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  2. Could John Hart be our GM in waiting?

    I'd forgotten that John Hart was the O's third base coach at one time when Frank Robinson managed the team.
  3. Today
  4. I can't see them giving up Britton or Gausman for Almora, without instantly giving Almora a starting spot in the outfield. He is primarily a center fielder and has only made a handful of starts elsewhere in the outfield. Does that move Jones to right, Almora to center, and Mancini in left, with Trumbo DH'ing? If Hays is up, does Hays go to left and Mancini DH'ing?
  5. The article mentions Britton or Gausman but you have to assume that it's Britton. Thoughts? http://www.12up.com/posts/5822867-report-orioles-express-interest-in-young-cubs-star?a_aid=40920
  6. O's have traded for Konner Wade

    Playoff tickets. Print em. Was about to freak that we traded Trumbo. Nice sense of humor, Camden Depot. Way to go.
  7. O's have traded for Konner Wade

    I’ve interacted with him on twitter too. He just comes off as an arrogant brainiac. His twitter feed is full of his personal politics too, recently. Like come on, you’re a baseball blog, stay that way
  8. EA Killing Battlefront II

    D’oh. And I love BF too. It’ll probably be 1944. Aaauuuggghh
  9. Baltimore City Detective shot

    Right now, there are a LOT theories about this, including multiple ones by me and my coworkers. However this whole thing plays out, expect something BIG.
  10. 2017 Prospect #20 Ademar Rifaela - RF

    By: Luke Siler Ademar Rifaela - RF Height: 5’ 10” Weight: 180 Bats: L Throws: L Age: 22 2017 Team: Frederick Keys Most Likely Major League Role: 3-Extra man, bench player Ceiling: 5-Regular everyday player Floor: 2-Emergency short term player/AAAA Background: Ademar Rifaela was a under the radar international free agent from Curacao. The Orioles signed him in 2013 as an 18 year old (he was eligible to sign at 16). He slashed .244/.375/.344 in the DSL that year. At 19, he slashed .242/.336/.39 in the GCL. The Orioles challenged him with an assignment to Delmarva the following year, he responded with his best pro line .262/.341/.399 so far. However, that wasn’t enough to get promoted to Frederick in 2016, so he repeated low A ball with similar results, .239/.297/.420. His batting average fell and strikeouts rose, but he developed HR power, clubbing 13 in only 361 PA. 2017: He spent the entire season with the high A Frederick Keys, and enjoyed his best season. More line drives and more hustle led to a higher batting average, but the highlight was the 24 home runs. His strong performance earned him the Carolina League MVP award. 2017 stats (Frederick Keys (A+)) AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS: .284/.358/.500/.858 PA: 508 H: 128 2B: 23 3B:1 HR: 24 BB: 41 (8.1%) SO: 124 (24.4%) SB/CS: 7/5 RHP Slash: .292/.370/.544/.914 LHP Slash: .264/.323/.380/.703 GO/AO: 1.52 Scouting report (now and future) Hit: 35/45 Power: 50/55 Speed: 50/45 Field: 50/50 Arm: 45/50 What we know: Rifaela is short and stocky, probably heavier than listed. He is faster and more athletic than you’d imagine looking at him, but still just average in those departments. In the outfield corners he’s limited by speed and arm but he seems to be a good route runner and a dependable fielder. He’s got a quick bat, and when he gets a pitch to hit he can turn on it in a hurry and deposit it over the fence. His swing has a lot of moving parts, including noisy hands and a toe tap/leg lift combo which makes his bat speed play down a bit. He struggles with strike zone judgement and pitch recognition, but he makes up for it some by being able to manipulate his swing. What we don't know: How will his body look as he matures? He has the potential for a bad body if he doesn’t work at staying in shape. Will his complicated swing mechanics play against more advanced pitching? He currently gets a lot of hustle singles, will better defenses hurt his batting average? What he needs to improve: There are a lot of moving parts in his swing. He’s already began implementing a more subtle timing mechanism when he has two strikes against him. He also needs to quiet his hands a bit. These improvements would allow him to let the ball travel more and thus improve his strike zone judgement and pitch recognition. He needs to continue to work to stay in shape, since he has the body type that can easily become a detriment. Summary: So most have heard the story about how Rifaela was not taking baseball seriously and Jonathan Schoop (also from Curacao) contacted him. I hadn’t seen Rifaela before this season, but from the look of it, his fellow countryman got him motivated. Rifaela plays hard, hustles, and looks like a smart player in the outfield. He should be able to play average defense in LF and perhaps near average in RF if his throwing improves a little. His upside defensively is limited by his speed and arm strength. He doesn’t have big raw power but he gets to his pull-power effectively in games. The determining factor for whether Rifaela ends up as a AAA slugger or a major league regular is the development of his hit tool. All the raw components are there, bat speed, ability to adjust mid-swing, and power-oriented swing path. The noisy swing and questionable approach limit the utility of those tools significantly at present.
  11. 2017 #14 Prospect Jomar Reyes - 3B

    That is similar to the role given to Garabez Rosa. If the feeling is that he won't stay at 3rd, there shouldn't be a harm in moving him around early to get as much work with him in a new position. Though it *could* negatively impact his hitting, but you don't know until you go and see how it works.
  12. 2017 #14 Prospect Jomar Reyes - 3B

    I'd think that would work, I'd want to get him a little more at 3B though, because I think he's got a chance there. I don't know, some guys aren't bothered by it, some guys it could affect. I'm not some how he'd respond. In general, I think positional flexibility is good for guys who aren't locks to stick at a given position.
  13. 2017 #14 Prospect Jomar Reyes - 3B

    What about something like: RF 70% 3B 20% 1B/DH 10% Is moving around that much damaging to his development? Or is keeping looks at him from a positionally-flexible standpoint more beneficial?
  14. Could John Hart be our GM in waiting?

    John Hart and Buck are very good friends. I know this because I actually know John a bit. He and his family live here in Orlando and he has spoken on a few occasions of his great respect for Buck as a friend and baseball man. He’s as fine a man as there is in baseball and I find it difficult to believe he had any real involvement in the scandal. I would love to see him come back to the Orioles, the first organization to employ him. That said, I wonder if he really wants to work full time in baseball as a GM. I do not in any way speak for him. I have not seen him in several months, but I wonder if that is in the cards for him. But I would love to see him in the front office in some capacity.
  15. Athletics traded OF Jaycob Brugman to the Orioles

    Don't forget Trumbo.
  16. 2017 #14 Prospect Jomar Reyes - 3B

    I'd love to see him in Bowie, I think challenge is good for a guy of his talent. Yeah, it's tough with Mountcastle at 3B as well but maybe they can figure it out, maybe try Reyes in RF and DH/1B him some.
  17. Could John Hart be our GM in waiting?

    I'm all for a young forward thinking GM, but my question is whether PA would give a guy like that the authority he needs to do his job. There are many reports that there are competing power centers in the warehouse now, to the point that anything that is a big move is going to have Buck, Brady, etc tugging PA's ear rather than it going through the GM like I think it should.
  18. 2017 #14 Prospect Jomar Reyes - 3B

    When Reyes came back from his hand injury, he was (visibly) in better shape and seemed to move better at third. If he stays at Frederick next season, I hope he doesn't regress. Not sure what it is worth, but he has been at 3rd in the Dominican Winter League this off season.
  19. I suppose he is an okay placeholder insofar as some complementary skills to Mancini/Jones/Hays, and will earn the minimum in a year we need as many marbles as possible for pitchers. Other backup outfielders will make 10x as much without being 10x better.
  20. 2017 #18 Prospect Lamar Sparks - CF

    By: Luke Siler Lamar Sparks - CF 6’ 2” 170lb Bats: R Throws: R Age: 19 2017 Team: GCL Orioles Most Likely Major League Role: 3-Extra man, bench player Ceiling: 6-Above average regular Floor: 2-Emergency short term player/AAAA Background: Sparks was draft by the Orioles in the 5th round out of Seven Lakes HS in Texas. He wasn’t on the national pre-draft radar, but analysts raved about his projectable frame. He signed for slot value and was assigned to the rookie level GCL Orioles. He hit better than league average showing a good approach at the plate while impressing defensively. 2017 stats (GCL Orioles) AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS: .241/.385/.317/.703 PA: 181 H: 35 2B: 7 3B: 2 HR: 0 BB: 33 (18.2%) SO: 39 (21.5%) SB/CS: 11/3 RHP Slash: .188/.345/.229/.574 LHP Slash: .347/.467/.490/.956 GO/AO: 1.24 Scouting report (now and future) Hit: 35/50 Power: 20/45 Speed: 60/55 Field: 50/55 Arm: 55/55 What we know: Sparks can run (6.65 60 time), he can throw (88mph fastball as a pitcher his junior year), and he has a projectable frame. The swing is clean mechanically and has good leverage that should lead to some power if he gets stronger with maturity. He is more advanced at the plate than expected and is willing to work the count. His bat speed is above average. What we don't know: How will he mature? He has a lot of room to fill out, but how much stronger will he get? Will he slow down and have to move to a COF spot as he grows? If so, will he develop enough power to profile there? What he needs to improve: This kid just needs to eat, lift weights, and play baseball. He didn’t hit right handed pitching very well, so that’s something to keep an eye on. I’m sure advanced pitching will expose holes in his game that need fixing, we’ll know more after next season. Summary: Potential five tool guy, but a long ways to go. Doesn’t hit for any power currently, but lots of room to add strength. His swing should allow for him to get to power in game if the strength is there. Easy to imagine him developing a prototypical big league body, great snag in the 5th round.
  21. Could John Hart be our GM in waiting?

    Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown
  22. 2017 #16 Prospect Zac Lowther - LHP

    As similar as they are with both being LHP without big fastballs who throw strikes, they aren't as similar as you'd think. Lowther is less deceptive in his windup, but has more life on his fastball. He throws a sharp late breaking curve while Wells throws a loopy type you generally see from LH relief specialists. Wells has a better changeup, it's identical to his fastball but has a great velocity gap. Lowther's can be a bit firm. Lowther is going to miss more bats than Wells, but Wells should generate more weak contact. Wells is higher ranked because he's shown success against better competition and because he's younger and thus has a little better chance to see an uptick in stuff.
  23. 2017-18 Bullets/Wizards Thread

    o The Bullets blew a 9-point lead with a little more than 3 minutes left to play in regulation, getting outscored 12 -3 in that span. Bradley Beal had 2 free throws to shoot with a 1-point lead and only 8 seconds to play ........ and he only made one of them. CHARLOTTE HORNETS llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll.. - 129 llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll l(OVERTIME) WASHINGTON BULLETS llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll..... - 124 o
  24. 2017 #17 Prospect Brenan Hanifee - RHP

    By: Chris Slade Brenan Hanifee - RHP 6' 5" 180 Bats: R Throws: R Age: 19 2017 Teams: Aberdeen (A) Most Likely Major League Role: #4/#5 Starter (50) Ceiling: Mid Rotation Starter (55) Floor: Middle Relief (40) Background: The Orioles selected Hanifee in the 4th round of the 2016 draft out of Ashby high school in Bridgewater, Virginia. After not pitching at all in 2016, Hanifee made his minor league debut in 2017 at Aberdeen. He made 12 starts, pitching to an impressive 2.75 ERA over 68.2 innings of work, showing strong ground ball tendencies with 57.9% groundball rate. 2017 Statistics (Aberdeen) ERA: 2.75 IP: 68.2 H: 65 (8.52/9) HRA: 2 (0.26/9) BB: 12 (1.57/9) SO: 44 (5.77/9) AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS: .249/.291/.330/.621 RHB Slash: .237/.287/.281/.567 LHB Slash: .262/.297/.385/.682 GO/AO: 2.16 Scouting report (now and future) FB: 45/55 SL: 40/50 CH: 30/40 What we know: Hanifee is a highly athletic and projectable young arm who demonstrated competence in his debut minor league season. He controls the strike zone at an advanced level for his age which is a plus and has a feel for pitching to weak groundball contact with his sinker. Hanifee typically works in the 89-91 MPH range with his fastball but can touch as high as 93. What we don't know: Hanifee has room for growth in his lanky 6’5”, 180 pound frame. How will his offerings progress as he matures and moves up the minor league ladder? Scouts believe his will gain more velocity on his fastball down the road but he’ll need to develop a swing and miss pitch to pair with it. He’s shown flashes of an above average slider but the changeup reportedly is a work-in-progress, having not used it much in high school. What he needs to improve: While the groundball rate is nice, strikeout rate tends to be the best predictor of future success at higher levels. So, it’s a bit concerning to see Hanifee only struck out 5.77 batters per 9 innings pitched against the relatively weak competition in the New York Penn League. His fastball will need to bump up more consistently in the low-to-mid 90’s like scouts expect. Ideally, we’d like to see a go-to out-pitch emerge from one of his two secondary offerings as well. Summary: After a solid performance in short season ball, Hanifee appears set to transition to a full season starting rotation gig at Delmarva in 2018. It will be interesting to see what kind of shape he’s in when pitchers report to camp. Hanifee’s future value is highly tied to the notion that he’s a projection pick. Hopefully, we see gains not only in his physical stature after an off-season of hard work, but improved velocity on the mound too. The foundation here is interesting but a wide variety of outcomes are possible due to the uncertain variable of how his secondary offerings will develop.
  25. 2017 #16 Prospect Zac Lowther - LHP

    It would be interesting to see Wells and Lowther in the same rotation. Obviously there are significant differences between them, but basically you’ve got two lower-velocity lefties who have really outstanding command. As the manager, you certainly wouldn’t want them throwing back-to-back. The beginning of the year would be amusing with Harvey sandwiched between them.
  26. 2017-2018 College Football Predictions

    Wouldn't Frost being so connected to your school and an alum and all of that, be reason for not paying market rate? Meaning it should be easier to land him, since he wants to come to you, so why are you paying him "elite" money? I'm just not paying elite money, until I first call up an elite coach. But that might be where Nebraska is at right now in today's college football. It's a very difficult job. Fan expectations are that it should be an upper tier, blue blood type program. But Nebraska doesn't have the one thing that you need to be that type of program today (a recruiting base). So maybe even for an alum with two years of head coaching experience, you have to pay 5 million. Like those companies in Alaska that have to pay a lot to get anybody to come work on the pipelines, otherwise nobody is coming to Alaska to work in that situation. I'd still be making other phone calls first, but that I guess would make some sense.
  27. 2017 #16 Prospect Zac Lowther - LHP

    By: Luke Siler Zac Lowther - LHP Height: 6’ 2” Weight: 235 Bats: L Throws: L Age: 21 2017 Team: Aberdeen Ironbirds Most Likely Major League Role: 4-5th starter/swing man, setup guy Ceiling: 5-#3-#4 starter/high end late inning reliever Floor: 2-Emergency short term player/AAAA Background: Lowther was drafted in the supplemental 2nd round (74th overall) out of Xavier University. He struck out 13.3/9 his junior year there. He signed for slot value and was assigned to the short season Aberdeen Ironbirds. He made 12 appearances (11 starts) and dominated the league, leading the league in K% of all pitchers with 40+ IP. 2017 stats (Aberdeen Ironbirds (A-short season)) AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS: .182/.232/.255/.487 ERA: 1.66 IP: 54.1 H: 35 (5.8/9) HRA: 1 (0.2/9) BB: 11 (1.8/9) SO: 75 (12.4/9) RHB Slash: .166/.218/.248/.466 LHB Slash: .234/.275/.277/.551 GO/AO: 1.15 Scouting report (now and future) Fastball: 45/50 Curveball: 50/55 Changeup: 45/50 Command/Control: 60/65 What we know: He was one of the best pitchers in the NY/Penn league by almost any metric. Lowther is a body-bodied lefty, not projectable in the typical sense but may benefit from pro conditioning. He has a clean ¾ delivery and generates late tailing action on his fastball. The fastball only sits in the upper 80s, touching the low 90s, but generates whiffs at this level due to command and movement. He has a tight, late breaking 11-5 curveball, which is his best pitch. He commands it very well and uses it in any count. He can throw a changeup as well, it’s the weakest pitch currently as it has similar movement to the fastball and lacks a huge velocity gap. He commands it well though. What we don't know: How will the fastball play at higher levels? Will the changeup develop into a weapon? Can he add a little velocity? What he needs to improve: It looks like he has room to get stronger and improve fitness, so maybe there is a slight boost in velocity there. He needs to develop a third pitch that can get advanced hitters out, whether the changeup or something else. He’s going to be a guy who’ll need to pitch backwards and that’ll be tough without a viable third pitch. Summary: It's really impressive the way Lowther was able to command all 3 pitches. If he can continue to do that, he’s got a chance to be one of those few guys who make it without average velocity. He should probably start 2018 in Frederick which will be a great test for him. He’s got a great feel for pitching and is generally just a fun guy to watch pitch.
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