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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's 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. 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 in the strike zone. Bundy draws praise for his work ethic, makeup and competitiveness. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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 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 was added to the 40-man roster in the offseason and has the potential to be an above-average everyday player.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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 pitches 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
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. 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 his aptitude and intelligence. 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.
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. 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 triple against Rangers supplemental first-rounder Joey Gallo, who can throw in the mid-90s, 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. 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.
Berry put himself on the draft radar after he threw a 17-strikeout no-hitter as a prep senior in 2009, but he injured his elbow later that spring and required Tommy John surgery. The Orioles took a flier on Berry in the 50th round anyway and signed him away from an Oregon commitment for $125,000, and he hasn't had any setbacks since the surgery. He spent the early portion of last year repeating low Class A but earned two promotions and finished the season with a start in Double-A. Berry has a live, loose arm that delivers 90-94 mph fastballs, and some scouts think there could be more velocity to come as he continues adding strength to his skinny frame. He can spin the ball well and flashes plus curveballs in warmups but struggles with consistency during games. He has feel for a solid changeup that he throws with good arm speed. Berry needs to work on keeping the ball down in the strike zone. His command and control waver, and they ultimately will determine his future role. As his coordination has improved, so too has his delivery. Berry's three-pitch mix gives him a ceiling of a No. 3 starter, though he could end up in the bullpen. He'll return to Bowie in 2013.
Walker blasted 19 home runs to win the 2009 high school home run derby that is better known for sparking the Bryce Harper hoopla. Walker generated draft buzz that spring but turned down the Dodgers as a 49th-rounder to attend South Carolina. A key offensive contributor on Gamecocks teams that won national titles in 2010 and 2011 and finished runner-up in 2012, he tied Dustin Ackley's College World Series career hits record with 28 before signing with the Orioles for $349,900. He understands his fundamentally strong swing that features good hip rotation. He has uncanny bat-to-ball skills and a patient approach, which make him a tough out. Most scouts believe he has average game power, though Baltimore believes he has plus raw pop and the savvy to tap into it. Walker is limited to first base defensively and his bat will carry him as far as he goes. He moves well enough around the bag and has a below-average arm. Because of the offensive demands on first basemen, Walker is tough to profile, though several scouts say they won't be surprised if he outperforms expectations. He had drawn comparisons to Kevin Millar and Steve Pearce. Walker performed well in his pro debut at short-season Aberdeen, but he was limited with a lower-back injury during instructional league. He should open his first full pro season in low Class A, with the chance to earn a quick promotion.
The son of former Cuban national team outfielder Ermidelio Urrutia, Henry signed with the Orioles in July for a bonus of $778,500. He played for Cuba in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, then hit .397/.461/.597 during Cuba's Serie Nacional 2009-10 season. He was suspended for the 2010-11 season after an unsuccessful defection attempt, and he didn't play in any minor league or instructional league games in 2012 because he was dealing with visa issues. Urrutia is physically mature and doesn't offer much projection. He's a switch-hitting outfielder who should hit for a solid average with average power. He makes consistent line-drive contact from both sides but has a better swing plane from the left. An average runner with a strong arm, Urrutia fits best defensively in right field but may not have the prototypical pop for the position. Assuming he gets his visa, he'll open the 2013 season in Double-A. Baltimore believes he won't need much time in the minors.
Though Davis went undrafted as a junior college sophomore in 2010, the Orioles had followed him throughout the spring. They continued watching him closely in the summer collegiate Cal Ripken League, where he was the circuit's No. 1 prospect playing for Youse's Orioles, which serves as a scout team for Baltimore. Since signing for $120,000 as a nondrafted free agent, Davis has been the system's fastest runner. His speed rates at the top of the scouting scale, and he led Baltimore farmhands with 37 steals in 47 tries last season. His quickness also helps him patrol center field, where he rates as an above-average defender despite spending his amateur career at shortstop. He has an average arm. Davis has a long, lanky body and the Orioles are waiting for his strength to develop, though they're wary of him bulking up and slowing down. He has a compact swing and good bat speed, though he is a singles hitter and power never will be part of his game. Baltimore has worked with him to use the whole field and keep the ball out of the air. He does have the patience to draw walks, and if his bat improves, he could be a tablesetter at the top of a lineup rather than a fourth outfielder. Davis receives Peter Bourjos comparisons for his overall package. He'll head back to high Class A to begin 2013.
When the Orioles took Boss in the eighth round in June, he became the highest-drafted player from Michigan State since 2002. Widely considered one of the best college hitters in the Midwest, he quickly signed for $139,500. Boss has a sweet lefthanded swing with solid bat speed, though it can get long on occasion. He has a good approach and works counts. He impressed scouts by homering off Texas A&M ace Michael Wacha (who would become a Cardinals first-round pick) early in the spring, but Boss may not have more than fringy to average power. He has solid speed and a strong arm, but scouts question whether he has a true defensive home. He spent most of his time at Michigan State and much of his pro debut at third base, though his pop doesn't profile well there. He also played second base as a collegian and pro and got some outfield time with the Spartans, but he doesn't have soft hands or smooth actions. Boss doesn't have any standout tools, but he also doesn't have any glaring weaknesses. Baltimore will continue to develop him as a third baseman, though he could wind up as a utilityman. He'll likely begin his first full pro season in low Class A.
The son of former Orioles pitcher and current Baltimore broadcaster Dave Johnson, Steve made a long journey to realize his childhood dream of pitching in the big leagues for his hometown team. A Dodgers 13th-round pick out of a Baltimore-area high school in 2005, he first came to the Orioles with Josh Bell in a July 2009 trade for George Sherrill. That offseason, Johnson was left off Baltimore's 40-man roster and went to the Giants in the 2010 major league Rule 5 draft. San Francisco elected not to keep him and returned him to the Orioles for the 2011 season, after which he re-signed with Baltimore as a minor league free agent. He finally got summoned to Camden Yards last July, and he pitched well enough to earn a spot on the roster for the Orioles' American League Wild-Card Game. Johnson doesn't have loud stuff, instead thriving on feel and competitiveness. He has four fringy to average pitches in his 87-90 mph fastball, a 77-78 mph slider with bite, a get-me-over curveball and a changeup. He fits at the back of a rotation or in middle relief, and the Orioles like his versatility. He'll help the big league club in some capacity this season.
After transferring from Texas-San Antonio, where he had middling success as a two-way player, Schrader helped San Jacinto (Texas) to the Junior College World Series in 2010. The Orioles drafted him and signed him away from an Oklahoma commitment for $300,000. Schrader attracts attention for two plus pitches and turns heads for his aggressively violent delivery. He's strictly a bullpen arm, but he gets outs and has averaged 12.2 strikeouts per nine innings as a pro. His lively fastball sits at 91-95 mph and his 79-82 mph slider has hard bite. Schrader throws across his body, lands with a stiff front leg and has a recoiling arm action, which provide deception but raise red flags. He missed time at the end of 2011 with elbow tendinitis and tenderness. He struggles to throw consistent strikes, which will be a greater concern as he moves up the ladder. If he can develop better control and command, Schrader will profile as a set-up man and could move quickly. Otherwise he'll be a middle reliever. After a stint in the Arizona Fall League, he'll likely return to Double-A to open 2013.
Used mostly as a reliever at Mississippi State, Jones stayed in the bullpen at the outset of his pro career after signing for $97,500 as a ninth-rounder in 2011. Shifted into the rotation following a promotion to high Class A last July, he responded by going 7-1, 2.80, albeit with a greatly reduced strikeout rate (4.8 per nine innings). When he starts, Jones' fastball sits at 90-94 mph with sinking action that generates a lot of groundouts. As a reliever, he can reach 96 mph. His second pitch is an 82-84 mph slider that's a solid offering at times, though he doesn't always command it well. He has worked with the Orioles' player-development staff to add a changeup, which will go a long way toward determining his future role. Jones' sound delivery allows him to work downhill and live in the bottom of the strike zone. His competitiveness and aptitude also draw praise. He reminds some scouts of former Baltimore reliever Rick Bauer, though the club hopes Jones can become a No. 3 or 4 starter. He'll open 2013 in Double-A.
Hader didn't generate much draft hype in the spring of 2012 as a lanky lefthander who threw 84-87 mph. But Orioles scout Dean Albany kept close tabs on him and saw him pitch a 13-strikeout complete game in May, prompting the team to select him in the 19th round. Shortly after the draft, Hader struck out three in two innings of the Brooks Robinson all-star game--a Maryland high school showcase at Camden Yards--in front of general manager Dan Duquette and manager Buck Showalter. The next day, Baltimore signed Hader away from an Anne Arundel (Md.) CC commitment for $40,000. His velocity soared as Baltimore's development staff helped him gain weight, straighten out his delivery and get on a long-toss program. Hader's fastball now ranges from 89-94 mph, and he starred in his pro debut and during instructional league. Long and loose, he creates deception from a low three-quarters delivery. His secondary stuff is a work in progress, but he has the makings of a plus changeup and an average slider. He also has a slurvy curveball and throws strikes with all his pitches. For his body type and delivery, he draws comparisons to Chris Sale. Hader's first full pro season should start in low Class A Delmarva. If he lives up to his potential, he could blossom into a No. 3 starter.
As an undersized righty with a strong commitment to Arizona State, Davies was overlooked coming out of high school in suburban Phoenix. The Orioles took a chance on him in the 26th round of the 2011 draft and signed him for $575,000. Aggressively assigned to low Class A for his 2012 pro debut, he more than held his own as one of the South Atlantic League's youngest pitchers. Davies doesn't overwhelm with his stuff, but he does just enough for scouts to buy into his package. Some see him as another Mike Leake because he's athletic with a four-pitch mix and has feel for his craft and a competitive edge. Only 6 feet tall, Davies has a slight frame with room to fill out, though he needs to work to create plane for his pitches. He has a simple, repeatable delivery and a quick arm action that allows his fastball to operate at 88-91 mph. Davies' secondary stuff is improving. He has a 73-75 mph curveball with good 12-to-6 shape and depth, but he struggles to throw it for strikes. His fading changeup could be an average offering, and he also has a slider that he rarely uses. Davies has No. 4 starter upside, but he's a long way from reaching it. He'll make the jump to high Class A at age 20.
Baltimore landed a pair of lefty pitchers from the Japanese majors last winter in Wada and Wei-Yin Chen, who had very different 2012 seasons. Chen was the only Oriole to make 30 starts, while Wada hurt his elbow in spring training after signing a two-year, $8.14 million contract. He made a single rehab appearance in Triple-A before ligament damage requiring Tommy John surgery was discovered. In nine seasons in Japan, Wada went 107-61, 3.41 in 207 starts with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks. He also pitched in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics. When he's healthy, his fastball sits at 84-87 mph with sink. His changeup is his best secondary offering, and he also throws a below-average slider. With fringy stuff, Wada survives on feel and deception provided by a quirky drop-and-drive delivery. Because he'll be 32 when the 2013 season starts, it's hard to predict how Wada will bounce back from the surgery, specifically in terms of regaining the pitchability he thrived on. He could fit as a back-of-the-rotation starter, or as a multi-inning reliever in a Troy Patton-like role.
McFarland made steady progress in five years in the Indians system, reaching Triple-A and tying for the minor league lead with 16 wins in 2012. When Cleveland declined to protect him on its 40-man roster, the Orioles took him in the major league Rule 5 draft in December. He can't be sent to the minors in 2013 without being exposed to waivers and offered back to the Indians for half his $50,000 draft price, but he has a decent chance of winning a job on Baltimore's staff, perhaps even in the back of the rotation. McFarland relies on command and deception more that stuff. His best pitch is his average 77-81 mph slider, which he sets up by spotting his 87-90 mph fastball all over the strike zone. He also has a fringy changeup. The Orioles made their surprising 2012 playoff run in part because they found unlikely pitching help from a variety of sources, and McFarland could be another useful pickup. If he can't cut it as a starter, his slider could help him make it as a situational reliever.
A three-sport high school star who drew interest from college football programs as a quarterback, Bridwell passed up a baseball commitment to Texas Tech for a chance to pursue his lifelong dream of playing professional baseball. The Orioles selected him in the ninth round in 2010 and signed him for an over-slot $625,000 bonus. He ranked No. 4 on this list a year ago before getting hit hard in low Class A for the second straight season. Despite his struggles, scouts still like Bridwell's long, loose frame and live arm. His fastball works anywhere from 87-94 mph with good sink, though his velocity dipped late in 2012 as his innings accumulated. His overhand curveball shows the most potential among his secondary pitches. He also throws a slider and changeup. Baltimore has worked with Bridwell to smooth out his delivery, though he has trouble repeating it, which leads to varying arm angles and wavering command. Given his lack of experience, the Orioles think Bridwell just needs time to develop. The raw material is there for a mid-rotation starter, but he's a long way from reaching his ceiling. He may see more time in Delmarva to open the 2013 season.
Acquired as the player to be named in a trade that sent Josh Bell to the Diamondbacks, Belfiore joined the Orioles in May and immediately jumped to Double-A, where he turned in the best performance of his pro career. Arizona took him with the 45th overall pick in 2009, after the Boston College two-way star pitched 9 2/3 innings of scoreless relief in an epic 25-inning NCAA regional game against Texas. The Diamondbacks signed him for $725,000 with the intention of developing him as a starter, but he never was effective or comfortable in that role. Belfiore has solid stuff across the board, and it plays up because he's deceptive and competitive. He dials up his fastball to 89-92 mph with running life, backing it up with a sweeping slider and changeup. His command comes and goes because he has a slight stab in the back of his arm action. Belfiore throws from a high three-quarters slot and gets in trouble when he doesn't keep the ball down. He's especially tough on lefthanders, who hit .160/.218/.200 in 50 at-bats against him in Double-A. At the very least, he should be a serviceable left-on-left specialist. If his command improves, Belfiore could help in Baltimore sooner rather than later. He figures to spend 2013 in Triple-A after getting added to the 40-man roster in November.
Rutledge spurned the Brewers to attend Samford when he was a 26th-round selection as a Mississippi prep product. He struggled with his command as a college starter, but thrived in the closer role as a freshman and junior, and he showed upper-90s velocity in two summers in the Cape Cod League. Impressed by his lefty arm strength, the Orioles snagged him in the sixth round in June and signed him for $196,200. Rutledge's velocity wavers, though he sat at 90-93 mph with cutting action as a starter in his pro debut. He has a straight overhand curveball that can be a plus pitch at times, and he's working to develop a changeup. Rutledge throws from an extreme overhand arm slot, which leads to command and control difficulties, and he might attain better feel by lowering it. He has an unorthodox delivery that Baltimore has worked to refine. If he can improve his changeup, delivery and overall feel for pitching, Rutledge could reach his ceiling as a mid-rotation starter. The Orioles will develop him in that role, though he might be best suited for the back of a bullpen. He'll make the jump to low Class A for his first full pro season.
The Robin to 2011 No. 2 overall pick Danny Hultzen's Batman in Virginia's weekend rotation, Wilson went in the 10th round that June and received $20,000 as a senior sign. He won an award recognizing him as the outstanding senior student-athlete in NCAA Division I baseball. Wilson reached high Class A in his first full pro season while demonstrating the system's best command. With fringy stuff across the board, he doesn't have a high ceiling but succeeds with competitiveness and moxie. Wilson knows how to get outs by keeping the ball down. He works off a sinking, grounder-inducing 87-91 mph fastball that he maintains deep into games. He also throws an average slider and an inconsistent changeup. Baltimore overhauled Wilson's delivery throughout last season, and it's now clean and repeatable. He has earned an assignment to Double-A, where more advanced hitters will test him. Though he doesn't project as more than a No. 5 starter or middle reliever, his resolve may get him to the big leagues.
Webb was committed to attend Southern California after spending the 2009 season at Palomar (Calif.) JC. The Orioles liked what they saw of him in the Northwoods League that summer, however, so they signed him for $250,000 after having taken a flier on him in the 30th round. He's a good athlete who flashes five-tool potential, which makes him one of the more exciting prospects in the system, though he's still raw. Scouts who get short looks at him come away comparing him to David Justice in face and frame. Webb is strong and has above-average raw power, but he doesn't reach it during games because he doesn't have much of an approach. He has a long, uppercut swing with a lot of pre-pitch movement that leaves him with a hole on the inner half. He struck out 138 times in 124 games across two levels last year, though he also walked 98 times. Webb is a stylish, gliding outfielder who can handle center field but might fit better on a corner with his solid speed and average arm. For all his upside, he won't be more than a fourth outfielder if he can't make more consistent contact. He'll return to high Class A to start the season after finishing 2012 there.
Most teams didn't realize Drake had attended a year of prep school before he attended the Naval Academy, making him draft-eligible as a sophomore in 2008, or that he wouldn't have to fulfill his military commitment if he didn't return for his junior year. Baltimore had background with Drake because he had played for the Youse's Orioles club that serves as their scout team, knew his situation and signed him for $100,000 as a 43rd-rounder. He worked his way to Double-A and onto the Orioles' 40-man roster in 2011. He began last year on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation, made three starts for Bowie in May, then felt discomfort in the shoulder again. He was shut down for the season and had surgery. Drake's last start, a six-inning no-hitter, was arguably the best of his career. That day, his fastball sat at 92-95 mph with sink, and he showed an 82-83 mph splitter/changeup with late tumble and downer curveball. His secondary pitches lack consistency, but he does a good job of throwing strikes. Big and strong, Drake works quickly and mixes his offerings well. If he fully recovers, he could fit at the back of a big league rotation but might be best suited for bullpen work. He'll make a third trip to Double-A this year after getting outrighted off the 40-man roster in November.
A small, athletic outfielder from the Dominican Republic, Lorenzo stands out for his ability to run and throw. He has top-of-the-scale speed, getting down the first-base line in less than 4.0 seconds from the right side, and he stole 16 bases in 53 games last year. His quickness helps him cover ground in center field, and his arm grades out as plus. The rest of Lorenzo's game is still in progress. He has some bat speed, slaps at the ball to put it in play and is willing to bunt to get on base. He's still learning the strike zone, and like many young hitters has difficulty recognizing breaking pitches. His approach won't yield much power, and he doesn't get caught up trying to drive the ball. Lorenzo will need a lot of time to develop but will get his first extended shot at full-season ball in 2013.
Kelly wasn't on the prospect radar entering 2012, but he hit his way onto it, batting .327/.425/.413 while walking more than he struck out and rising three levels to Triple-A. Kelly can hit from both sides of the plate, and his future is tied entirely to his bat. He doesn't have much power, but he flares line drives from foul line to foul line, keeping his bat on a level plane through the hitting zone. Kelly still is looking for a position, however. He has below-average speed, range and arm strength, though his defensive instincts are sound. He has played every position but catcher, pitcher and center field during his minor league career, with more than half of his time coming at third base. He doesn't have the power to profile on an infield or outfield corner, nor the defensive chops to play up the middle. That leaves Kelly looking for a role as an offensive utilityman. He'll return to Norfolk to open 2013.
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