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The Payoff Pitch: 2020 MLB Draft Recap

The Payoff Pitch logo.
We’re back! Hopefully MLB will follow shortly…why don’t they already have a plan in place? Well, let’s spend a few minutes talking about why Rob Manfred is the worst thing to happen to Major League Baseball in my lifetime. Maybe we’ll have a shortened season and can talk about some real baseball soon…or maybe not, because Rob sucks. For now, let’s talk about the guys the Orioles drafted in the 2020 Amateur Draft. Fanimal Radio · 2020 MLB Draft Recap (And Rob Manfred Sucks) See the ESR recaps of the […]

O’s Look to Get Armed in Undrafted Signing Period

While the fact that the 2020 MLB Draft was a shortened version of normal certainly isn’t ideal for a rebuilding team such as the Orioles, it does afford them a unique opportunity in the undrafted free agent signing portion of the offseason. With a larger pool of players to snag, GM Mike Elias may be able to bring in prospects that might otherwise have been drafted by other clubs. Of course, these prospects will have to want to come to Baltimore and the Orioles will have to be able to […]

Orioles Draft HS RHP Carter Baumler in Round 5

Carter Baumler
After drafting four college bats with their first four picks in the truncated 2020 MLB Draft, the Orioles went high school with their final two. It was Florida (Stoneman Douglas HS) 3B Coby Mayo in Round 4, and Iowa RHP Carter Baumler in Round 5. Baumier was the only pitcher the Birds took this year. Previous Picks Round 1: Heston Kjerstad Comp Round A: Jordan Westburg Round 2: Hudson Haskin Round 3: Anthony Servideo Round 4: Coby Mayo Here’s MLB pipeline on the hurler: Baumler boosted his stock late in […]

Orioles Draft Florida HS 3B Coby Mayo in Round 4

The first High Schooler of the class! Still no pitcher. MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo (no relation) puts a player comp on Coby Mayo to the Braves’ Austin Riley. He’s got a tremendous throwing arm and promising bat. Previous Picks Round 1: Heston Kjerstad Comp Round A: Jordan Westburg Round 2: Hudson Haskin Round 3: Anthony Servideo Here’s what MLB Pipeline has to say about him: Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida has produced some serious talent over the years, starting with Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and continuing with A’s […]

Orioles Draft Anthony Servideo SS Ole Miss

With the 74th overall pick, the Orioles picked Ole Miss shortstop Anthony Servideo. That’s the fourth college bat in four picks for the O’s this draft. Previous picks: Round 1: Heston Kjerstad Comp Round A: Jordan Westburg Round 2: Hudson Haskin Here’s what MLB Pipeline had to say about Servideo: Servideo played sparingly as a Mississippi freshman in 2018, then spent most of 2019 shuttling between right field and center field for the Rebels before posting the worst batting line (.149/.228/.277) in the Cape Cod League. He looked like a […]

Orioles Draft Tulane OF Hudson Haskin

Hudson Haskin
Arms galore were available at Pick 39. Instead, the Orioles yet again zagged, nabbing college outfielder Hudson Haskin. Haskin has a wonky swing, but the tools are there to be a solid pro. Here’s what MLB Pipeline has to say about him: Avon (Conn.) Old Farms School produced an athletic center fielder in 2008 who went on to become a first-round pick after three years in college and an eventual star with the Astros — George Springer. A decade later, the Beavers spawned another toolsy center fielder who should go […]

Orioles Draft Mississippi State SS Jordan Westburg

Jordan Westburg throws from the infield.
After surprising many and taking Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad with the second pick, the Orioles had another pick on night one of the draft, #30 overall, the first of the competitive balance picks between rounds one and two (it was tonight because the Houston Astros were stripped of their first round pick). With this one, they went with Mississippi State shortstop Jordan Westburg. Here’s what MLB Pipeline has to say about him: Though neither was a heralded prospect or drafted out of high school in 2017, Mississippi State’s Westburg and […]

Orioles Draft Heston Kjerstad, RF Arkansas

The Orioles threw us a curveball with their first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, going with Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad. The guys on the ESPN broadcast were calling him the second-best power bat in the draft, after Spencer Torkelson, who went first overall to Detroit. His coach at Arkansas called him “the best left-handed hitter in the country.” He was number 10 on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100. Here’s what they wrote about him, pre-draft: “A 36th-round pick by the Mariners as a Texas high schooler in 2017, Kjerstad teamed […]

Orioles 2020 Draft Primer

Austin Martin of Vanderbilt swings.
MLB is about to embark on the shortest draft in baseball history. In a draft with only five rounds, there will be an increased emphasis on ‘hitting’ on picks to maximize value. While this is always the case, teams with struggling farm systems won’t have the opportunity to replenish the talent pipeline as extensively. The Orioles have a prospect system that is on the rise and is currently Top 15, if not Top 10. The hitch this year will be the undrafted free agents. Normally, with 40 rounds, very few […]

Should O’s Save Money Early for High School Prospects Later?

men sitting at draft tables in large open room decorated with sports stuff
While MLB seems to be the league having the most trouble getting off its feet amidst the pandemic, they do at least have a draft coming up that will kick off on June 10th. For a rebuilding team like the Orioles, this is a massive opportunity to inject young talent into the system, with the hopes that some of those players will become critical members of the eventual turnaround. Last year, GM Mike Elias secured the incredible catching prospect Adley Rutschman with the first overall selection. This year, he’ll look […]

COVID-19 Crisis and MLB: An Opportunity Amidst Tragedy?

sunset view of oriole park at camden yards
Disclaimer: Just as I did when writing about this topic on Russell Street Report, I need to state that sports are absolutely secondary/tertiary/etc. in the grand scheme of things, and that’s especially true at the moment. Please don’t berate me with cries of “THAT’S WHAT YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT?!” I get it. This is a tough time for all of us. But these are sports blogs, so sports blogging I shall do. As the world waits for announcements on the plans that all sporting leagues have in place, the one that […]

O’s Pitcher Suggests to MLB, “Let’s Play it Safe!”

Alex Cobb pitching
On March 12, the Orioles had literally to turn around while already on the bus to go to Fort Myers for a spring training game, and go back to the Ed Smith Stadium complex. That was the moment Major League Baseball announced the season would be delayed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Orioles were planning to stay in Sarasota, but in a matter of hours that changed too and they were to be sent home. Minor league players fared no better, and this is something that could disrupt indiana […]

Once Upon a Time…When “Orioles” Meant Football Too

Kevin Gausman of the Orioles throws a football.
In the beginning was baseball. Did you know that the first American League of Professional Football in the United States was created by… the owners of the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs? Yes, the National League. That was a long, long time ago. In 1894, to be precise. Eons before anyone could even dream that there would be anything like online football betting some day, there was already a clear business case for the move: baseball stadiums were empty during the winter, so additional activities were needed. There was […]

O’s & Mets to Play at Naval Academy on March 24

It’s show time! Get ready for the exhibition game between the Baltimore Orioles and New York Mets  The date is March 24 at 2:05 p.m. ET, the venue is the campus of the Naval Academy, more precisely the Terwilliger Brothers Field. The Baltimore Orioles have announced they are going to play against the New York Mets in a Major League Baseball exhibition game. But, alas, tickets for the game will not be available to the public. Getting in will be a bit more difficult than getting a promo code for […]

Hanser Alberto Cannot Surprise Me in 2020

During this time last year, most people didn’t have infielder Hanser Alberto breaking camp with the Orioles. I include myself among that list. But keeping him turned out to be a great decision by the club. He rotated between second and third base while contributing both in the field and at the dish. He got the job done, but did it in an unusual way. In 139 games in 2019, Alberto slashed .305/.329/.422 with 12 home runs. The .305 batting average obviously looks marvelous, but I continue to be stunned […]

Framing up Orioles’ Options Behind the Dish

In 2019, the Orioles selected catcher Adley Rutschman with the first overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft. The switch-hitting backstop out of Oregon State quickly jumped to the top of the Orioles’ top prospects list and became a  top-10 prospect throughout all of baseball. The Orioles’ plan was made very clear – Rutschman will be looked upon as the future face of the franchise. Although he is seen as the star catcher of the future, the club still needs to pencil catchers in two major league roster spots for […]

Players Making Good Early Impressions This Spring

It’s early in Spring Training thus far, but it’s an important camp for many players and for the Baltimore Orioles organization. With a presence of fringe veterans and up-and-coming prospects, it is also an intriguing camp for fans like us. As I’ve followed the first week or so of camp and gameplay, here’s who’s impressed in the initial stages.   Chris Davis Craig Landefeld/GulfBird Sports I won’t waste any time getting to this name. Chris Davis has been outstanding thus far at the plate. Through his first few appearances he […]

(Belated) Thursday Thoughts: O’s Shake Up the Booth

Chris Davis in Grapefruit League action.
(Ed note: Andrew submitted this last week as part of his regular Thursday Thoughts series. Due to some technical issues, we weren’t able to post it until today.) 1. The Orioles made a number of changes to freshen up their broadcasting team recently, as games got started down in Sarasota. We’ve heard from a number of the voices that will be on the call through both television broadcasts on MASN and on the Orioles Radio Network, but there are also some new ones to add to the mix. It includes […]

Reasons to Be Excited: O’s in the Outfield

Trey Mancini swinging his bat.
It could be another long season for the Orioles, as a franchise that had only lost 100 games in a season twice during its first 64 seasons in Baltimore is staring its third consecutive 100-loss season squarely in the face. PECOTA seems to think the team will at least avoid the feat, predicting a 63-99 finish, but still finishing with the worst record in baseball.  Don’t Miss Parts 1 and 2 of my Reasons to Be Excited Young Pitching Hays & Mountcastle Last Tuesday, the Orioles did their best to squash whatever optimism there may have been […]

Affordable Speed Sensor For Playing Baseball

In many countries around the world, baseball is a popular sport played by all ages and skill levels. As kids, they start playing T-ball, it’s a variation of baseball where instead of throwing the ball, it is placed on a Tee, so it’ll be easier to hit). T-ball is good for children aged 4 to 5. They then progress on to having the coach pitch the ball, then to player-pitch. Kids then start having their own tournaments like the little league, and as they grow up they’ll have the high […]