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Several Orioles minor league pitchers await a crucial offseason

There was plenty of good news down on the farm this season, but a few prospects need a bounce-back year in 2018. Those efforts begin immediately.

MLB: St. Louis Cardinals at Baltimore Orioles Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The 2017 season has come and gone for the prospects in the Orioles system, giving us another season of statistics to comb over when attempting to evaluate the future value of the next generation in Birdland. Some, like Austin Hays, had monster seasons and did more than enough to boost that value. Others couldn't cash in, setting up quite a bit of pressure this offseason heading into 2018.

Below, a few names to keep on your radar for the very near future.

Jesus Liranzo

2017 with Bowie: 65 innings, 54 hits, 43 walks, 75 strikeouts, 4.85 ERA

If you remember back to the beginning of the year, Liranzo’s name was one that regularly was mentioned with the prospects set to potentially surprise and make their debut with the big-league team in 2017. He was certainly on the radar, but some struggles through the year make his upcoming age-23 season in 2018 a likely turning point in his career.

Liranzo has the talent and skill-set to make the jump, but those walk numbers — a bit of an issue throughout the entirety of his career in the pros — have to creep down to keep runs off the board. Whatever the solution might be, you have to imagine that will be a focal point in work this offseason.

He’s certainly set to get further looks next spring; signs of improved command will be more than welcomed down in Sarasota.

Ofelky Peralta

2017 with Frederick: 104.2 innings, 109 hits, 86 walks, 95 strikeouts, 5.42 ERA

When you take a look at the numbers for both hits and walks, it’s pretty impressive that Peralta’s season ERA wasn’t even higher. Like Liranzo, the control clearly wasn’t in grasp whatsoever throughout the season, inflating the ERA in ways that don’t necessarily indicate his true ability as a prospect. Those numbers simply have to go down.

Peralta’s advantage is his age, the fact that he won’t turn 21 until April. There’s been a lot of buzz about the 6’5” right-hander, but the leap from Delmarva to Frederick this past season was somewhat nightmarish. He allowed 26 more walks in just about the same number of innings, 22 more hits and saw the ERA rise by almost a full point and a half. On paper, it certainly appears the jump was just too much to handle.

The goal for the offseason should be simple for any 20-year-old in Peralta’s situation — somehow find a way to become consistent around the zone.

Cody Sedlock

2017 with Frederick: 90 innings, 119 hits, 36 walks, 69 strikeouts

Here’s a name you might recognize from his 2017 struggles. Sedlock battled elbow issues and never really did to seem to be his same self, but the results with the Keys were so rough that he’ll need a pretty impressive 2018 to wipe the slate clean of the difficulties spotlighted in the numbers posted this year. The .313 average against is worrisome, even with a “minor” injury issue, for a guy just one year removed from being a first-round selection.

Of course, aside from the poor results and the need to get back on track with a fresh start, Sedlock is going to be 23 years old in June. He’s not old, but that’s the disadvantage of drafting collegiate players with a first-round pick. The age is the elephant in the room that makes everything feel rushed, just another factor that is acting as a hurdle in his development process.

Next year for Sedlock might be the most important of any young pitcher in the organization. He’s a first-rounder — it’s obvious the team has invested in him heavily. More difficulties to open 2018 could spell trouble for his potential to make a difference at the MLB level.