Baltimore Orioles Top 20 PRE-SEASON Prospects in Review
This list was originally published November 18, 2008. This is a REVIEW of the PRE-SEASON list for 2009, not a revision of that list. This is a REVIEW of the old list. I'm not doing new grades or lists until I start working on the 2010 book.
1) Matt Wieters, C, Grade A: Hitting .272/.320/.388 in the majors. Have faith.
2) Chris Tillman, RHP, Grade B+: 2.70 ERA with 99/26 K/BB in 97 Triple-A innings, 4.58 ERA with 18/14 K/BB in 35 major league innings. Have faith.
3) Brian Matusz, LHP, Grade B+: 1.91 ERA with 121/32 K/BB in 113 innings between Class A Frederick and Double-A Bowie. 6.46 ERA with 23/10 K/BB in 24 major league innings, 38 hits. He was rushed, but....have faith.
4) Jake Arrieta, RHP, Grade B+: 3.37 ERA with 144/49 K/BB in 142 innings combined between Double-A and Triple-A. On schedule.
5) Brandon Erbe, RHP, Grade B: 2.40 ERA with 49/33 K/BB in 60 innings for Bowie, 38 hits allowed. Command needs work, but stuff is there.
6) Nolan Reimold, OF, Grade B-: hitting .276/.368/.461 in the majors, having a fine debut.
7) Zach Britton, LHP, Grade B-: 2.74 ERA with 128/54 K/BB in 138 innings, 123 hits for Class A Frederick. Looks very good on paper, 3.40 GO/AO ratio with a solid strikeout rate is a great combination.
8) Brandon Snyder, 1B, Grade B-: Hit .343/.421/.597 in 58 games in Double-A, but just .257/.313/.365 in 63 games in Triple-A. I don't think he's going to hit quite enough to be a regular first baseman.
9) David Hernandez, RHP, Grade B-: 4.24 ERA with 43/32 K/BB in 74 major league innings, 81 hits. Has done OK but components aren't great, I worry that the ERA is going to inflate.
10) Troy Patton, LHP, Grade C+: 1.99 ERA with 47/18 K/BB in 63 innings in Double-A, but 6.45 ERA with 26/14 K/BB in 45 innings in Triple-A, 62 hits. Now on disabled list.
11) Kam "The Almighty" Mickolio, RHP, Grade C+: 3.50 ERA with 52/16 K/BB in 44 innings for Norfolk, 1.46 ERA with 13/4 K/BB in 12 innings for the Orioles. No reason he can't be a good reliever.
12) Bill Rowell, 3B, Grade C+: .225/285/.339 with 33/111 BB/K in 395 at-bats for Frederick. Still just 20 years old, but hasn't developed at all.
13) Ryan Adams, 2B, Grade C+: Hitting .288/.349/.381 for Frederick. Showing less pop than last year.
14) Xavier Avery, OF, Grade C+: Hitting .261/.307/.345 with 30 steals in 40 attempts for Class A Delmarva. Athletic, fast, but raw with the strike zone, 26 walks with 102 strikeouts in 440 at-bats.
15) Oliver Drake, LHP, Grade C+: 3.62 ERA with 98/40 K/BB in 121 innings for Delmarva, 116 hits. Doing fairly well, need to see at higher levels.
16) Brad Bergesen, RHP, Grade C+: 3.43 ERA with 65/32 K/BB in 123 major league innings, 126 hits. Looks like a perfectly competent inning-eating strike thrower.
17) Pedro Beato, RHP, Grade C: 4.74 ERA with 85/46 K/BB in 125 innings, 147 hits between Frederick and Bowie. Stock has dropped.
18) Caleb Joseph, C, Grade C: Hitting .290/.338/.445 for Frederick. Solid but not terrific performance.
19) Lou Montanez, OF, Grade C: Has missed most of the season with a thumb injury.
20) L.J. Hoes, 2B, Grade C: Hitting .248/.289/.304 with 17 steals in 22 attempts for Delmarva. Not very impressive with the bat.
The Orioles entered 2009 with a strong conglomeration of prospects at the top of the system. Wieters, Tillman, and Matusz have had some growing pains in the majors, but I fully believe in all three of them, though Matusz in particular looks like he was rushed. Reimold has been strong, Hernandez has held his own, Bergesen has been very effective, and Arrieta is ready for a trial. There have been some disappointments, particularly the lack of development from Rowell, but overall Baltimore fans have to be pleased with the young talent.