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February 15, 2013

Prospects Will Break Your Heart

Baltimore Orioles Top 10 Prospects

by Jason Parks

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State of the Farm:Two of us wearing raincoats, standing solo in the sun. You and me chasing paper, getting nowhere. We're on our way home. We're on our way home.”

Prospect rankings primer

The Top Ten

  1. RHP Dylan Bundy
  2. RHP Kevin Gausman
  3. IF Jonathan Schoop
  4. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez
  5. RHP Mike Wright
  6. IF Nick Delmonico
  7. OF L.J. Hoes
  8. RHP Branden Kline
  9. SS Adrian Marin
  10. LHP Josh Hader

1. Dylan Bundy
Position: RHP
DOB: 11/15/1992
Height/Weight: 6’1’’ 195 lbs.
Bats/Throws: B/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2011 draft, Owasso High School (Owasso, OK)
2012 Stats: 0.00 ERA (30 IP, 5 H, 40 K, 2 BB) at Low-A Delmarva; 2.84 ERA (57 IP, 48 H, 66 K, 18 BB) at High-A Frederick; 3.24 ERA (16.2 IP, 14 H, 13 K, 8 BB) at Double-A Bowie; 0.00 ERA (1.2 IP, 1 H, O K, 1 BB) at major-league level
The Tools: 7+ FB; 6+ potential CB; 6 potential CH; 8 potential CT/SL

What Happened in 2012: After signing, Bundy did things to Low-A hitters that would make the hardest of prisoners weep like school children.

Strengths: Elite combination of stuff and pitchability; plus-plus arm strength; excellent arm action; excellent delivery; from high ¾ slot, creates good plane; fastball is near elite pitch; works 94-98; explosive life; very easy; curveball has intense late bite/tight rotation; 12/6 shape; plus pitch; changeup comes from fastball arm; good deception; future plus pitch; best secondary pitch not used in minors; 8 potential cutter; devastating pitch; velo/late glove-side cut; feel for pitching; dangerous power arm.

Weaknesses: Good control, but command within the zone is still loose; needs to finish delivery and work down; curveball thrown for strikes, but often high in the zone; changeup is more deception than action; can get too firm.

Overall Future Potential: High 7; no. 1 starter

Explanation of Risk: Low risk; reached majors in first season; has arsenal and feel for the mound to be special.

Fantasy Future: Has the potential to develop into one of the best arms in baseball, with all the numbers that come with that distinction.

The Year Ahead: There were a few sources that felt Bundy could have started his professional career at the major-league level and held his own, which is an insane outcome for a high school arm. Despite having little to prove in the minors, Bundy might have to crush a few more minor-league hopes and dreams before he gets the call back to the majors. Once he arrives in the rotation, he will be there to stay, with a potent combination of stuff, pitchability, and confidence, the latter being just as vital to his future success. Bundy is a stud, he knows he’s a stud, and pretty soon, major-league hitters will know as well. He will need to stay over the ball and work down, and the secondary stuff could use more refinement, but it’s not going to take long for Bundy to become must-see-MLB.tv.

Major league ETA: 2012

2. Kevin Gausman
Position: RHP
DOB: 01/06/1991
Height/Weight: 6’4’’ 185 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 1st round, 2012 draft, Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge,
LA)
2012 Stats: 0.00 ERA (6 IP, 1 H, 5 K, 0 BB) at short-season Aberdeen; 6.00 ERA (9 IP, 10 H, 8 K, 1 BB) at High-A Frederick
The Tools: 7 FB; 6 potential SL; 7 potential CH

What Happened in 2012: The fourth overall pick in the 2012 draft, many talent evaluators had Gausman rated as the top prospect available in the entire class.

Strengths: Excellent size/present strength; arm is very loose and live; fastball is plus-plus table-setter; can pound the zone at 93-97 mph; slider has plus potential; thrown with velocity and extremely sharp tilt; changeup can work plus; excellent arm speed with good arm-side fading action and some weight; efficient pitcher; can hold velocity.

Weaknesses: Still finding command over the slider; can overthrow; likes to challenge hitters up; more stuff than pitchability at present.

Overall Future Potential: 7; number two starter on a championship level team

Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; limited professional experience; stuff to survive even if pitchability limits ultimate upside.

Fantasy Future: Has the potential to develop into a high-impact arm in the rotation; should log innings, rack up wins, and miss a lot of bats.

The Year Ahead: Like Bundy, several evaluators thought he was ready to jump to the major-league level fresh from the amateur ranks. With excellent size and three pitches that will eventually grade out in the plus range, Gausman is built to be a major-league starter for a very long time. Refining his command and overall secondary execution can push him forward in 2013, and it shouldn’t take long for the 22-year-old to make a name for himself in the Orioles rotation. Going forward, Bundy and Gausman have the potential to form one of the most potent one-two punches in the game.

Major league ETA: 2013

3. Jonathan Schoop
Position: IF
DOB: 10/16/1991
Height/Weight: 6’1’’ 195 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2008, Curacao
2012 Stats: .245/.324/.386 at Double-A Bowie (124 games)
The Tools: 6 arm; 5 glove; 5+ potential hit/power

What Happened in 2012: His Double-A debut was hit and miss, but his 21-game stint in the Arizona Fall League gave evaluators a taste of his future promise.

Strengths: Good athlete; good size; shows game skills; loose swing; good overall feel for hitting; has some pop; can use the gaps; punishes left-handed pitching; good fundamentals on defense; 5 glove; arm is plus and can play on left-side; versatile.

Weaknesses: Questions about hit utility against high-end pitching; swing can get long; will extended early; crushes balls out over the plate, but struggles on the inner half; chewed up by arm-side stuff; power “only” projects to average; below-average run; lacks the range for shortstop at major-league level; good glove at second, but lower half can look stiff; footwork can be clumsy.

Overall Future Potential: High 5; solid-average regular at second base

Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; questions about bat; already played at Double-A level; shows ability to adjust.

Fantasy Future: Has the ability to stick at second; can provide solid-offense from position; ~.275 avg/15 HR pop;

The Year Ahead: Schoop is a top 101 prospect in baseball, but often gets mentioned as a potential impact talent at the major-league level, and sources are mixed as to that eventuality. Most see the young infielder as a future major leaguer in some form --be it as a starting second baseman or perhaps at third --but the offensive output will make the player and reports on the bat are diverse; some believe in the power potential and overall hittability, while others are concerned about his arm-side struggles and ability to stay back on quality offspeed stuff. 2013 is a huge year for Schoop, as he can position himself for a major-league job in 2014, or he can fall victim to his weaknesses in the upper minors.

Major league ETA: 2014

4. Eduardo Rodriguez
Position: LHP
DOB: 04/07/1993
Height/Weight: 6’2’’ 175 lbs.
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2010, Venezuela
2012 Stats: 3.70 ERA (107 IP, 103 H, 73 K, 30 BB) at Low-A Delmarva
The Tools: 6 FB; 5+ potential SL/CH

What Happened in 2012: In his full-season debut, the fastball matured throughout the season, ending up as a plus pitch and propelling the young lefty up prospect lists.

Strengths: Projectable body/stuff; repeats delivery; arm is fluid and fast; fastball can work in the 88-92 range; touches higher in bursts; shows some arm-side life; changeup plays well off fastball; good arm speed and action; slider shows above-average potential; can throw strikes; shows pitchability.

Weaknesses: Needs to continue to add strength; find comfort/utility in enhanced stuff; questions about ability to maintain velocity deep into games; secondary arsenal is still more flash than fire.

Overall Future Potential: 5; no. 3/4 starter

Explanation of Risk: High risk; questions about sustainability of stuff; long road ahead.

Fantasy Future: Lots of unknowns, but Rodriguez could end up with three solid-average to plus pitches, all from the left side. Needs to get stronger, but could develop into mid-rotation arm at full maturity.

The Year Ahead: As with most prospects that see their stuff tick up throughout a season, the jury will still be out until that stuff shows back up again the next season. Reports on Rodriguez were very positive, but the didn’t contain the type of glowing language that makes your heart skip a beat. Put Rodriguez on your follow list and pay attention to his progress in 2013. If he proves to be the real deal, the velocity will hold steady and the secondary stuff will remain sharp. He’ll be a 20-year-old in High-A, and as the production starts to catch up to the stuff, the prospect status really could jump.

Major league ETA: 2015

5. Mike Wright
Position: RHP
DOB: 01/03/1990
Height/Weight: 6’5’’ 195 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 3rd round, 2011 draft, East Carolina University (Greenville, NC)
2012 Stats: 2.91 ERA (46.1 IP, 47 H, 35 K, 5 BB) at High-A Frederick; 4.91 ERA (62.1 IP, 71 H, 45 K, 17 BB) at Double-A Bowie
The Tools: 5+ FB; 5+ potential SL; 5 CH

What Happened in 2012: Fast moving third round pick from 2011, Wright finished the season with 12 starts at the Double-A level before heading to the prospect-heavy Arizona Fall League.

Strengths: Excellent height; lean/athletic frame; some room to add strength; good delivery; pounds the zone with a low-90s fastball; can touch mid-90s; some sink in the lower zone; shows an average slider that can flash a little better; effective against RH; can execute an average changeup; has some action; holds fastball velocity into games.

Weaknesses: Secondary arsenal is average; slider can get slow and slurvy; changeup can get deliberate in the delivery; throws strikes, but often lives over the plate; some think he profiles better as a reliever.

Overall Future Potential: 5; no. 4 starter

Explanation of Risk: Moderate risk; already pitched at Double-A level; average-to-solid average now arsenal; some room to refine.

Fantasy Future: Body to log innings; could be league-average type that makes 30 starts and keeps it close; lacks impact potential as a starter; could fall into bullpen role where stuff could play up.

The Year Ahead: Wright isn’t a flashy prospect, and his ceiling isn’t going to strain anybody’s neck. But he’s a long-limbed pitcher that can pound the strike zone with a heavy low-90s fastball and compliments it with two playable secondary offerings. Reports on the mechanical profile and command are solid, and if he can push one of the secondary offerings beyond a 5 grade, he can miss more bats and improve his odds of sticking around in a rotation.

Major league ETA: 2013

6. Nick Delmonico
Position: IF
DOB: 07/12/1992
Height/Weight: 6’2’’ 195 lbs.
Bats/Throws: L/R
Drafted/Acquired: 6th round, 2011 draft, Farragut High School (Knoxville, TN)
2012 Stats: .249/.351/.411 at Low-A Delmarva (95 games)
The Tools: 5 potential hit/power; 5 arm

What Happened in 2012: Making his professional debut, Delmonico jumped straight to the full-season level, where he showed an advanced approach and good pop in the Sally League.

Strengths: Solid athlete; good present strength; projectable hitting ability; potential for 5/5 hit/power; mature approach for age; tracks well; has a plan at the plate; solid arm; gamer type.

Weaknesses: Future tied to bat; lacks plus tools; glove/range not ideal at second base; most likely a corner defensive player; chewed up by arm-side pitching

Overall Future Potential: 5; second-division player

Explanation of Risk: High risk; good approach, but lacks plus tools; has to maximize on offense to have value

Fantasy Future: As a second baseman, a .265-plus hitter with 15-plus HR home run potential is a very nice player, but the same production doesn’t offer much if he has to move to first base down the line.

The Year Ahead: With only one season under his belt, there are still more unknowns about Delmonico’s game than knowns. The bat will have to play, and several sources were high on the potential, as the 20-year-old shows the ability to put the stick on the ball and make loud contact. Everybody seems to have an opinion about his future defensive home, be it as a fringe third baseman, fringe second baseman, or perhaps even a catcher, but the most likely home will be at first base, where the bat will need to exceed expectations to offer much at the highest level.

Major league ETA: 2015

7. L.J. Hoes
Position: OF
DOB: 03/05/1990
Height/Weight: 6’0’’ 190 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 3rd round, 2008 draft, St. John’s High School (Washington, D.C.)
2012 Stats: .265/.368/.372 at Double-A Bowie (51 games); .300/.374/.397 at Triple-A Norfolk (82 games); .000/.000/.000 at major league level (2 games)
The Tools: 5 potential hit; 5+ glove; 5 arm

What Happened in 2012: A return trip to the Southern League sparked a journey that found him at the major-league level in late September, a destination he’d like to call home in 2013.

Strengths: Good baseball skills; can put the bat to the ball; can work counts; can run the bases; very good fundamental/situational player; glove is solid-average; good reads and routes in the outfield; arm plays; 5 all-around defender; good overall feel for the game.

Weaknesses: Lacks impact tools; hit tool is average at best; power is below average; speed is fringe; exposure to advanced pitching could limit opportunities as a major league regular

Overall Future Potential: Low 5; fourth outfielder/second-division player

Explanation of Risk: Low; has the baseball skills to play in the field; approach and contact ability to make a pitcher work

Fantasy Future: Hoes is unlikely to emerge as a major-league regular, but he does have some contact ability and some secondary skills at the plate; despite fringe speed, is a good baserunner.

The Year Ahead: Sources are mixed on the player that Hoes can become, but most agree that he is more likely to contribute as a bench player than a regular. The profile is the problem, as the defensive skill-set is better served in left but the bat looks better up the middle. If he can hit for average and develop more power than we’ve projected, he has a chance to be a second-division starter. If not, the floor is a valuable role player with valuable versatility, and that’s not a bad player to have on the 25-man.

Major league ETA: 2012

8. Branden Kline
Position: RHP
DOB: 09/29/1991
Height/Weight: 6’3’’ 195 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 2nd round, 2012 draft, University of Virginia (Charlottesville, VA)
2012 Stats: 4.50 ERA (12 IP, 12 H, 12 K, 4 BB) at short-season Aberdeen
The Tools: 6 potential FB; 5 potential CH/SL

What Happened in 2012: Drafted in the second round, Kline made only four starts in the New York-Penn League but showed bat missing ability and a deep arsenal.

Strengths: Excellent size; shows a fast arm; good extension; low-90s fastball; touches higher in bursts; multiple breaking ball looks; slider could be solid-average offering; can turn over a changeup; could see stuff step up to impact level out of the bullpen.

Weaknesses: Mechanical inconsistencies; can lose his delivery; fastball shows velocity, but can lose movement; lacks knockout secondary offering at present.

Overall Future Potential: 5; no. 4 starter/reliever

Explanation of Risk: High risk; short-season resume; lacks impact stuff (at present).

Fantasy Future: Has the potential to find a home at the back of a rotation, with a deep arsenal and a body built to log innings. In relief, stuff would play up and could have late-inning potential.

The Year Ahead: As a starter, Kline could develop into a solid but not spectacular back-end type (and maybe more), with a plus fastball and several average-to-solid average secondary offerings. He has some feel for pitching, but the delivery can get out of whack and his raw stuff can play down, especially in longer stints. Several sources thought his ultimate role would come out of the bullpen, a role he was familiar with in college. It’s still early in the process, but 2013 will tell us a lot about Kline and the developmental path he is set to take going forward.

Major league ETA: 2015

9. Adrian Marin
Position: SS
DOB: 03/08/1994
Height/Weight: 5’10’’ 165 lbs.
Bats/Throws: R/R
Drafted/Acquired: 3rd round, 2012 draft, Gulliver Prep (Miami, FL)
2012 Stats: .287/.339/.360 at complex level GCL (47 games); .286/.348/.286 at
Low-A Delmarva (6 games)
The Tools: 5 arm; 5 potential hit; 6 run; 5 glove

What Happened in 2012: The third-round pick spent most of the short-season at the complex level, but he did dip his toes into full-season water with a six game sample of Sally League baseball.

Strengths: Instinctual player; has the raw tools to handle shortstop; arm is solid with quick release; glove and actions are solid-average; good range; plus run; has some hitability; not an empty contact swing; can drive the ball; lots of room to improve.

Weaknesses: Some sources don’t think the arm strength is ideal for the left side of the infield; mixed reviews of the glove; lacks impact tools at the plate; if moved to second base, bat will need to exceed expectations.

Overall Future Potential: 5; second-division player

Explanation of Risk: High risk; complex league resume; questions about defensive profile and bat.

Fantasy Future: If he reaches his potential, could be a .~270 hitter with good speed and extra-base hit ability; should be able to swipe a few bases; won’t hit for many balls over the fence.

The Year Ahead: Marin is ready to jump to the full-season level and put his prospect status to the test. If he can stick at shortstop, he’s a completely different kind of prospect, one that will no doubt move up this list. The bat has question marks as well, but he will play the 2013 season as a 19-year-old, so the future is still very cloudy. He shows some bat-to-ball ability and has the legs to force the issue, so he has the potential to hit for average. Again, it comes back to his defensive profile, as that particular skill-set is very valuable at the highest level, even if the bat underperforms.

Major league ETA: 2016

10. Josh Hader
Position: LHP
DOB: 04/07/1994
Height/Weight: 6’3’’ 160 lbs.
Bats/Throws: L/L
Drafted/Acquired: 19th round, 2012 draft, Old Mill High School (Millersville, MD)
2012 Stats: 2.66 ERA (20.1 IP, 12 H, 35 K, 7 BB) at complex level GCL; 0.00 ERA (8.1 IP, 2 H, 13 K, 2 BB) at short-season Aberdeen
The Tools: 6 potential FB; 5+ potential CB; 5 potential CH

What Happened in 2012: A local kid popped in the 19th round, Hader surprised many by showing better-than-expected stuff at the complex, missing 35 bats in only 20 innings of work.

Strengths: Highly projectable; very long and athletic; shows some pitchability; arm has some life it in; fastball can work low-90s; projects to be plus offering; very good late arm-side life; curveball will flash plus potential; good spin; some feel for changeup.

Weaknesses: Still physically underdeveloped; needs to add strength; needs to hold stuff once he moves into rotation; limited looks beyond short burst; hard to gauge true nature of stuff.

Overall Future Potential: 5; no. 4 starter

Explanation of Risk: High risk; limited professional experience; big gap between present/future

Fantasy Future: This kid is only 18 and has only pitched out of the bullpen in short-season ball, so its hard to say what he could develop into; mid-back rotation arm based on the initial projections.

The Year Ahead: Hader is a high-risk arm that could develop in a number of different ways, including taking a step forward in ’13 that would put him on the prospect map. He has size and the physical projection to add strength, his fastball can already work in the low-90s, and he can spin a quality breaking ball. We shall see what happens when he logs more innings and throws more pitches, but you have to like the ingredients the Orioles have to work with. Could be quite the steal in the 19th round.

Major league ETA: 2016

Prospects on the Rise:

1. RHP Zachary Davies: A 26th-round draft pick in 2011, Davies might not look the part, but he is most certainly a pitcher to keep an eye on. The stuff isn’t crazy, but his feel for pitching and deep arsenal should allow him to keep minor-league hitters off balance and off the pedestrian fastball.

2. IF Hector Veloz: A 19-year-old Dominican that showed legit pop in his stateside debut, Veloz could jump up the prospect queue in 2013 with a strong short-season campaign in the New York-Penn League. He’s not likely to make a name for himself defensively, but if the hit/power develop to projections, Veloz’s bat will play anywhere. In a system thin on power bats, Veloz could emerge as the most intriguing.

3. RHP Brady Wager: Working in the low-90s out of the rotation and hitting the mid-90s out of the bullpen, Wager is a likely candidate to climb the prospect rankings in 2013. He will mix in a mid-80s slider and a changeup, with the former showing above-average potential at times. Most likely a bullpen arm, Wager could move quickly if deployed in that role.

Factors on the Farm (Prospects likely to contribute at the ML level in 2013

1. OF Xavier Avery: A player with vocal supporters and even louder critics, Avery failed to make the cut on the top 10 list, but should leave his mark at the major-league level in 2013. In his 32-game exposure last season, Avery’s bat fell short, which is the main question mark in his skill-set, and one that could make him a major-league regular or relegate him to a bench role.

2. LHP Mike Belfiore: Relievers that profile as arm-side specialists don’t make sexy prospects, but when they can offer a cheap service at the major-league level, the value rises. Belfiore isn’t there yet, having only reached the Double-A level in 2012, but with a lively low-90s fastball and a functional secondary arsenal (that includes a good slider), his ability to disarm lefty bats could come in handy at the major-league level at some point in 2013.

3. RHP Steve Johnson: With a deep arsenal and strong pitchability, Johnson has found a way to get outs without big stuff. It’s not even close to be sexy, but getting outs is the name of the game, and the 25-year-old righty finds a way to make it work, mixing his pitches, changing sight lines, forcing weak contact and even missing bats. He’s most likely a no. 6 starter, but if he can continue to baffle hitters at the major-league level, the Orioles will find a way to utilize his arm.

Top 10 Talents 25 And Under (born 4/1/87 or later)

  1. Dylan Bundy, RHP
  2. Kevin Gausman, RHP
  3. Manny Machado, 3B
  4. Chris Tillman, RHP
  5. Jonathan Schoop, 2B/3B
  6. Zach Britton, LHP
  7. Eduardo Rodriguez, RHP
  8. Mike Wright, RHP
  9. Nick Delmonico, 3B/1B
  10. L.J. Hoes, OF

While the minor-league system remains thin, the Baltimore Orioles are in a position to have as many as the top six names on this list contributing at the major-league level by the start of 2014. Over 51 games, 20-year-old Manny Machado held his own at the plate while showing flashes of plus defense at the hot corner. He’ll return to third base in 2013 and, along with shortstop J.J. Hardy, should provide defensive stability on the left side of the infield. Machado projects to an above average offensive profile, though he’ll need to continue to make at-bat to at-bat adjustments.

L.J. Hoes and Xavier Avery could each see some time in the outfield in a reserve role, with Hoes still potentially projecting as a second-division starter, long term. Jonathan Schoop will likely return to Double-A Bowie with a shot at a late-season call-up, and will play all of 2013 as a 21-year-old.

On the bump, Baltimore will look for Chris Tillman to build off of last year’s performance as the former top 20 prospect continues to work towards his no. 2 ceiling. Tillman showed improved consistency in his pitch execution during the second half of the summer, which aided in his ability to more successfully sequence. Zach Britton missed a chunk of 2012 due to shoulder soreness and will have to prove that off-season strengthening efforts were successful. He retains no. 2/3 upside, but needs to show he’s healthy and capable of implementing his sinker with more precision, particularly down in the zone.

Steve Johnson could contribute from the pen or eat innings in the rotation depending on the team’s needs throughout the summer, while Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman should be capable of providing positive value at the major-league level this summer if needed. With continued development, both Bundy and Gausman could be fixtures at the front of the rotation in the near future. –Nick Faleris

A Parting Thought: While players like Rodriguez and Schoop are exciting and have respectable projections, this relatively weak system is supported by the enormous ceilings of Bundy and Gausman.

Last year's Orioles rankings

Special thanks to Nick Faleris, Chris Mellen, Mark Anderson, and Jason Cole for the input and influence on this list.

Jason Parks is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here

45 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

BP Comment Quick Links

rimmer93117

Gausman over Machado....please elaborate (absolutely love the work, just thought this might deserve a whole page to itself..)

Feb 15, 2013 04:46 AM
rating: 5
 
tommybones

Yes, that jumped out at me, too....

Feb 15, 2013 05:26 AM
rating: 3
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

Machado's bat at third base less impactful than shortstop and, even if Hardy were elsewhere, I'm not fully sold on Machado as a shortstop long term. Gausman was, for me, the top talent in the draft last year and is a potential front-ender with high floor. I do not take issue with any arrangement of the top three on the list, but right now Gausman is a better overall talent than Machado for me. Potential for three plus or better offerings (and maybe two plus-plus), great body, creates angles, good presence and big makeup.

Feb 15, 2013 05:28 AM
 
rimmer93117

Thanks (& double thanks for responding on Twitter) I guess the hesitation of up the middle future & being admittedly bold on Gausman kinda solves that. I do love Gausman's mechanics (leg lift & hip torque as a result, plus GREAT plane on FB) but that is all YouTube scouting as I'm out here in SoCal...just the business wide love for Machado & him holding his own last year made me feel the Gausman ranking was aggressive, but I love that you trust your eyes...really appreciate it once again - you guys are churning out great work as a staff.

Feb 15, 2013 05:54 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

Much appreciated! Ultimately, it's a matter of taste as to how you come down on Machado/Bundy/Gausman. All three are potential All-Stars and it would not be a shock to see any of the three wind up with the most productive ML career.

Feb 15, 2013 06:01 AM
 
rimmer93117

Fair enough...the final hours of my graveyard shift can't get better than this

Feb 15, 2013 06:16 AM
rating: 0
 
DeathSpeculum

wowzer. that was a shock to me too. what about zimmer v gausman and zimmer v machado? are you just that high on gausman or is it the difference between machado having an all world bat at short and avg to above avg at 3rd?

Feb 15, 2013 08:35 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

For me, Gausman over Zimmer. Gausman was, in my mind, the top talent in the draft last year. I'm less bullish on Zimmer than was much of the BP Prospect Team, so I'd probably slot Machado ahead of him.

Feb 15, 2013 08:38 AM
 
MaineSkin

I see Machado's calm and natural demeanor working against him in the prospect world. He's 3 mo older than Harper and was having a better projected season until Harper went nuts in September we all know what September stats can mean.
No, Machado is not Harper, but he is going to open some eye's when he's legally able to drink.
Harper is violent, Machado is short compact swing that gets full extension with easy oppo power. He hit a SL, CB and FB for HRs learning a new position in a pennant race.
I hope Gausmen is better than Machado, but I just cannot wait until Machado starts peppering the AL East with 380 ft. LDs.

Feb 22, 2013 20:42 PM
rating: 0
 
huztlers
Other readers have rated this comment below the viewing threshold. Click here to view anyway.

I don't really even understand why this needs to be elaborated on. What about Machado has superstar potential? He is already moved off of SS... he has never shown plus power, hit tool or speed. He WAS a top draft pick - if that makes you a superstar then that's fine... but as far as actual skills, Machado is no superstar. Maybe he will be someday - but the chance is not much greater than any other prospect with MLB level tools.

If we are going to go crazy with projection, then we may as well just pick the guy with less experience. In which case we should go with Gausman. Machado overachieved in his callup with his insane start and strong finish. Even with those numbers, he was nothing special. At least Gausman has the chance to light the world on fire. Machado had already and a few chances and he never will. He doesn't have that kind of talent. I don't believe in Gausman, but at least there is a chance that he could be MVP-caliber if for no reason other than this will be his first full season.

Feb 15, 2013 19:47 PM
rating: -5
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Machado has a much better chance of being a superstar than most prospects because he does in fact have plus (to plus-plus) tools. He was playing at the major league level as a 20-year-old. That's very special.

Feb 16, 2013 08:00 AM
 
BarryR

He wasn't just playing as a 20 year old (and in a baseball sense, he was technically a 19 year old, as his birthday was 7/6/92), he was hitting the ball hard as a 20 year old. He slugged .445 with a .183 ISO. The only other 20 year old third basemen with at least 200 PA to have a .445 SLG were Jimmie Foxx, Bob Horner, and Eddie Matthews (Rogers Hornsby was at .444). They were also the only 3B to have an ISO over .160. If you want to expand the list to include shortstops, you can add ARod to the list.
People have to stop looking at 19 and 20 year-olds like they're the same as 22 and 23 year-olds. They're not.

Feb 16, 2013 12:05 PM
rating: 4
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

Good points, but if we are going to hang rate stats as a potential measures for future promise we have to also note the number of plate appearances over which those players compiled their rate stats:

Foxx - 473
Horner - 359
Matthews - 593
Machado - 202
Hornsby - 550

Horner is closest to Machado and still had 75% more PAs than Manny. I watched a lot of Manny, and there was a lot to be excited about. But the analysis you're using is potentially misleading. The sample size is small enough that simply removing his first four games drops his SLG to .383. Now, I'm not a proponent of carving out slices of games to prove an argument one way or another, but the sample size should be large enough that 4 games don't affect the statistic of measure by 60 bips.

Manny is a supremely talented young player, but there are legit areas to work on and I think it may be counter productive to start laying him next to Hall of Famers after 202 plate appearances.

Feb 17, 2013 06:57 AM
 
BarryR

Fair enough. But in all honesty, I did cheat a bit on those comparables. In baseball terms, Machado was 19 last year. Since his birthday was only five days from the cutoff, since all his AB occurred after his 20th birthday, and since there were no useful comparables at 19, I compared him to 20 year-olds. Foxx and Mathews were 9 months older than him, Horner and ARod were 11 - that's a big difference at that age, just ask Mike Trout. Interestingly, ARod had 149 PA at 19, in almost an exact age parallel to Machado, hitting .232 and slugging .403 (.171 ISO).
My post was part of thread started by huztlers, who said Machado's performance was "nothing special"; Jason pointed out, rightly, that just playing in the majors at 20 is special, and I pointed out that, historically speaking, his performance was special. I'll stand by that. As a bonus, he did this while switching positions at the major league level. I'm not saying he's going to be ARod or Mathews, or even a run of the mill Hall of Famer - way too early to say that. Just that he's demonstrated, at the highest level, rare talents.

Feb 17, 2013 10:57 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Nick Faleris
BP staff

I don't disagree -- it is certainly special that he came up and held his own at such a young age. It should be fun to see him at the MLB level for a full season this summer, for sure.

Feb 17, 2013 15:12 PM
 
huztlers
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He did not earn the opportunity. It was handed to him. Big difference.

He didn't have plus-plus tools when he was drafted. Nor has he made much progress with any of them. People have completely lost sight of what he is.

Feb 23, 2013 11:28 AM
rating: -4
 
GoneTroutFishin

Jason & Staff,

Tremendous work as always.

Question: Any word on if the O's allow Bundy to throw his cutter/slider out of the gate this year? I understand why they banned Bundy from throwing the cutter last season (to ensure his focus was on improving fastball command & developing his other secondary offerings). In his 2nd season of pro ball, wouldn't it be of value to have Bundy sharpen his command of this future out pitch, in addition to getting comfortable throwing it in all different counts?

Feb 15, 2013 04:49 AM
rating: 4
 
dwinning

I'm curious about what the evidence is for putting an "8 potential" on the cutter/slider if he hasn't even been allowed to throw it as a pro. Fangraphs shows he threw 5 cutter/sliders in his cup of coffee, where they mind-blowing?

Feb 15, 2013 06:23 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

The cutter has the potential to be a mind-blowing offering, no doubt. The report isn't based on those five cutters, though. It's a pitch he had as an amateur and its a pitch he currently has in his back pocket. When its time to deploy it, it could be a special pitch. Obviously, forcing Bundy to work on other offerings rather than destroy and humiliate with the cutter was a smart developmental move.

Feb 15, 2013 06:53 AM
 
Lindemann
(852)

It looks like L.J. Hoes may be playing in several different area codes.

Feb 15, 2013 06:17 AM
rating: 16
 
batts40

Yeah, that's an 80 name.

Feb 15, 2013 09:47 AM
rating: 1
 
SC

The O's need to trade for Rex Brothers and put those two in the lineup together (interleague play only). I'll leave it to others to choose the correct order.

Feb 15, 2013 09:53 AM
rating: 12
 
Kevin Ebert

What's your take on Parker Bridwell? I'm surprised he didn't make the post somewhere.

Feb 15, 2013 07:01 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

In all honesty, I wanted Bridwell to make it. When he failed to crack the Top 10, I assumed I could squeeze him in the "On the Rise" section. The problem was that my sources for the article just weren't very high on him. I've put eyes on him a few times, and in one of those appearances he was working in the low-90s and dropping a promising CB. I was impressed and thought he was going to keep getting better. Unfortunately, he just hasn't taken that step forward yet, and the majority of the sources didn't think it was going to happen in 2013 either. He still has a good arm, and with a little extra patience, he might develop into a major league caliber talent. But even in a lower tier system, the case for Bridwell just wasn't strong enough.

Feb 15, 2013 07:06 AM
 
Kevin Ebert

Understandable. I have a feeling the stuff may tick forward this year. Bridwell worked out with the Bundy's in Oklahoma this offseason, and apparently added around 25 pounds to his frame. Hopefully, that helps his stuff and stamina to the point where he's in the middle of this list next year.

Feb 15, 2013 07:27 AM
rating: 0
 
bobbygrace

How long do you think it will take Dylan Bundy to pass Ted, Al, and McGeorge on the list of World-Famous Bundys?

Feb 15, 2013 07:46 AM
rating: 4
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

He will never pass Ted Bundy. It's hard to compete with 80-grade charm and an intense wild side.

Feb 15, 2013 07:58 AM
 
Schere

ew.

Feb 15, 2013 08:45 AM
rating: 2
 
yadenr

Ted had crazy #sparkle

Feb 15, 2013 08:51 AM
rating: 3
 
Arm Side Run

Am I the only one who finds making a joke about/glorifying this man in bad taste?

I find 99% of what you post hilarious, but sometimes its a little far

Feb 15, 2013 15:14 PM
rating: -3
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

At least I didn't suggest he was a "real lady killer." That would have been in bad taste.

Feb 15, 2013 15:19 PM
 
dwinning

Yeah dude, way too soon to be making Ted Bundy jokes. It's only been 35 years.

Feb 18, 2013 05:15 AM
rating: 3
 
Schere

no, that's why I said "ew."

Feb 17, 2013 11:23 AM
rating: -1
 
Johnson Magic

He'd have to score more than four TDs in the City Championship to surpass Al...

Feb 15, 2013 09:10 AM
rating: 11
 
Dan W.

You've forgotten King Kong.

Feb 15, 2013 09:21 AM
rating: 4
 
Lindemann
(852)

I +1'ed for including McGeorge Bundy. That's old-school.

Feb 15, 2013 10:39 AM
rating: 5
 
Schere

On Xavier Avery, one of the things that showed up in his ML time last year was a terrible throwing arm. SSS - I'm probably talking about 4 or 5 plays all together. Is this something people mentioned? How much do scouts really care about terrible throwing arms in LF or CF?

Feb 15, 2013 08:45 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I have his arm graded as a 4. I think arm strength is very important, even in left/center. Normally, those are the positions where weaker arms can still play, but I think that reality has a tendency to downplay the benefit of a strong arm from any/all outfield positions. I can't speak for every scout in the industry, but the ones in my universe have always stressed the importance of arm strength from the outfield, even in spots where weaker arms can survive.

Feb 15, 2013 08:51 AM
 
Schere

Can you give some context for a "4?" Where did Johnny Damon's grade?

Feb 15, 2013 08:54 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I'd grade Damon's raw arm strength lower than 4, but he did have a quick glove-to-hand transfer and a quick release, which helped his well below-average arm strength play up a bit.

Feb 15, 2013 09:00 AM
 
Schere

thanks.

I guess those peripherals were part of what I saw as weak - slow mechanics and poor decision-making on top of below-average arm strength. So, the 4 was playing down, I guess, in my view. Hopefully SSS or an area he can improve. I like his offensive skills and range.

Feb 15, 2013 09:09 AM
rating: 0
 
John Carter

Brain Matusz was a the talk of the spring just a couple years ago. What are the chances he gets back that wickedness?

Feb 15, 2013 09:19 AM
rating: 0
 
terencem

Does it look like Ty Kelly could make his way onto the 2013 roster as a go-to utility player for Baltimore? Seems like he knows how to swing at the right pitches. He doesn't have a lot of power or play short but they have Machado to back up Hardy, if needed, I guess?

Feb 15, 2013 10:05 AM
rating: 0
 
mmeka5

When will the top 101 be coming out?

Feb 15, 2013 10:38 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Was submitted for BP 2013 back in early January. The book should be released soon, and then we can drop the list on the site. Hopefully next week.

Feb 15, 2013 10:56 AM
 
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