On Thursday night, MLB.com unveiled their list of the top 100 prospects in baseball. When all was said and done, the Orioles ended up with three of their top prospects among baseball's best. The highest on the list was Dylan Bundy at #20, with Kevin Gausman and his beautiful change-up coming in at #31 and Venezuelan lefty Eduardo Rodriguez slotting at #68.
For both Bundy and Gausman, that represents a lower position than where they were on last year's list. They were back-to-back with Bundy at 14 and Gausman at 15. It's not surprising they would have fallen somewhat. Bundy has the added uncertainty of returning from Tommy John surgery.
Gausman had some rocky debut innings at the big league level, but Baseball Prospectus still called him "a beast, with a near-elite fastball, a plus-plus change-up, and the makings of a plus slider." It would be nice for the Orioles to have a beast.
The O's had fewer prospects on the list than some other teams, but given that both of their top players are in the top 40, that made them perform well when MLB.com tabulated the Prospect Points, their system for scoring strength at the top of a farm system. The #1 prospect (Minnesota's Byron Buxton) is worth 100 points, the #2 prospect (Boston's Xander Bogaerts) is worth 99 points, and so on.
Bundy, Gausman, and Rodriguez combined are worth 184 prospect points, which puts them in ninth in baseball, a respectable showing. Unfortunately for the Orioles heading into the future, the Red Sox are the second-best team, placing a total of nine prospects on the top 100, including Bogaerts nearly at the top. They had the most prospects on the list of all MLB teams. The Astros, with seven prospects, had the highest Prospect Points score.
Of the O's other division rivals, the Rays had three players on the list, with the highest being Jake Odorizzi, one of their gifts from Royals GM Dayton Moore, at #58. The Blue Jays also had three players, topping out with Aaron Sanchez, a right-handed pitcher, at #23. There are two Yankees prospects on the list. Gary Sanchez, a catching prospect, is the best of the two, coming in at #47.
It could have gone better for the Orioles, and it could have gone a lot worse. In a year's time, if all of those players develop how we hope they could, then the O's could find themselves positioned better next year. Gausman would be ensconced in the majors and 2013 first-round pick Hunter Harvey would find himself popping into the top 100 as well. Hey, if you can't dream about prospects, when can you dream?
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