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77 Low A-Ball

About Sydnor

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  • Birthday 11/18/1980

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  1. While true, no scouts are saying that Martin’s swing will need to be rebuilt because of an extreme crouch, that he lacks the athleticism to play a premium position, or that he would be a reach at the number 2 pick. Martin could bust. However if people read this and think that Stewart’s plate discipline hasn’t transferred (and I’m not sure he’s ever been given a fair chance), so Martin will end up a AAAA player (I’m not saying that you are saying this, only that it could be interpreted that way), there are plenty of reasons why Stewart’s lack of major league success is not predictive of whether Martin will succeed.
  2. One of the interesting things about the Martin debate is that during the DD era, a lot os felt like the O’s players’ struck out too much and lacked plate discipline. Martin’s stats have been posted a number of times, but he seems to be what a lot of posters have wanted for years—a player with excellent plate discipline and good athleticism. Last year he had a .486 OBP with 40 walks and only 34 strikeouts. Kiley McDaniel writes: Martin's calling card is his plus-plus contact skills and plate discipline, which help him get to all of his solid average raw power in games, for 15-20 homers most years. https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/29251325/updated-2020-mlb-draft-rankings-latest-top-150-players Eric Longerhagen writes: He already had two traits that together make for a strong profile in that Martin is likely to play a premium position (though where exactly is up for debate, his arm was not great early in 2020 and he moved from 3B to CF) and has a plus-plus feel for the strike zone. He had more walks than strikeouts as a sophomore and started hitting for power late in that season, something his combination of selectivity and gorgeous, natural swing loft give him an excellent chance of doing in pro ball despite middling raw juice. https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2020-mlb-draft/summary?sort=-1,1&type=0 Keith Law also called Martin a plus runner with electric hands. I’m certainly not saying he’s a sure thing and I’ve previously written that I won’t melt down if Gonzales is drafted, but it seems to me that this is the type of player a lot of people (myself included) have wanted on the O’s and I almost feel like the O’s would be overthinking it to go in a different direction (assuming Tork is drafted by Detroit, though I prefer Martin over Tork and will probably look incredibly stupid for saying that).
  3. An older take, but given where we are, perhaps not much has changed. To be clear, I prefer Martin. I’m only saying that I’m not going to melt down if the O’s select Gonzales.
  4. I would usually post this on the Amateur Draft forum, but Martin has generated a fair amount of discussion here, so I decided to post it in this thread. If it should be moved there, I apologize. In Kiley McDaniel’s Mock Draft 2.0, he indicates that there is a 50% chance the Orioles select Martin and a 40% chance they go under slot and select Nick Gonzales. McDaniel writes: “This pick is expected once again to come down to a Boras client who is the consensus best talent at the pick (Martin) and a player who fits this team's preferences and will be much cheaper without being seen as a big drop-off in talent (New Mexico State 2B Nick Gonzales).” He notes that he would bet on the more talented Martin being taken, but references the Correa pick allowing Houston to select McCullers. He also notes that the O’s are linked to Dax Fulton (Fulton was seen as a mid-first-round selection before TJ surgery this summer) with their second pick and would need savings for that (he has the O’s selecting Fulton at 30), https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/29216982/kiley-mcdaniel-2020-mlb-mock-draft-20 I’d be happy with Martin or Gonzales. I think Gonzales is underrated given his performance last summer on the Cape and scouting reports, but still prefer Martin. I’m certainly not saying that Martin becomes Machado, but a lot of this discussion Martin/pitcher discussion reminds me of Machado/Taillon. I’ll take the guy who had a 1.091 OPS with a .486 OBP (last year). Martin/Fulton seems like a great start to the draft (but I’m certainly not a scout).
  5. Kiley McDaniel has the O’s selecting Austin Martin at No. 2. He noted that Nick Gonzales is heavily rumored to be the backup option “if the prices on Martin and Torkelson are thought to be too high” (Martin and Torkelson are both represented by Boras Crop.). At pick No. 30, he has the O’s selecting Jared Shuster, LHP, Wake Forest. https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/29154256/kiley-mcdaniel-2020-mlb-mock-draft-10
  6. I think teams will be smart enough to know that Gonzales isn’t solely a product of altitude and lesser competition. For example, in the Cape Cod league he hit .351/.451/.630 (I can’t find an OPS+) with 7 HRs, 6 SBs, and won the league MVP. He also walked 20 times against 22 strikeouts. I also haven’t heard that Gonzales “is not known for his defense.” I’d like to know where you heard that. I have heard that he is unlikely to stick at shortstop, but that he should be solid at second. For example, Keith Law who ranks him number 4 overall wrote: Gonzales hit five homers in a game this season, albeit at 3900 feet above sea level; he can hit, and is likely to hit more for average than for big power, with a potential move to second down the road. https://theathletic.com/1670438/2020/03/16/keith-laws-top-30-prospects-for-the-2020-mlb-draft/?article_source=search&search_query=Keith law Baseball America wrote that he is a solid defender at second. Is Gonzales my favorite pick at number 2 at this point? Probably not. However, I wouldn’t be disappointed if the Orioles picked him and probably prefer him to everyone other than Torkelson and Martin. Also, regarding Hancock, Law prefers Lacy and noted some red flags on Hancock: Hancock was mentioned by scouts as a possible 1-1 pick before the season, but hasn’t come out strongly, between a rougher delivery, reduced command, and a lot more use of his two sliders than his plus (or better) changeup.
  7. This wasn’t intended to be click-baity. Connolly literally wrote that sources told him as follows: “According to multiple sources, last winter Elias gave his talent evaluators the directive to keep a discerning scouting eye on players with unwieldy contracts to see if they have anything left in the tank. Because he believed back then that he could take on money in mid-2019 or 2020 if it meant adding a top prospect or two in tandem.” I thought it was worthy of posting for people to view. I don’t really start topics and I’ll refrain from doing so again in the future.
  8. Correct. It doesn’t. I tried to write this in a way that made clear that Connolly is hypothesizing. For example he also wrote: “The best guess here is that Orioles’ ownership has tied Elias’ hands on boosting payroll even if the move ultimately helps replenish a farm system that is desperately trying to improve.“ I only posted the article because it appears that some posters have theorized about such trades and/or signing free agents for more than Karns received last year. I do not think this will happen and this article tends to support that (while acknowledging that much of it is Connolly’s opinion and conjecture). I thought that it was at least relevant, but perhaps not.
  9. In his latest article, Connolly looks at the Cozart trade and reports that multiple sources confirm that Elias gave his talent evaluators the directive to looks at players on bad contracts because he believes that he could take on salary in mid-2019 or 2020 to acquire prospects. Based on the Cozart deal and Elias’ response to questions about taking on salary, he believes that Elias does not have the authority to do so. Specifically, he theorizes that because they completed the Bundy trade with the Angels, the O’s could’ve added Cozart to the deal and gotten Wilson or a similar more highly touted prospect. It’s an interesting theory and I think a lot of people would like to see the Orioles use this tactic to acquire talent, but it sounds like Connolly doesn’t believe the Orioles will do so because of budgetary issues. This, he questions how much control Elias actually has to implement his vision https://theathletic.com/1451254/2019/12/11/connolly-a-trade-not-made-makes-you-wonder-how-much-mike-elias-hands-are-tied-by-orioles-financial-constraints/ Here’s a few things Connolly mentions: “When Elias joined the Orioles last November, John and Louis Angelos, who have taken over club decisions from their father, publicly stated that Elias would have the financial resources to do what was necessary to turn the ship around. ... But when asked Tuesday night if he had the rubber-stamp approval to take on a bad contract/prospect combo, Elias said that would be approached on a case-by-case basis. ‘It would have to be something that we would take to (ownership),’ Elias said. ‘But it’s not something that I would say we’re actively out there chasing down.’ You can read that two ways. Ownership has not given Elias the OK to absorb hefty contracts, no matter the reasoning, and probably wouldn’t. Or Elias isn’t particularly interested in conducting that type of business. I’m not buying the latter. Elias has been too consistent in his message about leaving no talented stone unturned to ignore that boulder.”
  10. I’m really going to miss Dylan and thought this was a nice note (particularly given that he’s out of the country).
  11. It’s too bad Dan’s not a GM anymore. Maybe we could’ve gotten a replacement level outfielder, an extremely projectable LH pitcher, and a comp pick (I suppose the projectable left hander is possible, but my guess is this was mostly a salary dump).
  12. I think this move also illustrates why Elias has consistently said the rebuilds are not always linear and you can take a step forward, then a few steps back. Villar might have been the team’s best player last year, but I’m sure if Houston had a similarly situated player (I understand that Villar was in Houston’s organization at that point), Lunhow and the management team would have done the same thing with the similarly situated player. At any rate, Kumar Rocker (or whoever is at the top of the 2021 draft) will mean much more to the organization in 2024 than a 33 year old Villar would.
  13. Has Elias ever called it a 5 year plan? My recollection is that he has been unwilling to place a timeframe on how long it will take because he is attempting to build sustained success.
  14. I hope you are right about some of the young pitchers in the upper minors. I wasn’t really talking about salary pushing Bundy down the depth chart because that is more of a reason to non-tender Dylan given where the organization is in the rebuild. In terms of the pitchers you referenced, I would be moderately surprised if more than one of them exceeds Bundy’s current 6.2 bWAR after 4 seasons as a starting pitcher in MLB. It seems that Lowther, Wells, and Zimmerman will need to be perfect, Sedlock has real issues with injuries, command after those injuries (based on what others have said), and seems suited for relief if anything in MLB, and Akin seems like a back of the rotation guy who might be better suited for relief. I’m omitting Means because he’s currently on the team. That leaves Baumann who I like (but needs a 3rd pitch) and Kremer who Tony wasn’t high on at all this year until after his last start (and seemed to be more performance than tools that project). I’m not convinced any will perform as well as Bundy, which is admittedly mediocre, through 4 seasons as a starter. Nevertheless, I hope you’re right and think that the guys in the low minors have a much better chance to surpass Bundy if they can remain healthy.
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