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Fantraxhq Orioles Top 25 with write ups, McKenna makes top 3

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https://www.fantraxhq.com/2019-top-25-baltimore-orioles-prospects/

  1. Diaz
  2. Mountcastle 
  3. Ryan McKenna, OF, Bats: R, 2/14/97, ETA 2020

    2018 Stats (A+/AA): .315/.410/.457/.868, 26 2B, 11 HR, 9 SB, 12.0 BB%, 18.3 K%, 470 AB

    The 2018 season was a banner year for Mr. McKenna, setting career-highs basically across the board outside of stolen bases. However, it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Most of that damage was done in the Carolina League (A+_ before struggling at Double-A Bowie to the tune of a .679 OPS in 213 at-bats. Let’s just call those growing pains and focus on the reasons why McKenna is in top-100 consideration.

    To start, McKenna’s easy plus speed is an asset. Yes, he only swiped nine bases in 2018, but averaged 32.2 steals per 600 at-bats in 2016-2017 and has a career 74.6% success rate. He’s not a guy that should pack on much additional bulk, so I’m not worried about him losing any speed moving forward and feel safe projecting 25-30 steals annually and maybe a touch more.

    Power will never be a huge part of his game, but McKenna has displayed solid contact skills with an advanced approach. His swing is clean and quick through the zone with a mostly linear swing path that is more geared for gap shots than over the fence power. Still, there’s enough raw power here for double-digit pop to go along with a strong AVG/OBP and that plus speed.

  4. DL Hall

  5. Hays

  6. Rodriguez

  7. Encarnacion

  8. Dean Kremer, RHP, DOB: 1/7/96, ETA 2020

    2018 Stats (A+/AA): 131.1 IP, 2.88 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 12.2 K/9, .225 AVG

    Another return piece in the Machado deal, Kremer is flying up prospect rankings after a spectacular first full season as a starter. Kremer gets good extension on his delivery and works from a 3/4 arm slot. The fastball has a ton of life, sitting in the low-90’s mostly and topping out in the 96-97 range, and Kremer has one of the best curveballs in the system. His slider and changeup aren’t nearly as effective, but should serve as usable 3rd and 4th offerings for him. The fastball/curve combination helps Kremer miss a lot of bats and gives him sneaky good upside as a high-strikeout mid-rotation starter.

  9. Bannon

  10. Carmona

  11. Adam Hall

  12. Lowther

  13. Martin

  14. Ortiz

  15. Tate

  16. Knight

  17. Akin

  18. Robert Neustrom, OF, Bats: L, DOB: 11/12/96, ETA 2020/2021

    2018 Stats (A-): .272/.313/.404/.717, 16 2B, 4 HR, 1 SB, 5.3 BB%, 18.5 K%, 228 AB

    One of only two position players the Orioles took in the first 10 rounds last draft, Neustrom has a bunch of 45 or 50-grade tools with the exception of his plus raw power. From the left side, Neustrom has a quick swing through the zone with plenty of bat speed and natural loft due to the uppercut swing path. This is a swing geared for plenty of power and Neustrom possesses enough contact skills and a solid enough plate approach to hit for a decent batting average along with it. I wouldn’t expect much speed out of him, but if you grab him for the power and respectable average, you should be quite happy with the return. Definitely a name that could vault into the top-10 on this list next year.

  19. Rom

  20. Harvey

  21. Lamar Sparks, OF, Bats: R, DOB: 9/26/98, ETA 2022

    2018 Stats: Did Not Play

    After a strong Gulf Coast League showing in 2017, Sparks ended up missing the entire 2018 season due to a shoulder injury. Sparks is an above-average defender with good range in the outfield thanks to his plus or better speed. At the plate he’s still quite raw, but displayed an advanced approach during the GCL. The swing is clean (although his legs look like Elvis Presley on stage), albeit, with a deeper hand coil that causes some additional length, but Sparks does have some solid bat speed once his swing starts moving forward. There’s not much power to project here, but with his swing, I can see him sneaking into double-digits for home runs.

  22. Grenier

  23. Jarrett

  24. Craport

  25. Drew Jackson, 2B/SS, Bats: R, DOB: 7/28/93, ETA 2019

    2018 Stats (AA): .251/.356/.447/.803, 20 2B, 15 HR, 22 SB, 11.0 BB%, 22.7 K%, 342 AB

    This last spot can often be a toss up. I could’ve very easily put one of the names I listed below in this spot, but Jackson’s above-average defense, plus-plus speed, and cannon for a throwing arm gave him the nod here. While it remains to be seen if he can make enough contact to be a regular, the speed and double-digit pop would make him a sneaky fantasy target if he does end up playing every day.

    Keep an Eye On

    There are several other arms to monitor in this system that all have the upside of a #4 or #5 starter. Keep an eye on Brenan Hanifee (RHP), Alex Wells (LHP), Cody Carroll (RHP), Cameron Bishop(LHP), Cody Sedlock (RHP), and Michael Baumann (RHP).

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Some of these rankings are all over the map - especially with Adam Hall and Hanifee.  I think most prospect lists have forgotten Sparks. It will be an interesting year on the farm - lots of guys with potential to raise their prospect status considerably - perhaps not unlike a good number of other organizations.

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I’m particularly interested in Wells. Everyone talks about his great control and then says,”such a shame he can’t throw harder.” Well, neither did Greg Maddox.

seriously, what do the experts see that keeps Wells from being a more promising prospect?

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9 minutes ago, Philip said:

I’m particularly interested in Wells. Everyone talks about his great control and then says,”such a shame he can’t throw harder.” Well, neither did Greg Maddox.

seriously, what do the experts see that keeps Wells from being a more promising prospect?

Wells throws 86-90.

At 41 Maddox was working at 86-87 with his sinker.

Maddox was far from a junk ball pitcher.  He could throw in the 90's for most of his career.

 

As for what folks want to see?  They want him to succeed against higher level competition. 

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37 minutes ago, Can_of_corn said:

 

Maddox was far from a junk ball pitcher.  He could throw in the 90's for most of his career.

 

Wells isn’t a junkballer, and his control is really good, but I take your point. Let’s hope he does well as he advances. We need more fans in Australia!

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1 hour ago, Philip said:

Wells isn’t a junkballer, and his control is really good, but I take your point. Let’s hope he does well as he advances. We need more fans in Australia!

I really like Wells, but let’s drop the Maddux comparisons.   Maddux already had pitched in the majors when he was a 20-year old.    Wells will be 22 in AA this year.    And Maddux did have more heat on the fastball in his prime. 

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3 hours ago, Philip said:

Wells isn’t a junkballer, and his control is really good, but I take your point. Let’s hope he does well as he advances. We need more fans in Australia!

Wells’s FB is mostly straight, it doesn’t play except for at the very edges of the zone and that may go away at higher levels. He’ll need to lean more on his curveball (which is good for called strikes but doesn’t miss bats due to its soft break) and his changeup. 

I like Wells and he’s a smart pitcher with good mound presence, but it’s important to understand the reality of how often pitchers with his stuff succeed (not very often).

I do think there are things mechanically he can do to throw harder, but there is no indication that he’s working towards that.

 

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On 1/19/2019 at 1:12 PM, hoosiers said:

Some of these rankings are all over the map - especially with Adam Hall and Hanifee.  I think most prospect lists have forgotten Sparks. It will be an interesting year on the farm - lots of guys with potential to raise their prospect status considerably - perhaps not unlike a good number of other organizations.

I don't understand this line of thinking. Why would a 5th round pick who missed an entire year with a shoulder injury be on a top 30 prospect list? He slashed .241/.385/.317/.703 in his first season in the lowest minor leagues. He has some talent, but he'll need to earn his way back on with a healthy productive season.

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Not sure the issue here, Tony.  Was simply commenting on the wide variation in prospect lists.  Sparks hasn't been on any list I've seen this year and, as you comment, why would he?  Yet here he is on one.  Well, glass half full, maybe one can say there are a wide number of prospects who pique different scouts' interest; glass half empty, our system is devoid of talent and a prospect ranking service has to dig deep as far as Sparks to get a full 30 prospects.

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Any list with McKenna over DL Hall shouldn’t be taken seriously. 

Mckenna is a good story and all but the things Hall did in full season ball, one year removed from HS, is pretty extraordinary. 

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13 minutes ago, sportsfan8703 said:

Any list with McKenna over DL Hall shouldn’t be taken seriously. 

Mckenna is a good story and all but the things Hall did in full season ball, one year removed from HS, is pretty extraordinary. 

It’s a fantasy baseball list, not a true prospect list.

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