2013 Baltimore Orioles Top 10 Prospects With Scouting Reports





Baseball America's Top 10 Prospects lists are based on projections of a player's long-term worth after discussions with scouting and player-development personnel. All players who haven't exceeded the major league rookie standards of 130 at-bats or 50 innings pitched (without regard to service time) are eligible.

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Baltimore Orioles

Buckle up, Baltimore. The Orioles have reawakened baseball at Camden Yards.

After 15 straight losing seasons, the Orioles treated their fans to a magical, unexpected 2012 campaign that brought the franchise its first postseason berth and first home playoff victory since 1997.

Manager Buck Showalter flipped the script on a team that went 69-93 in his first full season, as the Orioles went 93-69 and battled the Yankees for the American League East title down to the final day of the season. Baltimore dethroned the two-time defending AL champion Rangers in a one-game wild-card playoff, then pushed New York to the brink in the division series before losing in five games.

"We took a giant step forward this year and we re-energized the fan base," first-year general manager Dan Duquette said. "We're a first-division outfit. To win 96 games is really a significant accomplishment, and I'm proud of the work and effort that everyone did."

As Showalter said the day after the Orioles were eliminated in the Bronx: "Now the challenge is to hold on to it and continue to get better."

Baltimore knows nothing is guaranteed, and its accomplishments in 2012 were startling, given that it outscored its opponents by just seven runs during the regular season. The Orioles went 29-9 in one-run games and 16-2 in extra-inning affairs as Showalter brilliantly navigated the season, relying on 52 different players to squeak out every victory. He did it without an ace pitcher, with a patchwork bullpen that developed into one of baseball's best (Jim Johnson led the majors with 51 saves) and with contributions from such unlikely sources as Miguel Gonzalez and Nate McLouth.

Duquette, who had been out of baseball since the Red Sox fired him as GM before the 2002 season, made many subtle but masterful moves. Taiwanese lefty Wei-Yin Chen, the only Baltimore pitcher to make more than 29 starts, was signed out of Japan's major league. Gonzalez, a hero in the second half and postseason, signed a minor league deal in March.

Other contributors such as Ryan Flaherty (major league Rule 5 draft), Jason Hammel (February trade for Jeremy Guthrie) and McLouth (minor league deal in June 5) also came aboard at little cost. Perhaps Duquette's best decision came in early August, when he promoted 20-year-old Manny Machado to the big leagues in hopes of shoring up a huge defensive weakness at third base (see Page 17).

Machado did that despite having played just two games at the hot corner in the minors. He also exceeded offensive expectations by batting .262/.294/.445 in the regular season and become the third-youngest player ever to hit a postseason home run.

Along with Adam Jones, Nick Markakis and Matt Wieters, Machado is a lineup cornerstone for the Orioles. They also have the game's best pitching prospect in righthander Dylan Bundy, who made his major league debut in September at age 19. In scouting director Gary Rajisch's first draft with Baltimore, the club landed another potential frontline starter in Kevin Gausman, the No. 4 overall pick.

Beyond Bundy and Gausman, the Orioles farm system lacks depth. But if the club can continue to win at the major league level and Duquette can keep plugging holes, Baltimore won't have to rush prospects and will have time to build up its system.

1. Dylan Bundy, rhp Born: Nov 15, 1992 B-T: B-R Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 195
Drafted: Owasso (Okla.) HS, 2011 (1st round).  Signed by: Ernie Jacobs
Dylan BundyBackground: Considered the most advanced prep pitcher in years, Bundy went fourth overall in a deep 2011 draft and signed a $6.225 million major league contract that included a $4 million bonus. Even the most ambitious predraft expectations sold him short, however. He threw his first professional pitch in April and five months later became the fourth player from his draft class to reach the big leagues, as well as the fourth 19-year-old to pitch in the majors in the last decade. After opening the season with 13 consecutive no-hit innings at low Class A Delmarva, he was promoted to high Class A Frederick, where he ranked as the Carolina League's top prospect. He earned a victory in the Futures Game and then made three starts for Double-A Bowie, including the Baysox' playoff opener. The Orioles kept him on a strict pitch count throughout the season and didn't let him venture into the sixth inning until August, a plan that left him with usable innings later in the year. Bundy went to instructional league, but the Orioles called him up in mid-September when they needed bullpen reinforcements. He made two scoreless appearances and was the obvious choice as the organization's minor league pitcher of the year.
Scouting Report: Bundy offers a rare combination of polish and power at a young age, as well as four potential plus pitches, giving him true No. 1 starter upside. In shorter stints, Bundy attacks with a 95-98 mph fastball that touches triple digits, and in longer outings he settles in at 92-96 mph. Because his four-seam fastball has just average life, he added a two-seamer with more sink in the second half of the season. His best pitch as an amateur was an upper-80s cutter, but the Orioles asked him to scrap it in favor of developing his other secondary pitches. Bundy's downer curveball flashes well above-average potential, though it's inconsistent. His plus changeup has progressed more than any of his offerings since he signed. It's deceptive because of his consistent arm speed and features slight sink. Reintroducing the cutter would give him a fourth plus offering and another weapon against lefthanders. Bundy's command and consistency need to improve, though he has a tremendous feel for pitching. He's a great athlete with good body control and balance, broad shoulders and a muscular lower half. His arm action is clean and he has worked to improve the tempo in his delivery. Despite his size, Bundy creates good plane on his pitches, though he runs into trouble when he leaves the ball up. Bundy draws praise for his work ethic, makeup and competitiveness.
The Future: Bundy already has passed his older brother Bobby, an Orioles 2008 eighth-round pick who spent time in Double-A before succumbing to an elbow injury in July. Regardless of whether Dylan gets a chance to make the big league club out of spring training, it won't be long before he's Baltimore's ace. He should be the Orioles' best homegrown pitcher since Mike Mussina.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'12 Delmarva (LoA) 1 0 0.00 8 8 0 30 5 2 0 0 2 40 .053
'12 Frederick (HiA) 6 3 2.84 12 12 0 57 48 20 18 5 18 66 .219
'12 Bowie (AA) 2 0 3.24 3 3 0 17 14 7 6 1 8 13 .219
'12 Baltimore (MAJ) 0 0 0.00 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 1 0 .167
Major League Totals 0 0 0.00 2 0 0 2 1 1 0 0 1 0 .143
Minor League Totals 9 3 2.08 23 23 0 104 67 67 24 6 28 119 .177

2. Kevin Gausman, rhp Born: Jan 06, 1991 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-4 Wt.: 185
Drafted: Louisiana State, 2012 (1st round).  Signed by: Dave Jennings
Kevin GausmanBackground: Considered a first-round talent out of high school, Gausman declined seven-figure overtures from clubs before the draft and turned down the Dodgers as a sixth-round pick to attend Louisiana State. A draft-eligible sophomore in 2012, he went fourth overall and signed for $4.32 million.
Scouting Report: Gausman's two premium pitches and developing third option give him No. 2 starter upside. His plus-plus fastball sits at 94-96 mph and touches 98, and he mixes in a sinking low-90s two-seamer to induce groundouts. His 84-86 mph changeup is an easy plus pitch, and some scouts ranked it among the best they've seen at the amateur level. Gausman threw both a 76-79 mph curveball and an 82-86 mph slider that blended together in college. His diving slider flashes more swing-and-miss potential and showed significant improvement during instructional league. A premium athlete with a live body, he has a smooth, high-leg kick delivery that helps him stay over the rubber. His aptitude and intelligence help set him apart.
The Future: Bundy and Gausman give the Orioles one of the minors' best 1-2 pitching punches. After making a playoff appearance for Bowie, Gausman might return to Double-A to open his first full pro season. He could reach Baltimore before the end of the season.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'12 Aberdeen (SS) 0 0 0.00 2 2 0 6 1 0 0 0 0 5 .053
'12 Frederick (HiA) 0 1 6.00 3 3 0 9 10 6 6 3 1 8 .270
Minor League Totals 0 1 3.60 5 5 0 15 11 11 6 3 1 13 .196

3. Jonathan Schoop, 2b/ss Born: Oct 16, 1991 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-1 Wt.: 195
Signed: Curacao '08. Signed by: Ernst Meyer.
Jonathan SchoopBackground: Throughout most of his minor league career, Schoop has been a double-play partner with Manny Machado. He played primarily second base before Machado's promotion to the big leagues, then saw time at shortstop afterward. In an organization not known for its international efforts, Schoop ranks as the system's headliner.
Scouting Report: Schoop showed flashes of brilliance in 2012 despite playing in Double-A at age 20 and battling tendinitis in both knees. He's an aggressive hitter who produces loud contact, but he has a bat wrap that causes timing issues and leaves him vulnerable to premium fastballs on the inner half. He needs to improve his pitch recognition to make the most of his above-average raw power. Though Schoop is a below-average runner, he has soft hands and works well around the bag. His plus arm will play anywhere in the infield. Depending on how his body fills out, he might be best suited for third base or an outfield corner, though he hasn't left the infield yet.
The Future: The Orioles will continue developing Schoop at shortstop until he plays his way off the position. After making a trip to the Arizona Fall League, he figures to return to Double-A to open 2013, which will be an important developmental year. He has the potential to be an above-average everyday player.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'09 Orioles (R) 247 28 59 7 3 0 35 24 39 11 3 .239 .320 .291
'10 Orioles (R) 60 11 15 4 0 3 16 7 7 0 0 .250 .329 .467
'10 Bluefield (R) 133 16 42 11 1 2 16 12 14 1 1 .316 .372 .459
'10 Frederick (HiA) 21 5 5 3 0 0 3 1 4 0 0 .238 .273 .381
'11 Delmarva (LoA) 212 45 67 12 3 8 34 20 32 6 4 .316 .376 .514
'11 Frederick (HiA) 299 37 81 12 2 5 37 22 44 6 3 .271 .329 .375
'12 Bowie (AA) 485 68 119 24 1 14 56 50 103 5 3 .245 .324 .386
Minor League Totals 1457 210 388 73 10 32 197 136 243 29 14 .266 .336 .396

4. Nicky Delmonico, 1b/2b Born: Jul 12, 1992 B-T: L-R Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 196
Drafted: Farragut HS, Knoxville, 2011 (6th round).  Signed by: Adrian Dorsey
Nicky DelmonicoBackground: As the son of former college coach Rod and brother of former Dodgers farmhand Tony, Nick grew up around the game. A disappointing high school senior season (caused in part by back problems) dropped him to the sixth round of the 2011 draft, though he signed for $1.525 million. Named MVP of the low Class A South Atlantic League all-star game in June, he suffered a slight tear in his left knee a week later that sidelined him for the balance of the 2012 season.
Scouting Report: Delmonico looks the part with a big, strong frame. His baseball IQ is evident with his advanced approach and feel for hitting. He recognizes breaking pitches and works counts. He gets good loft and projects to have average power, though there's some length to his swing. Delmonico's bat will be his carrying tool, as his future position is in question. He played 57 games at first base and 31 at second in his pro debut, though he might fit best at third. He doesn't have the hands and feet to turn the double play, but he should have enough first-step quickness for the hot corner. He's a below-average runner with a solid arm.
The Future: Though his development has been slowed by injuries, Delmonico is advanced enough to handle a high Class A assignment in 2013. His ceiling is a first-division corner infielder.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'12 Delmarva (LoA) 338 49 84 22 0 11 54 47 73 8 1 .249 .351 .411
Minor League Totals 338 49 84 22 0 11 54 47 73 8 1 .249 .351 .411

5. Eduardo Rodriguez, lhp Born: Apr 07, 1993 B-T: L-L Ht.: 6-2 Wt.: 175
Signed: Venezuela '10. Signed by: Calvin Maduro.
Eduardo RodriguezBackground: Signed for $175,000 out of Venezuela, Rodriguez was one of few international splashes made by the Andy MacPhail regime. After making his U.S. debut in 2011, Rodriguez was Baltimore's most improved prospect in 2012. He more than held his own as a 19-year-old in low Class A while doubling his innings total.
Scouting Report: Previously known as a command-and-feel lefty with a funky delivery, Rodriguez has developed into a different animal as he continues growing into his lanky frame. His tailing fastball now sits at 90-94 mph, and the ball comes out of his hand well. His secondary pitches are inconsistent but have shown improvement. Both his 80-84 mph slider and 82-84 mph changeup flash plus potential, with the slider more advanced at this stage. He'll have at least average command. The Orioles have helped Rodriguez overhaul his delivery and get more on line toward the plate without robbing him of deception. He has benefited from committing to a consistent between-starts routine.
The Future: With Bundy and Gausman possibly graduating to the big leagues in 2013, Rodriguez could rank as the organization's top pitching prospect a year from now. He likely will open the season in high Class A. He profiles as a mid-rotation starter, though some suggest he has an even higher ceiling.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'10 Orioles1 (R) 3 4 2.33 12 12 0 66 49 26 17 0 28 62 .199
'11 Orioles (R) 1 1 1.81 11 10 1 45 28 17 9 0 17 46 .173
'11 Aberdeen (SS) 0 0 6.75 1 1 0 4 6 3 3 1 1 4 .333
'12 Delmarva (LoA) 5 7 3.70 22 22 0 107 103 56 44 4 30 73 .243
Minor League Totals 9 12 2.96 46 45 1 222 186 186 73 5 76 185 .218

6. L.J. Hoes, of Born: Mar 05, 1990 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 190
Drafted: St. John's HS, Washington, 2008 (3rd round).  Signed by: Dean Albany
L.J. HoesBackground: Hoes has been on Baltimore's radar since 2007, when he played on the organization's Youse's Orioles scout team in the Cal Ripken Collegiate League as a rising high school senior. Signed the next year as a third-round pick, he tried to make it as an infielder but didn't get his bat going until becoming a full-time outfielder in early 2011. He was the organization's minor league hitter of the year in 2012, when he became the first native Maryland position player to play for the big league club since Cal Ripken Jr.
Scouting Report: The organization's best pure hitter, Hoes batted .300 in Triple-A as one of the International League's youngest regulars. He has tremendous bat-to-ball skills and laces line drives to all fields. His plate discipline results in high on-base percentages, though the Orioles still are waiting for his power. Hoes is an above-average runner under way, though he doesn't get out of the box well and is working to improve his reads as a basestealer. He's a gliding outfielder who can play center field but fits best on a corner. He has a solid arm.
The Future: If Hoes develops solid power, he could be an everyday left fielder. After a trip to the Arizona Fall League, he'll get a chance to win a big league job out of spring training.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'08 Orioles (R) 159 36 49 4 3 1 18 30 22 10 0 .308 .416 .390
'09 Delmarva (LoA) 431 42 112 19 0 2 47 23 80 20 5 .260 .299 .318
'10 Aberdeen (SS) 28 8 13 5 1 1 5 2 1 1 1 .464 .531 .821
'10 Bowie (AA) 9 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 0 .222 .222 .222
'10 Frederick (HiA) 353 52 98 19 2 3 44 53 70 10 8 .278 .375 .368
'11 Frederick (HiA) 158 23 38 7 0 3 17 10 25 4 2 .241 .297 .342
'11 Bowie (AA) 344 47 105 17 1 6 54 43 56 16 7 .305 .379 .413
'12 Bowie (AA) 196 25 52 9 3 2 16 31 33 12 5 .265 .368 .372
'12 Norfolk (AAA) 317 54 95 14 4 3 38 34 43 8 7 .300 .374 .397
'12 Baltimore (MAJ) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Major League Totals 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Minor League Totals 1995 288 564 94 14 21 240 226 331 81 35 .283 .358 .375

7. Xavier Avery, of Born: Jan 01, 1990 B-T: L-L Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 190
Drafted: Cedar Grove HS, Ellenwood, Ga., 2008 (2nd round).  Signed by: Dave Jennings
Xavier AveryBackground: Avery was slated to play running back at Georgia until the Orioles signed him for $900,000 as a second-round pick in 2008. Though raw, he reached the majors in his fourth full pro season, with three stints with Baltimore after first getting the call in early May.
Scouting Report: Consistently rated as the system's top athlete, Avery is still figuring things out at the plate. He has strong hands and good bat speed, though his power is below-average. He doesn't recognize pitches well, gets overly aggressive and chases out of the strike zone. Some scouts wonder if he understands the type of hitter he should be, which is a top-of-the-order catalyst who gets on base. Avery is a plus-plus runner who's still learning the nuances of basestealing after getting caught 10 times in 38 tries in 2012. His speed translates to the outfield, where he's a solid defender in center with a fringy arm.
The Future: Depending on Avery's ability to make adjustments, he could be an everyday center fielder, though Adam Jones is signed through 2018. He may work better as a quality fourth outfielder, though his bat must improve for him to serve in that role. Though he'll be in big league camp, Avery would benefit from additional development time at Triple-A Norfolk.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'08 Orioles (R) 175 27 49 8 1 0 7 10 51 13 3 .280 .333 .337
'09 Delmarva (LoA) 473 55 124 15 8 2 36 27 111 30 10 .262 .306 .340
'10 Frederick (HiA) 447 73 125 25 6 4 48 42 96 28 14 .280 .349 .389
'10 Bowie (AA) 107 10 25 6 0 3 18 7 34 10 0 .234 .288 .374
'11 Bowie (AA) 557 72 144 31 2 4 26 49 156 36 14 .259 .324 .343
'12 Norfolk (AAA) 390 57 92 13 5 8 34 51 106 22 7 .236 .330 .356
'12 Baltimore (MAJ) 94 14 21 6 1 1 6 11 23 6 3 .223 .305 .340
Major League Totals 94 14 21 6 1 1 6 11 23 6 3 .223 .305 .340
Minor League Totals 2149 294 559 98 22 21 169 186 554 139 48 .260 .325 .356

8. Mike Wright, rhp Born: Jan 03, 1990 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-5 Wt.: 195
Drafted: East Carolina, 2011 (3rd round).  Signed by: Chris Gale
Mike WrightBackground: Liking Wright more than the industry consensus in 2011, the Orioles drafted him in the third round. He impressed in his first spring training, striking out Mark Teixeira and two other Yankees in two innings to get on the fast track, and he reached Double-A in his first full season. He missed six weeks with a hamstring injury but made up for lost time in the Arizona Fall League.
Scouting Report: Wright doesn't have a true out pitch, but he gets good leverage out of his durable pitcher's frame, keeping the ball down and generating groundouts. His fastball operates from 89-95 mph and mostly sits at 92-93 with hard sink. His slider is inconsistent but flashes plus potential, and his changeup continues progressing. Wright threw a curveball in college, and Baltimore reintroduced it last year to give him a fourth pitch. Like most pitchers, he runs into trouble when he leaves the ball up and out over the plate. He's highly competitive.
The Future: Given Wright's combination of size and stuff, Baltimore will leave him in the rotation and see if he can reach his No. 3 starter upside. Scouts outside the organization suggest he might fit best as a late-inning reliever, perhaps in a set-up role. He'll open 2013 in Triple-A.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'11 Orioles (R) 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 .000
'11 Aberdeen (SS) 2 1 3.77 7 7 0 31 29 15 13 3 6 29 .238
'11 Delmarva (LoA) 1 1 10.54 4 1 0 14 21 16 16 3 4 12 .339
'12 Frederick (HiA) 5 2 2.91 8 8 0 46 47 16 15 3 5 35 .253
'12 Bowie (AA) 5 3 4.91 12 12 0 62 71 38 34 7 17 45 .275
Minor League Totals 13 7 4.56 32 28 0 154 168 168 78 16 32 122 .267

9. Branden Kline, rhp Born: Sep 29, 1991 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 195
Drafted: Virginia, 2012 (2nd round).  Signed by: Chris Gale
Branden KlineBackground: The Orioles have plenty of history with Kline, who grew up in Frederick, Md., the site of their high Class A affiliate. They liked him out of high school in 2009 but knew he was strongly committed to Virginia, as the Red Sox learned when they took him in the sixth round. Despite his inconsistent college career, they took him in the second round last June and signed him for $793,700.
Scouting Report: Kline's fastball sits at 92-95 mph, though it's a little straight. He threw a downer curveball in high school, but he ditched it in college in favor of an 81-84 mph slider that flashes plus potential. Baltimore likely will stick with the slider, but could bring back the curve as well. His low-80s changeup is a work in progress. Kline has a live, explosive body with long limbs. The Orioles have worked to add athleticism back into his delivery, which was removed in favor of Virginia's formulaic motion, in which pitchers start from a squat and stay low throughout. There never has been any question about his clean, quick arm action. Baltimore lauds Kline's aptitude and intelligence.
The Future: Some scouts see Kline as a mid-rotation starter, while others think he's destined for the bullpen. The Orioles like his chances of staying in the rotation and will send him to one of their Class A affiliates.

Year Team W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG
'12 Aberdeen (SS) 0 0 4.50 4 4 0 12 12 7 6 1 4 12 .250
Minor League Totals 0 0 4.50 4 4 0 12 12 12 6 1 4 12 .250

10. Adrian Marin, ss Born: Mar 08, 1994 B-T: R-R Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 165
Drafted: Gulliver Prep, Miami, 2012 (3rd round).  Signed by: Juan Alvarez
Adrian MarinBackground: The Orioles went to the South Florida well again to find a middle infielder, taking Marin in the third round of the 2012 draft and signing him for $481,100 just two years after selecting Manny Machado. Marin doesn't have Machado's upside, but scouts are impressed with his maturity and instincts. He was far and away the best player on Baltimore's Rookie-level Gulf Coast League club and spent the last week of the season in low Class A.
Scouting Report: A quick-twitch athlete, Marin has good actions, hands and feet, which should allow him to remain at shortstop. He has a solid arm and plus speed. Amateur scouts wondered about the impact of his bat because he doesn't have ideal hitting mechanics, starting in an upright stance and not utilizing his lower half. While he has below-average power, he smoked a homer against Rangers supplemental first-rounder Joey Gallo in a spring showdown. Marin does handle the bat well, with quick hands and good bat speed. Like many young hitters, he's still learning to recognize pitches.
The Future: He'll return to Delmarva for his first full pro season. With J.J Hardy and Machado in Baltimore and Jonathan Schoop in Double-A, the Orioles have no need to rush Marin.

Year Team AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG
'12 Orioles (R) 178 24 51 7 3 0 13 11 34 6 1 .287 .339 .360
'12 Delmarva (LoA) 21 5 6 0 0 0 2 1 2 2 0 .286 .348 .286
Minor League Totals 199 29 57 7 3 0 15 12 36 8 1 .286 .340 .352