Archive for the 'Orioles' Category

Red Sox Have K Sale for O’s

Sunday, August 12th, 2018

The Orioles had trouble making contact against Chris Sale. In his last inning of work, the fifth inning, he struck out the side to up his whiff total to 12. The Orioles were whiffing what he was serving. Sale struck out two or more hitters in each inning he pitched, hitting the radar gun at 99 miles per hour. The Red Sox went on to complete the four game sweep of the Orioles with a 4-1 win.

The Red Sox got on the scoreboard first against Alex Cobb in the opening frame. Ex-Oriole Steve Pearce deposited a pitch into the left field bleachers to give the Red Sox an early 1-0 lead.

Cobb pitched well. He went seven innings allowing just two runs, but only one earned run. The Red Sox scored another run in the fourth after a Brock Holt single and a bloop double into right field by J.D. Martinez. Holt appeared to stop at third but Adam Jones bobbled the pick up in right field and Holt broke for home just beating the throw. The run was ruled unearned after Mitch Moreland grounded to the pitcher and Eduardo Nunez grounded to short.

The Orioles could not figure out Chris Sale, but Matt Barnes was generous with his offerings in the eighth. Cedric Mullins beat out a high chopper to first base. Jonathan Villar singled to right and a walk to Adam Jones loaded the bases with just one out. Trey Mancini drove a ball deep enough to center to end the shutout. Tim Beckham struck out to end the threat, one of just 18 whiffs by Oriole hitters.

The Red Sox added a couple insurance runs in the ninth off Mychal Givens, who was working his second inning. Eduardo Nunuz lined a single down the left field line. Jackie Bradley hit a two out single to set the stage for a Mookie Betts liner into right center that Adam Jones could not catch up to as the ball rolled to the wall. Two runs scored on the hit.

Kimbrel came on to pitch the ninth. He struggled with his command, giving up a walk and a bloop single to right. He was able to strike out the side, including the last two hitters to give the Red Sox the victory.

Game Notes: Chris Davis is back into his slump. He struck out all four times he hit, dropping his average below .160. The Orioles have alternatives for first base in Mark Trumbo or Trey Mancini, but they would like to see Chris Davis find his bat since they owe him $20 million plus for the next four years…Tyler Thornburg walked two and gave up a hit in the sixth, retiring only two hitters. Alex Cora called on Ryan Brasier to strikeout Trey Mancini to end the threat…Sandy Leon won again behind the plate. He has won 27 of the last 29 games he has started behind the plate…Cedric Mullins looks strong in centerfield while Jones looks uncomfortable in right…In his last seven starts Sale has an ERA of 0.20.

Bay Sox Blast Fisher Cats

Friday, August 10th, 2018

The Bay Sox blasted the Fisher Cats 13-6 on Tuesday night. You wouldn’t have thought by the score that two of the top ten pitchers in ERA in the Eastern League would be starting the game.

The Canadian Jordan Romano was lit up early. He gave up seven runs in the first two innings, but finished his outing with two shutout frames. Anderson Felix tagged him for a three run homer in the first inning. Felix would finish the night with six RBIs. The recently acquired Brett Cumberland led off the second inning with a solo blast into right field. He was acquired from the Braves in the Kevin Guasman deal. It was his first Bay Sox homerun.

Third baseman Jon Berti struggled in the field for the Fisher Cats. His two out error in the first allowed Felix to inflict his damage in the opening frame. Myworld put him down for two more errors, one in the three run fifth and another in the eighth that would have accounted for more unearned runs, but the scorer generously gave the Bay Sox players a hit.

Anderson Felix drove in two runs in the fifth on a single and one run in the eighth on a single. Both innings were started by a Berti boot that were ruled as hits. Aderlin Rodriguez blasted a solo shot in the sixth.

Keegan Akin started out well for the Bay Sox facing the first six hitters. His fastball was hitting 94-96, but it seemed to drop after the second inning to 92. With two outs in the second he ran into trouble walking Gunnar Heidt and then giving up three straight hits to cut the lead to 4-2.

Ryan Mountcastle continues to look uneasy at third. His throws are not strong and his error in the third inning led to a run. Cavan Biggio and Forrest Wall singled to score Harold Ramirez with the unearned run. Biggio hit a solo shot in the fifth to account for all the Akin runs given up.

Harold Ramirez appears to have found his bat this year. He also appears a bit slimmer. He came into the game hitting .313 and doubled in the first and powered a solo shot homer in the seventh, his ninth of the year.

There were a couple baserunning errors by touted prospects. Bo Bichette hit two singles. After his second single he had strayed too far off first on what appeared to be a routine fly to Austin Hays. Hays rifled a throw to first to double off Bichette. Hays made a baserunning blunder of his own in the second. After singling to drive in the third run of the second inning he tried to advance to second on the throw home but the ball was cut off and Hays was caught between first and second. Mountcastle broke for home and the throw went there to get Mountcastle. Myworld was told this isn’t the first time Hays has been caught trying to advance the extra base on aggressive baserunning.

Yusniel Diaz did not get the start in the game. He was only hitting .192. There may be some buyer’s remorse from the Orioles as there is the appearance Diaz has a motivation problem. Some are concerned with his lack of hustle, although that was just one scouts opinion. Myworld has not seen enough of him to make that assessment.

Cervenka Named July Player of the Month in Eastern League

Monday, August 6th, 2018

We did not name Martin Cervenka as one of our top ten catching prospects in the minor leagues but we still like the Czech born catcher. That like got stronger as he was named the Eastern League player of July. Before his arrival to Bowie Cervenka was used mainly in a back up role. Last year for Lynchburg he finally got over 400 at bats and did well with a .278 batting average with 8 homeruns. At 6′4″ he has a large frame for a catcher, which makes it more difficult to limit the passed balls (9). He became a six year free agent after the 2017 season and signed with the Orioles.

Cervenka hit .364 for the month of July playing for the AA Bowie Bay Sox. He finished second in homeruns (7) and RBIs (25) and led the Eastern League in slugging (.725) and OPS (1.191). The hot month has given him a career high 12 homeruns for 2018 and put his slugging average at .458. With the Orioles rebuilding they could have some roster spots to promote him to the major leagues in September.

There have been four players born in the Czech Republic that have played in the major leagues. Myworld would guess they moved to the United States in their early years and played baseball as youngsters in the United States. Frank Rooney played in the most games (12). All of them were position players but had limited careers in the majors.

The All Star Contact/Power Lineup

Friday, August 3rd, 2018

Strikeouts and homeruns are up. Most like the latter but abhor the former. Myworld takes a look at the players who hit for power at their positions but like to make contact, or at least take as many walks as they strikeout. Excitement usually pervades their at bats.

Buster Posey (C) Giants - He has been a little short in the power department this year compared to past years, but there is a shortage of catchers who make contact. Buster almost wins this by default with a 38/45 walk to whiff ratio and five taters. He has peppered the gaps for 22 doubles.

Joey Votto (1B) Reds - In most years it would be Miguel Cabrera. He has been injured for most of the year. Joey Votto has been healthy but has not found his power swing this year, limited to just nine dingers. He does have an impressive 85/72 walk to whiff ratio. That is a lot of non-contact.

Alex Bregman (2B) Astros - We had to move him to second base, the position he would probably play if Altuve was not there and Correa did not occupy short. Alex has already surpassed his homerun numbers from last year with 22 bombs. He also has a 62/61 walk to whiff ratio.

Manny Machado (SS) Orioles/Dodgers - This has been the best year for Manny in his walk to whiff ratio (56/68). He has also stroked 26 balls over the fence. When Manny comes up to the plate the concessions get empty.

Jose Ramirez (3B) Indians - Where did this guy come from? He hit 13 homeruns in his five minor league seasons. He has 32 this year after hitting 29 last year. His 70/51 walk to whiff ratio is impressive as well.

Juan Soto (LF) Nationals - Juan is on his way to breaking the record for most walks in a season by a teenager and he missed the first couple months of the season. When he learns to pull the ball on certain pitches the balls should start flying out of Nationals stadium with greater regularity. He already has 13 this year with a 43/48 walk to whiff ratio.

Mike Trout (CF) Angels - The best player in the game today. He is prone to striking out, but he also walks a ton (99/97 walk to whiff ratio). He also sends balls out of the park with great consistency (21 homeruns).

Mookie Betts (RF) Red Sox - At 5′9″ he is not a big guy, but he carries plenty of wallop with 25 homeruns and a 50/54 walk to whiff ratio.

Orioles Bats Stay Hot Against Rays

Monday, July 30th, 2018

The Orioles may have traded Manny Machado but their bats have gotten hot since that trade. For the third straight day they have scored double digits in runs. That could be the Rays pitching staff. Or perhaps the Oriole bats are coming to life. For the second straight game they scored 11 runs in their 11-5 win against the Rays.

Yonny Chirinos got the start for the Rays. He had trouble throwing strikes in the first inning, walking two batters and throwing 17 balls to his ten strikes. Chris Davis got the big hit in the inning when he hit one deep to centerfield. Mallex Smith leaped and had the ball in his glove, but as his arm hit the wall on his way down the ball came out of the glove and landed beyond the fence for a two run homer. Adam Jones had the slide of the day. Mark Trumbo hit a double play ground ball to third with runners on first and third and one out. Jones slide knocked Daniel Robertson to the ground negating the double play. It also eventually knocked Robertson from the game.

Dylan Bundy pitched well for the Orioles. He only allowed four hits in his seven innings of work. Unfortunately for him three of those hits traveled over the fence. The even numbered innings were his biggest challenge. C.J. Cron hit two solo shots against him, once in the second and again in the fourth. Jake Bauer blasted a solo shot against Bundy in the sixth.

Chirinos gave up another run in the second, but his defense let him down in the inning. Austin Wynns hit a slow grounder to Willy Adames at short. Willy did not get his glove down low enough as he charged the ball and it glanced off his glove. Tim Beckham followed with a single to left. Left fielder Joey Wendle had the ball glance off his glove allowing Wynns to advance to third. Adam Jones bounced a single up the middle to score Wynns. The Orioles stranded runners on first and third with one out when Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis whiffed.

In the fourth inning the Rays brought in Hunter Wood to pitch. Wynns attacked the first pitch thrown by Wood and lined it into the first row of the left field bleachers. In the fifth the Orioles added another run with an RBI single from Jace Peterson to up the lead to 6-2.

The Orioles put the game away with two big homeruns. Jonathan Schoop blasted a three run homer in the seventh. In the eighth Chris Davis hit his second homerun of the game, a two run shot into the centerfield bullpen.

Game Notes: Last year the Orioles would put the American League standings on the scoreboard followed by the individual league leaders. This gave the fans something to look at as they strolled into the stadium. With the Orioles having the worst record in the major leagues the only the individual leaders are shown on the scoreboard, eliminating the listing of the standings…Dylan Bundy was getting some called third strikes with his curveball. His fastball maxes out at 92. Earlier in his career he could hit 95. Injuries have sapped the velocity from his fastball, but his curveball appears to be a tough pitch for the hitters to recognize…The Orioles traded Brad Brach to the Atlanta Braves. What they got for him was a shock. International cap bonus money. The Orioles are usually the team trading international bonus money…Jonathan Schoop has gotten hot with seven homeruns in his last nine games…Daniel Robertson left the game in the fourth inning. He was replaced by Adeiny Hechevarria, with Willy Adames moving to second. He is day to day.

Orioles Future

Thursday, July 26th, 2018

Back in 2012 not much was expected of the Orioles. They had a losing streak of some 14 seasons in a row and the roster did not appear strong. They surprised by making the playoffs, fueled by winning a number of one run games. They remained a competitive team despite the baseball experts saying the playoff run was a fluke, winning the division in 2014 and making the playoffs as a wild card team in 2016.

Again not much was expected from the Orioles in 2017, but that has never prevented them from making a wild card run. The offense appeared formidable and they had gone out into the free agent market to sign two decent starting pitchers in Alex Cobb and Andrew Cashner to add to their threesome of Chris Tillman, Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. They still had one of the best closers in the bullpen in Zach Britton.

No one expected the 2018 season to end with the Orioles ending up with the worst record in baseball. Manny Machado and Zach Britton have been traded. Adam Jones becomes a free agent and Chris Davis is having one of the worst seasons ever by a major league player. And the Orioles are still committed to him for over $20 million for another three years. With the losses through trade and free agency the immediate future looks bleak for the Orioles.

So what is the long term future of the Orioles. The hope is they improve their prospect stock with the trades of Machado and Britton and possibly other veterans. Their farm system has also been improving, but a lack of resources in the international arena hurts them. It is not that they ignore the international arena. Myworld has met one of their international scouts while in Taiwan. It is just they do not have a lot of resources dedicated to that area.

Below are some of the players myworld believes are gong to be key if the Orioles are going to contend in the future. Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Jonathan Schoop will be at the end of their player control contracts by that time and will have already become free agents or will be heading that direction the following year before the Orioles become competitive again. The decision to keep them will depend on their performance and if they perform well if the Orioles want to meet their market price.

Outfield:

1. Yusniel Diaz RF - The Cuban is a promising prospect acquired from the Dodgers in the Manny Machado trade. A number of years ago the Orioles signed a couple free agent Cubans but they never made an impact. They hope better from Diaz. His future is probably as a rightfielder, though the speed is there to play center. He needs to hit for a little more power if he wants to become an impact rightfielder. Currently in AA he should be ready for the Orioles in 2020.

2. Austin Hayes RF - Another player that can play right field. Interesting he should develop heel and ankle issues after signing an Under Armour contract. Hopefully it was not the shoes. Hayes has already shown his ability to hit for power with his 32 homer season in the minor leagues in 2017. He was expected to take over the right field slot for the Orioles this year but a poor spring got him a minor league assignment and his foot injuries have limited him to 43 games in 2018 with an unhealthy .224 average. When he gets healthy he will have to see more time in the minors in 2019 to get that average up.

3. Cedric Mullins CF - He could be the centerfielder of the future for the Orioles if he can show the offense. The speed is there. The arm could move him to left. After having some success in AA (.313) he was promoted to AAA (.278). Despite his 5′8′ size he shows some juice in his bat. He could get a September callup this year and with Adam Jones leaving via free agency become the Orioles starting centerfielder at the start of the 2019 season.

4. Ryan McKenna CF - He appears to be the Orioles Austin Hays of 2018. A fourth round pick who suddenly emerges, but hitting more for average in High A (.377) to get a promotion to AA than power. He covers a lot of ground in centerfield but myworld will have to see more of his bat before we anoint him an Oriole of the future. His expected arrival time is 2019 as a late season callup.

5. D.J. Stewart LF - Myworld only mentions him because he was a first round pick of the Orioles in 2015. His defensive flaws limit him to left field. Currently he is in AAA hitting just .237 with 9 homeruns. With his poor defense in the outfield he needs to show more offense to become a factor with the Orioles.

Catching

1. Chance Sisco - There is not a lot to like behind the plate in the minor leagues. Sisco is the best opportunity for the Orioles but he is struggling at the major league level this year. His defense is not strong so to be effective he must show a potent bat. That has yet to make an appearance with the Orioles.

Infield

1. Ryan Mountcastle 2B - The Orioles currently have him at third base at AA. He did not have the arm to stick at short and he does not have the arm to play third. His ultimate position may be second base or left field. His bat will be productive but the Orioles will need to find a position for him.

2. Anthony Santander 1B - A Rule V acquistion, his ultimate position may be at first base. He does not have the defensive tools to be a quality outfielder. His bat does show some power but it did not appear when the Orioles were forced to keep him on the roster for the first part of this year. The Orioles currently have too many first baseman trying to play defense in Chris Davis, Mark Trumbo and Trey Mancini so finding Santander playing time so he can develop at his more natural position may be difficult. Expect his arrival to be more mid-2019.

3. Adam Hall SS - He was a second round pick in 2017. So far he has not really rocked the minor leagues to show that he can be an asset to the Orioles future. He has shown very little power with zero homeruns and a .296 slugging percentage this year in the rookie ball. His glove has also showed some inconsistency.

4. Cadyn Greinier SS - The Orioles shelled out $1.8 million to sign him as the 37th pick in the 2018 draft. The jury is still out on his impact. He has shown some gap power but a .237 average in Low A is not promising. Give him some time.

5. Rylan Bannon 3B - An 8th round pick in 2017, Bannon was one of the players acquired in the Machado trade. He hit 20 homeruns while playing in the California League. The Orioles have started him in AA where one of his two hits in 11 at bats carried over the fence. It would nice to see his power bat continue because the Orioles lack a player at this position.

Pitching

It would be nice if the Orioles could sign Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman to long term contracts. They will be at their free agent years when the younger players are ready to make an impact. Pitching arms though can be very fragile.

1. Hunter Harvey RHP - Another year another injury. Electric stuff but an inability to stay healthy. Myworld does not hold a lot of hope that he will make an impact with the Orioles but he is a top level prospect.

2. DL Hall LHP - The lefty was a first round pick of the Orioles in 2017. Since he was drafted out of high school it will take a couple years before he is ready. Pitching at Delmarva he shows quality stuff (2.44 ERA, .199 opposition average) but must learn to harness his command.

3. Grayson Rodriguez RHP - The Orioles first round pick in 2018, he is further away than Hall. In seven innings he has yet to give up a run in rookie ball but has issued more walks (5) than whiffs (4) something you don’t want to see from your pitchers. But it is still early.

4. Dillon Tate RHP - The pitcher acquired from the Yankees in the Britton trade. He was orignally drafted by the Rangers but traded to the Yankees in the Carlos Beltran trade. At 24 years of age he is still pitching at AA. He could be ready to appear in the rotation in 2019. Being traded twice can mean two things, either two teams wanted him because of his talent, or two teams traded him because they saw too many flaws in his game.

5. Alex Wells LHP - Not the type of pitcher that will wow you with his velocity. His radar readings at the Prospect game in the All Star game were the lowest of any pitcher that appeared on the mound (91 mph), but he has been getting hitters out to keep his ERA below 4. Opponents are hitting .290 against him so it is his lack of walks that will get him to the major leagues.

6. Michael Baumann RHP - The third round pick in 2017 dominated at Delmarva (1.42 ERA) in seven starts. His lack of command and having just two pitches in his tool box (fastball/slider) make pitching at High A more of a challenge (3.67 ERA). If he fails to develop a quality third pitch he could end up in the bullpen as a closer.

7. Zac Lowther LHP - Another pitcher who dominated at Delmarva (1.16 ERA). He does not have the velocity on his fastball as Baumann but he has a better variety of pitches to achieve more success at High A Frederick (3.04 ERA).

8. Keegan Akin LHP - We like his stuff. Not a hard thrower but AA hitters are only hitting .205 against him. He could be a part of the Orioles rotation by mid-2019 if his success continues in AAA.

9. Branden Kline RHP - A bullpen arm that has had trouble staying healthy. He is already 26 but if he continues to keep the ERAs under 2.00 and the opposition average under .250 he will find a bullpen spot for the Orioles. Expect a September callup for Kline this year.

10. Zach Pop RHP - Another bullpen arm acquired from the Dodgers in the Machado trade. While he may be named Zach don’t expect him to replace Britton. He still needs some work improving his command. At least his ERA at Bowie is no longer infinity.

Myworld’s Top Right Field Prospects

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Our last prospect post we did the top left field prospects. We forgot to include Eloy Jimenez in that list, saving him for the right field prospect list until we realized he will be more a leftfielder when he hits the major leagues. The right fielders tend to have the strong arms and the big bats. Eloy lacks the strong arm to play right. Below are the top right field prospects in the minor leagues, including 11 here. Next myworld will name the centerfielders and then the right handed and left handed pitchers.

1. Eloy Jimenez (White Sox) - What always fools me about Eloy is his 6′4″ height, which seems to be perfect for right fielders in this day and age. Unfortunately, the Dominican lacks the arm and the speed to play right so he is best suited for left. Since I did not include him among the leftfielders myworld will list 11 right fielders on this list. Most of his games this year have been in left field, but he has gotten some time in right. Because of his bat Eloy would rank at the top of either the leftfield or rightfield list. He will hit for power and average. At AAA Charlotte he is hitting .351 with a 1.022 OPS in 20 games. His .317 average with 10 homeruns in 50 plus games at AA got him promoted to AAA. Injuries have been the only issue stopping Eloy from being a superstar player. Expect him to get a September callup if he can stay healthy when September comes.

2. Kyle Tucker (Astros) - The younger brother of Preston was a first round pick of the Astros in 2015. Most of his time with the Astros has been in leftfield because that is the current positional opening for the Astros. In the minors he has been primarily a right fielder. His arm and speed are average making centerfield an emergency option. Despite his lack of burner speed he was able to steal 20 bases becoming a 20/20 player with 25 homeruns last year. This year he has stolen 14 bases with 14 homeruns as he gears towards another 20/20 year. His .304 batting average is the highest in his minor league career at those levels when he gets over 100 at bats. This year he has seen some time in the major leagues, struggling with a .162 average. Expect at least a September callup to give him additional at bats but a hot spell in the minors could get him promoted earlier.

3. Luis Robert (White Sox) - Currently the speed is there for the Cuban to play centerfield. As he gets older Luis may build bulk on his 6′3″ frame, losing the speed required to play centerfield. His arm is strong enough for right. Luis was a star as a teenager in the Cuban professional league. He slipped out of Cuba halfway through the 2016 season when he was on his way to winning the Triple Crown as a 19 year old. The tools are there for him to be a superstar. This was expected to be his first year in a full season league but thumb injuries have limited him to just 21 games. He has yet to carry a ball over the fence this year, but his bat makes solid contact with the potential to hit .300 or better. If the speed stays he could be a 30/30 player (homeruns/stolen bases). The White Sox would like him to play more games to assign him to AA to begin next year.

4. Heliot Ramos (Giants) - The Puerto Rican was the Giants first round pick in the 2017 draft. His first year in the rookie league he hit .348 with 6 homeruns and a 1.049 OPS. His legs have the carry to stay in centerfield and his arm is solid enough to fit in right. This year has been a little more of a challenge for Heliot, especially trying to make contact with pitches. He has a poor 28/101 walk to whiff ratio. Last year it was a more acceptable (10/48). This has resulted in a low batting average (.238). The power is still there with 8 homeruns, but it has been limited by his inability to make contact. Ranos was selected to the World Team.

5. Alex Kirilloff (Twins) - Alex was a first round pick in the 2016 draft with Tommy John surgery preventing him from playing the 2017 season. He was selected to play for the United States team in the prospect game and warming up he had the best arm of any of the outfielders we saw warming up. Right field has been his primary position in the minor leagues with a few games in center. In the rookie league he showed a good bat (.306 with a .454 slugging) but not much was expected of him after a year away from the game. Alex has been a hitting machine in Low A (.333 with a .607 slugging) that led to a promotion to High A where his bat continues to explode (.370, .571 slugging). His homerun numbers have dropped in some of the larger parks in the Florida State League but he has hit .525 in his last 10 games with seven multiple hit games. Expect him to be in AA next year.

6. Alex Verdugo (Dodgers) - We are not as enamored of Alex as many are. The second round pick of the 2014 draft seemed to lack the power to play right field. He also exhibits a low motor which could have an impact on his overall success. This year the power seems to have come with a .506 slugging, 70 points above his .438 slugging coming into the season. Alex does have the ability to make solid contact which could result in hitting for a high average (.305 career minor league average). That good contact continues in the major leagues, but the averages the last two years has been low (.174 and .213). His arm is excellent and perhaps his best tool, but that will not keep him on a major league roster by itself.

7. Brandon Marsh (Angels) - The second round 2016 pick was prevented from showing his stuff the first year because of a back issue. Last year in rookie ball he powered his way to a .350 average with a .944 OPS. He has the arm and speed to play center but the Angels already have a premium centerfielder there (Jo Adell) leaving right field for Brandon. His 2018 season has seen a little more time in centerfield. The bat will get his name in the lineup. Currently, his bat is doubles power but as he matures more balls should carry over the fence. He is hitting .274 with a .410 slugging percentage between Low and High A. A propensity to swing and miss (113 whiffs in 92 games) cuts into his production.

8. Tyler O’Neil (Cardinals) - The father of a weight lifter (Mr. Canada) also has a fondness for lifting the weights. The Mariners may have traded him so cheap (Marco Gonzalez) because of their concern that he did it to excess. Drafted in the third round of the 2013 draft two of his last three years he has hit for 30 or more homeruns. This year appears to be another 30 homerun season. Tyler has had 14 multiple homer games in his career and five taters in his last two games. Between AAA and the major leagues he has already jacked 28 balls over the wall in just 76 games. His major league time has been a struggle to make contact (20 whiffs in 44 at bats) resulting in a low .227 average, but if he continues to pop balls over the fence in the minor leagues he will get another opportunity with the Cardinals this year.

9. Monte Harrison (Marlins) - Monte was a second round pick of the Brewers in 2014. He was one of the players the Marlins acquired in the Giancarlo Stanton trade. This year centerfield has been his primary position with a smattering of games in right. His lack of burner speed and Lewis Brinson will probably result in his movement to right. Last year his bat showed some power with 21 homeruns between Low A and High A. The power continues with 13 homeruns this year, but a struggle to make contact has resulted in a 33/159 walk to whiff ratio and a poor .240 average in AA. The speed is there to steal 20 plus bases a year, which combined with his power should make him a 20/20 player.

10. D.J. Peters (Dodgers) - This is the outfielder myworld was hoping the Orioles got in the Manny Machado trade. At 6′6″ he reminds you of an Aaron Judge with the ability to hit for power (27 homeruns last year) but with the propensity to swing and miss (189 whiffs). Tame that whiff rate and the potential is tremendous. The Dodgers drafted him in the fourth round in 2016. This year in AA the whiffs are still prevalent (133) but the power is still perverse with 20 homeruns. His lack of contact puts his average at .238. This creates a risk of a Dave Kingman type player, but that is what critics were saying about Judge in the minor leagues. The difference is Peters does not have the ability to walk as much as Judge.

11. Yusniel Diaz (Orioles) - This is the player the Orioles got instead. Myworld watched the Cuban hit two dingers for the World team in the Prospect game. The speed is there to play centerfield but his best fit is to play right. The Dodgers paid a $15.5 million bonus to sign him so they recognized the tools. The power is more gap to gap now but it could expand as he matures and turns those line drive doubles into homers with a little more launch angle. Coming into this season he had a .281 career minor league average. This year he sits at .301. At Bowie he is struggling with a .125 average in his first 16 at bats as he tries to impress. At Tulsa he hit .314 with a 41/39 walk to whiff rate.

Rough Debut for Two New Orioles

Saturday, July 21st, 2018

Myworld attended a Bay Sox game yesterday. Two players made their Oriole debut after the trade of Manny Machado got the Orioles five new prospects to drool at, Yusniel Diaz, Zach Pop, Breyvik Valera, Dean Kremer and Rylan Bannon . The Erie Seawolves took down the Bowie Bay Sox 5-3 with Kody Eaves driving in two with a double in the seventh inning to give the Seawolves the lead.

Yusniel Diaz was the big acquisition from the Dodgers for Manny Machado. He singled sharply to left in his first at bat, hitting it past the shortstop. His next three at bats were not so good, striking out in all three. He is not noted for his striking out, coming from the Texas League with a 41/39 walk to whiff ratio. He also came with a .905 OPS. With Ryan McKenna in center and Diaz in right the Bay Sox could have one of the better minor league outfields with the return of Austin Hays from injury.

Zach Pop had a rough debut. He came into the game in the seventh with the Bay Sox leading 2-1. He struggled finding the strike zone, giving up a leadoff single to recently promoted Isaac Paredes (now batting .800 after two games in AA), then walking the next two hitters. Kody Eaves gave Erie the lead with a double ending the day for Pop. He exited taking the loss and having an ERA of infinity (not getting anyone out).

Kyle Dowdy pitched well for Erie. Despite his 6′1 frame he consistently hit 95-97 on the radar. He tired a little after the fifth with his pitches sitting more along 93-95. He pitched six innings striking out five. Ryan McKenna got one of the six hits against Dowdy, a booming homerun to right center. McKenna is the Austin Hays of 2018, getting promoted from Frederick after he hit .377 there. Myworld has been impressed with his smooth defense in center but his bat has been a little slow in AA. Ryan was drafted out of high school in the fourth round of the 2015 draft.

The Bay Sox had back to back North Dakota relief duty. Zach Muckenhirn, who attended North Dakota relieved Zach Pop, a back to back Zach relief duo. Jay Flaa, who attended North Dakota State then relieved Muchenhirn, giving the Bay Sox a back to back North Dakota duo.

Daz Cameron impressed with his speed for Erie. In the eighth he drew a walk, stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Jake Rogers popped a foul ball to shallow right that the first baseman caught. Daz tagged and scored without a throw. Daz also singled in the sixth which almost scored Sergio Alcantara. Alcantara was called out at home, was tossed for flinging his helmet in a fit of anger and then manager Andrew Graham was tossed for also arguing the call.

Keegan Akin pitched well for the Bay Sox. He only allowed one run on five hits in his six innings of work. He lowered his ERA to 2.83, which puts him third in the Eastern League behind Mitch Keller (2.72) and Peter Lambert (2.23).

O’s Bats Explode in Rout Over Angels

Sunday, July 1st, 2018

This is how it was written to begin the season. A lineup with Adam Jones, Manny Machado, Mark Trumbo, Chris Davis and Trey Mancini would score some runs. Include Jonathan Schoop in that lineup but he was taking a rest this day. In two innings those players accounted for four homeruns and two doubles in an 8-2 rout of the Los Angeles Angels. The win ended the Orioles seven game losing streak. They still have the worst record in baseball.

Kevin Gausman pitched well. On this warm 95 degree day he worked eight innings. After six innings he only threw 69 pitches. He gave up a leadoff double to Kole Calhoun in the first inning. Calhoun would score on a two out single from Albert Pujols. No Angel would touch second off him until the eighth inning when Calhoun yanked a pitch over the centerfield fence for a two out homerun.

Deck McGuire cruised through the first three innings for the Angels, giving up just one hit and a walk. Adam Jones led off the top of the fourth with an innocent popup in the infield. Ian Kinsler lost it in the sun and it dropped for an infield single. Manny Machado crushed a ball into the middle of the left field bleachers to give the Orioles a 2-1 lead. Mark Trumbo followed by hammering a pitch just over the right field scoreboard. Chris Davis swung at a 3-0 pitch and rifled it off the right field scoreboard for a double. A walk to Chance Sisco ended the day for the shell shocked McGuire, who had to wonder what just happened.

Hansel Robles was not that effective either. Rookie Steve Wilkinson lined a pitch that one hopped the right centerfield fence to score another run. Tim Beckham made it a complete bat around with a single up the middle that scored the fifth and sixth runs of the inning.

In the fifth Mark Trumbo hit his second homerun of the day, almost sending it over the lower left field bleachers. Chris Davis almost made it back to back, driving a pitch to the warning track in left field. Trey Mancini smashed a pitch just short of where Trumbo crushed his ball. Fans at Camden Yard finally had something to cheer about.

The Orioles bats went into silence mode after that. Taylor Cole, making his major league debut for the Angels, pitched to the minimum nine hitters in his three innings of work. He gave up one hit but he was erased on a double play.

Game Notes: On the Trumbo second homer a fan tried to catch the ball but it hit off the heel of his glove. Another fan picked the ball up five rows in front and threw it back to the fan who missed the ball. Two batters later Trey Mancini hit a homerun into the leftfield bleachers. This ball was caught by the fan who had returned the ball to the fan who had missed it…Andrelton Simmons made a phenomenal play in the hole on a ball hit by Machado. He jumped and rifled a throw to first to get Machado…Albert Pujols has slowed, if that is not obvious to those fans who watch him in Los Angeles. He hit a ball over the head of the left fielder. It one hopped the wall, but he could only turn the hit into a single. In the ninth, when he was on first, a ball got by the catcher Chance Sisco and travelled more than halfway to the back stop. Pujols never broke for second, though by then the score was 8-2…Kevin Gausman’s last pitch in the eighth was a 98 mile per hour fastball that Mike Trout swung at and missed. That is a good way to end an outing…The month of June saw the Orioles lose against every American League team they played. They did win six games against the Marlins, Mets and Nationals. The win today was their second home win in their last 19 games. That is ugly…For McGuire it was his first start. He had previously pitched in relief six other times. Because of injuries the Angels were trying to get some starter innings from him but he did not get past the fourth. The Angels are his third team this year. He started the season with the Blue Jays, was picked up by the Rangers and then traded to the Angels.

How Cool is That?

Sunday, July 1st, 2018

In the bottom of the fifth Mark Trumbo crushed a pitch into deep left field. A fan with a glove reached over the row of seats in front of him, tried to catch it, but the ball hit off the heel of his glove and bounced five rows in front of him. A fan grabbed the ball and without a second thought threw it back to the fan who had dropped it. His son standing next to him probably said something like “Dad, why did you throw him the ball back. Now we’ll never get a ball.” His response would be “Karma always comes back to reward you when you do the right thing.”

Two batters later Trey Mancini hits a ball deep to left field. This time it was caught by a fan. With his bare hands. That fan was the one who had tossed the Trumbo homerun ball back to the other fan who had missed it with his glove. He got a number of high fives, even from the fan with the glove.

What would have been cooler if the fan with the glove had caught the second homerun and given the first ball he missed back to the fan who had returned it to him. Both of them had young kids with them at the game.

Either way, it was a pretty cool event. It would not surprise me if it is all over ESPN right now.