Yesterday was no fun in Birdland. Yes, the Orioles fell to the Texas Rangers by a score of 8-1, however, the much, much, much worse news is likely the fact that right-handed pitching prospect Dylan Bundy is being shut down indefinitely. It is just the latest in a string of disappointing news with not only Bundy himself, but, it feels like, every notable Oriole pitching prospect in recent memory.
So, it made me wonder a few things. It seems fairly easy to keep track of which Oriole prospects are doing well. Either they will be brought up during the MASN and radio broadcasts, they will be lucky enough to have a Camden Chat article written about them (jokes) or, quite simply, you will see them in an Oriole uniform. But it's tough when the O's trade away a youngster. We never hear about them again until/if/when they get to the Bigs. It would be great if a blogger out there would take some time to compile a partial list of former baby birds and update me on their progress.
Well, "past me", have no fear because that is exactly what I plan to do. Keep in mind, this list will certainly not be exhaustive. I'm probably going to forget someone. If you want, give me a friendly little reminder in the comments and I will try my darnedest to add it. Also, this is not all of Orioles history, lets just say five years or so. If they aren't making news by now, they likely don't have a prayer.
Without further ado, here are your Orioles that never were...
Catcher, Brian Ward
-Traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers along with right-handed pitcher Ryan Webb on April 9, 2015 in exchange for right-handed pitcher Ben Rowen and catcher Chris O'Brien
The 29-year-old out of Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho seems to be not much more than an organizational player. He is currently playing with Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he is slashing .208/.351/.351 with three home runs and 13 RBI. It makes sense because he was never a hot prospect for the O's, but Baseball America did anoint him the Best Defensive Catcher in their system following the 2012 season.
Left-handed pitcher Steven Brault
-Traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates on February 20, 2015 as the "player to be named later" along with left-handed pitcher Stephen Tarpley to complete the January 27, 2015 trade for outfielder Travis Snider
In his time with the O's, Brault pitched well enough for BA to rank him as the 14th-best prospect in Baltimore's system in 2013. The following season he dropped to 18th. He began his 2015 with High-A Bradenton for Pittsburgh, where he pitched to a 3.02 ERA over 13 starts and 65.2 innings, striking out 45 and walking 21. Since then, he has been promoted to Double-A Altoona. There he has a 3.48 ERA over just 10.1 innings.
Left-handed pitcher Stephen Tarpley
-Traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates on January 27, 2015 along with a player to be named later (Brault) in exchange for Travis Snider
Tarpley's career thus far is chugging along right at the speed of most normal prospects. With the Birds, he spent his first season in the Gulf Coast. The next year he went to the New York-Penn League. And now, he is in the Sally League with Pittsburgh's Single-A team, West Virginia. Thus far, he has a 2.83 ERA over seven starts and 35 innings. As an Oriole, Baseball America ranked him as their 16th-best prospect.
Catcher Mike Ohlman
-Traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for cash on February 3, 2015
The 24-year-old has been a professional since 2009, and he is still a little bit younger than his competition at Double-A Springfield. Ohlman is a former 11th-round selection in the draft and was once a top-10 prospect for the Orioles. In the minors, he is a career .263/.351/.396 slasher. He is having a nice season with Springfield, hitting .297 with seven home runs and 40 RBI, but he is hardly pushing Yadier Molina out from behind the dish in St. Louis anytime soon.
Left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez
-Traded to the Boston Red Sox on July 31, 2014 in exchange for left-handed pitcher Andrew Miller
Man, the Orioles sure are unloading a lot of southpaw pitchers, aren't they? This one may hurt more than all of the rest. He was a top-five prospect for the O's and in the top 100 in all of baseball. Following the trade, E-Rod proceeded to tear up the Boston minor league system, pitching to a 0.96 ERA over six starts for Double-A Portland in 2014. He has made it to Boston this season and has made six starts, including one against Baltimore. While he did get lit up in that game, the potential is obvious.
Outfielder Xavier Avery
-Traded to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for outfielder Michael Morse on August 30, 2013
Avery is a former second-round pick and ranked as high as the number three prospect in the O's system and even made it to Baltimore back in 2012 for a 32-game stint in which the then-22-year-old struggled. Now 25, Avery hasn't been back in the bigs since. He now plays for Detroit's Triple-A affiliate in Toledo, where he is hitting .299/.362/.388 with one home run, 13 stolen bases and nine caught stealing.
Outfielder L.J. Hoes
-Traded to the Houston Astros along with left-handed pitcher Josh Hader in exchange for right-handed pitcher Bud Norris on July 31, 2013
Hoes was a third-round draft pick back in 2008 and, at one time, was a top-five prospect for the O's. In the minors, he is a career .291 hitter. But that has not translated to consistent Major League success. Still with Houston, Hoes has had his ups and downs, hitting .287 over 46 games in 2013, but then hitting just .172 over 55 games the following year. Currently, he is hitting .335/.417/.462 with Triple-A Fresno. Another chance in the bigs is beckoning, but Houston is much better now than when Hoes was brought on board.
Left-handed pitcher Josh Hader
-Traded to the Houston Astros along with outfielder L.J. Hoes in exchange for right-handed pitcher Bud Norris on July 31, 2013
Another lefty? Goof lord! What's worse is that this guy is continuing exactly what he did with the Orioles, defying expectations and moving ridiculously fast through the minors. Right now he is with Double-A Corpus Christi, where, at 21 years old, he is three-and-a-half years younger than the average player in the Texas League. The former 19th-round selection out of Old Mill High School in Millersville, Maryland is Houston's 10th-best prospect according to BA. Not something to scoff at in an organization that has shown this year that it knows how to develop talent.
Third baseman Nick Delmonico
-Traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for right-handed pitcher Francisco Rodriguez on July 23, 2013
It has been a rough go for Delmonico as a professional baseball player. In two seasons with Delmarva and Frederick, he failed to impress on the stat sheet. Things continued that way with the Brewers, reaching a low when he was suspended for 50 games (amphetamines) last July. He will be 23 years old in a few weeks and now plays for Double-A Birmingham in the White Sox organization, where he is also a full-time first baseman.
Catcher Gabriel Lino
-Traded to the Philadelphia Phillies along with right-handed pitcher Kyle Simon in exchange for designated hitter Jim Thome on July 1, 2012
This was not a name I recognized right away, but it was part of a fairly significant trade. At one time, BA had Lino as the O's 21st-ranked prospect. He turned 22 years old in May and is currently with Triple-A Lehigh Valley, where he is hitting .279/.306/.353. The Phillies are awful, so Lino may get a chance at some big league ball in the next season or two.
Right-handed pitcher Kyle Simon
-Traded to the Philadelphia Philles along with catcher Gabriel Lino in exchange for designated hitter Jim Thome on July 1, 2012
Simon was a top-20 prospect for the Birds at the time he was traded to Philly. He made it to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2014, but struggled over 10 games and was released at the season's end. Currently, Simon is out of affiliated baseball, pitching for the Lancaster Barnstormers in the independent Atlantic League.
Third-baseman Josh Bell
-Traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for a player to be named later on April 21, 2012
I recall so much hype around Bell. In fact, BA had him as the O's second-best prospect back in 2009 behind only Brian Matusz, but in front of Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta and Caleb Joseph. And who could forget the famous arm sleeves he put on just to run the bases to protect his tattoos? Ah memories. Things never worked out in Baltimore and they didn't get much better in Arizona. He is currently 28 years old and playing in the Mexican League.
That's it. I kept researching back to the end of the 2010 season. At that point, I wasn't recognizing many names and a lot of them didn't even have hyperlinks on MLB.com, which can't mean anything good happened in their baseball careers.
For many of these guys, it is too early to say whether the Orioles made a good move or not. One or two are certain to comeback and bite them, but that's the way baseball goes.
If I missed someone, failed to elaborate or you have a personal favorite former Oriole prospect let me know in the comments down below or on Twitter @_TyYoung. Thanks for reading.