Organizational Talent Rankings via Baseball America
2014 (12) | 2013 (17) | 2012 (20) | 2011 (21) | 2010 (8)

2014 Affiliate Records
MLB: [96-66] AL East
AAA: [65-79] International League – Norfolk
AA: [72-70] Eastern League – Bowie
A+: [65-72] Carolina League – Frederick
A: [66-73] South Atlantic League – Delmarva
A(ss): [27-48] New York-Penn League – Aberdeen

Graduated Prospects
Jonathan Schoop, INF | Kevin Gausman, RHP

The Gist
The Orioles’ farm is headlined by two solid pitching prospects, although both have dealt with elbow injuries of late. Dylan Bundy may see MLB time later this year along with hitting prospects Christian Walker and Dariel Alvarez. The top half of this farm is pretty solid from a fantasy standpoint, and the Orioles already have nice young talent at the major league level in Manny Machado, Kevin Gausman, and Jonathan Schoop. Gausman was a good arm to own in the second half of 2014 after yo-yoing in the first, and may take a major step forward this year. Meanwhile, Schoop popped 16 homers in his rookie campaign. Machado is still just 22 years old and obviously has massive potential. With a bounce back from Chris Davis, this could be a very nasty offense in 2015.

Top Ten Fantasy Prospects

1. Dylan Bundy, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2015

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
1 3 3.27 9 9 0 41.1 38 15 15 0 3.5 8.1 .250

I can count on one hand the number of pitching prospects I am truly excited about, and Bundy is still one of them despite Tommy John surgery that cost him all of 2013. We’ll have to temper expectations for his 2015 impact as he eases his way back into form, but there is still frontline starter potential here and that can’t be said for most of the arms in the minors. All his pitches grade as plus or better, making him a great fantasy option that can accumulate the solid strikeout numbers we look for in our fantasy starters. This might be the last chance to buy Bundy at a discount in keepers and dynasties.

2. Hunter Harvey, RHP | Age: 20 | ETA: 2016

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
7 5 3.18 17 17 0 87.2 66 39 31 5 3.4 10.9 .209

Bundy has the #1 starter ceiling, but Harvey is right behind him with the potential to be a #2 who also puts up good strikeout numbers. Unfortunately, Harvey has dealt with injury problems of his own, and had to be shut down early in 2014. He should be fine to start the season, but it’s worth monitoring if you hold shares or have thought about pursuing him in a league. Harvey has a plus fastball and curve and just needs to prove his health this season to cement himself as a top fantasy pitching prospect. The injury scare may present a buying opportunity if he’s on a team with a nervous owner.

3. Christian Walker, 1B | Age: 23 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
599 73 153 25 2 26 96 9.3% 22.0% 2 1 .288 .357 .489

Walker is close to major league ready and should be up later this year. In 2014, he raked in 95 games at Double-A with 20 homers and a triple slash of .301/.367/.516. The 23-year-old didn’t fare quite as well in Triple-A but still managed to hit six homers in 44 games before getting 19 MLB plate appearances in late September. Walker doesn’t have huge upside, but there’s still the potential for around 20 homers from first base. It’s just not going to come with a high enough batting average to make him a fantasy star or somebody you’d rely on as your primary first baseman in shallower leagues.

4. Dariel Alvarez, OF | Age: 26 | ETA: 2015

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
564 75 163 37 3 15 87 3.7% 11.0% 8 5 .306 .330 .472

If you read through the offseason quotes from the Orioles, they seem to be really high on Alvarez and his ability to contribute in 2015, calling him “one of the best kept secrets in the minors.” He may even get a shot at the right field gig (although they did also sign Travis Snider). The Cuban outfielder had a good first full season in 2014, showing an aggressive approach and putting up solid numbers in Double-A. The caveat is that he managed to do that at an age where he was older for the level and at 26 he’s on the older side for a prospect in general. In deeper leagues, he’s a good play to help add depth to a roster that is competing in the short term since it sounds like the Orioles will give him reps.

5. Jomar Reyes, 3B | Age: 18 | ETA: 2019

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
207 23 53 10 2 4 29 7.2% 18.4% 1 0 .285 .333 .425

Here’s my favorite kind of fantasy prospect – loads of upside but so far away you can probably acquire him when nobody’s looking. There’s plus power and at least an average hit tool already, so while Reyes may eventually move across the diamond (he’s huge), he should have value no matter where he plays. At 17, he was the sixth youngest player in the rookie level Gulf Coast League and more than held his own. His value could skyrocket in 2015 with a solid year at Delmarva and this would be a good time to get on board.

6. Chance Sisco, C | Age: 19 | ETA: 2017

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
478 56 145 27 2 5 63 8.8% 16.5% 1 2 .340 .406 .448

Insert the standard disclaimer about catching prospects and their risk/development time here. The 19-year-old backstop has average or better tools across the board, which would translate to roughly 15 homers and a .270 average on the offensive side of the ball. Defensively, he’s not a lock to stay behind the plate but there is still time for that to work itself out. Sisco is the type of prospect you’ll see ranked higher on traditional lists, but I don’t think you need to reach for him in fantasy outside of the deeper dynasty formats.

7. Josh Hart, OF | Age: 20 | ETA: 2018

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
377 24 87 5 2 1 28 5.8% 23.3% 13 5 .249 .294 .283

Hart’s value is going to come in his ability to steal bases. He’s kind of the classic center field/leadoff hitter profile that would be a good source of runs and steals in fantasy, but he has to prove himself as a hitter before that’s ever going to become a reality. On top of that, his ETA is pretty far off and meniscus surgery in 2014 won’t exactly speed things up. In deeper leagues where there are a boatload of prospects owned he’s a decent play, but there’s a chance he ends up as a fourth outfielder and the upside isn’t big enough for me to put him in the top half of the system.

8. Mike Yastrzemski, OF | Age: 24 | ETA: 2016

PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB% K% SB CS AVG OBP SLG
594 96 154 34 16 14 75 6.9% 19.2% 18 6 .288 .346 .490

Like Hart, there’s the risk Yaz ends up as a fourth outfielder, but at least he’s closer to contributing at the major league level even if his upside isn’t as great. Yastrzemski split time between three levels in 2014, racking up most of his plate appearances (286) in the Sally, where he was on the older side for the league. That’s also where he hit 10 of his 14 homers. Without a standout tool Yastrzemski can be saved for deeper formats, but he’s worth monitoring in Double-A this year since evaluators seem to like his makeup and polish.

9. Zach Davies, RHP | Age: 22 | ETA: 2016

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
10 7 3.35 21 20 0 110.0 106 50 41 8 2.6 8.9 .249

Davies doesn’t have anywhere near the raw stuff of Bundy or Harvey, but he can still end up as a mid-rotation starter thanks to solid command and control of his arsenal. He impressed in the Arizona Fall League after spending the entire season with Double-A Bowie. The 22-year-old right-hander increased his K/9 for the third straight year while also posting his second consecutive season with a sub-3 BB/9. It’s the polish and high floor that make him interesting. He’s also relatively close to the majors, and there is a non-zero chance he could see MLB innings at some point in 2015 should Baltimore have a need in their rotation.

10. Tim Berry, LHP | Age: 23 | ETA: 2016

W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB/9 K/9 AVG
6 7 3.51 23 23 0 133.1 122 57 52 12 3.0 7.3 .249

Berry’s upside is similar to Davies, so we’re talking about another mid-rotation starter at best. While his stuff is a little better, Berry may also end up in the bullpen down the road. The left-hander has three pitches – a fastball, changeup, and slurve. Like Davies, Berry will see Triple-A in 2015 with a chance to contribute in Baltimore at some point later in the year. There’s not much to see here in terms of fantasy value unless you play in a really deep league. Even if he hits his ceiling, he’s still going to be facing AL lineups in a tough ballpark.

Orioles Previews: 2014 | 2013

AL T10 Prospects Index

 
  1. Clint says:
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    So, would you draft Gausman this year and eye him as a breakout, biting the bullet on his likely rising price come draft time or just snag Bundy for a prospect spot off waivers after the draft & hold him in anticipation of 2016’s domination? I ask because I like Stroman and both of these guys and presume I’m only going to be able to get 2 of the 3 by opening day 2015.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d take Gausman and Stroman…not because I don’t like Bundy as well, but because they all have similar upside and those two have already had some success in the majors

  2. Yescheese says:
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    Dariel Alvarez vs Steven Souza… I know Souza has all the hype but what are the chances the two have very similar careers?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d take Souza…he’s got the power/speed combo going on while Alvarez won’t contribute much in steals

  3. notBaezaworldseries says:
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    You are too thorough. Can’t wait until you get to the Cubs system. Is there any scenario where you’d consider drafting J Baez 13th overall in a new 16 team 5×5 dynasty?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      ha, thanks! That’s a little high. I was just chatting about this today with somebody and the 50-60 range feels about right…and that’s if you’re high on him.

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        his invisibilty cloak is on

        • J-FOH says:
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          @Mike: tricky one we have here

  4. Schwab says:
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    Hey Mike,
    A keeper question. 8 Teams H2H points league. Can keep players for as long as you want. Each team keeps 15 players. Would you trade Hosmer, Cueto & Kluber for Goldy, Latos and his 1st round pick(2nd overall)?
    Thanks.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      yup, I think Goldy is a top 5 player in keepers

  5. goodfold2 says:
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    reyes might be the only #5 left (i’m out of town and don’t have my sheets in front of me) in my deep league. he’s only one left, as yas/berry taken this year, maybe hart too. davies by me.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      nice…scoop him up if you can

      • goodfold2 says:
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        @Mike: all star break bidding season stuff, and this year i’m up at the cap, so unless i really am not competing i probably won’t get any big names. If i stop competing i can sell off beltre’s 18 mil or werth’s 12 (or both) to get some bid money.

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          sounds good…he’s probably worth going after if you fall out of it

  6. SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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    hey Mike

    this might be a stupid eligibility question, but I’ve got the following poop keepers and I’m wondering if there’s a better way to arrange my team (with CI and 5 OF) prior to the draft to optimize other picks. obviously a lot of things can change depending on the draft itself, but I’m curious if you’d lock any of these guys in beforehand:

    Trumbo (1B/OF)
    Crush Davis (1B/3B)
    Brandon Moss (1B/OF)
    Arenado
    Cruz
    Lorenzo Cain

    thanks

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Arenado for sure…I like Davis of the others mentioned

      • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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        @Mike: sorry I meant where would you play them (ie. trumbo/moss in the OF, etc). They’re already my keepers unfortunately haha. Probably too many unknowns to answer that one tho

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          my bad…Crush at 3B, probably Moss/Trumbo in the OF or pop one in a CI slot

          • SheriffMcRawDawg says:
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            @Mike: thanks Mike. And quick hits: who are your top 3ish prospects who probably werent owned last year in redraft leagues… And I’m done

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              anytime…not sure who is available to you

              Buxton, Bryant, Correa are the top 3 prospects on my list

              • A Wesley Snipes Life says:
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                @Mike: correa for this year? it seems sheriff’s question had to do with guys top guys for producing this year (but maybe he didn’t mean that)@Mike:

  7. Sky

    Sky says:
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    Mike, it’s been my fantasy motto to never trust a high end Orioles pitching prospect. Where do you stand on my stanceless stance?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      haha I guess it makes sense…Arrieta and ERod look solid, although I guess you could argue it’s after they left Baltimore that things clicked…Tillman topped out at #22 on BA’s list in ’09 and he’s a major leaguer. Hop in the wayback machine for Erik Bedard.

      I think Matusz has been pretty disappointing since he checked in at #5 in 2010…

      fun fact: Trout was #85 that year…right behind Conger at 84

      • Sky

        Sky says:
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        That ‘ish is cray! Yeah, obviously fueled more by the last 5 or so years. It seems every big name arm from Baltimore disappoints or needs a change of scenery (or need to become BP arms) to become effective. There’s something to be said on how/if a team can work with and cultivate talent at certain growth levels. I stumped for Arrieta for a while and was constantly surprised he didn’t perform well in Baltimore exclude his RP stints. It’s why I haven’t even looked at Bundy or Gausman for fantasy. Just waiting for a trade!

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          I’m sure this has already been done somewhere, but it would be interesting to see which teams have the highest success rates with pitching prospects or on the flip side which ones have guys that bust/get injured more often

          really enjoyed your Freeman post today BTW

          • Sky

            Sky says:
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            Thanks! I want to do a few more in a similar vein but there are only so many players you can comp to. Freeman was easy pickins.

            That’s a good question and I do wonder how much study has been made in those areas; you’d think it would be out there. There is something to be said for team philosophy, whether it’s pitching or hitting. When I wrote up Alex Cobb as a sleeper in 2013. Some teams just know how to work with young talent or with certain traits and bring out the best. It’s why I think we will see a good year from Dan Straily. Now watch him not even make the starting rotation…

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              agreed

          • MattTruss

            MattTruss says:
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            @Mike: Would have to think the Braves would be near the top in pitching success rates.

            • Mike

              Mike says:
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              for sure…Teheran is a nice recent example of that

  8. Spyre says:
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    Hey Mike. I saw the NYY prospect post yesterday afternoon, and quickly sent JFOH an email about the dynasty league. No word back yet, but I’m worried I saw too late and missed out. Is there any room left for me?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      mine’s full but Smokey’s might still have spot…shoot JFOH another email today

      [email protected]

      good luck!

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