2014 Organization Report: Baltimore Orioles

by Jeremy Deloney

Organization grades:

Hitting: D... Pitching: B ... Top End Talent: C- ... Depth: C-  ... Overall: C-

Minor League Affiliates:

Triple-A: Norfolk (IL)
Double-A: Bowie (EL)
High-A: Frederick (CAR)
Low-A: Delmarva (SAL)
Short-season: Aberdeen (NYP)
Rookie:  GCL Orioles (GCL)

1. Dylan Bundy (RHP) … 6-1, 195 … 21 … 2011 (1) HS (OK)

Team (LG)    IP     ERA   WHIP   Ctl   Dom   Cmd   oppBA
=========   ====   ====   ====   ===   ===   ===   =====
Did not pitch in 2013 (injury)

Comments: Advanced and strong pitcher who missed entire season and underwent Tommy John surgery in June. Reached BAL at age 19 and still has high upside despite injury. When healthy, owns powerful repertoire highlighted by plus-plus 93-99 mph FB. Can tantalize with both CB and CU and can cut and sink FB at will. Body control and feel unmatched for age.

Development Path: TJ surgery will likely cause him to miss the majority of the ’14 campaign, but the Orioles are likely to bring him back slowly.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: He has all the ingredients necessary to become a #1 starter for several years. He has the stuff to lead the American League in strikeouts.

Upside Rating:  9A

2. Kevin Gausman (RHP) … 6-3, 190 … 23 … 2012 (1) Louisiana State

Team (LG)          IP     ERA   WHIP   Ctl   Dom   Cmd   oppBA
==============    ====   ====   ====   ===   ===   ===   =====
Bowie (EL)        46.1   3.11   1.06   1.0   9.5   9.8    .246
Norfolk (IL)      35.2   4.04   1.26   2.3   8.3   3.7    .271
Baltimore (AL)    47.2   5.66   1.34   2.5   9.3   3.8    .276

Comments: Athletic and wily pitcher who earned significant time with BAL, mostly as a reliever. Has look and pitch mix to front rotation and only needs consistent secondary pitches to take the jump. 92-98 mph FB and well above average CU are best pitches. SL and CB can register Ks when on. Can be guilty of throwing too many strikes and could benefit from getting hitters to chase.

Development Path: He will battle for a rotation spot in spring training, but could also use additional seasoning at Norfolk. If that is the case, he’ll likely be the first call-up when the need arises.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: He doesn’t have the Bundy’s natural stuff, but he has high strikeout ability. Because of his ability to throw strikes, his WHIP has a good chance of staying low.

Upside Rating:  9C

3. Jonathan Schoop (INF) … 6-2, 210 … R/R … 22 … 2008 FA (Curacao)

Team (LG)           AB     BA/OBP/Slg     bb%   ct%    Eye   HR/SB
==============     ===   ==============   ===   ===   ====   =====
Norfolk (IL)       270   .256/.301/.396     5    80   0.24    9/ 1
Baltimore (AL)      14   .286/.333/.500     7    86   0.50    1/ 0

Comments: Tall and aggressive natural hitter who posted career high in HR despite missing time due to stress fracture in his back. Split time between 2B and SS, though spent most time at 2B. Has hands and arm for any infield spot, though range is short at SS. Focuses on hard contact with above average raw pop. Pitch recognition needs work, but can catch up to good fastballs. He doesn’t run very well.

Development Path: There should be room in the Orioles infield for him to make the team out of spring training. It wouldn’t be shocking to see him stick there the entire season while playing a variety of infield positions. He might be better off with a full-season in Triple-A to polish his offensive game.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: He continues to improve and could eventually grow into a 20+ HR infielder with a solid-average BA at his peak. His ultimate position will dictate his value. If he moves to 2B, he could become one of the better offensive 2B in the AL.

Upside Rating:  8C

4. Eduardo Rodriguez (LHP) … 6-2, 200 … 20 … 2010 FA (Venezuela)

Team (LG)           IP     ERA   WHIP   Ctl   Dom   Cmd   oppBA
===============    ====   ====   ====   ===   ===   ===   =====
Frederick (CAR)    85.1   2.85   1.21   2.6   7.0   2.6    .245
Bowie (EL)         59.2   4.22   1.29   3.6   8.9   2.5    .237

Comments: Durable starter who was youngest pitcher in CAR and eventually promoted to AA. Has developed quickly due to polish and ability to keep hitters guessing. FB has ticked up in velocity and sits in low-90s while CU remains best offering. Commands pitches well despite above average movement. Dom has increased, but still doesn’t project as a dominator as he climbs ladder.

Development Path: Despite his age, he has been moved along at a rapid pace and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him make his big league debut late in the season. The Orioles don’t have a ton of high minors arms and Rodriguez will likely begin the year in Triple-A.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: He has three average to above average offerings and knows how to pitch. He doesn’t walk many and it is difficult to make hard contact against him, but his Dom may not get much better as he ascends to the majors.

Upside Rating:  8C

5. Hunter Harvey(RHP) … 6-3, 175 … 19 … 2013 (1) HS (NC)

Team (LG)          IP     ERA   WHIP   Ctl    Dom   Cmd   oppBA
==============    ====   ====   ====   ===   ====   ===   =====
Orioles (GCL)     13.1   1.35   0.90   1.4   12.2   9.0    .208
Aberdeen (NYP)    12.0   2.25   1.25   3.0   11.3   3.8    .239

Comments: Tall and lean first round pick who is all about projection. Uses fast arm and clean delivery to pepper strike zone with a quality 89-94 mph FB, and can keep ball down. Has potential for three above average offerings with big-breaking CB key to success. Can get hitters to chase breaking ball and will need CU to continue to develop to battle LHH.

Development Path: He is a long-term play due to his projection. He is actually a bit more polished than advertised and appears destined for Low-A Delmarva to begin 2014. Barring complete dominance, he looks like a one-level-per-year guy.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: He throws strikes, can rack up strikeouts, and induce weak contact. He isn’t a dominator by any means, but is a likely contributor in all fantasy pitching categories.

Upside Rating:  8C

6. Mike Wright (RHP) … 6-6, 215 … 24 … 2011 (3) East Carolina

Team (LG)        IP     ERA   WHIP   Ctl   Dom   Cmd   oppBA
============    ====   ====   ====   ===   ===   ===   =====
Bowie (EL)     143.2   3.26   1.33   2.4   8.5   3.5    .267
Norfolk (IL)     6.2   0.00   0.90   0.0   2.7   ---    .231

Comments: Tall and durable starter who led EL in ERA. Lacks true out pitch, but sequenced pitches better and maintained velocity as he improved Dom and Ctl in last two months of the season. SL can be solid offering, albeit inconsistent, and CU has potential. Throws consistent strikes and profiles as mid-rotation guy.

Development Path: Things are starting to come together for him and he should enter 2014 right beside Rodriguez in the Norfolk rotation. He could also slide into the bullpen if necessary, which would expedite his big league arrival.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: His Dom is more of a byproduct of his level and deception than his natural stuff. Regardless, he has #3 upside with moderate outputs in all fantasy categories.

Upside Rating:  8D

7. Tim Berry (LHP) … 6-3, 180 … 23 … 2009 (50) HS (CA)

Team (LG)           IP     ERA   WHIP   Ctl   Dom   Cmd   oppBA
===============    ====   ====   ====   ===   ===   ===   =====
Frederick (CAR)   152.0   3.85   1.29   2.4   7.1   3.0    .265

Comments: Athletic and projectable starter who has been developing steadily. Returned to High-A and cleaned up delivery for much better command and control. Gets consistent groundballs by living in lower half of strike zone and can retire hitters with effective CB. Needs to add strength and maintain velocity deep into games. Shows solid CU with good arm speed.          

Development Path: After two seasons in High-A, he is clearly ready for the next level at Double-A Bowie. Given his breakout year, there is an outside chance he reaches Baltimore late in the season.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: As he lacks a true out pitch, he won’t contribute much in the way of strikeouts and will have to rely on his control and groundball nature.

Upside Rating:  7B

8. Christian Walker (1B) … 6-0, 220 … R/R … 23 … 2012 (4) South Carolina

Team (LG)            AB     BA/OBP/Slg     bb%   ct%    Eye   HR/SB
===============     ===   ==============   ===   ===   ====   =====
Delmarva (SAL)      116   .353/.420/.474     9    86   0.69    3/ 0
Frederick (CAR)     215   .288/.343/.479     7    81   0.41    8/ 2
Bowie (EL)           62   .242/.319/.323     9    84   0.60    0/ 0 

Comments: Patient and instinctual hitter who played on three levels and was selected for the Futures Game. Uses mature approach and keen pitch recognition to make easy contact. Has short swing that produces average pop, but may not be enough for full-time 1B. BA shouldn’t be issue, though. Doesn’t run well and footwork and subpar arm limit him to 1B.

Development Path: He could likely hold his own as a hitter at the big league level, but a return to Double-A to begin the season is the likely scenario. He has some things to work on, particularly his defense, and he is tinkering with his swing to add more loft and leverage.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: Light-hitting 1B aren’t in high demand, but his power development should be watched with a close eye. If he can add a little more pop, then he has a chance to become a league average 1B. Without it, he’ll still provide BA, but no SB.

Upside Rating:  7B

9. Parker Bridwell (RHP) … 6-4, 190 … 22 … 2010 (9) HS (TX)

Team (LG)          IP     ERA   WHIP   Ctl   Dom   Cmd   oppBA
==============    ====   ====   ====   ===   ===   ===   =====
Delmarva (SAL)   142.2   4.73   1.40   3.7   9.1   2.4    .255

Comments: Very athletic starter who finished second in SAL in Ks upon return to same affiliate. Still has room for improvement, especially with command and repeating delivery. Posted much higher Dom while reducing Ctl. Features heavy FB in 87-94 mph range and loose arm action should lead to more velocity down road. CB is best secondary pitch.

Development Path: The ERA was still on the high side, but there was a lot of progress made in 2013. He’ll move to High-A Frederick with the thought that if everything evolves right, he could make his big league debut in late 2015.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: Because of his projection, he has a high ceiling and could be above average as it pertains to strikeouts. His control, while improved, still needs attention which would limit his ultimate role – bullpen or starter – and WHIP.

Upside Rating:  8D

10. Michael Ohlman (C) … 6-4, 205 … R/R … 23 … 2009 (11) HS (FL)

Team (LG)            AB     BA/OBP/Slg     bb%   ct%    Eye   HR/SB
===============     ===   ==============   ===   ===   ====   =====
Frederick (CAR)     361   .313/.410/.524    13    74   0.60   13/ 5

Comments: Tall and strong backstop led CAR in BA while posting easy career high in HR. Consistent hitter has feel for bat and found success with shortened stroke and use of entire field. Has flown under radar due to rash of injuries and drug suspension, but can mash with above average pop. Poor defender behind dish and footwork needs attention. Bat will have to carry him.

Development Path: He’ll take his offensive talents to Bowie where he’ll hope to continue his progression. Of course, staying on the field and maintaining his health is the key. He may have to eventually change positions as he isn’t very fluid defensively, so keep an eye on reports about his catching.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: With no defensive categories in sight, he could be a featured option due to his BA and HR ability. Given his shortcomings with the glove, he could move to 1B which would negatively impact his fantasy value.

Upside Rating:  7C

11. Zach Davies (RHP) … 6-0, 150 … 21 … 2011 (26) HS (AZ)

Team (LG)           IP     ERA   WHIP   Ctl   Dom   Cmd   oppBA
===============    ====   ====   ====   ===   ===   ===   =====
Frederick (CAR)   148.2   3.69   1.23   2.3   8.0   3.5    .256

Comments: Polished and advanced starter who finished 2nd in CAR in Ks despite being among youngest pitchers in league. Has small, thin frame and lacks overpowering stuff, but mixes pitches and commands them with repeatable delivery and slot. Throws with quick arm speed to produce 87-92 mph FB and effectively keeps ball down. Upside is a tad short, but can throw four pitches for strikes.

Development Path: The next step is Bowie and he’ll be expected to anchor the rotation at that level. He should continue his success, but there are other pitchers in front of him on the depth chart and he shouldn’t be expected to sniff Baltimore until 2015.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: He doesn’t project to anything more than a back-end starter so he wouldn’t be a tremendous value. However, he has been durable and limits walks and HR.

Upside Rating:  7C

12. Stephen Tarpley (LHP) … 6-1, 180 … 21 … 2013 (3) Scottsdale CC

Team (LG)         IP     ERA   WHIP   Ctl    Dom   Cmd   oppBA
=============    ====   ====   ====   ===   ====   ===   =====
Orioles (GCL)    21.0   2.14   1.10   1.3   10.7   8.3    .256

Comments: Athletic and raw starter who has room to grow into lean frame. Strong, loose arm produces above average velocity in 88-95 mph range and can complement FB with nice CB and CU. Also uses SL, but slot more conducive to CB. Has high ceiling and raw pitch mix, but throws consistent strikes. Gets ahead of hitters with FB and limits HR by keeping ball down.

Development Path: He’ll likely be placed at Low-A Delmarva to work on his delivery and secondary pitches. He could eventually be put on the fast track if everything comes together for him. He has the potential to be a top BAL prospect at this time next season.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: His numbers were outstanding in a brief trial in Rookie ball, but that shouldn’t be expected going forward. He has moderate K potential, but his groundball nature should help him keep HR to a minimum.

Upside Rating:  8D

13. Henry Urrutia (OF) … 6-5, 200 … L/R … 27 … 2012 FA (Cuba)

Team (LG)           AB     BA/OBP/Slg     bb%   ct%    Eye   HR/SB
==============     ===   ==============   ===   ===   ====   =====
Bowie (EL)         200   .365/.433/.550    11    82   0.67    7/ 1
Norfolk (IL)       114   .316/.358/.430     7    87   0.53    2/ 0
Baltimore (AL)      58   .276/.276/.310     0    81   0.00    0/ 0

Comments: Long and lean outfielder who reached big leagues after easy success in minors on two levels. Makes easy line drive contact with clean stroke and can shoot gaps. Power mostly of the pull variety and has been tough on RHP. Lacks ideal athleticism and quickness, but can play solid defense in RF with strong arm. Not much upside, but safe bet for playing time.

Development Path: There isn’t much left for him to prove in the minors despite his limited U.S. experience. He should challenge for a starting spot with the Orioles and could get significant playing time as a result of his natural hitting and defense.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: He isn’t a power-hitting machine nor does he run very well, but he could be a nice source of BA. Because of his defense, he should earn a high number of at bats.

Upside Rating:  7C

14. Adrian Marin (SS) … 6-0, 165 … R/R … 20 … 2012 (3) HS (FL)

Team (LG)           AB     BA/OBP/Slg     bb%   ct%    Eye   HR/SB
==============     ===   ==============   ===   ===   ====   =====
Delmarva (SAL)     388   .265/.311/.356     6    77   0.26    4/11

Comments: Pure shortstop with natural defensive instincts. Owns excellent quickness and athleticism with ideal infield actions. Ranges well to both sides, but needs consistency and focus. Bat lags behind glove, though has projection with good bat speed and bat control. Strikes out a lot despite lack of power output, but can beat out grounders with solid wheels.

Development Path: He is a on a long-term development plan and could return to Low-A to continue to work on his hitting. Much like other young shortstops, the natural talent is there, but a lot of polish is needed. An aggressive estimate would see him reach the majors in 2016. Otherwise, 2017 seems to be logical.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: This depends on his offensive development. The natural tools are there for him to become a 10-15 HR guy with a .270+ BA and 15-20 SB. Those numbers are definitely playable at SS.

Upside Rating:  8D

15. Chance Sisco (C) … 6-2, 195 … L/R … 19 … 2013 (2) HS (CA)

Team (LG)           AB     BA/OBP/Slg     bb%   ct%    Eye   HR/SB
==============     ===   ==============   ===   ===   ====   =====
Orioles (GCL)       97   .371/.475/.464    15    78   0.81    1/ 1
Aberdeen (NYP)       5   .200/.333/.200    17    60   0.50    0/ 0

Comments: An athletic and improving catcher who combines mature approach and bat control to give him offensive upside. Focuses on line drives and lacks leverage for power at present. Has tendency to lengthen swing at times, but can hit LHP. Relatively new to catching and has shown good arm with surprising receiving skills. Has impressive upside, but could take a while to develop.

Development Path: The Orioles are likely to take their time with him due to his raw abilities behind the plate. He would hold his own with the bat in Low-A, but it may behoove him to get constant coaching in extended spring training.

Fantasy Impact at Maturity: Offensive-oriented backstops are always coveted and he fits the profile well. His development with the glove will ultimately determine his fantasy impact.

Upside Rating:  8D

2014 Contributors:Mike Belfiore (LHP), Oliver Drake (RHP), Jason Gurka (LHP), Chris Jones (RHP), Clayton Schrader (RHP), Caleb Joseph (C)