Just over 48 hours from the Orioles' most important night of the summer, general manager Mike Elias said the team is still in discussions over who to take at second overall.
With the Orioles picking behind the Tigers on Wednesday night in the MLB Draft, there's only one player the Orioles won't have available to them. The rest of the board is theirs to have.
"We have choices that we like and we're trying to pick between players that we like, and that's a good thing," Elias said Monday on a conference call with reporters. "But we have not made a decision yet as to how we're going to finalize that grouping, and we may not until the day of the draft when all the info for the whole draft is available, including signability information, there's still medical information trickling in, even at this stage."
Elias added the team is still discussing five different players who the team could take second overall, though there are some options likelier than others at this point.
The most widely speculated name for the Orioles is Austin Martin, the infielder from Vanderbilt with an excellent hitting profile. He's perhaps the second best hitter in the draft behind Spencer Torkelson, the first baseman from Arizona State. Torkelson is widely projected to go first overall to the Tigers, meaning the Orioles will have everyone but Torkelson available to them.
While he's certainly one of the five players the team is considering at second overall, it seems unlikely he'll be around when the Orioles are on the board.
"I'll probably get that info pretty clearly sometime the afternoon before the draft," Elias said. "Usually, when the same player is pegged to the same team No. 1 at the same list, over and over and over, there's an outcome that tends to happen. We're preparing for all possibilities, but the level of mystery surrounding that pick this year seems lower than average."
In one of the weirdest drafts in recent memory, very little - if any - in-person scouting was able to be done on the top prospects in the draft. Elias said he was able to meet with a few players, but other meetings took place over Zoom.
Otherwise, the front office has been able to rely on the analytics team, a bit more than they would have in recent seasons, without much up-close scouting to speak of.
That hasn't been a problem for the Orioles, who overhauled their analytics and scouting department since Elias was hired late in 2018.
While this year's draft is certainly unique, Baltimore still could come away with a handful of productive major league players in this week's draft.
"In terms of the challenges we've faced, it's gone very smoothly," Elias said. "Our analytics team did a great job of building a virtual draft board very quickly. It has been a little more tiring for all of us to conduct these meetings over the phone and over video, usually a draft room is a really energetic, fun experience. We're not getting that this year, which is a shame. But it hasn't stopped us from being productive at all."
Stay connected to the Capitals and Wizards with the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.
MORE MLB NEWS:
- Latest talks: MLB makes new offer
- Baseball's return: What it will take
- MLB is scrambling: NBA, NHL have plans