ended made it to the draft with less than a minute to spare. In fact, when I turned on my laptop the windows song blasted through during the announcement of the first overall pick.


    The O’s first pick would have been pretty quick if not for the fact the Dodgers requested a timeout. Which is a little strange since the picks usually go at 30-second clips. Apparently Tommy Lasorda and the Dodgers usually do something like this because most of the reporters in the room we’re like, “Not again.”


    Finally the O’s pick came and with the room quiet, Joe Jordan selected high school shortstop Bill Rowell. Rowell is the first high school infielder the Orioles have taken since 1978 when they took the immortal Robert Bruce.


    To me this pick is a need pick since college right-hander Tim Lincecum was still on the board and to me, he was one of the top five players in the draft. Lincecum was drafted a pick later.


    Rowell however, was one of the top if not top high school power bat available and most likely has too high a ceiling to pass up, especially for an organization with a lot of top arms, but very few positional prospects and even less power prospects. Although he played shortstop in high school, he projects as a third baseman in the pros due to his size.


    The 6-foot-5, 215-pound left-handed batter hit .557 with a .660 OBP and 6 home runs in his senior year after hitting 14 home runs and 62 RBIs as a junior the year before. Apparently the drop in power was due to him getting pitched around a lot and the fact he started taking what he was given by going the other way. However, don’t think he doesn’t have serious power. The Orioles became intimately aware of his power when he hit several bombs onto Eutaw Street in a pre draft workout.


    “You don’t see power like he has too often,” a national league scout told the Inquirer, “He has size and he has power and they’re two things you can’t teach.”


    “Middle of the lineup power,” Jordan explained after taking Rowell, “Good build to hit, his power is easy power and it’s to all fields.”


    With their sandwich pick, the Orioles choose Pedro Beato, a right-handed pitcher from St. Petersburg junior college. Beato is a Tommy John “survivor” with a mid-90s fastball.


    “Big strong kid, 6-5/6-6 who’s going to be an innings eater.” Jordan explained. He throws 95-96 (MPH) with a good breaking ball and change.”


    Bryan Adams, a high school third baseman was the Orioles second round pick.


    Look for complete draft coverage from the Hangout in the next day or two.

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Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.