Baseball Prospectus has announced the 15 best systems in baseball, and it would appear as though Baltimore has taken a big step forward.
Another season or two of not so great ball on the horizon and high-level draft picks (middle infielders, please) and this franchise could be stacked with talent. Talent that could very easily compete with the big club in 2010 or 11. And with the continued progress of pitchers and guys at the corners, I actually have faith in this teams future.
Thank you, Andy MacPhail...
"10. Baltimore Orioles
"Last Year's Ranking: 18
"Why They're Up: They drafted the best college position player in Matt Wieters, and added a ton of talent in the Erik Bedard trade.
"Strengths: Right-handers who throw hard; power prospects; just on his own, Wieters makes catching a strength.
"Weaknesses: Athletic position players, especially in the middle infield and center field.
"Outlook for 2009 Ranking: They could be up if third baseman Billy Rowell and right-hander Brandon Erbe can return to previous form."