Baltimore Orioles Top 21 Prospects: 2013 Review

With the 2013 season winding down and most leagues already into playoff mode, we’re going to take a look back at the preseason Top 21’s. We’ll look at what was said preseason and what the point of view is now with the season at a close.

We’ll be following that up with a Post 2013 Baseball Instinct 360° to see where prospects stack up against each other overall and to give us a head start on breaking down each system, looking for the prospects of 2014 and beyond.

 

1. Dylan Bundy, RHP 11/15/1992 H: 6’1″ W: 195 – We’ve been as high on Bundy as anyone could be, with him sitting atop our 2011 draft board and then getting a #9 ranking in the 2012 preseason Baseball Instinct 360°. His 2012 season rocketed him up every prospect board and he’ll sit inside the top 2 pretty much everywhere now. With good reason. He’ll reach Baltimore again this season and it should be for good this time. ETA: 2013.

2013 in Review: The one thing that is difficult at times to see coming is injury. With Bundy, injury has led to a lost season. Bundy was diagnosed by Dr. James Andrews with a partial tear in his right elbow ligament on June 26, 2013 and had Tommy John surgery on June 27, 2013. He was advanced for his age, so the set back, while tough, doesn’t change his upside. His ETA is now 2015 for a full time role.

 

2. Kevin Gausman, RHP  1/6/1991 H: 6’4″ W: 185 – Gausman was the O’s top pick in the 2012 draft. The big righty out of LSU has a plus fastball with average secondaries. His CB and CU are both solid and work well with his delivery. Which is non-traditional. But he’s got stuff that would make him the #1 pitching prospect in many organizations. Ultimately is everything breaks right he has #2 upside with a mid rotation starter being a good gauge of a successful selection by the Orioles.  ETA: 2014.

2013 in Review: Take the 3-6 overall minor league record this year and wrap it up real nice before you toss it aside. It means nothing. Actually the 3.51 ERA doesn’t mean much either, with the 2.50 FIP saying that he was even better than that. His K rates aren’t elite, but they are strong and his walk rate of 6.4% is outstanding. He’s improved his changeup and it now borders on plus. That #2 SP upside is coming into reach. He’ll still need to have his innings monitored in 2014. But I would expect him to find a rotation spot next year and be near the top of all RHP pitching prospects.

 

3. Jonathan Schoop, 2B  10/16/1991 H: 6’1″ W: 195 – Schoop is the best positional prospect in the organization, but there are still questions about his ability to hit for average. He has a pronounced bat wrap which causes him to lose his timing. It hasn’t been a huge detriment. Yet. But his .245 AVG at Double-A shows that it could become an issue. With that said he was just 20 years old. So he’s ahead of the development curve, he has power and should transition to 2B as a pro quite well. Expecting a nice bounce back in the AVG in 2013 with a touch more power. ETA: 2013.

2013 in Review: Consider 2013 a lost season for Schoop who missed most of the season with stress fracture in his back. In his short AAA time this year, the AVG has continued to be depressed by his approach. Limited walks and a lack of patience has led to a .255 AVG with limited power. 2014 will be a telling season for his development. The talent is there. ETA: 2014

 

4. L.J. Hoes, OF 3/5/1990 H: 6’1″ W: 185  – Hoes is under-rated as a player despite being the organizations hitter of the year in 2012. He has excellent contact skills and uses the whole field. Already showing a professional approach he should be able to hit at the next level with little adjustment time. Where he plays will be the question. If he develops some more power he can be an everyday LF, if not he should stick as a 4th OF that can handle all OF positions when needed. He’ll have a shot at winning a roster spot in 2013. ETA: 2013.

2013 in Review: Hoes continued to hit again in 2013, slashing .304/.406/.403 in Triple A before being traded to the Astros for Bud Norris. There isn’t a lot of power, nor elite speed, but he does a bit of everything and is a professional hitter. Houston is a good place for him to get a shot at a full time job and if he use his speed better and/or show some more pop he could hold down a full time spot. Though he could, as we noted, become a very good 4th OF in the long run.

 

5. Nicky Delmonico, 3B 7/12/1992 H: 6’3″ W: 215  – Delmonico was one of the top talents taken by the Orioles in 2011, but they got him in the 6th round. He’s finally shifted over to 3B, which is where we considered him best suited, and flashed the power we felt he needed to be most valuable. Still plenty of time for him to mature as a hitter and develop as a 3B, he looks to be the top IF prospect for the O’s by a good bit.  ETA: 2015.

2013 in Review: Delmonico was traded to the Brewers in the Francisco Rodriguez trade. Taking a look at his season, it’s tough to say that it was a good deal for the O’s. Delmonico flashed the power with 25 XBH including 13 HR in just 226 AB. His .243 AVG made him expendable, but the .273 BABIP says he wasn’t that bad and there is bounce back there for the AVG in 2014. He did scuffle in the FSL for the Brewers, but he should still fit into the Brewers Top 10 in 2014.

 

6. Parker Bridwell, RHP 8/2/1991 H: 6’4″ W: 190 – Bridwell was high on our list last and cracked our Top 100. He went through another season of growing pains with his control again the major issue. But it caused a slide across the board. He’s still a top flight talent with a plus fastball and developing secondaries. He may return to Low-A and will need to have the little something click, but if it does he has the stuff to race up prospect lists and would be a prospect I would target. ETA: 2015.

2013 in Review: While Bridwell struggled mightily in 2012, he returned to Low-A in 2013 and once he was up and running he put together a dominant 2H. He still has some elite stuff and despite a 4.67 ERA to end the season, the FIP of 3.32 tells a different story. His K rate jumped to 23.1% and his walk rate dropped below 10% for the first time in 2 years. There is serious growth here and Bridwell is once again the breakout candidate we projected in 2012.

 

7. Glynn Davis, CF 12/7/1991 H: 6’3″ W: 170 – Davis is a speedy CF prospect with a thin frame and room to fill out. He’s 6’3″ with a good 20+ pounds to add before he’s done. His 37 SB last season show his speed is elite but how much of his speed he keeps as he fills out will determine his upside. He’s going to need to grow as a hitter and learn to take more walks if he’s going to be a table-setter. This is going to be a big season in his development. ETA: 2015.

2013 in Review: Not what you hope to see in an important development season. Walks down, AVG to .234 and his speed wasn’t properly utilized. Looking like a 4th OF if he can bump his AVG back up. But a .316 OBP will not cut it for a Top 10 spot. I missed this call.

 

8. Branden Kline, RHP 9/29/1991 H: 6’3″ W: 195  – Kline is a UVA starter that will remain a starter with the Orioles despite having success out of the bullpen with the Cavaliers as well. His fastball sits in the low 90s with good movement and he throws a power curve that should be at least average. He has the crouched UVA mechanics and if he doesn’t cut it as a #3 type starter he could let loose more and make his way to the pen with an uptick in the fastball.ETA: 2015

2013 in Review: Kline broke his ankle in May and missed the rest of the season after surgery. He was only in Low-A but faired well in his 7 starts. If healthy he should move to High-A to start 2014. A possible move to the bullpen could be in order if he doesn’t get off to a quick start next year. He has the stuff to be successful out of the pen.

 

9. Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP 4/7/1993 H: 6’2″ W: 175 – Rodriguez was just 19 in the Sally League and despite not having plus stuff, he’s an advanced pitcher for his age. That and the fact that a low 90s fastball for a young lefty starter with command is always in season. He’s going to need more time to mature and could actually see a velocity uptick this season as he fills out into his 20s. If that happens he has mid rotation starter stuff. ETA: 2015

2013 in Review: An uptick in velocity and success at both AA and AAA makes this 2013 season a breakout. He wasn’t dominant in AA but his K rate upticked to 23%+ in AAA. I wouldn’t expect a dominant SP out of Rodriguez, but he’s showing to be a very capable lefty with mid rotation upside at a young age. Possible 2014 MLB debut.

 

10. Adrian Marin, SS 3/8/1994 H: 6’0″ W: 165  – Marin isn’t going to blow anyone away with plus show tools, but he’s a solid SS with a good chance to stick long-term. There are questions about his hitting mechanics but he possesses a plus tool in his hand eye and ability to square up pitches. He laces the gaps and uses his above average speed to take extra bases. He needs plenty of time to develop a top of the order approach, but he could be a solid speed first MI. ETA: 2016

2013 in Review: The speed wasn’t as apparent as you would like, but hitting .265 as a 19 year old in A ball isn’t a poor season either. As I mentioned, he is going to need plenty of time to develop his approach. Expect him to repeat Low-A to start 2014 and jump to the Carolina league by midseason.

 

11. Tim Berry, LHP 3/18/1991 H: 6’3″ W: 180 – Berry is 3 seasons into his career and is on the bubble as a potential mid rotation starter or bust. But he has the potential for a plus fastball and solid average secondaries. From the left side that makes him valuable and he has the frame to add some velocity. But he’ll be 22 this spring and needs to get on the fast track in his command development. ETA: 2014

2013 in Review: A solid season with a 10-7 record in the Carolina league. He improved his command as we had hoped and although he didn’t dominate, he is on track for a shot at Double-A next season. He’s looking like a viable back end of the rotation type or possible LH RP. He’ll need to uptick the K rate while keeping that walk rate at these 2013 levels.

 

12. Mike Wright, RHP 1/3/1990 H: 6’5″ W: 195 – Wright is a big righty and doesn’t have that plus fastball one would expect. He’s tall, but a short landing in his delivery limits some velocity upside. Although it also offers a sinking and tailing action making him much more effective. He uses his fastball and hard slider well with a developing changeup that would make him a mid rotation type. He was not far off reaching Double-A in 2012. He’ll probably start there in 2013, but a fast start could have him see time in Baltimore’s pen by the end of the year. ETA: 2013

2013 in Review: Wright dominated Double-A this season going 11-3 with a 3.26 ERA. His K rate remained solid with an elite level walk rate. His stuff still isn’t dominant, but he’s successful with what he does have and looks like a back end of the rotation starter. With his size he could eat up innings as well.

 

13.  Josh Hader, LHP 4/7/1994 H:6’3″ W: 165 – 2013 in Review: Hader was traded to the Astros along with Hoes for Norris. He had a very successful season in the Sally with a low ERA and high K rate. He still needs to develop his command and grow into his frame. The Astros have a solid building block here that could be a 2014 breakout candidate.

 

14. Xavier Avery, OF 1/1/1990 H:6’0″ W: 190 – 2013 in Review: Avery was recently traded to the Mariners for Mike Morse. Avery’s strikeout issues remained in 2013 but he continued to flash speed and hit .300 in Double-A. There is a lot of talent here with a raw approach and a limited time window.

 

15. Clay Schrader, RHP 4/28/1990 H:6’0″ W:200 – 2013 in Review: Schrader has the dominant stuff to be a force out of the bullpen, but a lack of command is going to limit his upside unless he figures it out. He had a 23%+ K rate but a near 15% walk rate will not translate to success in Baltimore. He’s going to be tested with AAA next year and its make or break time.

 

16. Ty Kelly, 3B 7/20/1988 H:6’0″ W:185 – 2013 in Review: Kelly had a breakout season in 2012 with 42 XBH and hit .327. His 2013, although not bad, was slight step back until he was traded to the Mariners for Eric Thames. He hit .320 from that point, but the HR power didn’t materialize. As a 3B he needs to hit for more power in 2014 or he’ll fade away into obscurity despite a solid bat.

 

17. Jason Esposito, 3B 7/19/1990 H:6’2″ W:200 – 2013 in Review: The growth that Esposito needed with the hit tool and approach didn’t show up in 2013. He hit just .222 and despite being a big kid, he doesn’t work enough counts to use his power. 2014 will be a make or break year and a lot will need to click to make it work.

 

18. Lex Rutledge, LHP 6/28/1991 H:6’1″ W:195 – 2013 in Review: Once Rutledge got going in 2013 he was relegated to the bullpen for 27 appearances. I don’t think many people thought of him as a pure RP. So this will take thought heading into 2014 to see where he fits within this system. The K rate was there but the walk rate isn’t at a level that will make him a dominant bullpen arm.

 

19. Mike Belfiore, LHP 10/3/1988 H:6’3″ W:220 – 2013 in Review: A big lefty, he’s settled into the bullpen role nicely. His days of being a starter are behind him and he should battle for a bullpen role in 2014.

 

20. Hector Veloz, 3B 2/1/1994 H:6’2″ W:190 – 2013 in Review: Veloz lack of plate discipline made the elite power in his bat a non factor this season. He has the goods to have a difference making bat and he’s still only 19. But there is plenty of work to be done here. Expect him to see Low-A in 2014.

 

21. Torsten Boss, 2B 12/27/1990 H:6’0″ W:190 – 2013 in Review: A move to 2B boosts his value, but a high K rate and is negating his elite walk rate and average power. He’s not exactly young, so 2014 will be a make or break year for a talented player that just hasn’t unlocked the potential.

 

biballblackno360Stick with Baseball Instinct and we’ll keep you a step ahead of the game. Check back soon as we release our top 21 prospects for each organization. While you’re here, check out our Baseball Instinct 360° – it’s our in-season top 360 prospects, and we will be updating it throughout the season. Also check out a friend of ours for all of your fantasy sports needs. Fantasy Rundown is updated religiously and is truly an awesome resource. Thanks for checking Baseball Instinct. We’re working hard to bring you the best of the minor leagues and make the site the best experience it can be, so don’t hesitate to tell us what you would like to read about. Email us now at mailbag@baseballinstinct.comAnd while you’re at it head over to Facebook and join the Instinct page You can also follow us on twitter: @BaseballInstinc.


I was born and raised in NYC. My father was a diehard Yankees fan but not biased and raised me to love the game more than any one team. For that I'm truly thankful to him. My love for the game runs deep, and after crunching numbers all day long, I tend to spend my nights at the FSL ballparks.

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