Thursday, February 9, 2012

Prospects, Prospects, Prospects

Everyone knows the most important thing in real estate is location, location, location.  Well, the most important thing in baseball is often the prospects.  There is little debate over the best way to build a baseball team these days.  Prospects that come up through the system to the major leagues are cost-controlled and often provide teams with surplus production.  This is the type of production discussed in Michael Lewis' Moneyball, as the A's capitalized on performance during a player's cheapest years.  Consider that last season Matt Wieters provided the O's with $19.2 million dollars worth of production last season despite making only $452,250.

That said, the future of the Orioles sits in the minor leagues.  Keith Law ranked the Orioles right in the middle of the pack in terms of their minor league situation stating:

I see two likely superstars, one more potential superstar with lower probability … and after about seven or eight names, it goes off a cliff.
Manny Machado at the Futures Game

Those likely superstars are Dylan Bundy and Manny Machado, and represent the future of the organization.  Jonathan Schoop is another bright spot in the organization, signed out of Curacao when he was 16.  Schoop has played SS, 2B and 3B in his short time in the minors.  O's fans can begin to imagine a potential double play tandem or perhaps a left side of the infield headlined by Schoop and Machado in the future.

Other young guns to look out for are Nicky Delmonico and Jason Esposito from the O's 2011 draft.  Delmonico has a higher upside and Esposito a more likely prospect to develop (which makes sense given that they were drafted out of high school and college respectively).
Dylan Bundy struck out 158 batters in 71 IP

Some pitchers to look out for are Dylan Bundy's brother Bobby, as well as Parker Bridwell.  Both guys made huge strides last season, and could enter the rotation discussion as early as September.  The future for the Orioles will likely rest in the team's ability to continue adding talent to the system, and developing it once it's there.  There's definitely some promise, but the system still has room to grow.

For more on the Orioles prospects, check out our page: Baby Birds.

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