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Thursday Bird Droppings: Orioles prospect hype is still intensifying

Another site unveiled its top prospects list yesterday, with six Orioles among the top 69. Six!

New Hampshire Fisher Cats v Bowie Baysox Photo by: 2021 Rodger Wood/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Hello, friends.

Top prospect list season continues with rave reviews for the Orioles system. Yesterday saw the unveiling of the 2022 top 100 prospect list from FanGraphs. This brings the most aggressive view yet of the quality of the Orioles system at this exact moment. It’s hard not to get at least a little bit swept up in the hype.

Six of the top 69 prospects on the list belong to the Orioles. Six! Both of these aspects surprise me. I did not expect to get more than five top 100 Orioles this time around, and that’s what some of the earlier lists brought. However, the recent ESPN top 100 list as well as this FG list had a sixth: Coby Mayo, a player I figured was a year away from top 100 contention. It seems that many in the prospect-industrial complex are already driving the Mayo bandwagon.

It’s Mayo who checks in at #69 on FG’s list. The other five prospects are the usual suspects: Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, D.L. Hall, Colton Cowser, and Gunnar Henderson. Rodriguez has his highest ranking yet, checking in at #3. Really! So on this list, the O’s have the #1 overall prospect in Rutschman, and the #3 prospect, who is also the best-placed pitching prospect. Hall’s ranking (#27) as well as Cowser’s (#40) are also aggressive relative to a number of other lists that have been published over the last six weeks.

Ultimately, this is just one set of people’s opinions about the system, filtered through their own personal observations as well as whatever they’ve gleaned from people who are their sources. There are players they’ll be presciently correct about and players they’ll be hilariously wrong about.

Orioles prospects have no special quality just by virtue of being Orioles prospects to avoid the odds that even a number of top 100 prospects still end up as busts. Henderson and Mayo, for instance, are each labeled as having at least a 40% chance to bust. It is unlikely that all six of these players will be contributors on a string of contending Orioles teams 2-6 years from now. But it’s nice to dream. And maybe if the Orioles are lucky they’ll get four of them working out.

The one consolation prize I’ve been mentioning for months now about the ongoing owner-imposed lockout of MLB players is that unlike the pandemic, at least it’s not disrupting most minor league players. The prospect development will be able to continue at roughly the same pace as it would have with no lockout. One exception here is prospects who are already on the 40-man roster. That group includes Hall. He can’t play until the owners say players can play.

Recently deceased singer Meat Loaf said two out of three ain’t bad. Five out of six is even better. But in this case it still stinks for the sixth guy who’s going to be left out of development time. Hopefully there’s a resolution soon and we don’t have to worry about Hall missing out on much of anything.

I won’t be holding my breath, though. The owners, who initiated the lockout and are the only reason it is continuing, threatened players that if there’s no deal by February 28, games will be canceled and not made up, meaning players will get less than their full salaries for the season. Maybe it’s all bluster while the work is getting done in the room, or maybe it’s a sign this thing is nowhere near over.

Around the blogO’sphere

Two more Orioles spring training storylines (School of Roch)
Roch is thinking about Terrin Vavra and Cesar Prieto. Vavra is on the 40-man roster, so he won’t be a part of the minor league spring training that opens next week. The recently-signed Prieto will, so perhaps there will be some news about him.

Jordan Lyles could be the right choice for the Orioles rotation (Baltimore Baseball)
Only a bad set of choices could lead to Lyles being the right choice. The Orioles may have presented themselves only with that bad set, but they did not have to do this.

A conversation with Grayson Rodriguez (FanGraphs)
I get more excited about Grayson Rodriguez every time I read someone else talk about him and also every time I read him talking about himself. I hope we see this guy in uniform in Baltimore before season’s end.

A conversation with Mike Elias (FanGraphs)
There are a heck of a lot of pixels going up about the Orioles on FanGraphs this week. It’s nice to have all the attention on the team for a good reason for once.

Oriole of the Day: Power surge not enough to mask Rylan Bannon’s Triple-A struggles (The Baltimore Sun)
Nathan Ruiz’s ongoing 40-man roster series’ most recent entry covers Bannon, one part of the Manny Machado trade return. Bannon had a stretch of ten home runs in ten games, then wasn’t very good the rest of the time. If you’re looking for more 40-man content, our own series will cover Ryan McKenna later today.

Birthdays and Orioles anniversaries

There are a few former Orioles who were born on this day. They are: 2017-21 catcher Chance Sisco, 2015 reserve 1B/RF Chris Parmelee, and 2007 seven-game catcher Gustavo Molina.

It’s also the birthday of one of the six Hall of Fame players known chiefly for their Orioles accomplishments: Happy 66th to Eddie Murray, still the all-time MLB career leader in sacrifice flies with 128. Albert Pujols got close (117) but was not able to usurp this lead in the way he did Cal Ripken Jr.’s former lead in GIDPs. I’m not old enough to have memories of Murray’s prime years with the Orioles, which is no reason for me or anyone else not to know that Eddie was, is, and always will be the man.

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday to you! Along with one of the six players in both the 3,000 hit club and 500 home run club, your birthday buddies for today include: Revolutionary War loser John Burgoyne (1723), baseball Hall of Famer Honus Wagner (1874), World War II admiral Chester W. Nimitz (1885), actor Abe Vigoda (1921), Nike co-founder Phil Knight (1938), actor Edward James Olmos (1947), Apple co-founder Steve Jobs (1955), and women’s hockey pioneer Manon Rhéaume (1972).

On this day in history...

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII delivered a bull entitled Inter gravissimas, which announced and established the Gregorian calendar system still in use worldwide today.

In 1803, the Supreme Court issued a decision in the case Marbury v. Madison, establishing a precedent for judicial review. You might have heard the name in a history class once or twice.

In 1917, during World War I, the American ambassador to the United Kingdom was shown a telegram sent from Germany to Mexico in which Germany promised it would return New Mexico, Arizona, and Texas to Mexico if it declared war on the United States. The Zimmermann Telegram helped generate support for American entry into the war in April.


And that’s the way it is in Birdland on February 24. Have a safe Thursday.