The Orioles do not have any hitters in their organization with eye-popping numbers on the 2012 season. However, they do have some young guys playing older competition at many stops and progressing quite well. Guys like Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Nick Delmonico, Jason Esposito, Glynn Davis, and Gabriel Lino, along with Future ace Dylan Bundy should give Orioles fans a lot to be happy about in a couple of years.
Luis Exposito C Norfolk Tides – Age 25 – After six season in the Red Sox organization, Boston cut Exposito in April. The Orioles claimed him off of waivers and he made his major debut, backing up Matt Wieters. After getting just 1 hit in 17 at bats, Exposito returned to AAA. He’s hitting .309 with no HRs over 68 at bats this season. He will likely serve as organizational depth, floating between Norfolk and Baltimore as needed.
Brandon Waring 3B Norfolk Tides – Age 26 – After hitting .281 with 6 HRs and 16 RBI in 128 at bats, Waring finally got a promotion on May 18th to AAA after spending 2+ seasons in the AA Eastern League. For the season he’s hitting .261 with 7 HRs and 18 RBI over 161 at bats. If he can prove that he can hit AAA pitching, he might find a role on the bench for the Orioles. At this point in his career, he’s really just organizational depth.
Manny Machado SS Bowie Baysox – Age 19 – After hitting .257 with 11 HRs, 5 Triples, 20 Doubles, and 11 SB over 382 at bats as an 18-year-old in the High-A Carolina League in 2011, The 2010 3rd overall pick is hitting .251 with 2 HRs, 2 Triples, 13 Doubles and 5 SB over 179 at bats in the AA Eastern League. It’s not out of the question that Machado may get a sniff of Camden Yards later this summer. He should be a major league regular before his 21st birthday.
L.J. Hoes OF Bowie Baysox – Age 22 – Hoes displayed a little more pop last season than in previous seasons, however that hasn’t translated as well this season. He’s hitting .267 with 2 HRs, 3 Triples, 9 Doubles, and 11 SB over 191 at bats. He’s a patient hitter that has a 32/30 K/BB ratio. He’s never going to win a batting title, but develop into a solid regular that hits .300 on occasion with 10 HRs and 25-30 SB.
Ronnie Welty OF Bowie Baysox – Age 24 – After getting off to a blistering start this season (.415/.446/.830 in 53 at bats), the 2008 20th round pick waes promoted from High-A to AA, where he struggled in 2011. He’s hitting .291/.316/.509 in 55 AA at bats, a much-needed improvement over last season. He’s going to have to learn to work the count and draw walks, He has just 3 BB on the season and that won’t cut it at the higher levels.
Tyler Towsend 1B Bowie Baysox – Age 24 – The 2009 3rd round pick hit .312 with 14 HRs and 58 RBI in just 269 at bats in High-A in 2011. He’s hitting .247 with 6 HRs and 13 RBIs over 73 at bats this season, However his season has been put on hold since May 1st with hamstring issues. He lost time in 2011 with the same issues. It’s a shame as there’s some serious power potential there, but we’re not sure he will ever be healthy enough to display it to it’s fullest.
Jonathan Schoop 3B Bowie Baysox – Age 20 – One of the better signings out of the Dominican Republic for the Orioles, Schoop hit .290 with 13 HRs and 12 SB over 511 at bats in High-A in 2011. He hasn’t been able to recapture the same success yet in AA, hitting .246 with 2 HRs and 0 SB over 167 at bats. He’s still fairly young for AA and is a work in progress. There isn’t any reason for the Orioles or you, to worry at this time.
John Ruettiger OF Frederick Keys – Age 22 - The nephew of famed movie “Rudy” subject Dan Ruettiger, John displayed some speed at Arizona State before being drafted in the 8th round of the 2011 draft. After hitting .305 with 10 SB over 105 at bats in the SALLY, the Orioles bumped him up to High-A in mid-May. He hasn’t missed a step, hitting .346 with 6 SB in 52 at bats. He has no power to speak of, but with his ability to get on base he could develop into a lead off type. At age 22, he needs to develop quickly. He’s worth keeping in the back of your mind.
Tyler Kelly 3B Frederick Keys – Age 23 – After spending 2 seasons in the Low-A SALLY, Kelly started the season in High-A and was bumped up to AAA for a few weeks before being sent back to Frederick. In his time with Norfolk he hit .278 with 1 HR and 1 SB in 36 at bats. For the season with the Keys, he’s hitting .321 with 3 HR and 14 RBI in 106 at bats. Kelly has a decent glove, but doesn’t project as a major league regular. He will be 24 this summer and there’s some doubt if he will get another shot this season about High-A.
Nick Delmonico 1B/3B Delmarva Shorebirds – Age 19 – In his 1st taste of professional ball, The 2011 6th round pick is hitting .266 with 5 HRs, 13 Doubles, and 3 SB over 177 at bats. He was a late 1st round type player coming out of high school, but teams passed on him due to signability issues. The gamble seems to be paying off for the Orioles and could very well be their future solution at 3B. For now though, with Jason Esposito on the team, Delmonico is getting a look at 1B.
Glynn Davis OF Delmarva Shorebirds – Age 20 – The speedy Davis is hitting .266 with 13 SB and a 42/26 K/BB ratio over 188 at bats in Low-A. He stole 24 bases last season, primarily in the NY-Penn League. He’s several years away, but is another one who could develop into a viable lead off hitter.
Jason Esposito 3B Delmarva Shorebirds – Age 21 – The 2011 2nd round pick is hitting .243 with 1 HR, 19 RBI, and 4 SB over 189 at bats in his professional debut. He has a slightly above average hit tool and though he hasn’t displayed it yet, the power potential is there. His plus arm allowed him to move from SS to 3B without much problem. He’s worth watching as he has big league potential.
Mychal Givens 2B Delmarva Shorebirds – Age 22 – The 2009 second round pick hasn’t really gotten things going in his career. He did steal 20 bases last year, but got caught 11 times and displayed an ugly .608 OPS. Thing aren’t much better this season. Through 137 at bats he has a .642 OPS and has been caught stealing 5 out of 7 times. He has a lot of work ahead of him to be considered even a fringe prospect.
Gabriel Lino C Delmarva Shorebirds – Age 19 – The 2010 signee from Venezuela did a fine job as an 18-year-old in the Gulf Coast League in 2011, posting a triple slash of .282/.371/.462 over 78 at bats. Just turned 19 a little over a week ago. We believe with his athletic build and power potential combined with above average arm strength, Lino has the makings of an above average catcher in the majors. He’s hitting .209 with 2 HRs and 12 RBI while striking out 49 times in 134 at bats. His stats are of little concern as he works on all aspects of his game. He’s worth keeping an eye on.
That’s it for the Baltimore Orioles organizational hitting report. Check back soon as the New York Mets will be next on our report.
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