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Friday Bird Droppings: Where the Orioles have a top-five farm system

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That’s according to MLB Pipeline, which ranked the Birds’ system as No. 5 in baseball. High praise!

Baltimore Orioles v Atlanta Braves
Pictured: Adley Rutschman, no doubt about to do something awesome.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

If you’re in the mood for some optimism about the Orioles today, consider this: their farm system is one of the most promising units in baseball.

At least it is according to MLB Pipeline, which ranked the O’s system as the fifth best in the majors, ahead of everyone but the Marlins, Rays, Mariners, and Tigers. Boosted by Adley Rutschman, the second-best prospect in baseball, and a glut of pitching depth highlighted by Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall, the Orioles “have reshaped their farm system from one of baseball’s weakest into one of its best,” Joe Trezza writes.

It’s the most glowing assessment yet of the Orioles’ farm system. Baseball America was similarly bullish on the Birds, ranking them No. 7 overall, while The Athletic’s Keith Law was far more skeptical, placing them 18th due largely to the lack of international talent in their system.

A top-five farm system, even if it’s just one organization’s opinion, sure has a nice ring to it. Of course, it doesn’t mean the Orioles are destined for future success. Some prospects will break out while others bust. Some might not ever make it to Baltimore. And other teams aren’t going to stop trying to get better in the meantime. A whole lot of things will have to go right before we start penciling in the Orioles as 2025 World Series champions.

Still, after so many years of languishing at the very bottom of prospect rankings, the Orioles finally have an impressive crew of young talent to get excited about. We don’t know exactly what the future will bring, but it sure will be fun to find out.

As for the current version of the Orioles, the club had its second and final off day of the spring yesterday and will be back on the diamond for a 6:05 evening contest against the Pirates. There’s no Orioles coverage, but if you have MLB.tv, you can catch the Pirates’ broadcast of the game. (Don’t worry, though, MASN is finally jumping into the action by televising two games next week. Hooray, I guess?)

And in case you missed it, Camden Chat’s 2021 Pre-Season Contest was posted yesterday. Click the link, predict the answers to a bunch of Orioles questions, and at season’s end you could be crowned the resident genius of Camden Chat!

Links

Orioles roster projection: With two weeks before Opening Day, what’s left to decide? | ANALYSIS - Baltimore Sun
Jon Meoli offers his prediction for the Orioles’ opening 26-man roster, and I think he’s mostly spot on, although it leaves the O’s without a backup shortstop. And no, I’m not counting Pat Valaika, because we saw him try to play short last year, and...yikes.

Maikel Franco and Orioles Finally Find Each Other | FanGraphs Baseball
Tony Wolfe offers his assessment of the Maikel Franco signing. The gist: he’s nothing special, but probably better than Rio Ruiz, so why not?

Santander works to improve his game, plus other notes - Steve Melewski
Anthony Santander has drawn seven walks this spring, tied for the team lead. I love when guys draw a bunch of walks in spring training. You’d think after a long offseason they’d want to get out there and hack at everything, but you’ve got to admire the restraint.

Orioles lose Goudeau on waiver claim - School of Roch
The Giants were just ready to grab this guy as soon as he hit waivers. You might say they were...waiting for Goudeau. (I also made this joke on Twitter, where it was celebrated with upwards of three likes.)

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Just one player in Orioles history was born on this day: 1996-99 right-hander Rocky Coppinger, who turns 47.

On this day in 2011, the Orioles announced the election of Mike Bordick to the Orioles Hall of Fame. Bordick spent parts of six seasons as the Birds’ sure-handed shortstop, and in 2002 he had 110 consecutive errorless games and 543 consecutive errorless chances, both major league records for a shortstop. He also had an All-Star season with the Birds in 2000 and was traded to the Mets that July for fellow Orioles Hall of Famer Melvin Mora.

I’ll admit it — as a kid, I had an irrational dislike for Bordick because his arrival forced my favorite player, Cal Ripken Jr., to move to third base. But I’d say the signing paid off, as the Birds went wire-to-wire and won 98 games in 1997, Bordick’s first season with the Orioles. Since his retirement, Bordick has also served as an instructor for the Orioles and was a MASN broadcaster until being one of the many analysts let go by the network this offseason.