Hey, Orioles fans, in case you slept through Tuesday night’s sucker-punch loss in Seattle, here is a firm kick in the pants to start your Wednesday morning. Kevin Goldstein from Baseball Prospectus compiled a list of the worst top-10 picks of the past decade, and four of the 10 draftees on the list were Orioles.
Former Orioles pitching prospect Wade Townsend (eighth overall in 2004) was second on Goldstein’s list. Pitcher Chris Smith (seventh in 2001) was fourth, third baseman Billy Rowell (ninth in 2006) was sixth and pitcher Matt Hobgood (fifth in 2009) was eighth -- and he was the youngest player to make it on the list.
"Seen as more of a mid-to-late first-round talent heading into the draft, Hobgood's stuff has never been anywhere close to his high school days, and … he suffered a shoulder injury this spring that he is still recovering from,” Goldstein wrote. “This might be a premature call, but nothing is moving in the right direction.”
It’s too soon to call Hobgood a bust -- that deadline is closing on us fast, though -- but the good news is that the Orioles have had success selecting others players in the first round in recent years.
Catcher Matt Wieters (fifth overall in 2007) and pitcher Brian Matusz (fourth in 2008) are already among the team’s best players and fast-rising shortstop Manny Machado (third in 2010) is considered one of the top position prospects in baseball. Hopefully Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail connects again next week when the Orioles make the fourth pick in the draft.
I realize that reading this probably isn’t how you wanted to spend your lunch break, so feel free to vent about the likes of Townsend and Rowell and Hobgood in the comments section.