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AL East MLB Draft Tendencies

by Steve Garrity on May. 19, 2010


The Orioles under Andy MacPhail have rebuilt Baltimore’s farm system quickly. They have targeted very polished players early like Matt Weiters and Brian Matusz. They also showed they are willing to spend, giving Weiters a $6 million dollar bonus. However Mcphail is also not afraid to go after upside early, taking prep righter hander, Matt Hobgood with the 5th overall pick in 2009. Baltimore is in a pretty good position for the 2010 draft. Having the 3rd overall pick in a draft short of real difference making players, the Orioles will take the best player available and one of the few players that can be a star.



Under JP Ricciardi, the Blue Jays had not been huge risk takers in the draft. Using the Billy Beane model, they leaned heavily towards safe, solid college players, passing over players with bigger upsides as well as bigger price tags. Unfortunately, they only succeeded with a few prospects like Adam Lind, Travis Snider, and Ricky Romero. Ricciardi's approach left Toronto with a bottom feeding farm system before the Roy Halladay trade, which was made under new GM, Alex Anthopolus. Making a big splash early by trading one of the most popular players in franchise history, Anthopolus showed he was not afraid to make the big moves. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Jays have a different aim at the draft and take a best player available approach; Regardless of the price tag.



Andrew Friedman has done a tremendous job building the Rays through the draft. Targeting organizational positions of need with picks like Evan Longoria at third base and most recently with Tim Beckham at shortstop. Tampa Bay has usually favored upside in their picks, going after high school players. However when it comes to pitching the Rays have gone after college arms with picks like number one overall pick David Price. Tampa Bay has two picks in the top 32, and they love athletic players. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them target some of the top two way talents in the draft.



Heading into the 2010 draft, the Red Sox under Theo Epstein have a combined approach that targets both college and prep players. Targeted players offer athleticism, versatility, projection, upside, value, and quick turn around. With picks like Clay Bucholz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jed Lowrie, Daniel Bard, and Dustin Pedroia, Boston has gone after players that can play many roles, and can reach the majors quickly. However they have no gripes going after prep players who offer plenty of upside in the case of Jason Place (Potential five-tool talent) and Casey Kelly (One of the top two-way talents in the 2008 draft). The Red Sox are also not afraid to spend for talent if need be.



New York’s strategy in the draft has been tough to pinpoint. They haven’t gone heavily in one direction and tend to mix it up every year. However in the last few drafts the Yankees have been going after pitching, mainly college. They seem to like pitchers with the big power pitcher frames with picks like Joba Chamberlain and Andrew Brackman. Obviously the Yankees haven’t been afraid to spend to sign their picks giving Brackman $3.350 million dollar bonus as the 30th pick after falling due to injury. Look for the Yankees to stick with their pitching strategy unless a top talent falls due to signability concerns.