O's hope pickings don't turn out slim

Team finishes off draft

Kelvin Pickering, brother of O's prospect, selected

June 04, 1999|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,SUN STAFF

The Orioles selected the maximum 50 players as the 1999 amateur draft concluded yesterday with a relative hush.

Compared with the first-day hullabaloo -- when the Orioles took seven of the first 50 players in the annual rush for new talent -- the finale brought little fanfare.

Oriole scouting director Tony DeMacio said "our goal is to sign them all and then have them take it one step at a time. Overall, we were pleased because we were fortunate enough to get some of the guys we wanted early."

Yesterday, the team drafted 28 players, 17 from the high school ranks. The most interesting was catcher Kelvin Pickering of King High in Tampa, Fla., the brother of first-base prospect Calvin, currently at Triple-A Rochester.

Both brothers were picked in the 35th round.

"There were a lot of draft and follows [players previously drafted], and mostly second-day candidates. No real shakers in today's group," said DeMacio, who was involved in his first Oriole draft after succeeding Gary Nickels.

The Orioles' leading pick from in-state, Jason Tourangeau, was "drafted about where I thought he'd be," said George Richardson, his coach at state 3A champion South Carroll. "The Orioles didn't show a lot of interest in him early, but they came later and saw all his better games. He's got a pro body (6 feet 4, 210 pounds) and throws 90 miles an hour with room for improvement because of his strength and size."

They chose two other players with Maryland ties on the second day: pitcher Nicholas Vitiefliss from Thomas Stone High in Waldorf, and infielder Douglas Sowers from West Virginia State, a Knoxville native.

Pub Date: 6/04/99

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