Joe Jordan, the Orioles' director of scouting, recently watched fifth-round draft pick Jacob Arrieta pitch in the Arizona Fall League.
"We've seen a good curveball, slider, changeup. We've seen him really pitch," Jordan told me Tuesday night.
"He's got a workhorse body, an Andy Benes type of guy. I was really encouraged. It was similar to what I saw his sophomore year at TCU. Delivery-wise, it looks like he's got some things ironed out. He's very confident. Facing wooden bats, he's a different guy. He really attacks with the fastball.
Arrieta's stock dropped a little after his junior season, though he went 9-3 with a 3.01 ERA and 93 strikeouts in 98 2/3 innings. That didn't quite compare to the previous year, when he was 14-4 with a 2.35 ERA and 111 strikeouts in 111 innings and was named Mountain West Conference Pitcher of the Year. But he hardly was a bust.
Signability issues also caused him to tumble to the fifth round. The Orioles were going to grab him in the fourth but didn't want to risk losing pitcher Timothy Bascom. They ended up with both of them.
Factor in catcher Matt Wieters in the first round, and the 2007 draft could turn out to be very productive for the Orioles.
Don Mattingly, who interviewed for the New York Yankees' job this week, said he has been making managerial moves in his head for years. I wonder if he ever imagined himself getting fired, because he won't last more than 1 1/2 seasons if he's hired.
Joe Torre was given a lot of rope. I can't see Mattingly getting that kind of slack.
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