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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2012 (20) | 2011 (21) | 2010 (8) | 2009 (9) | 2008 (14)

2012 Affiliate Records
MLB: [93-69] AL East
AAA: [74-70] International League – Norfolk
AA: [78-64] Eastern League – Bowie
A+: [62-77] Carolina League – Frederick
A: [52-86] South Atlantic League – Delmarva
A(ss): [18-48] New York-Penn League — Aberdeen

Arizona Fall League PlayersMesa Solar Sox
Mike Belfiore (LHP); Chris Petrini (LHP); Clay Schrader (RHP); Mike Wright (RHP); Brian Ward (C); Jonathan Schoop (INF); L.J. Hoes (OF)

Graduated Prospects
Manny Machado (SS/3B);  Ryan Flaherty (Util); Wei-Yin Chen (LHP)

The Run Down
The Orioles earned a spot in the postseason last year, establishing themselves as one of baseball’s most surprising teams.  Given the recent upgrades to their competition in the AL East, however, as well as the perennial awesomeness of certain teams in that division, it seems unlikely that they will be playing ball in Baltimore next October.  In fact, oddsmakers have the O’s at 10/1 odds to win the East — lowest in the division.  Seems like an unfair outlook for a team that won 93 games a year ago, but I can’t argue against it — the Orioles outperformed every win/loss model there was, and few would disagree that their season was one blessed by luck.  What’s left in Baltimore, though, is a team that’s now accustomed to winning.  They have a solid lineup that includes a blossoming superstar in Manny Machado, and a staff ace on the way in Dylan Bundy.  And while the rest of the system isn’t quite spectacular, there should be enough talent pushing through to keep the O’s competitive on the field and in the trade market.  They might be long-shots, but certainly don’t count this club out in coming years.

Top Ten Prospects
1.  Dylan Bundy, RHP:
  Grey recently went over his Dylan Bundy 2013 fantasy.  Bundy is the top pitching prospect in baseball.  You won’t find many who disagree with that statement.  And although he surfaced in the majors near the end of the 2012 season, don’t necessarily expect him to return to Baltimore out of spring camp next year — his stint at Double-A last year wasn’t exactly marvelous, and a bit more seasoning at Triple-A could be helpful.  It won’t be long before he’s back in the bigs, though, and he’ll be a coveted fantasy asset once he’s there.  ETA:  2013

2.  Kevin Gausman, RHP:  The fourth overall pick in June, Gausman was a draft-eligible sophomore out of LSU. Baseball folks saw him as a bit more raw than his fellow college arms in the draft — guys like Mark Appel, Michael Wacha, Andrew Heaney, Kyle Zimmer, etc.  But the upside with Gausman is huge, and he’s already exceeded his developmental timetable, reaching Double-A in time for the Eastern League playoffs, and contributing quality postseason innings once there.  ETA:  2014

3. Jonathan Schoop, INF:  Schoop split time between second base and shortstop at Double-A Bowie in 2012.  In fall league play, however, he spent most of his time manning the hot corner.  Frankly, the 21-year-old is gifted enough to play any position in the infield, and play it well.  His numbers along the way haven’t lived up to the scouting reports, but the O’s have been aggressive with him, and they’re confident his physical development will precede improved production at the plate.  Wherever he settles in the infield, Schoop will be fantasy-relevant.  ETA:  Late 2014

4.  Nick Delmonico, 1B/3B: Delmonico is a big bodied 20-year-old who projects wonderfully as a power-hitting 3B, and is praised for outstanding makeup.  In an injury-shortened year at Low-A Delmarva, he posted an OPS at .762 and also collected 11 homers — not crazy numbers, but promising stuff from a guy who spent most the year as a teenager.  ETA:  2015

5.  L.J. Hoes, OF:  His corner-outfield profile combined with a disturbing lack of power makes for a bad combo.  Because of that disconnect, most see Hoes maxing out as a fourth outfielder.  For me, though, his hit tool is too impressive to ignore, and his on-skills are quite good, as well.  If those attributes hold at the major league level, I have a feeling he’ll find playing time more often than folks are anticipating.  ETA:  2013

6.  Branden Kline, RHP:  The O’s took Kline out of college with their 2nd-round pick in June.  The data on him is limited for now, but a superb fastball-slider combo should help him post some gaudy figures when he reaches full-season ball in 2013.  ETA:  2015

7.  Christian Walker, 1B:  Walker was a beast last year at South Carolina, and ended up going in the fourth round to Baltimore.  Like Kline, the pro data here is limited, but scouts adore his approach, and that alone should allow him to climb through the system quickly.  He has the ceiling of an above-average 1B, but could also bust if the power stroke doesn’t come along as hoped. ETA:  2015

8.  Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP:  Rodriguez entered pro ball with a great feel for pitching and has posted nice numbers at every stop, including Low-A Delmarva in 2012.  A less-than-stellar repertoire will be his downfall once he reaches the upper levels, I suspect.  But some scouts are encouraged by his fastball’s development, and if the 19-year-old can continue to refine his stuff, he could make for a decent mid-rotation type.  ETA:  2015

9.  Glynn Davis, OF:  Davis is a powerless center fielder, but with blazing speed, he projects as a plus-plus defender in center.  Solid on-base skills will allow for ample stolen base opportunities, too.  If he’s to make it in the bigs, though, his hit tool will need to show significant improvement as he moves to Double-A in 2013.  ETA:  Late 2014

 10.  Xavier Avery, OF:  Top-tier athleticism has always been the main attraction with Avery.  We’ve been waiting on his bat to come around for quite some time now, and after a Triple-A line at .236/.330/.356 in 2012 (not to mention some lousy big league numbers), it seems that Avery will max-out as a fourth outfielder in the majors.  Some are reserving hope for the 22-year-old, but the window is closing quickly.  ETA:  2013

From Around The Web

  1. Dave Gruber says:
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    Hope everyone is right about Bundy. I remember too many other can’t-miss pitching prospects over the years to get my hopes up for yet another disappointment. If he is for real then it will. O longer be child a buss raising my children as O’s fans.

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      As often as we use phrases like “cant-miss” or “sure-thing” when discussing prospects, it’s still a guessing game. Bundy has the tools and makeup to be a star-level starting pitcher, but from a fan’s perspective, it might just be best to take the wait-and-see standpoint. In the fantasy game, though, it’s best to gamble on the touted prospects… the sooner you can identify & own these guys, the better off you’re gonna be.

  2. Big AL says:
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    12 man H2H league.Can only keep one player.I have Bautista,but I,m a little concerned about the wrist.He swings so hard and torques those wrists so much. Plus wrist injuries can sap power for awhile even after they heal up.So if he hadn’t hurt himself, this is a no brainer.The other 3 guys I have to pick from are E5, A-Gon and Allen Craig. What do you think ?

    • Scott Evans

      Scott Evans says:
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      Even with the injury, I lean toward Bautista. A-Gon would be my next choice if you can’t stomach the risk, but hopefully you have some time to make this decision — Bautista’s health should be a little clearer in a month or two.

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