The Orioles farm system is not very good, pretty much everyone who doesn’t work for the Orioles agrees. That doesn’t mean they have no prospects at all, just that they’re lacking in high-ceiling players, high-floor players, and overall depth compared to other teams. Many prospects are at least worth keeping tabs on.
The experts like ESPN’s Keith Law, Baseball America, and SB Nation’s own John Sickels of Minor League Ball have all weighed in on who they believe are the top Orioles prospects.
What we’d like to know today and over the next week is who YOU believe to be the top Orioles prospects, by whatever criteria you choose to evaluate them. Do you want to trust one of the experts? That’s OK! Do you want to go with your gut and guess who will hit and who won’t? That’s OK, too. Just try to take it seriously, however you feel that is.
Our friends over at Gaslamp Ball, the SB Nation Padres blog, created a way to have their community rank Padres prospects. We are borrowing their idea with thanks.
Below, you will find a little widget that will ask you to select between two randomly-generated prospects and choose who you think is the better prospect. You can keep answering these questions until you get bored or until your boss comes in and yells at you. Don’t just keep voting forever, though. Let other people’s voices matter.
There are 25 names on the list. That’s everyone on either Law’s or Sickels’ top 20, plus Joe Gunkel because I like his name.
The players you like will float to the top. The players you don’t like as much will sink to the bottom. In a few days time, I’ll close the voting and we’ll have the first-ever edition of a Camden Chat community prospect ranking.
Farther below the poll, you’ll find my thumbnail sketch description of each player, in case you’d like a quick and dirty reference for a name that you’re not familiar with.
If you want to consult the experts’ opinions before you vote:
Law’s top Orioles prospects (20, Insider required)
Baseball Prospectus top Orioles prospects (10 - list free, article requires sub.)
Having problems voting through the widget? You can also vote to your heart’s content here.
Mark’s TL;DR description of each Orioles prospect
- Chance Sisco, C - Possibly the only real Orioles prospect. Needs work on defense, will see him soon.
- Cody Sedlock, RHP - Law says he’s a borderline top 100 guy. First round pick last year, sinkerballer.
- Keegan Akin, LHP - Lefty starter, second round pick last year. Headed for Frederick this season.
- Hunter Harvey, RHP - First round pick in 2013. Injuries, including Tommy John last year, have shelved him for a long time.
- Chris Lee, LHP - Struck out just 19 batters in 51.1 IP for Bowie last year, missed most of season with lat injury.
- Ryan Mountcastle, 3B - Some people still think he could be a shortstop. Young and could develop nice power.
- Jomar Reyes, 3B - Law: “has the most offensive upside in the system and might stay at 3B” - hurt/struggled in 2016.
- Trey Mancini, 1B - Wasn’t it cool when he hit three homers in five MLB games?
- Tanner Scott, LHP - Can throw 100mph, which is awesome, but isn’t so good at throwing strikes.
- Austin Hays, OF - .900 OPS in short-season last year, so bring on a bigger challenge
- Matthias Dietz, RHP - 6’5” and tops out at 95, walked 10 of 82 batters faced for Aberdeen
- D.J. Stewart, LF - 2015’s first rounder whose numbers get better as he climbs the levels, but still aren’t great
- Ofelky Peralta, RHP - Young pitcher from the DR, can hit 98. Jim Palmer seems intrigued by him.
- Randolph Gassaway, OF - Had a nice 50 game stretch for Delmarva last year. Can he break out for Frederick?
- Brian Gonzalez, LHP - In his third try, had success in Delmarva last year. 2014’s top (third round) pick.
- Garrett Cleavinger, LHP - Has: Great name. Does not have: Command. Was: A closer in college.
- Drew Dosch, 3B - I assumed he was a non-prospect until I saw his name on Law’s list.
- John Means, LHP - Everybody likes a prospect who grinds up slow and steady, but ran into trouble in Bowie last year.
- Cedric Mullins, CF - Recently heard a Buck Showalter radio interview where he said Mullins was “full of piss and vinegar - wait, can I say piss on here?”
- David Hess, RHP - When your ERA is over 5 in Double-A, you got some problems.
- Anthony Santander, OF - Rule 5 pick who hasn’t played above High-A, will definitely start season on DL.
- Aneury Tavarez, OF - Rule 5 pick who is yet another lefty-batting guy, don’t see how he stays on roster all year
- Alex Wells, LHP - I like him because he is Australian and wears glasses. First test of full season ball is coming.
- Christian Walker, 1B/OF - You gotta do better than a .757 OPS at Norfolk at age 25 to make it to the show for good.
- Joe Gunkel, RHP - If he’s lucky, a future back end of the rotation guy. Did I mention he has a great name?
Now you know. So go vote!