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Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2013 (17) | 2012 (20) | 2011 (21) | 2010 (8) | 2009 (9)

2013 Affiliate Records
MLB: [85-77] AL East
AAA: [77-67] International League – Norfolk
AA: [71-71] Eastern League – Bowie
A+: [61-78] Carolina League – Frederick
A: [54-82] South Atlantic League – Delmarva
A(ss): [40-32] New York-Penn League — Aberdeen

Graduated Prospects
T.J. McFarland (LHP); Steve Johnson (RHP)

The Run Down
Hey, it’s our first weekend post! Draft season must be near. Rejoice!  And when you’re done rejoicing, feel free to take in some words about the Baltimore Orioles farm, a top heavy group, but its headliners are extreme high-impact.  There’s a case to be made for Kevin Gausman being the top rookie pitcher in 2014, and it’s equally plausible that Dylan Bundy could carry that title in 2015.  The top three arms in this group are about as impressive a trio as you’ll find across Minor League Baseball.  On the other side of things, however, there aren’t many heavy hitters here.  This Baltimore system is depleted when it comes to power bats, and it’s fairly light on offensive talent as a whole.  But considering the absurd power and general awesomeness of their big league hitters, I doubt that O’s fans are too concerned right now with that aspect of their farm.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects
1.  Kevin Gausman, RHP:  Gausman was seven outs away from graduating his prospect status in 2013, so I’m feeling sorta fortunate to still be able to include him on this list because, for fantasy purposes, this Orioles farm is thin, and I didn’t really want to dig much deeper than the 10 we have here.  Anyway, Gausman is as high-impact as they come, and among the 2014 SP rookies, he needs to be considered in the same class as Masahiro Tanaka and Taijuan Walker.  His 2013 line (5.66/1.34/49 in 47 IP) is, perhaps, influencing some to overlook the 22-year-old’s potential, but take it from me — that’d be unwise.  Superb command of three plus offerings (FB, CH, SL) give Gausman a front-end arsenal, and he’s in position to be pitching in the O’s rotation to begin the season.  As is the case with any young pitcher, there’s plenty that can go wrong, and inconsistencies are to be expected.  That said, it wouldn’t surprise me if Gausman were a top 15 SP in 2014.  ETA:  2014

2.  Dylan Bundy, RHP:  Bundy is working his way back from TJ surgery, and he’s only recently begun throwing.  He’s on track to return to live action sometime around mid-season, and there remains hope that he could be of service to the Orioles come August or September.  I wouldn’t bank on that, though.  More likely, Baltimore proceeds with extreme caution with their prized 21-year-old hurler, and even if he does surface in the bigs this season, his real fantasy impact won’t be until 2015.  Bundy still brings ace potential, but a lot remains to be seen on that end, as, contrary to popular belief, return to form after Tommy John is not a sure thing.  ETA:  Late 2014

3.  Hunter Harvey, RHP:  The 22nd overall pick in June, Harvey is yet another arm in this Baltimore org that brings legitimate front-of-the-rotation potential.  Like all high school draftees, his development will require some patience, but the 19-year-old has the makings of three plus pitches (FB, CB, CH), and at 6-foot-3, 175, he already looks the part.  Harvey will make is full-season debut in 2014 and he’s a must-own in all dynasty formats.  ETA:  2017

4.  Jonathan Schoop, 2B:  An impressive athlete with good skills at the plate, Schoop is the type of 2B who can offer fantasy relevance.  Injury disrupted his 2013 season, so it’s really not worth digging into his line, but throughout his minor league career, the 22-year-old has shown projectable skills at the plate.  Once he’s settled in the bigs, 20 HR seasons and an AVG in the neighborhood of .265 seems like an attainable projection.  ETA:  2014

5.  Henry Urrutia, OF:  While he doesn’t offer the type of power you’d hope for from a corner outfielder, Urrutia can hit.  The 26-year-old Cuban posted a .347/.406/.506 line in 81 games between Double-A and Triple-A in 2013, and he’s more than capable of hitting .300+ at the highest level right now.  He’ll compete for a spot on the big club this spring.  ETA:  2014

6.  Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP:  Rodriguez doesn’t bring the upside that the arms above offer, but he’s a safe bet to work his way into the Baltimore rotation sometime in the near future.  2013 saw him excel at the High-A level (2.85/1.21/66 in 85 IP) before regressing somewhat at Double-A — a pattern that should be familiar to folks who follow prospects.  The 20-year-old’s fastball/slider combo is whiff-inducing, and it will only improve as he gains more experience versus the advanced hitters of the upper levels.  If his changeup makes progress, the overall outlook will improve, but for now, Rodriguez looks like a solid mid-rotation starter.  ETA:  Late 2014

7.  Chance Sisco, C:  Sisco is new to catching, so he’s going to require extreme patience, but there’s intriguing potential here, especially for fantasy purposes.  The 18-year-old is praised for his advanced approach, but the bat speed and hand-eye both grade above average, and altogether the offensive skill set is quite promising.  Sisco should get his first chance at full-season ball in 2014, and with a solid debut, he could be near the top of this list next year.  ETA:  2017

8.  Mike Wright, RHP:  Wright mixes four pitches (FB, CH, CB, SL), and he pounds the strike zone with all of ‘em.  Granted, not one of those offerings stands out as being especially great, but all four have the potential to be above average, and they play up thanks to a deceptive delivery.  The 24-year-old posted a 2013 line at 3.11/1.31/138 in 150 IP between Double-A and Triple-A.  He’ll be considered for starts in Baltimore if a need should arise at any point this season.  ETA:  2014

9.  Tim Berry, LHP:  This is where the impact potential on this list takes a severe dive.  Berry is a fine prospect, and he very likely has a career in front of him as a MLB pitcher, but the profile here doesn’t offer much excitement for fantasy purposes.  A nice fastball/change combo and a work-in-progress curve give the 22-year-old a starter’s repertoire, and if everything clicks, there’s #3 starter upside.  More likely, Berry ends up at the back of the rotation.  ETA:  2015

10.  Christian Walker, 1B:  Walker doesn’t offer the kind of pop you’d expect from a 1B, but he’s a skilled hitter, as evidenced by the .300/.362/.453 line he posted across three levels (A-, A+, AA) in his first full-season of pro baseball.  There’s James Loney-ish potential here.  How exciting.  ETA:  2015

  1. Tehol Beddict says:
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    FIRST

  2. anoraxx says:
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    Scott, do you think Gausman will earn a spot in the starting rotation right out of the spring training?

  3. Count de Monetball says:
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    Thanks Scott! Having Saturday morning reads rocks. Thanks for the update on the o’s. By the way is the cut off for being a “graduated “prospect the same as losing your rookie eligibility in the major leagues?

  4. Del Griffith says:
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    Hey Scott, do you think Jermile Weeks will block Schoop long enough to be a factor for 2014?

    • @Del Griffith: Weeks seems to have the 2B job for now, but that will be an interesting battle this spring… I’m rooting for Schoop, as I think he offers more fantasy relevance.

  5. Eric W says:
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    historically does anybody know if there is any data showing age plays a role in successful TJ recovery? Or is it just a crap shoot? because that is kinda how it feels. Anyways excited to grab Gausman always love me a post hype guy.

    Thanks for the Sat Morning read!

    • @Eric W: I haven’t seen a study on this, but I’d also be interested to see the data… it stands to reason that younger arms would recover more quickly, but that’s just a speculative assumption on my part… my comment above is based on me seeing plenty of prospects undergo TJ & never return to their original form… my guess is that talent is the kicker in the equation & elite arms (which tend to be the most publicized TJ cases) usually bounce back

  6. Natty Boh says:
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    As a O’s fan, thanks for the read!

  7. Brian says:
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    Os fan, seems like with Gausman coming up, no need to spend heavily on a crappy pitcher. Now, that lineup….

  8. anoraxx says:
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    Scott, Ventura or Salazar in a keeper league?

    • @anoraxx: Ventura might bring a tick more upside, but Salazar is the safer option, so I’d roll with him…

    • BTD says:
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      @anoraxx: I like Ventura and Salazar, but I’d roll with Scott! ;)

  9. TheNewGuy says:
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    Intriguing offer time! Think this all depends on which ex-prospects you like more.

    Enquired about Gyorko (still on a minor league roster) and he says he wants either Segura ($0) or Kipnis ($6) of mine. Gyorko will be promoted for a free initial year, whereas I need to offer contracts to the other two which bumps up their salary cost.

    Gyorko at a free initial year then a contract feels mighty mighty valuable even in an OBP league. Due to the slight uncertainty over Segura’s true value (was he over his head 1st half), would you take Gyorko over him? Terrible team but man that guy can hit. Plus I have Hamilton now for speed…

      • TheNewGuy says:
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        @Scott Evans: Interesting. Not sold on Gyorko then? Or is it more down to ballpark/lineup.

          • TheNewGuy says:
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            @Scott Evans: Sounds like you’re sold on him then. What do you expect from him next year, something similar to his 300/10/30 of 2013?

  10. goodfold2 says:
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    scott, my pick is up next and Tirado is gone, so Toles is the pick. However i’m just noticing that fields OF DET is listed as a SS in our league. so i put him out of my mind. but he’s OF (i need those). so toles or fields?

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @goodfold2: fields looks like the pick here, as he’s ranked 4th on DET by you (Toles 6th at TB by BA), except steals (which I need less than homers with my OF’ers and team in general). soon I’ll have a major pitching question (major by the number of pitchers involved) for my last pick this pre-season.

      • @goodfold2: Gotta focus on needs, but I still like Toles… Detroit has a pretty thin farm, so don’t pay attention to the ranks — one team’s rankings aren’t necessarily comparable to another’s…

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @Scott Evans: yeah, grey said toles too. some of these owners take over 12 hours, i’ll be back soon to give a huge pitcher list. i’m guessing toles projects to keep starting job and hit doubles/triples with his likely huge steals total, whereas fields due to terrible splits ends up as 4th OF type.

  11. goodfold2 says:
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    pick best 3 in case some of these are gone by my next turn in 23 picks.all pitchers as i now only have 5 pitcher prospects, and have only grabbed 1 in previous 3 picks.
    beck WSOX/sclafani MIA/ sappington LAA/ c.jones SD/ serrano COL/ martinez ARI/ flynn LP MIA/ contreras CIN/ urena MIA/ blach SF/ masek CUBS/ overton LP OAK/ immanuel LP HOU/ skulina CUBS/ g.williams SD/ zastryzny CUBS/ stankiewicz BOS/ brentz TOR/ vanegas OAK/ eden MIA/ church NYM/ kime CLE/ sherfly ARI/ quantril NYY/ a.brown CLE/ suggs MIA/ stites ARI/ de jong 9th for TOR/ s.gonzalez 8th for PHI/ gibson ARI/ crockett LP CLE/ severino NYY/ lively CIN/ sampson SD. that’s all of em. If none of these are that upsidey I could draft a position guy instead with the highest ranked of those being fields OF DET/ y.rodriquez OF CIN/ plawecki 1b/c NYM/ moya OF DET/ olsen 1b OAK/ altherr OF PHI. it’s also possible to grab one of those last guys with intention of trading to a team heavy with pitching prospects and weak at hitters at that position. thanks. Man there are a lot of baseball players useful for this league.

    • @goodfold2: That list of arms is pretty fringy… I’d prefer adding something with more upside at this point, like Altherr. Love his tools. Could bust out this season.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Scott Evans: with the one pick by the guy just in front of me taking toles (MF’er, one pick to go), i took altherr. now gotta find out what my last pick 23 picks later should be. one of those pitchers or something else. damn, both tirado and toles taken with less than 6 picks till me.

        • goodfold2 says:
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          @goodfold2: wonder if that owner reads this site. seems peculiar with one pick to go right after I ask Toles goes away, AND the normally upstanding owner takes 18 hours to make his pick. If so, nice to see ya Blue Jays, you got me this time.

            • goodfold2 says:
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              @Scott Evans: if so, don’t know why dude simply didn’t ask that question himself, unless he knows i’d ask it for him.

              • goodfold2 says:
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                @goodfold2: good news is my next pick (and last of this year’s draft) is 14 ahead of him. It’s also quite possible that he simply went by the fact that Toles was the highest listed BA (per team listed guy). As far as next pick I should dodge those pitchers completely due to little upside? (even jones SD and serrano COL (BA loves them, ranked both top 35, right around wahl territory amongst overall 250 list for 2013 players) and de jong (you seem to say upsidey, but very young)). What about marcos diplan TEX? If none of those (plus earlier list guys) are any good, i guess i’ll just grab best available player. Thanks.

                  • goodfold2 says:
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                    @Scott Evans: he actually does have a supplemental pick in 5 picks so now we’ll know for sure if he’s scooping me. thanks.

  12. John says:
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    Good stuff here. Love Harvey.

    Gary Sanchez and Miguel Almonte too much to give up for Jose Abreu if I am competing now?

    Thanks

    • @John: Not too much. I’d pull the trigger.

  13. Bruce Leroy says:
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    I’m trying to free up spots for my Draft. I’m in a dynasty league. 300 innings limit for minor leagues make players under 300 valuable. We have a 13 player minor league system. I am 2 players over the limit right now. Who would you drop out of these guys. Nick Kingham, Miguel almonte, Casey kelly, Jimmy nelson, folty, or Danny duffy, Daniel hudson, ogando, Randall delgado,Adam Brett walker, or emilio bonafacio. Thanks.

    • @Bruce Leroy: Depends on your needs… If you’ve got a stacked active roster & you’re good with steals, you can cut a guy like Emilio… Nelson & Kelly figure to be the lowest upside guys in the minors, but both have pretty decent floors…

  14. GTWMA says:
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    Any Oriole list that doesn’t include Ohlman is flawed.

    • goodfold2 says:
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      @GTWMA: he’s at the bottom of others though.

    • @GTWMA: 23 y.o. who hasn’t reached AA & likely won’t stick at catcher… if you think of him as a 1B/DH/OF, he’s not exciting. anyway, thanks for reading my flawed list.

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Scott Evans: a guy today asked for some change and a gave him 7 cents. he threw it back at me! now imagine that 7 cents wasn’t easy to find at all, then imagine that MY 7 cents is actually likely better than the other hard to find 7 cents anybody will find on the internet/life

      • GTWMA says:
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        @Scott Evans: Yet a 22 year old who didn’t even get within a country mile of Ohlman’s numbers playing in the exact same league and a 27 year old corner OF projected to hit 10-15 HRs with a .330 OBP are exciting. Think I’ll trust fangraphs, baseballamerica and sickels on Ohlman.,

        • Sky

          Sky says:
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          @GTWMA: Just don’t pay attention to mlb.com then, either. They have him 14. It’s not going to help your confirmation bias one bit.

          • @Sky: I dunno, Sky, he’s making some good points… decided to revise my list & include Ohlman. I hope everyone reads it –> http://goo.gl/2ZzrCA

  15. goodfold2 says:
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    cord phelps worth keeping or trade for a 5th round pick, i have a ton of MI. Or would I be better off just trying to either trade him for some sort of prospect pitcher (wouldn’t be high one, clearly), or just keep him?

  16. BTD says:
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    O’s fan here! I think Gausman will be in the rotation by mid-season, but I don’t think he’ll break camp there. I think the O’s will (unfortunately) find some retread arm to trot out there every 5th day and wait for the injury bug/ineptitude to reveal itself… It’ll ‘stretch’ the innings a bit for Gausman so he’s starting later in the season. Bundy will probably be in the pen in the second half (or exclusively in the minors). I’m pretty excited about Gausman, Bundy and Harvey! Throw in Tillman and a #5… I think the front office is eyeing the 2016-2017 window when their SPs are coming into form.

    ** AL/NL only leaguers: If the season isn’t projecting for a .500+ line fairly early, they’ll be sellers (Weiters and Hardy especially, but Davis and an SP or two maybe).

    Many of the local guys seem to like Ohlman better than Sisco. But most lists have them pretty close (basically interchangable). Either way, we’re probably not talking about 2014 production. We’re talking post-Wieters 2015/2016.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20140122&content_id=66901214&vkey=news_bal&c_id=bal

    Reports have that Urrutia put on about 20 lbs this off-season. He could be an interesting match up DH (Brandon Moss with less power).

    Schoop has been irratic. Mediocre then flashes of brilliance, then underwhelming. I’m not really sure what to think of him. (Machado had similar tendencies though, for what that’s worth.) I sincerely hope you’re right about him though. But I think it’s a pretty open competition at 2B this year. But I’m pretty sure Flaherty has photos of Buck though…

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