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Who were the five best Orioles top draft picks?


Who were the five best Orioles top draft picks?

The draft hasn’t always been kind to the Orioles. Even when the team had the best record in baseball, it didn’t have particularly strong No. 1 draft choices.

The draft was instituted in 1965, the year before the team won its first World Series. From then until 1983, their last World Series, only two outstanding players were drafted in the first round.

Bobby Grich, taken in 1967, who played seven seasons with the Orioles and his final 10 with the Angels, was a superb major leaguer, but his best years weren’t in Baltimore.

Rich Dauer, taken in 1974, was a mainstay at second base for years and selected for the Orioles Hall of Fame this year.

Eight of the top picks in the team’s glory years never played in the majors at all. Four others, Randy Stein (1971), Dave Ford (1975) Dallas Williams (1976) and Drungo Hazewood (1977), had major short careers.

Junior Kennedy (1968), Don Hood (1969) and Mike Parrott (1973) had decent, but not particularly memorable, careers.

Of course Cal Ripken was an Orioles’ draft choice, but he was the team’s fourth pick—drafted behind Robert Boyce, Larry Sheets and Eddie Hook in 1978.

Boyce, who never advanced beyond Class A, was the first rounder, Sheets and Hook compensation picks in the second round. Ripken was the 48th player in the draft. Pitcher Mike Boddicker, who had an excellent career, was chosen in the sixth round that year.

On Friday, we presented a list of five of the worst Orioles’ top draft picks. Now, let’s look at who the five best were.

1) Mike  Mussina

Mussina was the 20th overall pick in the 1990 draft and was in the major leagues a year later. He divided his career between the Orioles and Yankees.

Upon his induction into the Orioles Hall of Fame, Mussina declined to say whether he’d prefer to enter the Baseball Hall of Fame as an Oriole or Yankee.

He won 270 games in the majors.

2) Greg Olson

The fourth pick in the 1988 draft, Olson pitched 16 games in the minors before joining the Orioles in September. He was dominating almost instantly and won Rookie of the Year in 1989.

Olson saved 160 games in his Orioles career, still a franchise record. Injuries harmed his career, but managed to stay in the big leagues until 2001 with eight other teams.

3) Nick Markakis

Markakis, who was chosen seventh in 2003, was the best Orioles top draft pick since Mussina. A number of the top picks between 1991-2002  never made the majors, and a few (Jay Powell, Jayson Werth, Grich) achieved stardom elsewhere.

He played for the Greek Olympic team in 2004 and reached the majors in 2006.

Markakis has been a steady and dependable presence in right field ever since. 2012 was a year of change for him. He had three surgeries, two stints on the disabled list and a move to the leadoff spots.

Sadly for Markakis, he couldn’t play in the postseason.

4) Matt Wieters

Wieters was the fifth overall pick in 2007, didn’t sign until the deadline and had a fine 2008 season in the minors. By late May 2009, he was in the majors and has proven to be one of the game’s best catchers.

A two-time All-Star, Wieters will undoubtedly move up on this and other lists as his career continues.

5) Rich Dauer

Dauer played his entire 10-year career with the Orioles. He was the starting second baseman on the 1979 pennant winners and the 1983 World Series champs.

A longtime major league coach with Milwaukee and Colorado, he interviewed for the Orioles manager’s job in 2003.

A few years from now, the Orioles hope to argue that their recent drafts which included Markakis, Wieters, Brian Matusz, Manny Machado, Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman were the strongest group in team history.




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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

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Orioles agree to one-year deal with pitcher Chris Tillman, according to reports

SARASOTA, Fla. -- A person familiar with the negotiations says pitcher Chris Tillman and the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to a $3 million, one-year contract.

The deal includes performance bonuses, the person told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Monday because the deal had not yet been announced.

Tillman was 1-7 with a 7.84 ERA in 19 starts and five relief appearances last year. He would be the second starter added by the Orioles in the past week after right-hander Andrew Cashner.

Tillman likely would join right-handers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Cashner in the rotation.

The 29-year-old right-hander lives in Sarasota and had been working out at the Orioles' facility before spring training. Manager Buck Showalter watched Tillman throw and was impressed.

Tillman began last season on the disabled list with right shoulder stiffness.

"Better than he did last year at this time. I think he's got the chance to pitch well for somebody this year," Showalter said. "A lot of the challenges he had last year -- this time last year -- aren't there. Somebody's going to reap the benefits."

Tillman's is 73-55 with a 4.43 ERA in nine major league seasons, all with the Orioles. He won 16 games in both 2013 and 2016.

"He's a guy when he's healthy you can bank on him giving you 200 innings and keeping his ERA between a 3 and a 4," Gausman said. "That in the AL East is always going to be very valuable."


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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

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Orioles Spring Training Schedule 2018

Live baseball is close to gracing our television screens again. The Orioles haven't had the most active offseason, to put it mildly. Fans are still wondering who will make up more than half the spots in this year's rotation, and Manny Machado's upcoming free agency is looming over every decision the organization makes.

Still, it's exciting to be able to follow the team again. Not every game is televised, so get ready to constantly refresh your favorite beat writer's Twitter account for all your updates.

Even without getting to watch the games, it'll be comforting to once again check box scores in the morning to see if Jonathan Schoop is building on his breakout season, or if top-prospect Austin Hays is all he's cracked up to be (spoiler: he is).

This year's spring training will be especially interesting, considering how many big-name players will be signing in the next few weeks. The O's haven't yet made a big splash this offseason, but with the sheer volume of capable players still on the market, you have to wonder if they'll try to sign some impact players at bargain values.

Typically, the excitement of adding a new piece to the lineup or rotation has to be reignited after a long winter off, but this season, those additions will be taking place while camp is already underway.

It's going to be a hectic few weeks as teams prepare for thier seasons, so bookmark this page to check on on the Orioles spring training schedule over the next few weeks as the team finally takes the field in 2018.

Orioles 2018 Spring Training Schedule

Friday, Feb. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Feb. 24 (SS) - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Feb. 25 - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Feb. 26 - Tigers at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Feb. 27 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 28 - Cardinals at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 1 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 2 - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 3 (SS) - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 4 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Tuesday, Mar. 6 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 7 - Orioles at Rays, 1:05 pm
Thursday, Mar. 8 - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 9 - Orioles at Blue Jays, 1:07 pm
Saturday, Mar. 10 (SS) - Pirates at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Orioles at Red Sox, 1:05 pm 
Sunday, Mar. 11 (SS) - Phillies at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Monday, Mar. 12 - Orioles at Pirates, 1:05 pm 
Tuesday, Mar. 13 - Orioles at Twins, 1:05 pm 
Wednesday, Mar. 14 - Yankees at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MLBN) (MASN)
Thursday, Mar. 15 - Orioles at Cardinals, 1:05 pm
Friday, Mar. 16 - Orioles at Mets, 1:10 pm 
Saturday, Mar. 17 (SS) - Blue Jays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 18 - Mets at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Monday, Mar. 19 - Orioles at Tigers, 1:05 pm
Tuesday, Mar. 20 - Rays at Orioles, 6:05 pm (MASN)
Wednesday, Mar. 21 - Orioles at Yankees, 6:35 pm 
Thursday, Mar. 22 - Red Sox at Orioles, 1:05 pm (MASN)
Friday, Mar. 23 (SS) - Rays at Orioles, 1:05 pm
Saturday, Mar. 24 - Twins at Orioles, 6:05 pm
Sunday, Mar. 25 - Orioles at Phillies, 1:05 pm 
Monday, Mar. 27 (in Norfolk, VA) - Orioles at Tides (AAA), 3:05 pm