The Arizona Fall League is in full swing and the Orioles have a handful of prospects taking additional reps before their offseason kicks off. It’s hard to believe baseball season is over — if you want to be in denial for a little while longer, keep track of the happenings throughout the rest of this month. It’s not real baseball, but it’s baseball nonetheless.
Below, we quickly check in with the Orioles prospects hitting the field out west with an eye toward next season.
2B Steve Wilkerson
.340/.403/.604, 8 XBH in 53 ABs
Remember reading about Wilkerson in the minor league recaps throughout the season and wanting to get excited but having to face the realization that he’s already 25 years old? That was definitely a reality — but after seeing what he’s doing in Arizona followed by a very productive 2017, you have to wonder if he’ll be a key trade option for the Orioles before or after he starts next year at Norfolk.
He’ll be 26, but he hit .294 at Bowie in 71 games with good on-base numbers. His name isn’t going away in conversations here in the near future, especially after this performance.
3B Ryan Mountcastle
.241/.290/.466, 7 XBH in 58 ABs
Not much to worry about with Mountcastle here. His status as a prospect is about as legitimate as you can get and a .290 OBP in Fall League play is hardly a concern. If nothing else, the fact that he’s having an opportunity to get these additional reps should be exciting.
Next season will be his age-21 year, one that could see him in The Show by the end of September. Good things are ahead for Mountcastle.
OF Anthony Santander
.200/.233/.255, 3 XBH in 55 ABs
It’s a bit early to be truly concerned about Santander, but it’s no secret that the Orioles would enjoy seeing a good performance over the next few weeks. He’s still a major question mark — until he gets a healthy spring training under his belt, we’re not going to know what kind of impact he can make. A good finish this November would be ideal to head into the offseason on a high note.
P Keegan Akin
11.1 IP, 6 H, 3 BB, 12 K, 1.59 ERA
Akin wasn’t perfect in 2017, but he did plenty to inspire at least a bit of confidence as he progresses in the system as a prospect. This fall experience is almost certainly available for him to work on new things across the board, good news for a guy that has the raw talents he has. Evaluators seem to think Akin can be the real deal with polishing. Hopefully this is just another step in that process.
P Tanner Scott
7 IP, 8 H, 6 BB, 5 K, 7.71 ERA
We just can’t seem to shake the walks. Again, the story with Scott becomes too many baserunners and, as a result, an inflated ERA. He was selected to the All-Star team, but that shouldn’t tell us anything other than his ceiling is extremely high. We know that — for him though, the time is running out to establish a long-term role throwing strikes with the big-league club.
Other Fall League Notes
- P Jesus Liranzo has tossed 4.2 innings and has struggled with seven hits and six earned runs against.
- P Luis Gonzalez hasn’t allowed a run in 6.2 innings of work. He’s walked just one and has surrendered only a trio of hits.
- The “Fall Stars Game” is Saturday on MLB Network. Scott and Mountcastle were selected representing the Orioles.