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 afford them, but if ends meet, the Birds could have a nice crop of players in this area.

Last week, leading up to the draft, I wrote that the Orioles may want to draft under-slot in order to attract highly-touted high school prospects later. That proved to be the route Elias took, with the team selecting two prep prospects in the later rounds after passing on the likes of Austin Martin and Asa Lacy early. There’s certainly some risk involved in doing that, as high schoolers are harder to project, but I like the decision.

At the same time, I expect the risk-taking to continue with undrafted signees. When plucking players from the college ranks, however, the far greater gambles are made on pitchers; that reality is reflected in the Orioles’ clear preference of position players early in the most recent two drafts. With that being said, they should be willing to take risks on the best arms left after last week.

There always seems to be more success with late-round pitchers than one might expect, and the predictability based on each pitcher’s respective draft position is low. At the same time, the Orioles should feel good about the new regime’s ability to grow arms through analytics. For some – such as Michael Baumann and Cody Sedlock – in the minor league system, Baltimore’s revamped approach on the mound led to immediate improvement. Knowing that, they may have a decent shot at finding gems – or at least developing them – in the undrafted pool.

In fact, the Orioles have already shown confidence in their ability to do this, as two of their first three undrafted signees (as I’m writing this) are right-handed pitchers. That’s already more than the Birds drafted last week. Without a doubt, the number of players Baltimore brings in after this year’s draft will dwarf their selections, but the point remains: the Orioles opened the undrafted period by prioritizing pitching.

You know what’s even more exciting about this? Baltimore has agreed to pay stipends to their minor leaguers, which many other teams have not committed to. This, paired with the potential to quickly rise up the ranks of a rebuilding system, makes the organization an intriguing one for undrafted prospects.

If handled well, Elias and the Orioles will take advantage of that by nabbing the best remaining arms.

This entry was posted in Bird Feed, Blog View, Featured by Aidan Griesser. Bookmark the permalink.

About Aidan Griesser

Aidan Griesser is a student at Boston College but don't worry, the evil influence of Boston sports can't sway his devotion to the Baltimore Ravens and Orioles! Aidan's from Annapolis and previously worked with the B-More Opinionated podcast for two years. When it comes to sports writing, Aidan is interested...more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Hot off the street

Orioles Deal Miguel Castro to Mets
Orioles Deal Miguel Castro to Mets

Mike Elias pulled off another trade just ahead of today's 4 PM deadline, dealing Miguel Castro to the New York Mets for Kevin Smith. It marks the end of Castro's frustrating time in Baltimore, a te...read more

O’s Deal Givens & Millone Ahead of Trade Deadline
O’s Deal Givens & Millone Ahead of Trade Deadline

It's apparent that Mike Elias has been busy in the days leading up to this year's late MLB trade deadline. On Sunday morning, the team announced that they had traded pitchers Tommy Millone and Mychal ...read more

Which O’s Will Be on the Move at Trade Deadline?
Which O’s Will Be on the Move at Trade Deadline?

As I explained in my last piece on our beloved Orioles, they’re not contenders, and likely won’t be a playoff team. Still, come this weird season’s trade deadline on August 31, they are in posit...read more

Get Your Tony Taters Shirt Now!
Get Your Tony Taters Shirt Now!

One of the most pleasant surprises here during this truncated Orioles 2020 season has been the play of Anthony Santander. The former Rule V pick just had his 18-game hitting streak snapped, but came r...read more

Orioles Sweep Phils, Win 14th* Straight Game
Orioles Sweep Phils, Win 14th* Straight Game

*stay with me here The Birds completed a three-game sweep over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday night, on the back of another 15-hit performance. The 11-4 win was the Orioles' fifth straight w...read more

View More