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Everything posted by Eric-OH

  1. Thanks so much. Ask away I’m always down to talk O’s minor leagues!
  2. Yes, I did realize that after I posted it. Thanks for the heads up. I’ll try to get low minors stuff for all of us-that’s the plan!
  3. Thanks. I’ll be here paying attention for you. Sarasota’s especially nice during Feb/March. You could have met fellow Baman’s mom and dad Henderson last year they were down for a couple weeks watching Gunnar. Some guy got a ball signed by his whole family.
  4. Thanks for the welcome! I’m glad to have the site as a forum for some positive O’s discussion. I hope to see and share lots and lots of observations in the coming months.
  5. And I’m glad to be a part of it. Thanks for the opportunity and support. I look forward to the season and like you am counting down until every level has some baseball going on!
  6. Thanks very much again. I’ll try to keep the ball rolling. The rotation was very solid and Zebron was like the other handful who made starts and stood out by not standing out. The times they were overmatched or had extended bad innings were minimal and that applies to him too. This might sound like a theme but, like the other starters he was well built and worked fast with a ‘I’m running the show mentality. I don’t remember thinking exceptional control and I don’t remember thinking that he’s a guy to mix it up. His K’s came on stuff that rose or didn’t, not often pitches that spun or dove. That truly could be said for most of the starters. Prizina has a little tail and spin and JJ Montgomery looked good at off-speed and changing speeds. He was not often squared up and looking back now knowing his age certainly didn’t look like a teenager. I don’t know the specific pitches because I don’t have that data, although it is a priority and already being planned to fix that. To comment on his potential, I can only evaluate him against his peers in this league and he did well overall. They had a rotation to some degree and he was part of it. The games moved fast and were played crisply and it all started on the mound and with the battery. There’s a reason they won this league and he was as much a part as any pitcher. If the team is looking for progress moving forward from a good 2018 and are measuring maturity and composure as much as pitch mix I’d say they got a positive response. I can’t speak for them however and don’t know their objectives. However, we’ll be learning plenty more this season. You’re not the first to ask about him so I’ll keep that in mind-I need indicators of where to look so I’ve got one for Zebron.
  7. That is part of my motivation for wanting to sign on with OriolesHangout and I couldn’t agree more. The story is in the minors for a bit and that’s not necessarily a bad thing as I see it. Thanks for the welcome and anything you’re curious to know I’m here for you. The feedback will help me know what to look for once the Birds and baby Birds report.
  8. Thanks very much. Glad to be here!
  9. I can tell you that means a lot. There’s plenty of smart and hungry O’s fans on here and I’m one of them! Whatever you’re wondering, I’m wondering too. I’m always open to talk O’s and learn more.
  10. Oh no doubt. Their newness is reflected on the field and all over the organization. Also to the coaching staff that starts these guys off. Alan Mills is a pretty quiet guy in the dugout kind of like when he was playing. He’s only supportive and is an educator when he visits the mound-such an underrated asset. I can remember only 2 times he had to speak to the umps with passion and both times he was correct. The guy who gave me the vibe of Uber-prepared chart studier was Adam Bleday the pitching coach. I saw the most interaction with him and the players. The dugout was filled with chatter from the get-go and he was a loud part. Mills and Bleday showed as much chemistry as two guys running a club can and seemed to have a game plan. Another small thing to observe but a positive indicator of an organization not known for being aligned from top to bottom.
  11. I remember Daza starting in the last week of the season. It was a doubleheader and they clinched a tie with his win, he was low motion and in the middle of the plate. There was no starter who came in and got lit up so he fit right in. Sparks had a very confident air to him and the physical filling out will be key to his development. He can be fast and quick, there aren’t many guys maximizing that skill in today’s game so who knows? I’m hoping for the same things, but if I drafted the H&H brothers I’d be good with their start and optimistic about their baseball education going forward. At this point we know that they we’re not overmatched at step 1 and responded positively to adversity at step 1.
  12. By the way, I don’t mind his name being DL now that the DL has become the IL...
  13. This scenario is most certainly a possibility and I wouldn’t look forward to that feeling of being stuck more they already are. Some things are moving in a positive direction, this situation is not and I’m hoping that the braintrust has a strategy in place.
  14. I have a feeling you’re reading the tea leaves correctly. Also, as much as I have no disdain for Davis I do think that he’ll be elsewhere somehow some way at the season’s outset and the fans clamoring for that roster weight to be gone can exhale. It’s difficult to see him having any role in any way with this administration and changing roster. If true, the refusal to fix the swing could be the nail in his O’s coffin. I hope it both ends well and opens a door for someone else to excel. Fingers crossed for another step forward for Trey Mancini!
  15. I’m glad to help and do the looking for O’s fans down here in Sarasota. I’ll take all the questions that fans like us can think of. Firstly it’s important to realize that the administration is still new so some of the things we’ve been accustomed to are quite different. I think that looking at age level you can take a look at levels of amateur experience first. If a player has performed in college then they may not need as much rookie league seasoning after being drafted so start their career in short season A. Maybe we’re talking about 21-22 years old here-post college. If less college experience and perhaps a younger age, then that’s what the rookie league is for. Also, there are international players who have signed even younger (15,16,17) and their clock could be different. The age of the GCL’s pitchers was older relative to their league so their solid performance was somewhat expected. They averaged 22 years and others were in the 20 range. As an aside, there were several Dominican Rookie League guys added to the GCL O’s in-season and none made an impact although Ricky Castro got some playing time and lead off ABs. Regarding the players’ chances of making the bigs or closing in on it my thought is this. If you look at the previous decade of O’s rookie league teams they’d have one or maybe two guys that stand out but really lots of players who did not maximize their pro opportunity. The two who stand out are Schoop and Eduardo Rodríguez. I think it’s reasonable to think that there will be years where there will be more and I was particularly impressed with this group. That’s a very intelligent question and for me, the fun of baseball is in watching the answer happen. Also, I mentioned the need to squint. From the guys I mentioned, it would not shock me to see Nick Roth or Mason Janvrin use what they’ve got to move up and deserve some closer looks. Finally, to speculate on a level jump or call-up is hard to do because so many people have some influence over the decision. I’m thinking that this regime has only on-field performance and necessary experience as their valuations instead of arbitrary AB thresholds, service clock, expectations etc. I’m hoping to learn a lot about Elias’ style and methods this season.
  16. Glad to provide it. I’d think that both players provide a great deal for the organization to work with. If it’s determined that Gunnar lacks the trunk turn speed to stick in the middle, having his skill set/bat at a corner is not at a problem but an asset as I see it. Hernaiz looks to be more natural around the bag and ranging for grounders but his body has yet to add weight/definition. If I had to bet now I’d say his early movement is slow but the burden to advance faster is on him and his growing skill set. He’s just so young that now I have to speculate despite seeing almost all of his intro to pro ball. Im looking forward to seeing if he bulked up a bit when minor league camp starts and if yes, does it affect his movements in the field.
  17. That is a great question! That could be the best story of this season and hopefully we see some jumps overall and within the organization. I’ll make a wild card pick and say that it’s Gunnar and he does even better with more eyes on him.
  18. Elias has failed to elaborate on Davis simply being at Spring Training several times. Almost like Belichick he’ll admit to Davis being there but not too much after that. We both noticed the same lack of Chris in that statement. I wonder if decisions have been made and contingencies are already in place.
  19. I don’t know if you ever got clarification on this but I watched all the home games. I’d say that Gunnar has little problem ranging to either side at this point in his development but the transition to rise, transfer and throw is as unsmooth as it is effective. Rushing this process led to his errors, the majority of them on throws. To be honest, this was more of a problem early on and he showed response to coaching by improving. Hernaiz didn’t at any point look out of place in the infield and showed good athleticism wherever possible. He’s better to his glove side but is a quick guy with quick hands. I remember good infielder instincts and positioning and lots and lots of grounders he didn’t have to move for. Hope this helps paint a picture and matches up with the metrics
  20. Great write-ups. There is so much talent brewing at the lower levels, I just don’t understand how fans can’t be excited about the development and amount of players to follow on the way up.
  21. Hello O’s fans and readers my name is Eric Garfield, I live in Sarasota and I’m going to be covering the team down here and reporting what I see. When Spring Training kicks off, I’ll be at the stadium/games every day and when it’s done I’ll be your eyes at Minor League Spring Training and then the GCL as the season goes on. Quite a privilege for any O’s fan! Last year I watched the GCL very closely (every home game) and keeping things in perspective as far as age relative to league and the both the organization’s rankings and the low percentage that make the bigs out of a league this far down, it was a great season to watch. They played well, won the league and some skills were shown that I took note of. I have read the posts concerning the GCL and hope that some questions are answered or addressed here. The stats and sample sizes don’t tell the whole story, and I learned that by watching. Overall I’d say that O’s fans have a better mix of talent than they’re used to churning down in the low minors. This first post is looking a bit at some names that aren’t widely discussed and why they stood out to me. Nick Roth-RHP mostly reliever but made 2 starts. I liked him better as a reliever and he was used as the team’s closer down the stretch before going north to Aberdeen. What I saw was a righty who keeps the ball way down and doesn’t give righties a chance to square him up and held them to .200 in 11IP. He was 3-3 in saves, including the league clinched and as a reliever had 20K/13.2 IP. Also had one only walk in the GCL and it was a close call. His control is his calling card in my opinion. He’s 22, not young for this level but it’s hard to get off to a more impressive start and he did his job while on the mound. Darrell Hernaiz-SS/2B It’s not hard to squint and see big things from this guy as he knows how to carry himself on a baseball field and perform both at the plate and I the field. His best skill is by far his hand speed ands I saw several flips that he made turn into beautiful double plays. Also, he has that knack for letting the ball get in on him that last extra second before starting his swing because of that hand trust. The sample size is obviously small and he’s still 17 years old(!) until early August, but he’s motivated to prove he was a draft day steal in the 5th round. I’d say that his ability to drive the ball is behind his contact tool, as only one of his two home runs cleared he fence. But you can see that when he connects he can put a charge into the back of the power alleys at age 17 so not too bad. Christopher Burgess-Catcher This one will require a little bit more squinting but I would suggest you try. Burgess is a well built guy with a catcher’s trunk which is appropriate because he was the foundation of this team. He provided the clutch at bat when needed, slowed things down when pitchers got jittery and organized the infield time and time again showing full confidence from a guy with a few years (age 22) but no pro experience. He made a strong impression on me with his leadership and the team needed it often, he was ready. Also was a good at bat, ending the season at .286, .840OPS and a pair of homers, again only one clearing the left field wall. For good measure he threw out 6 of 8 potential base stealers and made just 3 errors in 104 innings. For an organization that has considerable depth at catcher, I would not forget about him. Watch him play one time and you’ll like him too. Moise Nolasco-RHP Nolasco has had periods of moderate success in the organization and I can see why. He was the swing guy and has a very smooth, low effort delivery and release. When he was on and throwing strikes, his innings were quick and efficient and he finished the year with a WHIP of 1.01 holding righties to a .226, but lefties to an even better .125. His stuff floats lefties and has significant late tail. A little consistency would provide a more solid picture but he played his role and got outs when needed. This will be his fourth season in pro ball so maybe we’ll see a bit of a groove. Mason Janvrin-This one’s easy. As a leadoff hitter he used his speed to beat out several infield hits, grinding to get to first and cause damage once there. He hit.340, stole 14 bases in 15 chances, got on base at a .380 clip and took the fastest routes to fly balls in his zone. Janvrin’s a fast player and can use his speed well. He didn’t show that selective of an eye at the plate, and wants to get the game started swinging. The kind of guy that runs to first hard after a walk (only 6 in 91 AB), I was not at all surprised when I got to Ed Smith Stadium and found out that he’d been called up. There were lots of solid performances and with a team slightly older than league average that should be expected. Several players started their climb up and finished the season at a higher level. Before I close out I’ll share a few brief takes- Trevor Putzig-this infielder showed a real knack for contact, good drive through the ball and a not too long swing that he had control of throughout the plane. I don’t remember him having many bad at bats at all . 8 extra base hits, 1:1 BB to K rate and a .850 OPS is why he went up to Aberdeen Lamar Sparks-Sparks is an outfielder who looks to be growing into a very strong frame. He did not show consistency, but also didn’t start of see consistent playing time. This is a guy who can go from first to third in 4-5 low effort strides and if he learned how to use that speed as an asset would be very dangerous on the bases. In the outfield he finds the ball and can accelerate to it without shifting to a high gear. The starting rotation-Truly the reason that this team played well and finished out a great season was the guys who started and gave them innings in the heat. Jake Prizina, Jake Zebron, JJ Montgomery and Jensen Elliott made 27 starts, finished with 144 K’s and a 1.03 WHIP in their 141.2 collective innings. It’ll be interesting to follow this group on the way up. I saw them beat lots of good lineups, less than stellar umps and take some baby steps in their development.
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