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Orioles prospect season in review: The Zach Britton trade

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The Orioles picked up three pitchers in a deal for reliever Zach Britton. The three former Yankee prospects experienced ups and downs after joining the Orioles organization.

Baltimore Orioles v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

It’s never fun parting with a former All-Star player like Zach Britton. It can be especially difficult when the former Cy Young candidate is being sent to the Yankees. But the Orioles clearly felt the best offer came from New York, and they gained three pitching prospects in the deal. Baltimore netted Dillon Tate, Josh Rogers and Cody Carroll from the Yankees organization.

Both Carroll and Rogers have already made appearances in Baltimore, while Tate pitched at Double-A Bowie. Carroll and Rogers had some success at the major league level, but they were also humbled a few times.

Carroll saw his first action August 1 in a game against his former team. Despite the Yankees having a complex scouting report on the reliever, he did not allow a run in the inning he pitched.

Carroll currently holds an 0-2 record with a 7.30 ERA. Those numbers clearly are not ideal, but he’s only pitched in 11 games. The majority of those appearances were one inning or less.

Carroll allowed at least one run in six of the 11 games he saw action. The former 22nd-round draft choice allowed three runs and took the loss in a home loss on August 24 against the Yankees. Before his promotion, Carroll went 1-0 with a 5.70 ERA in five games for Norfolk.

MLB.com currently ranks Carroll as the Orioles’ 17th best prospect. He’s a stereotypical hard-throwing reliever who can touch triple digits, but struggles with control. Carroll will be in the mix for the Orioles bullpen next year. Establishing better control (he’s surrendered at least one walk in six of 11 games) would go a long way in helping the righty establish himself.

The Orioles sent Rogers to Norfolk after the trade deadline, and he immediately turned some heads in the organization. In five Triple-A starts, Rogers went 2-1 with a minuscule 2.08 ERA. He struck out 18 batters, while walking seven, and collected a 1.09 WHIP in the five games.

The strong starts caught the eyes of Buck Showalter, who gave Rogers the opportunity to start three games for the Orioles. In his major league debut, Rogers collected a win on August 28 against the Blue Jays. Rogers tossed five innings, and allowed three runs on his way to a victory.

Rogers actually pitched better in his second start, but ended up taking the loss to Seattle. He pitched 5.1 innings, and only allowed two runs on four hits. His success did not carry over into his third start.

The Rays rocked Rogers on September 9 to the tune of six runs in less than two innings. He allowed the six runs on six hits, walked two batters, and did not strike out a Tampa Bay hitter.

Rogers pitches to contact, and does not strike out a lot of batters. His four against Seattle were the most at the big league level, and he averaged less than four a game at Norfolk.

Tate was dubbed the centerpiece of the trade by the baseball world. He became the Orioles’ sixth-ranked prospect, but did not make it to Baltimore. Tate was pitching at Double-A Trenton when he was still with the Yankees, and the Orioles kept him in the Eastern League at Bowie.

Tate struggled during the beginning of his tenure at Bowie, but eventually came around. He allowed at least four runs his his first four starts, but some players take a while to adjust to a change of scenery. In the final three games of the season, Tate sandwiched a two-run outing between a pair of three-run affairs.

Tate was the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft. After three years at UC Santa Barbara, Tate impressed scouts with a mid-90s fastball and a hard slider. The Rangers sent Tate to the Yankees in a deal for Carlos Beltran in 2016.

Tate pitched as a starter and a reliever in college, and some scouts wonder if he’ll eventually wind up in the bullpen. Clearly, the Orioles have every intention of keeping him a starter long term.

His four pitch mix (four-seam fastball, two-seam fastball, slider and changeup) give him upside as a starter. He’ll likely begin the season in the rotation at Norfolk, and could pitch his way into Baltimore by the end of next season. Due to his high prospect status, some fans hoped Tate would start a game for the Orioles in September. However, Tate has already tossed 123.1 innings, and is likely done for the season.

All three of these guys could end up being legit contributors for the Orioles, but they all have some work to do. All three could improve their control, but Tate held a 21/9 strikeout-walk ratio at Bowie. Rogers needs to work on missing a few more bats, while Carroll simply needs to allow fewer runs.