Good morning, Camden Chatters.
As we continue to inch closer to what’s likely to be an extremely bad 2020 Orioles season, we can at least allow ourselves to dream of better Orioles seasons to come. And that dream becomes a little bit easier every time we read glowing remarks about O’s prospects in national publications.
The latest praise comes from Baseball Prospectus, which yesterday ranked its Top 101 MLB prospects. Three Orioles turned up on the list: Adley Rutschman (No. 4), Grayson Rodriguez (45), and Ryan Mountcastle (57). That’s the most O’s prospects to appear in BP’s top 101 list since 2014, when they had five (Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Hunter Harvey, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Jonathan Schoop). And Rutschman is the highest-ranking O’s prospect on BP since Bundy also ranked fourth in 2013.
Granted, having three prospects in a top 101 list isn’t a ton; 22 other teams placed as many or more. Still, the Orioles fared better than the division rival Red Sox (who, along with the Brewers, were shut out of the list) and the regional rival Nationals (who had one), to name a few.
BP joins Baseball America and MLB Pipeline, both of whom recently published their top 100 prospects list, in heaping accolades on Rutschman and Rodriguez in particular. All three ranked Rutschman among the top five prospects in baseball and Rodriguez in the 35-45 range. They differ a bit on Mountcastle and DL Hall, however. Baseball Prospectus put Mountcastle in the top 60 while Baseball America left him off their list completely; on the flip side, BA slotted Hall at No. 47 while BP didn’t include him at all. MLB Pipeline included both, with Hall ranked No. 69 and Mountcastle No. 94.
You may quibble with the rankings (or non-rankings) of any or all of these lists, but the general consensus seems to be that there are at least four O’s prospects worth getting excited about. And that’s not a bad start for building a future contending club in Baltimore.
Does Diaz present a summer roster complication? - School of Roch
One guy who didn’t appear on any of those prospect lists is Yusniel Diaz, whose star has fallen a bit after he was the jewel of the Manny Machado deal two years ago. A big 2020 from Diaz would make me feel a lot better about that trade.
A look at the pitchers the Orioles acquired for Bundy and Villar - BaltimoreBaseball.com
The big-name prospects get all the attention, but it’d be nice if some of the less-heralded, fringe guys panned out, too. Justin Fitzgerald takes a closer look at the five okayish pitching prospects the O’s received in the Bundy and Jonathan Villar trades.
The Yankees will have to capitalize on the Orioles’ futility in 2020 - Pinstripe Alley
Our fellow SBN blog Pinstripe Alley previews the Orioles in its AL East scouting series, and predicts the Yankees to pummel the Birds just as they did in 2019. I’d love to shake my fist and yell at them, but I can’t really disagree.
More opposite-field homers could make Chris Davis more productive - Steve Melewski
I understand why Davis is still a story, but honestly, I’m so over it. Nothing’s going to change. Nothing’s going to improve. At this point we’re all just biding time until Orioles ownership decides to finally cut its losses on him.
Orioles birthdays and history
Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Your only O’s birthday buddy is a pitcher who appeared in just two games with the Birds, 2015 lefty Wesley Wright (35).
On this day in 1982, the Orioles traded third baseman Doug DeCinces — whose walkoff homer in a June 1979 game was considered the birth of “Orioles Magic” — to the Angels for “Disco” Dan Ford. The trade of DeCinces theoretically made room for top prospect Cal Ripken Jr., but he moved to shortstop later that year, and third base became a revolving door for the Birds while DeCinces enjoyed five productive seasons for the Angels. Ford, meanwhile, was a so-so reserve for the O’s, though he did homer off Steve Carlton in the 1983 World Series.