Early picks set tone for O's strong Draft

Early picks set tone for O's strong Draft

NEW YORK -- From the Orioles' perspective, the MLB Draft couldn't have gone any better.

Baltimore went heavy on pitchers and college players in the first 10 rounds, adding four right-handed pitchers, two left-handed pitchers, two infielders, two outfielders, and one catcher. Of those first 10, seven were college players. Overall, the O's drafted 12 right-handed pitchers, and nine lefties, with arms making up more than half of their 40 selections.

"Overall I think it was a thin Draft, but I'm happy with what we were able to do up top," Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich said.

"We really wanted to get a top middle infielder and left-handed pitcher and got that right out of the chute with our first two picks. So we satisfied, and after that we wanted to get the best player and manage the money."

The O's began things off with a potential steal, taking high school arm D.L. Hall -- ranked the No. 14 prospect entering the Draft, according to MLBPipeline.com -- with the No. 21 overall pick. Rajsich follow that up with Canadian prep shortstop Alex Hall before selecting three consecutive pitchers: Xavier's Zac Lowther, Jacksonville University's Mike Baumann and Clements (High) School Jack Conlon.

"We think [Conlon] will be a Major League starter in our rotation," Rajsich said. "As a young righty we like his delivery, we like his size. We were excited to get that one. We got a little creative to get that one done. So, very satisfying."

Adams State (Colorado) College senior right-hander Josh Keaton was the Orioles' final draft pick of Day Two. He put up a 5.52 ERA in 75 innings as a senior, striking out 84 batters while walking 34.

An intriguing Day 3 pick was 11th-rounder Trevor Craport out of Georgia Tech. He started as a pitcher as a freshman, but came back his sophomore year as an infielder and hit .352 with seven homers and 31 RBIs. He was the toughest person to strike out on the team, averaging one strikeout per 11.7 at-bats. Craport is a utility infielder and the O's will find a position for him.

The O's also took outfielder Zach Jarrett, who was drafted in the 28th round out of UNC Charlotte. He's the son of NASCAR Champion Dale Jarrett and the grandson of NASCAR Hall of Famer Ned Jarrett. More >>

"He improved his swing this year," MLB.com Draft expert Jim Callis said of Jarrett. "Strong, has power. He's a great kid."

Baltimore's 36th-round selection was shortstop Tyler Coolbaugh, who is the son of hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh. The Angelo State University product is a senior switch-hitter and the nephew of the late Mike Coolbaugh, a Minor League coach who died after being struck by a baseball in 2007.

"I was happy to be able to do that for Scott," Rajsich said. "He'll be a nice little player for us. I understand he's utility, can play multiple positions and will have some value."

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.