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Tuesday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles farm system looks bright

Baseball America unveiled its Top 10 O’s prospects yesterday. It’s a strong group.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles-Media Day Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

As we wait for something, anything, to happen at the major league level for the Orioles this offseason, we can continue to dream of brighter days ahead in Baltimore. And Baseball America’s top 10 Orioles prospects list, released yesterday, is a pleasant reminder that this O’s organization could have some star players on the horizon.

The names on the list should be familiar to fans who have been following the minor leagues for the last few years. Former No. 1 overall pick Adley Rutschman sits at the top, of course, with pitching prospects Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall right behind him. A few players in BA’s top 10 — Ryan Mountcastle, Dean Kremer, Keegan Akin — have already made a positive impact at the major league level but are still considered prospects because they’ve retained their rookie eligibility.

Overall, it’s a pretty impressive top 10, with a well-rounded mix of players. The group includes five pitchers (three righties, two lefties) and five hitters — a catcher, an infielder, and three outfielders. Along with the trio already in the majors, Yusniel Diaz, Michael Baumann, and perhaps Rutschman are set to join them within the next year, with the others steadily climbing up the ladder at the lower levels.

It’s so nice to have actual, legitimate prospects to talk about after so many dark years in which the Orioles’ farm system continually lagged behind the rest. There’s nary a Mike Wright or Xavier Avery or Joe Mahoney to be found in this top 10. These are prospects with a strong pedigree, and it’s not hard to imagine a bunch of them making up the core of the next contending Orioles team.


Major issues still exist for minor league baseball in 2021 -
OK, so the Orioles have the prospects. But, um...where are they going to play? There’s still a lot we don’t know about what the minors will look like next year, or if there will even be a minor league season next year.

Which minor league free agents should re-sign with Orioles? - School of Roch
If there is a minor league season, the O’s will need some veteran free agents to pad the rosters along with the prospects. Roch Kubatko looks at which Orioles minor leaguers could return to fill those roles.

Seattle Mariners’ Kyle Lewis awarded American League Rookie of the Year in unanimous vote - ESPN
Ryan Mountcastle received a third-place vote in the Rookie of the Year voting, tying him for eighth place overall. We already knew he wouldn’t finish in the top three, but I thought he might get a little more support from the voters. He’ll just have to go and win it next year.

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Nobody with a Nov. 10 birthday has ever played for the Orioles. Sorry, friend. The best I can offer you is shortstop Johnny Lipon (b. 1922, d. 1998), who was briefly a member of the Orioles during the 1953-54 offseason when the franchise came over from St. Louis, but was traded before the O’s played their first game.

On this day in 2009, Orioles center fielder Adam Jones won his first career Gold Glove, capping a breakout season for the 23-year-old in which he was a first-time All-Star as well. Jones would later win three more Gold Gloves in his career.

And on this day in 2015, Birds third baseman Manny Machado took home the Gold Glove for the second time, after starting 156 games at the hot corner and racking up 18 defensive runs saved. Surprisingly, Manny hasn’t won a Gold Glove since. I would’ve bet he’d won at least three, and I would’ve been wrong. He was a finalist for the Padres this year but was beaten by the Rockies’ slick-fielding Nolan Arenado.