Archive for the 'Orioles' Category

30 Teams in 30 Days - Baltimore Orioles

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Overview - We’re tired of selling the Orioles short. Every year we pick them for the bottom of the division based on their lack of depth in the farm system and the paucity of their rotation, but three of the last five years they have still made the playoffs. This year could be the last season for Oriole greatness with the departures of Manny Machado and Adam Jones on the horizon. They have lost Nelson Cruz and still won. Perhaps it doesn’t matter who they have on their team. Buck Showalter knows how to get the best out of any lineup he presents. One thing about this Orioles iteration, no team will outslug them.

Strengths - Jonathan Scoop broke out last year and is ready to improve upon the 2016 season giving the Orioles three infielders with the potential to hit 30 or more homers. Chris Davis hits the ball a long ways with 40 plus homerun potential, but he also swings and misses a lot with 200 plus K’s a year not unusual. They also have one of the best players in the game in Manny Machado at third base. He can also do a very good job at shortstop as well once he becomes a free agent. What team would not sign a potential 40 homerun player as a shortstop? As a third baseman he is a gold glover but as a shortstop he is not quite as spectacular. At 31 Adam Jones is slowing down. He doesn’t cover quite as much range as he did as a centerfielder and his stolen base numbers have dropped but he also has the potential to hit 30 plus homeruns. And finally, the Orioles were able to re-sign the American League homerun leader in Mark Trumbo. The nice thing about this signing is they have a hole at DH so this is a perfect place to put his bat while hiding his glove in the dugout. On the pitching front the Orioles have the potential to have a decent starting staff. Most baseball experts thought Kevin Guasman and Dylan Bundy would be co-aces. That may not be true anymore but as they gain more experience they will become close to that categorization. If Chris Tillman stays healthy he is the veteran presence that will guide the two youngsters to their potential. The Orioles also have a decent bullpen with the best closer in baseball in Zack Britton. Darren O’Day and Brad Brach are two good arms to work as setup men with Mychal Givens giving teams two sidearm looks in the bullpen.

Weaknesses - Losing Matt Wieters will hurt, no matter what the metrics people say about his pitch framing. The pitchers loved pitching to him, though with his injuries his availability was becoming less needed. Caleb Joseph lost his bat but plays solid defense and Wellington Castillo has a chance to hit for power but is not known for his defense. If they could combine their two skills it would make for one pretty good catcher, but as is they will always be lacking in one category. Still having Ubaldo Jimenez in the rotation is a downer. When he had sizzling stuff and couldn’t find the plate he was good. His stuff is not sizzling anymore and not finding the plate is not helping (Is that too many nots in a sentence?). When Trumbo is missing from the outfield the corners lack power. Seth Smith and Hyun-Soo Kim will platoon and hit only against righthanders. Both are line drive hitters that get on base, but balls rarely carry over the fence. That leaves Joey Rickard another line drive hitter who at least has speed to hit against lefthanders and may give Trey Mancini an opportunity to DH as Trumbo moves to the outfield, once somebody locates his glove.

Breakout Prospects - The Orioles finally gave up on Christian Walker. They now need to give Trey Mancini an opportunity to play. He will DH against righthanders and may play some first base to give Chris Davis a rest. Last year he clubbed three homeruns in a 14 at bat major league debut. He has nothing left to prove in the minors. His defense is lacking so like Trumbo DH is the best place for him. If Caleb Joseph continues to struggle with the bat Chance Sisco could see some opportunity behind the plate by mid-season. Defense is not his strong suit, but he has a good bat that hits the gaps. Joe Gunkel has an opportunity to make the rotation by mid-season as does Mike Wright (who is no longer considered a prospect). Wright has nice velocity to his fastball but it travels too straight. Gunkel has the stuff to fit in the back end of a rotation, but no higher. Both my be a better alternatives than Jimenez.

Prospects to Watch - The Orioles have not had a lot of luck with their arms drafted in the first round. Cody Sedlock was the Orioles first round pick in 2016. While drafted out of college would seem to indicate a fast rise to the majors, he was a reliever and the Orioles want to convert him to a starter. That means building up his innings. Hunter Harvey is one of those first round picks who has not really pitched in the last couple years because of injuries. If he pitches this year it will be in September. Don’t know if we are enamored with any of the other prospects to spend time writing about them. Preston Palmeiro has name value being the son of Rafael but he has average tools across the board. Jomar Reyes could be a potential replacement for the departure of Manny Machado. He won’t be Manny but he’ll offer glimpses with his power.

Expected Finish - We pick them for second. Last year both wild cards came from the East. This year as we’ve looked at the Divisions both wild cards will come from the West.

Myworlds Top 100 - 90 - 81

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

A compilation of the six top 100 lists rolled into one. Below is 90-81.

90. Matt Chapman 3B/SS (Athletics) 1.35 - Myworld does not think Chapman will be playing shortstop, but with so many corner infielders the Athletics will have to find room for them all. Chapman is probably the best defensive third baseman of the group and has a strong arm. His range is good for third base but would fall far short of what is needed for a shortstop. His bat also gives the Athletics power, with 36 homeruns last year. There is a tendency for him to swing and miss (173 whiffs) which could lead to averages falling below .250.

89. Max Fried RHP (Braves) 1.4 - He was drafted in the first round by the Padres. The Padres traded him to the Braves to acquire Justin Upton. Tommy John surgery has knocked some luster off his prospect status. Last year was his first year back and he averaged 9.8 whiffs per nine innings with a fastball that sat at 92-95. With a little more pitching that velocity could increase. His secondary pitches (slow breaking ball and change) need some improvement as does his control. He’ll start the season in High A and could see AA by the end of the year.

88. Chance Sisco (Orioles) 1.4 - Playing for so long at Bowie myworld has seen a lot of Chance. His defense behind the plate needs work and his power is absent. As he matures he may hit ten plus homeruns. The best part of his game is his ability to get hits and strike the gaps. He is not afraid to take walks and will give you OBAs of over .400. Being a catcher he does not have great speed but he will not clog the bases. Expect him to make his major league debut this year after at least half a season in AAA. With Matt Wieters gone the Orioles do not really have a viable catching option blocking him from making a contribution. His lack of power makes a move to first base questionable.

87. Cal Quantril RHP (Padres) 1.42 - The son of All Star reliever Paul Quantril and the 2016 first round pick of the Padres. Cal hopes to make it in the starting rotation with a fastball that slides between low to mid 90s. He also has a good change and is working to improve his slider to give him three pitches for the rotation. Tommy John surgery as a sophomore in high school is a concern. He should make his debut next season in full season Low A where he can work on improving his slider and his command of pitches.

86. Carson Fulmer RHP (White Sox) 1.43 - The White Sox may have rushed him last year. Fulmer only stands 6′0″ and with the recent acquisitions of Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez his best spot may be in the bullpen. Despite being the same height as Lopez he lacks his velocity, hitting the low 90s with his fastball. His best pitch may be his curveball and he does throw a plus change to give him three above average pitches. A 8.49 ERA, 7 walks in 12 innings and a .273 opposition average in eight relief outings in the major leagues is not what the White Sox were looking for but many top prospects struggle in their first exposure to major league hitters.

85. Brady Aiken RHP (Indians) 1.5 - The Astros drafted him as the first pick in the draft in 2014 but concerns over his arm led them to reduce his bonus leaving a sour taste in Brady’s mouth for not signing. Brady later had to undergo Tommy John surgery. This did not prevent the Indians from selecting them as their number one pick when he fell to them as the 17th pick in the 2015 draft. He struggled in his first professional debut in 2016 with an ERA combined of 5.83 between two rookie leagues with an opposition average of .274. The bright spot is his K rate was 11.1 per nine innings and his fastball sat in the low 90s but touched 97. He also throws an above average curve and change. This was his rehab year so 2017 should see greater velocity on his fastball and sharper breaks on his curve with improved command, at least that is how the Indians would like it drawn up on their blueprint.

84. German Marquez RHP (Rockies) 1.58 - Soon he will have to deal with pitching in the high altitudes of Colorado. German throws the ball hard with a mid-90s fastball touching into the high 90s. He also carries an above average curve with a changeup in the developmental stages. Last year he made his major league debut with three starts and three relief appearances, fashioning a 5.23 ERA. His strikeout rate has never been above 9 but has always been in the neighborhood, but against major league hitters it dropped to 6.5. Expect at some point the Rockies stick him in their rotation after he has success in AAA.

83. Willie Calhoun 2B (Dodgers) 1.6 - At 5′8″ you could compare him to Jose Altuve, except he does not have his speed and he is not a good defensive player. What he does have is the ability to carry the ball over the fence with 27 homeruns in AA. Ideally, he could fit in left field but slow foot speed and a below average arm make that a liability. His best position may be DH but they don’t have that in the National League so the Dodgers will keep him at second base and if he keeps on hitting bombs they will not complain.

82. Stephen Gonsalves LHP (Twins) 1.67 - Stephen is a pitcher the Twins used to thrive on putting in their rotation during their playoff years. He doesn’t throw hard with a fastball in the low 90s, but he is able to hit the corners, throw up and down in the strike zone and give hitters different looks. Despite the lack of velocity he still struck out more than a hitter an inning last year and kept opponents to a batting average at less than .200. He also throws a change and a curve with the changeup being his second best pitch. After dominating in 13 starts at AA expect him to begin next season in AAA with a shot at making his major league debut before mid-season.

81. Ian Anderson RHP (Braves) 1.83 - Anderson is one of many number one draft pick pitchers in the Braves camp. However, with Anderson he will be a home grown pick, drafted by the Braves in the first round in 2016. The New Yorker throws hard with a fastball sliding in to the mid-90s and touching 97 with the potential for an above average curveball and change. He made a promising professional debut and should start 2017 in Low A.

Breakout Prospects and Prospects to Watch in AL East

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Myworld continues to look at prospects who will have a major league impact in 2017 and other prospects to watch to see if they will find themselves on the cusp of making the major league team in 2018. Some of these prospects to watch are veteran minor leaguers trying to over come surgery, former top prospects who have tripped in their minor league ascension or Cubans who have no history at the professional level in the United States but were stars in Cuba. Today myworld takes a look at the AL East.

Baltimore Orioles

Breakout Prospect (Trey Mancini 1B/DH) - Chris Davis is blocking him at first base but the O’s have still not acquired a DH who is a better hitter than Trey. Last year in a brief September call up he mashed three homeruns in 14 at bats. This was a bit of an aberration since his minor league numbers took him to 550 at bats to hit 20 homeruns. He has a solid bat that can go gap to gap to all fields. If given an opportunity he will hit .280 with 20 plus homeruns. His foot speed will prevent a move to the outfield but if the O’s find a DH Chris Davis could still fill an outfield spot to make room for Mancini at first base.

Prospect to Watch (Adam Walker OF) - Every year there are players you are shocked to see on the waiver wire. The Orioles farm system is not flowing with prospects, especially with outfielders so Walker is a good gamble. The Twins put him on waivers to remove him from the 40 man roster but the Orioles took a chance on his power and picked him up. He has always had trouble making contact but he has light tower power once he does. A below average arm with questionable foot speed will probably pigeon hole him to left field or force a move to first base. Last year he struck 202 times, but he did splash 27 homeruns. He needs to make a little more contact to up that .243 average and .305 OBA. If he played a superior defense you might be able to tolerate an extreme swing and miss propensity.

Boston Red Sox

Breakout Prospect (Andrew Benintendi OF) - The Red Sox have two talented outfielders in Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley. Andrew hit .305 in a late season callup to earn the third spot in the lineup. He should make the team out of spring training. With the killer Bs of Betts, Bradley and Benintendi in the outfield the Red Sox will have three centerfielders on defense. All the tools are there for Andrew to steal 20 plus bases and hit 20 plus homeruns giving the Red Sox an opportunity to have three 20/20 hitters playing the outfield. Expect Andrew to win a batting title or two before his time is up with the Red Sox.

Prospect to Watch (Jason Groome LHP) - Jason dropped to the 12th pick with the Red Sox this year because of concerns about his maturity. The 6′6″ lefthander can light the radar guns up to the high 90s, excellent velocity readings for a lefthander. His curve ball is an excellent pitch and despite his height he can fill the plate with strikes. While he only made three starts last year there were no reports of any character breakdowns. Next year he should reach full season ball so the true test will come whether he can maintain his composure over a six month period.

New York Yankees

Breakout Prospect (Aaron Judge OF) - An injury ended his September callup early. It was still a rewarding experience despite his .179 average. He and Tyler Austin became the first rookies in major league history to hit back to back homeruns in their first at bats. After that the season went down hill for Judge with 42 strikeouts in 90 plus at bats, almost a 50 percent strikeout percentage. In the minors he had improved his ability to make contact, limiting his whiffs to just 98 in 400 at bats, so that seemed to indicate progress. At 6′7″ Judge has excellent power if he can extend his arms and his height does not limit his ability to cover ground in the outfield. Many compare his tools to Giancarlo Stanton with two more inches of strike zone length. Because of the high strikeout number he may repeat AAA to refocus on improving his ability to make contact. The Yankees are rebuilding so there is only Aaron Hicks in right field to block him from a starting spot.

Prospect to Watch (Gleyber Torres SS and Jorge Mateo 2B) - The Yankees are in no hurry to promote either of these two players to the shortstop position with Didi Gregorius covering the position well. Jorge Mateo was a shortstop last year but he struggled with attitude and consistency. The Yankees seemed to realize he would not replace Didi at short and gave him opportunities to play second. Mateo has blazing speed with the ability to steal 50 plus bases per year. His hit tool isn’t bad but he seemed to sacrifice average for a little more pop last year. His career OBA is .359 but last year it dropped to .308. The Yankees disciplined him because he pouted about not being promoted to AA when his numbers did not appear deserving of the promotion. With the acquisition of Gleyber Torres from the Cubs Jorge appears to be permanently moved to second base. Torres has the more consistent defensive tools at short, though he lacks the speed of Mateo. His bat can generate more power and if the need arises the Yankees could still move him to third if they feel uncomfortable moving Gregorius away from short.

Tampa Bay Rays

Break out Prospect (Brent Honeywell RHP) - Brent is last year’s Blake Snell minus the consecutive shutout innings at the start of the season. Successful stints at High A and AA signal a readiness to pitch at the major league level. The screwball is the pitch in his repertoire that sets him apart from the other pitchers. His fastball is not overpowering, hitting the low 90s but his command of the fastball, a better than average change and the threat of the screwball makes him a pitcher tough to figure out. With some early season success in AA he could get an early callup to fill the major league rotation.

Prospects to Watch (Lucius Fox SS and Adrian Rodon SS) - Both signed for impressive bonus contracts, Rodon out of the Dominican Republic for $2.9 million. Lucious signed out of the Bahamas for $6 million, a bonus you would normally see for Cuban players. Fortunately for the Rays the Giants paid off most of that bonus money. Lucious played high school in the United States but moved back to the Bahamas after high school to qualify as an international free agent. Lucius is probably the more pure shortstop with a lot of speed to cover the middle infield, but Rodon has the better arm and more consistent glove. Adrian clearly has the better bat of the two, including inducing power, but that would make it an easier move to third for him if the Rays had to choose one of the two to fill the shortstop position.

Toronto Blue Jays

Breakout Prospect (Sean Reid Foley RHP) - Myworld had a hard time finding a prospect to make an immediate impact with the Jays. Foley seemed to be the best bet based on his .190 opposition average between High A and AA. At 6′3″ he is not tall, but this doesn’t prevent his fastball from hitting the mid 90s. An above average slider and a decent change makes his fastball tough to pick up. Expect the Jays to start him in AA to begin the season. If he dominates in AA Sean will see a call up to the major league club, one of the few players to make the major leagues born in Guam.

Prospect to Watch (Vladimir Guerrero Jr 3B) - He lacks the same physical traits as his dad being a little thicker and not having the arm of his father. His thick build also contributes to his lack of foot speed, limiting him to a corner infield position. What he does do well is swing the bat with a .271 average having the capability of hitting 20 plus homeruns. Guerrero signed for $3.9 million last year during the international draft so the 2016 was his first season. If his genes are anything close to his dad Junior could be an All Star for years to come.

Mexican Winter Wonders to Watch in 2017

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

The stash of prospects in the Mexican League is not as great as in the other winter leagues. This could be the result of the veteran players that dot the rosters there, making it more difficult for a younger player to find playing time. Most of the prospects playing in the Mexican League are over 21 years of age.

Randy Arozarena (Cardinals/Navojoa) OF - The 21 year old Cuban is raking against Mexican League pitching, hitting .342, which puts him fourth in the league. He is also showing some speed with 15 stolen bases, tops in the league, though he has been caught stealing 8 times. During his last season in the Cuban League he hit .291. He shows speed but appears to lack power with only 9 of his 51 hits going for extra bases, none of them travelling out of the park.

Joey Wendle (Athletics/Obregon) 2B - The Athletics traded a lot of production in Brandon Morrow to acquire Wendle. It is time for them to see what he can accomplish on the field. Not blessed with a lot of tools, but he should give you a .270 bat at the second base position. For Obregon he is hitting .307 with 11 doubles that has increased his slugging percentage to .511. He won’t win any gold gloves with his defense and his speed falls at the highest point in the Bell Curve of major league players (denoting average) but he stole 14 bases in 18 attempts last year and is 5 for 6 in the Mexican League this year, so he takes advantage of his opportunities.

David Washington (Orioles/Hermosillo) 1B - There is a lot of swing and miss in his at bats, but when he makes contact there is thunder. Last year he hit 30 homeruns between AA and AAA. The Cardinals did not put him on the 40 man roster and he left as a six year minor league free agent. In the Mexican League he is still swinging and missing with 42 whiffs in 27 games for a .173 average. On the upside he is second in the league in homeruns with 8. David has at least struck out once in his last eight games.

Art Charles (Jalisco/Reds) 1B - Baseball America voted him the Independent League player of the year in 2016. Like Washington the swings and misses come easy, but there is some pop in his bat. He has four homeruns in the Mexican League but only a .204 average with 37 whiffs in 27 games. His biggest power year was his last in the minors in 2015 when he hit 19 homeruns. In his six year minor league career he never hit better than .251 and always had more than one strikeout per game. In Independent Ball he raked hitting .352 with 29 homeruns.

Luis Heredia (Pirates/Mazatlán) RHP - The Pirates spent a lot of money signing the 6′5″ Mexican righthander. There was a lot of promise five years ago but that stock has dropped. The Pirates moved him to the bullpen last year and that is where he is pitching for Mazatlán. Two bad relief outings taint his 4.76 ERA. The opposition batting average of .263 won’t bring a lot of confidence in his future success, but he has struck out 24 hitters in 26 innings. His walks to innings pitched is still below 2 to 1, which does not bode well for a career in the major leagues.

Orioles and Nationals Drafts from 2005

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

Myworld took a look at the drafts of the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles since 2005 to see what team they would have for 2017 of major league players if their roster was exclusively limited to drafted players. Myworld chose 2005 because that was the year the Montreal Expos move to D.C.

Washington Nationals

2005 - Ryan Zimmerman (1) 1B, Justin Maxwell (4) OF, Marco Estrada (6) RHP, Scott Barnes (43 - DNS) RHP

2006 - Khris Davis (29 - DNS) OF, Brad Peacock (41) RHP

2007 - Ross Detwiler (1) LHP, Josh Smoker (1) LHP, Jordan Zimmerman (2) RHP, Steven Souza (3) OF, Derek Norris (4) C

2008 - Destin Hood (2) OF, Danny Espinosa (3) SS, Tommy Milone (10) LHP, Alex Dickerson (48 - DNS) OF

2009 - Stephen Strasburg (1) RHP, Drew Storen (1) RHP, Michael Taylor (6) OF, Nate Karns (12) RHP, Marcus Stroman (10 - DNS) RHP

2010 - Bryce Harper (1) OF, Sammy Solis (2) LHP, A.J. Cole (4) RHP, Robbie Ray (12) LHP

2011 - Anthony Rendon (1) 3B, Alex Meyer (1) RHP, Billy Burns (32) OF, Brian Goodwin (1) OF

2012 - Lucas Giolito (1) RHP

2015 - Koda Glover (8) RHP

Baltimore Orioles

2005 - Nolan Reimold (2) OF, David Hernandez (16) RHP

2006 - Pedro Beato (1) RHP, Zach Britton (3) LHP, Tony Watson (17 - DNS) LHP

2007 - Matt Wieters (1) C, Jake Arrieta (5) RHP, Russell Wilson (41 - DNS) QB

2008 - Brian Matusz (1) LHP, Caleb Joseph (7) C, Chris Hermann (10 - DNS) C, Oliver Drake (43) RHP

2009 - Mychal Givens (2) RHP, Tyler Naquin (33 - DNS) OF, Mike Flacco (31) Brother of Joe QB

2010 - Manny Machado (1) 3B/SS

2011 - Dylan Bundy (1) RHP, Mike Wright (3) RHP, Tyler Wilson (10) RHP, Zach Davies (26) RHP

2012 - Kevin Gausman (1) RHP, Christian Walker (4) 1B/OF

2013 - Trey Mancini (8) 1B, Donnie Hart (27) RHP

Washington Nationals Lineup/Roster

C - Derek Norris

1B - Ryan Zimmerman

2B - empty, but lots of outfielders who could try second base

SS - Danny Espinosa

3B - Anthony Rendon

OF - Khris Davis, Bryce Harper, Steven Souza, Justin Maxwell, Michael Taylor, Billy Burns, Brian Goodwin and Destin Hood

SP - Marco Estrada, Jordan Zimmerman, Stephen Strasburg, Marcus Stroman, Robbie Ray, Scott Barnes and Lucas Giolito

RP - Brad Peacock, Ross Detwiler, Tommy Milone, Alex Meyer, Drew Storen, Nate Karns, Sammy Solis, A.J. Cole and Koda Glover

Baltimore Orioles Lineup/Roster

C - Matt Wieters, Caleb Joseph, Chris Hermann

1B - Trey Mancini

2B - empty

3B - empty

SS - Manny Machado

OF - Nolan Reimold, Tyler Naquin, Christian Walker

SP - Jake Arriata, Dylan Bundy, Zach Davies, Kevin Gausman, Mike Wright

RP - David Hernandez, Pedro Beato, Zach Britton, Tony Watson, Brian Matusz, Oliver Drake, Mychal Givens, Tyler Wilson, Donnie Hart

QBs - Russell Wilson, Mike Flacco

Catcher Prospect Review

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

These were the top ten catchers at the beginning of the year as rated by myworld. We could not find our Baseball America magazine that rated the top ten catchers, lefthanded pitchers and righthanded pitchers so we will go with our list for these three positions, even though we hate using our bias.

1. Gary Sanchez (Yankees) - He did not get a lot of major league at bats because of his late callup but his homerun production when promoted to the major leagues was record breaking. With more playing time he would be the cinch American League rookie of the year, but he may still win it. His defense has improved to such an extent that he is now considered above average. Brian McCann will be the back up next year despite his large contract while Sanchez takes over the starting role. Expect a drop in production but his bat should still carry 20 plus over the fence each year.

2. Wilson Contreras (Cubs) - Another player who got a major league promotion mid-season. Wilson played a lot in left field because the Cubs had more veteran catchers to use behind the plate. Wilson has 20 plus homerun power and an arm to limit base stealing. His pitch calling and handling of a veteran playoff pitching staff still needs more work. With Kyle Schwarber coming back next year to play left field and Anthony Rizzo at first Wilson will have to get more playing time behind the plate to justify him staying in the major leagues. David Ross retirement will ensure him of at least a back up spot.

3. Jorge Alfaro (Phillies) - His tools have always exceeded his production. Injuries have also limited his playing time. This year he played at Reading, a hitters park, but he was one of the better players on one of the top minor league teams in baseball. He slugged 15 homeruns and stayed free of any major injury. The Phillies have a young catcher in Cameron Rupp but Jorge offers more offensive and defensive potential. Alfaro won the Captains Choice catcher award for being the best defensive catcher in the minor leagues. He did get a September callup for the Phillies to get his feet wet for a mid-season 2017 role.

4. Andrew Knapp (Phillies) - When it rains it pours. Tommy Joseph was a top Philly catching prospect but moved to first base after concussion issues. This year Tommy took over the first base job from Ryan Howard. The Phillies will have to do something about their trio of catchers. Knapp is a couple years older than Alfaro and is playing at AAA. Next year Alfaro will be ready for AAA and Knapp does not have the power or arm to compete with Alfaro. Don’t be surprised to see Knapp traded next year or getting promoted to the Phillies to be the back up to Rupp.

5. Tom Murphy (Rockies) - The Rockies catcher of the future. He hit for power (19) and average (.327) in AAA and those tools were evident in a late promotion to the Rockies. Expect him to be looked at as the starting catcher for the Rockies next year. The third round 2012 pick can also handle the defensive side of the game with a strong arm and good pitch calling abilities. Playing in the high altitude of Colorado can only accentuate his offensive numbers.

6. Tyler Stephenson (Reds) - Eventually he could team up with Robert Stephenson to give the Reds a Stephenson/Stephenson battery. The 2015 first round pick is still a couple years away from playing for the Reds. Last year he struggled in Low A hitting only .216. Injuries limited him to just over 100 at bats. At 6′4″ he might be too big to catch. The arm is strong enough to limit a baserunning game and his bat is better than the .216 he showed in 2016.

7. Jacob Nottingham (Brewers) - The Athletics acquired Jacob from the Astros as one of the players for Scott Kazmir. They then traded him to the Brewers for Khris Davis. Davis hit 40 plus homeruns for the Athletics in 2016. Nottingham may take four years to reach that homerun figure, though at 6′3″ he is said to have raw power. Last year he hit 11 homeruns in AA but a 29/138 walk to whiff ratio brought his average below .250. His defense needs some improvement before it can be considered major league ready, but he does have a strong arm that can gun down baserunners.

8. Reese McGuire (Blue Jays) - The Pirates sent Reese McGuire and other prospects to the Blue Jays to rid themselves of the Francisco Liriano contract. McGuire has been a disappointment for a first round 2013 pick. He has shown little power with too much of a vanilla bat. With a little more electricity in his offense his defense is strong enough to play in the major leagues. McGuire does a good job of making contact but it is just too much soft contact. The Blue Jays do not really have a catcher they can brag about. If they can not find anyone with a bat next year McGuire has the defense to fill the position.

9. Clint Coulter (Brewers) - With the acquisition of Nottingham this takes the pressure off the Brewers to put Coulter behind the plate. He will continue to see more time in the outfield. His defense will always be below major league average but his bat carries enough power to play right field. It has now been two years since he has seen any time behind the plate. The 2016 season saw a big drop in his power numbers (.358 slugging). He will need to improve upon that to make up for his defensive deficiencies in the outfield.

10. Chance Sisco (Orioles) - His power numbers took a big drop in 2016 but he raised his average over the .300 mark again (.319). Defense is not his strong suit. Matt Wieters will be a free agent next year so the Orioles have a catcher opening. Chance probably needs a full season in AAA to get major league ready.

Third Base Prospects Review

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Myworld has already taken a look at the first and second base prospects as ranked by Baseball America. Now we take a look at the third base prospects who were rated in the top ten before the season and analyze what kind of season they had in 2016 and where will that take them in 2017.

1. Joey Gallo (Rangers) - You would have expected a permanent position in the major leagues this year after back to back 40 homerun seasons in 2013 and 2014. His primary position is taken by Adrian Beltre, who signed an extension to play a couple more years at third base. With Prince Fielder retired the DH spot is open and he has seen some time in the outfield. Better contact at the major league level would help his cause as 68 whiffs in 125 at bats is just not going to cut it. Spring training next year will determine whether he plays first base, left field, third base or DH. Nomar Mazara was able to have success when promoted to the Rangers to play right field. Gallo has to show success too if he wants to stick.

2. Rafael Devers (Red Sox) - Just what the Red Sox need, another player with primo hit tools. Fortunately for other major league teams he played all of this year in High A so he has a couple years before he sees the major leagues. Fielding issues could be a problem forcing a move to first base. The power has yet to show but he won’t turn 20 until October of this year. This year he hit .284 with 11 homeruns. There is no one to block his path at third base and Hanley Ramirez could be ready for DH if Devers needs to move to first.

3. Ryan McMahon (Rockies) - The Rockies already have a third baseman in Nolan Arenado. That has not forced the Rockies to move Ryan from third base. Like Gallo he strikes out too much (161) which leads to low averages (.240). His homerun numbers (12) also took a dip. His lack of speed makes a move to the outfield a problem so if Arenado stays a Rockie the only alternative for McMahon is first base. For that position he needs to show more power.

4. Ke’Bryan Hayes (Pirates) - The Pirates drafted the son of Charlie in the first round of the 2015 draft. There is still a lot of minor league ball in his career, with just 250 at bats in Low A. His bat is supposed to show power but last year in 180 at bats he did not hit a homerun. This year he sent 6 over the fence. Hayes has the defensive chops to play the position but at 210 pounds he needs to keep his body toned to stay there. Hayes still has a couple more years in the minors before his future is determined.

5. Matt Chapman (Athletics) - The Athletics have a number of corner infielders in their minor league system. Chapman last year slugged 36 homeruns to put him on the radar for either first or third base. Like many power hitters he also strikes out a lot (173) so those will have to be reduced if he wants to hit for a decent average. A .197 average in 76 at bats in the AAA Pacific Coast League is a little disappointing, but he played in Nashville, not considered one of the Pacific Coast League hitter’s parks.

6. Austin Riley (Braves) - Riley was a supplemental first round pick for the Braves in 2015. Ahead of him in AAA is Rio Ruiz, a second round pick of the Astros who the Braves acquired in their 2016 franchise sale of all their veterans. Riley has some pop (20 homeruns) but at 230 pounds he may need to move from the hot corner. Freddie Freeman will have first base for awhile and Riley lacks the speed to move to the outfield. His power should win him the third base job over Ruiz if he can show he can defend the position.

7. Colin Moran (Astros) - The Marlins made him a first round pick in 2013 after he led all college players in RBIs. The Marlins later traded him to the Astros. With the Astros there is just no room for him at third base with Yulieski Gurriel and Alex Bregman already sharing the position. Colin has not shown the power to star at the position but at 24 and playing in AAA he is ready for the major leagues. His best opportunity to make the major leagues is if the Astros trade him for a veteran player to help them navigate a playoff race. Myworld does not see a lot of major league opportunity for him.

8. Jomar Reyes (Orioles) - At 6′4″ Jomar may be a little too big to settle at third base. A move to first base is a strong possibility. He needs to show a better hit tool to be considered for a major league position. His walks to strikeouts is poor (25/102) leading to a poor average (.228). He is still down in High A so the Orioles can still show a lot of patience with him.

9. Miguel Andujar (Yankees) - He seemed to tap into his power this season, rising to AA where he combined for 12 homeruns. His average sits in the .270s despite a propensity to strike out. Miguel has all the tools to play the position and no one on the depth chart to impede his path to the major league roster. He still needs to play another year or two in the minors before the Yankees consider promoting him.

10. Jeimer Candelario (Cubs) - He may move Kris Bryant permanently to the outfield. His power falls way short of Bryant but his defense at third base is much better. He also makes better contact (70/99) with the ability to draw walks. The Cubs gave him his major league debut this year but a .091 average with five whiffs in 11 at bats shows he needs more seasoning.

Trumbo with Another Jumbo Leads O’s Wild Card Hunt

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

The Orioles continue to win their games with homeruns and solid bullpen work. If not for two dingers today and five innings of relief from their bullpen they would not have beaten the Tampa Bay Rays 2-1. It was not because of solid starting pitching that limited the Rays offense. Wade Miley left after four innings due to a back injury. The Oriole bullpen went the final five. Homeruns and solid bullpen work has been how the O’s have been winning all year.

Wade Miley pitched four shutout innings. In the fourth he seemed to shake his leg after the pitch trying to work out a leg injury. He was able to complete the inning, came out for the fifth, but during his warm up was removed from the game. Miley had retired the first 9 hitters before getting in a little trouble in the fourth. Darren O’Day came on to pitch the fifth and on his first offering Corey Dickerson deposited it into the left field bleachers.

In the sixth the Rays loaded the bases with just one out off Donnie Hart. Corey Dickerson came to the plate and turned from hero to goat, grounding into a 4-6-3 double play.

Jake Odorizzi had silenced the O’s bats for the first five innings. In the sixth Manny Machado led off the inning with a line drive into the right centerfield bleachers. Kevin Kiermaier tried to scale the wall to prevent the ball from reaching the bleachers but he fell far short.

The Rays went to their bullpen in the seventh. The O’s put runners on second and third with one out. Dan Farquhar struck out Adam Jones for the second out and Dana Eveland struck out pinch hitter Drew Stubbs to prevent the Orioles from scoring.

In the 8th the Rays brought in Ryan Garton. He retired the first hitter but Mark Trumbo took one of his pitches for a ride, a 450 foot homerun into centerfield. That gave the O’s a 2-1 lead and an opportunity for Zach Britton to pick up his 45th save. He did, stranding a runner on second.

Game Notes: Richie Shaffer booted a ball at first and struck out in two of his three at bats. The Rays would like to have his power in the lineup, but he needs to show he can play the position. He will not dislodge Evan Longoria from third base. His inability to make contact will limit his batting average into the low .200s…Chris Davis stranded two runners in both the first and third innings with fly balls into left field…The win gives the O’s a one game lead over the Toronto Blue Jays for the first wild card spot…The injury for Miley was stated to be a muscle strain in his back

Yankees Walk to Victory to Prevent Sweep

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

Wade Miley walked the first two hitters he faced, both on 3-2 counts. Both those players scored resulting in a Yankees 5-2 win over the Orioles. Miley walked five, throwing 102 pitches after the fifth inning and did not come out to start the sixth.

After Brett Gardner and Rob Refsnyder led the game off with walks Miley struck out Gary Sanchez and Starlin Castro to give fans hope he could escape the inning. A Chase Headley bloop single into left field scored the first run. A wild pitch advanced the runners to second and third and Austin Romine sneaked a single through the third base hole to drive in both for an early 3-0 lead.

The Orioles appeared to come back in the bottom of the first. Adam Jones and Manny Machado lined singles to put two runners on with one out. Michael Pineda got out of the inning, striking out Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis to end the threat.

Another walk assisted the Mets in the third inning. Rob Refsnyder singled up the middle and Gary Sanchez walked to put two runners on with no out. Starlin Castro grounded into a double play, Refsnyder advancing to third. Chase Headley got another two out hit, a slow roller between short and third. Machado jumped in front of Hardy to make the play but his one bouncer to third skipped by Davis allowing Refsnyder to score. The official scorer ruled it a hit giving Headley his second RBI of the game.

The Orioles mounted a comeback off Pineda in the fourth. Mark Trumbo started the inning with a walk. Chris Davis advanced him to third with a line single up the middle off the glove of Headley playing on the right side of the infield. Steve Pearce hit a grounder to short, but a slow pivot throw by Starlin Castro could not get two and Trumbo scored. A hit batsman put two runners on with one out but Pineda was able to strike out Jonathan Schoop and get Hardy to ground to short to limit the damage to one run.

In the fifth a single by Adam Jones and a double by Pedro Alvarez into the left field corner against the shift moved the score to 4-2, ending the day for Pineda. Luis Severino came on to pitch, threw a wild pitch to advance Alvarez to third. Manny Machado struck out for the first out. Two walks loaded the bases and brought out the Yankee pitching coach. Steve Pearce struck out and Matt Wieters grounded to second to end the O’s opportunity.

The Orioles only put one runner on base in the last four innings, a single in the eighth by Chris Davis off the right shoulder of Tyler Clippard. Dellin Betances retired the last four hitters to pick up the save.

The Yankees scored their final run in the ninth when Mark Trumbo dropped a line drive from Tyler Austin for a two base error. Ronald Torreyes bunted him to third and Brett Gardner hit the ball deep enough to Trumbo in right to score Austin. The throw from Trumbo hit Wieters on the fly but his tag was a little late.

Game Notes: It was a small crowd for a Yankee series. The announced crowd was 31,000, but the crowd at the park appeared smaller. It is possible that the hurricane threat prevented many Yankee fans from traveling south to watch the game. The increase in ticket prices may also be a cause for the reduced overall attendance at Oriole games this year. It seemed odd for the Orioles and Yankees to both be in a playoff race but play before a stadium that seemed very empty with nary a chant of “Let’s go Yankees” being drowned out by “Let’s go O’s” chants, at least from where myworld was seated…It was announced that after Cal Ripken broke the consecutive game streak held by Lou Gehrig with his 2,132 consecutive game played the O’s bench pushed Ripken out of the dugout to take his lap around the field. The time was 9:31 or in military time 21:31…Myworld is amazed at the number of people holding up cardboard signs claiming to be homeless on the back end walk to the parking lot near Ravens stadium. There were seven sitting on the sidewalk, many claiming to be former veterans…September games bring in the worst of long games, with managers trotting out lots of pitchers, some just to face one hitter. It would be nice for major league baseball to require relief pitchers to face at least three hitters per inning. If an injury prevents them from doing so they must be placed on the 15 day disabled list the next day…Aaron Judge is a big dude with a big strike zone. He struck out twice. Myworld does not see him hitting for a high average. In the sixth he made a slide into second base to beat the throw from Hardy that would have loaded the bases, but his body rolled past the bag and Schoop tagged him out…The Orioles walked seven Yankees in the game…J.J. Hardy appeared to be limping as he jogged onto the field in the eighth inning.,,The Yankees had been shut out by the Orioles for three straight games until they erupted for three runs off Miley in the first inning…The Orioles were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position, striking out five times. A team can not live on homeruns alone.

Seong-Min Kim Drafted by the Wyverns

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

For those not familiar with Kim, he was the player the Orioles attempted to sign a couple years ago without getting permission from the KBO. The Orioles were penalized for the signing.

The KBO held their draft on August 22 and Kim was a first round pick for the SK Wyverns. Other names of note drafted in the first round according to were Jin-Young Kim who was a pitcher in the Cubs minor league system drafted by the Hanwha Eagles and Jin-Ho Shin who was a catcher in the Royals minor league system drafted by the NC Dinos.