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For O's, 2011 Draft all about stockpiling arms

For O's, 2011 Draft all about stockpiling arms

For O's, 2011 Draft all about stockpiling arms
BALTIMORE -- The message out of the Orioles' 2011 First-Year Player Draft was clear: Get pitching.

Over half of Baltimore's selections in this year's Draft were pitchers, as scouting director Joe Jordan and his staff took 19 right-handers and nine southpaws. The highlight of these hurlers was right-hander Dylan Bundy, the fourth overall pick out of Owasso (Okla.) High School.

"In order to sign a No. 1 or No. 2 starter -- it's going to be very challenging for us, to get somebody to come here," manager Buck Showalter said Tuesday. "In order for us to match up with the Bostons and the New Yorks and the Tampas and Toronto, we've got to be able to draft or bring somebody in a trade, who's a No. 1 or No. 2 starter. And at the end of the day, Joe and his staff felt like Bundy had a lot of upside in that capacity."

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Right-handers Mike Wright out of East Carolina (94th overall) and Kyle Simon from Arizona (125th overall) and Middle Georgia College southpaw Matt Taylor (155th overall) rounded out the O's top drafted arms.

"There's been a lot of thought about drafting and developing pitchers," Showalter said. "If you've got that cache, you can always acquire and do things with the position players."

Although the focus was on the hill, Baltimore drafted power at the plate as well, taking Vanderbilt third baseman Jason Esposito in the second round (64th overall).

Originally taken by the Royals in the seventh round of the 2008 Draft, Esposito decided to forgo signing with Kansas City and instead play in college. In 60 games this season, the right-handed hitter hit .362 with eight home runs and 55 RBIs.

The O's didn't need to look far for three of their later-round picks, selecting two players from the John Carroll School in Bel Air, Md., and right-handed pitcher Sander Beck (995th overall) from the University of Maryland.

Third baseman Kevin Hockaday (425th overall) and their 50th and final pick, outfielder Brendan Butler (1,505th overall), both got drafted by their hometown franchise out of the Bel Air high school.

The Orioles are hoping success in baseball runs in the family for their sixth-round pick (185th overall), Nick Delmonico out of Farragut (Tenn.) High School. He is the son of Rod Delmonico, who went 699-396 as coach at the University of Tennessee from 1990-'07. Nick's older brothers, Tony and Joey, are catchers in Class A and at the University of Georgia, respectively. Keeping with the family trend, Nick has been making the transition to catcher from third base.

Arizona State center fielder Johnny Ruettiger might have the same luck of the Irish that his uncle, Danny Ruettiger, had as the famed Notre Dame football player portrayed in the movie, "Rudy." Johnny, a left-handed batter, was selected in the eighth round with the 245th overall pick.

Avi Zaleon is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }
{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }