Duquette on the Draft & taking Ripken
Update: Dan Duquette just addressed a group of reporters here at Fenway Park and he was asked about taking Ryan Ripken, Cal Ripken Jr.’s son, in the 20th round.
“The Ripken family has had a long association with the Orioles and his grandfather was there, and his father was there,” Duquette said. “And he’s a good athlete in his own right. We thought it was the right thing to do to draft him. He’s got a good opportunity to go to South Carolina and we expect him to go to South Carolina, but we thought it was the right thing to do.”
Duquette also reiterated that the Jamie Moyer signing will be more of an audition as the 49-year-old lefty will get a few starts and the team will reevaluate him after that.
“He’s not that far removed from the [Tommy John ] surgery, so there’s a chance that he will regain his previous form by continuing to pitch,” Duquette said of Moyer, who missed all of last season recovering. “A lot of veteran pitchers, sometimes it takes a little bit longer to get into length of the season until they come around. So we will see if that’s the case with Jamie. He has won a lot of games, is a good role model and has had some success.
We agreed to give it a few starts. So, he’s a veteran player, he will know. And if he can help us, he can help us.”
I spoke with executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette this afternoon regarding the 2012 First-Year Draft– with plenty of coverage from all three days on Orioles.com – and Duquette praised the work put in by first-year amateur scouting director Gary Rajsich and the organization’s scouts.
For a full list of the Orioles’ draftees you can go to MLB.com’s Draft Tracker and sort by team, but the main emphasis was adding college pitchers –especially in the first two days — and Duquette said he felt good about what the organization was able to accomplish in his first Draft.
“We were looking at our Major League team, and we thought we could get some pitching depth that could help us the next couple years,” he said, “particularly starting pitchers that would be a good complement to the guys that we have.”
The Orioles took LSU product Kevin Gausman in the first round (fourth overall) and Branden Kline from UVA in the second, and went on to draft six pitchers with their first 10 picks, five of which are college arms.
“I think we got some good talent,” said Duquette. “Now we need to go sign the talent, we will start helping the players develop the skills, Gary Rajisch and our scouts did a really good job. As did [national crosschecker] Danny Haas. They were prepared and they had a strategy and we got two accomplished college pitches in the first two rounds and the shortstop from Florida [third-rounder Adrian Marin] is a really talented player.”
Duquette believes this year’s new rules “forced teams to have a more disciplined approach” and believes signability won’t be an issue for the Orioles draftees.
“We will be able to sign all of them,” he said. “Top 10 rounds.”
The Orioles’ draft on Day 3 had some familiar names in Cal Ripken, Jr.’s son, Ryan, bench coach John Russell’s son, William, and director of Minor League instruction Brian Graham’s nephew Jack. There was also a slew of local kids, which is something the organization put an emphasis on.
“We think that’s important and we made it a priority when we drafted, kids out of Baltimore and also kids out of Sarasota,” Duquette said, citing the team’s Spring Training home as well.
“I think we have succeeded in adding some solid pitching depth. If you look at our roster, it is relatively young and our position players are young and stable and if we can get some more consistent starting pitching, it will make us a better ball club.”