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Everything posted by Eric-OH

  1. I like the Dan LeBatard show and they’ve barely missed a beat being quarantined at their own houses. Is that the new way? Fancy, expensive studios are always a waste of resources to me, regardless of who fits the bill, network or sponsors. I forgot where I read it, but ESPN/Disney has already had to convince itself that there’s no content coming around the corner and they’ve strategized by emptying out their 1980’s/1990’s half assed sports movies file. The next step down will be downsizing and or job loss. It’s around the corner.
  2. If 87 is that good, I think good ol Daniel Cabrera had a pair of them to add to the list.
  3. There has been some roster movement in the last few days as far as the milb team websites. Bowie has added catcher Daniel Fajardo and former GCL infielders Carlos Baez and Josue Herrera are listed on their roster as well. Frederick only has one 3B, Patrick Dorrian and the Ironbirds have only one as well, Trevor Putzig. Delmarva has JC Encarnacion and Toby Welk listed. I don’t think anything is set, nor does it need to be as the sport has no opening in sight but I’m seeing some movement. For several weeks, Brett Cumberland was the only catcher listed at Bowie. Overall, the Ironbirds and especially Shorebirds look outstanding on paper....again. But this year’s Keys could be much improved as a team.
  4. It looks like there are the beginnings of roster shuffling going on throughout the organization as transactions aren’t being reported or posted but websites are being updated and some players have changed teams that way despite not playing. There are a few examples, I’d think it’s best to let team and league websites update and then I’ll be able to confirm. But it seems that the GCL roster will have a few new arms from the organization’s Dominican Summer League teams. Maybe more than a few depending on the draft and roster restrictions for this strange 2020 season. Last week I looked at some offensive players who could come stateside and compete so today we’ll check some pitchers. Keep in mind that almost all sample sizes are small and finding video is nearly impossible... Orlando Fulgencio- His stats don’t appear to be world beating, Orlando had an ok age 19 debut with way too many walks, 27 in 48 innings. Everything else looks solid-he earned a win and a save in his 14 appearances, with 5 of them being starts. A 3.38 ERA and .214 average against works for me. A look at his splits as far starter (21 innings) vs reliever (27)doesn’t clear things up. He walked hitters at a similar rate but was easier to square up as a reliever .235 vs .187 yet struck hitters out at a higher rate; 26 to 16 as a starter. He’ll be 20 in the first week of September so it’d be great to see him excel in some type of defined role as his career moves forward. Claudio Galva- Galva is a 23 year old lefty who has played since 2016 and started zero times in 2019. Somehow he ended up with 10 decisions to add to his 4-7 in save chances so that made me take a look further. He went 5-5 with a 1.13 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP so he handled his competition well as lefties hit .182 off him and righties struck out 35 times in 39 innings. This might be a guy who can skip the GCL as he had his best season yet at 23 and has the 3 years of DSL ball in the Blue Jays system under his belt. Kelvin LaRoche- LaRoche excelled in his debut season at age 20 and his counting stats were shiny. 3-2 with a 2.83, .205 average against and 1.08 WHIP is excellent. A strikeout rate of 4.38/9 is substandard however and he registered only 31 in his 63.2 innings. To me his profile absolutely screams for being measured against better competition so I’d have him as a starter on my GCL squad. I’d be eager to see what his skill set consists of and how does he use it/adjust. I don’t doubt he can pitch and perform per inning, let’s see him have to get through newer lineups. If he pitches to contact and gets fly balls regularly than at least I’d know that after a GCL season. Carlos Del Rosario- Maybe someone to get excited about here as he had a great debut in his first year at age 20 and brings a large frame at 6-5, 225. Carlos is a righty who registered a 2-1 record with 60k’s in 48 innings (11.17k per 9). Hitters hit him to a .186 average in 17 appearances. That’s darn good. Every single stat he put up was significantly better as a starter but WHIP was 1.10 compared to 1.86 in relief, significantly better. Now add in the fact he hit 10(!) batters and had 4 wild pitches and we see that he can harness his stuff even better going forward. I’d prefer that to happen here in Sarasota if possible. Pablo Falconett- Now this is a guy whose profile gets me going. He’s a thick 6-2 220lb righty who will turn 20 around Halloween and has 2 years, or 57.2 innings of experience over 35 games-no starts. In 2019, his walk rate/9 and WHIP were a low 1.07 so I’m in already. For his career, he’s 1-4 with a 2.34 ERA and 5-7 in saves. 70 K, a .203 average against and 1.02 WHIP so guys have not figured him out. Look further and we’ll see that lefties did a bit and in his 11 innings against them, he had a 6.35 ERA and a .288 avg against so he’s got room for growth too. He’s in my GCL pen and I’m bringing him in for high leverage situations. Jesus Chavez- Chavez’ profile isn’t particularly noteworthy, but all of his 14 appearances were starts and he’s lefty so why not investigate? 2-4 and 3.16 ERA is a strong debut and he’s 18. 68 innings of 1.26 WHIP and .253 against is less strong but he handled lefties with skill. He only walked one lefty and had a .93 ERA VS LHB. Collectively they hit .226 off him, that’s the good part. Righties took him deep 4 times and his ERA vs them was a more normal 3.53 so I’d want to watch him work to see where I’d slot him in a rotation. Hector Lopez- An arm I’m somewhat optimistic about here as he’s a righty who righties can not figure out at least in his debut season. That’s intriguing to me. Lopez is 6-1, 170 and is 18 from Panama. His debut season went well as he finished 13 appearances (all starts) with a shiny 2.05 ERA, .195 average against and 1.14 WHIP with 51k’s/23BB. Look at the splits and it gets better. He had 23 free passes overall, and over half of them were thrown to lefties in only 14.1 innings. If he can work on that specific control than he’s a more complete starter and closer to his arm side success. If you were righty and batted against him you hit .133 and probably struck out. Andry Mercedes- Very small sample size here with only 10.1 innings in his debut. 17/2 K to walk might make you remember his name. Mercedes is a tall left handed Venezuelan who won’t turn 20 until December. The conclusion is is that there is not immense talent as far as pitching forcing the organization to make decisions coming up from the DSL as of today. I’d say that the O’s have a bit better offense than pitching at this particular level right now. There are however, reasons to have optimism and foundations for some players to work on to improve their skills and standing much like normal seasons. They’re not ready to substantially add to the quickly increasing A-level talent pool as those rosters to me have started to look much better, although there have been some names already across. 19 year old Cesar Angomas comes to mind, he was in camp so I got to see him throw and he had no US experience previously. The next few years of international classes need to be big priorities for the Orioles and according to team officials they will be.
  5. I agree, there’s a lot to be seen per play and I don’t need the audio reinforcement in NFL. A better example might be vapid and boring ESPN accessory Trey Wingo. He didn’t exactly have the network held hostage but his contact negotiations went long as he was doing the media version of holding out over some of January and February. He got his details exactly like he wanted. Also, since he’s been back he’s been basically asleep at the wheel-disgusting. As much as I joke, they threw it to him last week and he just wasn’t there. At some point, this has to be seen as a less than fully effective use of resources. This should clearly be that point. Now, maybe execs will be more inclined to let these overpaid vets who have already made the majority of their ‘contribituons’ walk. Maybe, they’ll be ready to employ people who influence some thought in their viewers instead of paying the freight for a resume built on reading highlights written by someone else. I know this sounds like my angry inner producer coming out, but it’s not. Nobody is healing the sick or solving complicated equations here, I just see a bettter use of these resources than paying a face to read a script timed to some video. I can talk with extensive experience here and I just don’t see what these people are bringing to the table for the sums they’re paid.
  6. Let’s see how their advertisers hang on and how many of them can. Who knows how the heads of companies like Outdoor World or Progressive or Gilette see the future of their names/logos needing to be on TV. Consider the massive purge of subscribers and it may be a doomsday scenario for them. Will it trickle down to talent? My guess is it has to. Peyton Manning can also claim the ability to move attention towards a product much better than a highly paid broadcaster who never took a snap. How many games have you watched because Mike Tirico is calling it?
  7. I’ve also had similar thoughts and I believe that we’ll see advertisers of companies who simply can’t afford to promote themselves slow to a halt and also affect the circle of revenue tied into broadcast rights. Tony Romo getting 17 mil to talk football may be a thing of the past and broadcasters getting 7 figure salaries to sit in a studio or a desk will get canned. ESPN specifically was benefiting less and less like you outlined and live sports was the only connector between frustrated sports package paying customers and the college hoops, NBA, NFL games they crave watching live. My main wonder is ‘will this be the event that convinces billionaire owners to shop their assets in an attempt to move them instead of just gauging their value? Will it make the younger Angelos’ hold tighter or think sell? These long term liabilities that you see as a larger risk may just stop being worth it. I’m afraid of this process occurring and before I was confident it wouldn’t. Very good talking point
  8. And maybe still another potential difference in scheduling, 7 inning doubleheaders. When I saw that it made me think back to the split days in the GCL sun.
  9. Britton is a closer?🤷🏻‍♂️
  10. I’m going to let Tony sim the O’s season and that’ll be who I follow at the big league level this year. Can’t wait to second guess his moves!
  11. I like the way you think but wouldn’t do it that way. You’re a fast tracker! Confidence is touchy with these younger players and I’d prefer to have a player motivated to prove doubters wrong than one in over his head because they can’t perform. As I see it, that underperformance is adversity to respond to, but early during development I’d want a player to very rarely doubt themselves. Talking to Darell, I can verify that he’s highly motivated and seems like a player who will adjust, improve and take coaching. He’s still so young though so it’s a difficult balance.
  12. I wish I could have seen Carmona once during my time at camp just to build a profile. I didn’t and his name will have to stay circled on my list. That would be a strong infield but I only saw Gunnar at 3rd in drills about 5-10% of the time. Right now Ortiz’ arm is more ready from the hole and with relays so he’d get a SS nod over Darell who practiced at both 2nd and SS. I could see the group batting 2,3,4 in an order however with Ortiz’ hit tool centered between Darell’s on-base skill set and Gunnar’s developing pop.
  13. That’s a good point about season length. I’d also lean towards the Ironbirds to get his climb upwards started this year too. Every single part of me recognizes a need to adjust to the circumstances we’re facing, but when I think about baseball not moving forward it doesn’t make sense. I’m also supposed to write about the minors whenever I can and as much of a priority that’s always been for me, I do realize others have much more important real-life things to worry about. I worry about Darell Hernaiz’ development....that’s me. I have no clue if there will be any opportunity for guys like him to measure themselves against others in this calendar year. That’s hard for me to grasp.
  14. Another perspective and a painful loss even today. He was definitely a great guy and lots of the extended O’s family has a story or a kind word to add in. I’m not surprised you do too. The minor league pitcher I met and couldn’t ID a few weeks back seemed especially frustrated with Hargrove and the desire to cut weight quick. Stephens is down here in Venice and I’ve met his wife and oldest son (pitcher of course)more than once. He’s a great baseball dad and I don’t know who smiled bigger at a spring game when he introduced himself to me. I don’t know if it’s current, but it seemed he was heavily involved in youth baseball, passing down his experience and knowledge.
  15. More or less. That’s what Spring Training has always been about to me. His look back made me think lots of readers would have similar feelings.
  16. https://www.masnsports.com/school-of-roch/2020/03/reflecting-on-past-spring-trainings-with-the-orioles.html A good and entertaining read. Roch has been doing his thing for quite a while. For anyone who I’ve discussed Ryan Ripken with, and his overanalyzing of each and every piece of baseball equipment-we see where it came from. What a unique baseball family.
  17. You’re welcome. I’m glad to do it. I’m very hopeful that some of these guys will have a future in an O’s uniform and we get to start watching it happen. Let’s start learning them now.
  18. I didn’t mention Elio Prado, he’s the OF from the Sox, as he’s a definite and there is lots to read/watch about him. I’m still confused at how or why Boston was willing to part with him. The organization seemed motivated and ready to have this pipeline start to produce developable talent. I think the influx could be large. Unfortunately it’s yet another process that this outbreak has slowed. Your estimations have merit, let’s hope that we see some action soon.
  19. Sorry for the lag in days, coming up with topics is a different challenge but I do kind of look forward to it. To that end, I’d like to welcome @cboemmeljrofficially to the Hangout and urge anyone who reads me to look at his stuff too, especially on he minors. He cares and he gets deep. He’s a team improving addition and would be even better if there were some games to look forward to. I hope for our sake and everybody who follows, supports and covers the O’s we can look forward to that. Looking over some numbers, I remembered that an O’s team official had mentioned to me that late March was a target date for organizing players who had been in the Dominican Summer League last year of arrive stateside. I think it was the 27th. But it made me wonder who would or could form the framework of this year’s Gulf Coast League Orioles squad as he’d mentioned 20+ players will be making the milestone journey to the US. I decided to look at some profiles for players who have shown something as far as development or stood out for one reason or another. 1B James Rolle- At 6-4 230, he’s a pretty big lefty who had trouble with left handed pitching (3-18)but otherwise did ok with a .283 average/.341 on base in his debut. He also had only 3 errors at 1st in 230 innings so that stood out to me. Batting sixth and playing regularly he hit 5 home runs and struck out 36 times to mix with only 7 walks. Call it a .793 OPS over 113 ABs and that’s his start. SS Noelberth Romero- Romero came over in the Andrew Cashner deal and split his 2019 between the Red Sox organization where he played in 30 games and the Orioles, with 28. Overall he hit .273 with a .340 on base in 216 ABs adding in 18BB and 32k. Also he went 4-6 in steals, interesting enough. What stood out to me is that Romero is listed as a SS which would make sense given his lack of size (listed at 145), yet 47 of his 57 games and over 75% of his chances were at 3rd base. I wrote SS because that’s what the team’s site says. Also 18 years old so consider me intrigued to see him get into Gulf League Games. CF Kevin Infante- At age 19, the Cuban outfielder had a very solid debut batting .298 over 225AB, mostly batting second. Infante had 18 extra base hits, 11 steals, 22 RBI and 94 total bases as an everyday player. On-base at .365 he could do even better if he switched some of his 40 strikeouts to walks, although he managed 18 of them too so he’s laid a nice foundation for GCL at bats. Infante had only 2 errors in over 500 innings in the outfield with 7 assists and a range factor of 2.25. CF Stiven Acevedo Acevedo is a 6-4 outfielder whose .250 debut batting average includes a .236 vs righties. He scored 36 times in 61 games mostly batting second as a 17 year old so some leeway is expected due to youth. 11 extra base hits, 4 steals and a 55:24 K to walk ratio shows he’s not innover is head. Let’s see how some better stuff in a better would affect him at the plate. He made 7 errors in his 470 outfield innings, but had 9 assists and 3 double plays so he made a few guys pay for wanting an extra base. RF Isaac Bellony- Bellony had 230 debut at bats mostly batting 3rd last season and batted .239. The low average doesn’t paint the true picture however as he stole some bases (6-13), hit a few homers (6) and turned 21 XBH into a solid 42 RBI. Bellony also walked 34 times so his 60 Ks hurt a bit less. 14 doubles, a triple and over 40 runs scored makes me think he’ll be part of an outfield I get to see in person. Probably in right. 1B Josue Cruz- Cruz is listed as a LF, but played 48 of 65 games at 1B last year so that’s my call. It makes sense as he’s both tall and lefty, by the way 5 errors in 372 chances at first says he can stay there. Cruz hit .260 with 10 HR batting 5th in the order so maybe he’ll stay there too and present a strong power foundation. Against left handed pitching he had 9 walks, 12 strikeouts in 27 at bats and ended up .259 so looks like he’s bringing some good hitter qualities to the table. Improvement from his debut to year 2, Cruz brings that too. In 2018 he had 178 AB and finished with no HR, 7 XBH and 93K:13BB. Last year he brought everything up significantly, finishing his 237 AB season with a .253 average, 11 HR, 29 XBH and 40 walks with his 94K. Much better! Let’s see him scooping throws over at first whenever baseball gets started again. LF Juan De La Rosa- Debuted with the Mets in 2017 and has played outfield only, not center. 6-3, 207 lbs at age 21 so he’s a veteran as far as experience, age and build compared to his league mates. Improved his average each season; .250, .254, .284. Improved steals each season as well; 2, 9, 15. His best season was last year where he turned 176 AB into 16XBH, 6 HR, 31 RBI, 36 Runs and .810 OPS. Juan handled cleanup responsibilities well, batting .350 out of the 4 hole. SS Erinson Placencia- He was 17 last year and stands 6-1, 170. Batting mostly 6th the righty finished with a .345 average and a smoking .500 on base thanks to his 25 walks outweighing his 19K’s. Throw in his 22-84 hits/AB and 22 runs and 34 total bases and you have a nice, small sample .905 OPS from a middle infielder. 2-4 steals can be better with more coaching and picking better opportunities. C Wilkin Grullon- He’s the catcher who stood out to me the most and I got to see him at camp-catching several bullpens and in the cage once, looking darn good lining singles into mid left field. He’s ‘stocky’ at 6-0 220 and makes a wide target. Footwork and quick twitch athleticism is not his game as much as solid bat skills seem to be. In 2018 he debuted to a .206 average in 68 ABs before improving last year to a .287 average in 100 more AB. He walked 17 times, had a .386 on-base and 12 of his 51 hits went for extra bases. Wilkin got to lefties to the tune of .317 and most of his plate appearances were as a cleanup hitter where he hit .270. Im a supporter of his direct competition Hector Lucero whose best split after a .158 debut was 3-10 with 5RBI with a man on 3rd. Catching isn’t as strong as outfield overall at this point. Speaking of outfield specifically, I’m looking forward to seeing both Ricky Castro and Frank Toletino play there this year as they didn’t contribute much last season. Castro definitely looks like a ball player both in his uniform and shagging flies with ease in the field. I’ll look at some of the arms over the next few days.
  20. Gotcha. I’d vote for Velazquez for several reasons too. Hope there’s a season so we get to find out....
  21. While looking at lists and wondering about topics that aren’t worth discussing I started looking at a few players and wondering where they’d begin the 2020 season. A guy I’ve watched from the Gulf Coast League’s outset is infielder Darell Hernaiz. Not only do I like him, he’s got a great attitude and personality, I’m very impressed with him as a player and especially one with only a handful of games played as a professional. My videos have shown that he’s a quick and athletic mover with spring from his feet and power behind his growing upper body. Bat and glove work is impressive on the daily and his outlook is happy. The coaches and his teammates challenge him and it ups his performance. Drill, game situation, warm-ups, cage, etc....Darell ‘Barrel’ Hernaiz fits in so well for someone not even 20 that it’s already a credit to the O’s front office for finding a moldable piece of baseball clay. But which affiliate should pencil him into their opening day lineup and how do we find that answer? Hernaiz again has only played one season as a pro and each of his 99 At-bats were against rookie league arms. He hit .263 and popped a pair of homers to go with a pair of doubles. Added in 20 runs, 5-5 steals and 17 walks and it’s a nice debut. Stats say he should move on up and let someone else start their climb from Sarasota upward. Also I’ve watched his body change somewhat significantly and show results in the short term. When I saw him initially in July of 2019 he looked every bit of his listed 165 lbs. Wiry, wristy but strong is how I’d describe his frame. This spring, he’s thicker across his shoulders and his hips. Not big, just slight mass where there was none. Forearms are bigger and more evident and his contact louder with the ball ending up straighter or farther away. Not a complicated observation but something to note as he’s already making significant and apparent progress early on in his development. I’d bet he’s up to around 178-180 range right now and working out everyday while eating a ton to ensure more lbs. What about his competition at potentially Aberdeen or Delmarva? And what position should he play? Is he a shortstop or a second baseman? I’m going to say that I saw him show elements of both, but I’d put his skill set/bat combo at second. Also, he’s born within the same few weeks as Gunnar Henderson and Gun gets first dibs at SS if I’m picking spots. If both Darell and Gunnar aren’t on the same affiliate and Hernaiz is a SS where he lands I’m ok with it, but my preference is wherever the club thinks he’d end up on a big league diamond is where he should get chances in the minors. Yet another deciding factor. To me, not seeing much of Jean Carmona at camp, he’s not much of a factor either, hopefully I’m completely wrong. But Joey Ortiz and his skill set+college level dominance IS a factor and the Ortiz vs Hernaiz battle starting in earnest can work out well for all involved. Ortiz is on the IronBirds right now, listed as SS as is Jean Carmona. There’s one 2B and that’s Alexis Torres. Torres has pedigree being a 5th round choice, but his draft was in 2016 and he’s made not much progress since then. So perhaps Darell can slot into that grouping as an infielder. Delmarva would represent a significant jump after only 99 pro at-bats and they have Adam Hall listed as SS today backed up by Andrew Fregia and Ryne Ogren at 2B. Hall’s the starter and heavy AB guy but that’s not an uncrackable rotation for someone bumped up from a level below....maybe Carmona? Clay Fisher batted .217 at Aberdeen in his pro debut with a Strikeout:Walk ratio of 45:7 so perhaps not the guy to shuttle up and make room for a higher pick with pedigree like Darell. Then there’s Carlos Baez who’s about to be in his 6th year in the organization and truly has showed me he’s ready to move up from rookie league for good. So, does Darell play 2B at Aberdeen or 2B/SS at the GCL one more round as he turns 19 in early August? Now that I’ve laid out some circumstances behind the decision I’d love to know what you think and why. If I’m choosing, I’d find a way to reward his start and his skills with a spot at Aberdeen. Delmarva soon, but not week 1 of the minor league season. I’d expect some adversity and some improvement similar to his debut . I’m most confident in the constant improvement and Darrel being a highly motivated athlete maximizing his chances. He did what he was supposed to do in year one and also showed up ready to compete in spring of year 2 with focus and a team first attitude. Also, he’s got a chip on his shoulder thinking the 5th round was too late for him. I know the calendar is unorthodox but where does he play?
  22. My mistake. I’m usually not The O’s SS will hopefully be Iglesias for just about every inning of every game. Without knowing the season’s specifics, in a normal year I’d say Iglesias comes to the plate 525 times at least. His presence means that Martin can fully marinate in AAA and not have to sit.
  23. I think a year from now there will be a large percentage increase in his believers. It looks like you’re early on lots of guys. Hall doesn’t jump out at me in person but his stats are clean and his fundamentals are even cleaner. BRob is a fair comp. In terms of athleticism they’re not tiers apart. BRob got to top speed quicker but Hall’s fastest pace is higher than Roberts’. That’s very fast. His bends, pivots, transfers and steps show me a person who is very in tune with the speed of baseball. Like Grenier, nothing in the field gets him out of rhythm so he’s transferring his athletic gifts in a significant way. I didn’t need to see a ton to realize this. I think it’s more than past time for Hall’s lack of high level amateur experience to skew his prospect ranking and he should be evaluated on the here and now. Pesky is apt, skilled is more appropriate. Provided there’s some type of season, Hall will use his gifts and rise in rank this year.
  24. I’d guess an infield of Mountcastle, Bannon, Martin and perhaps Valaika would be backed up by a middle infielder who doesn’t make the final cut (rank the springs of Herrera, Urena, Urias?). Not a bad offensive group. Not a super defensive group. Maybe not that far off from the mlb club except for Iglesias’ unmatched glove and R Nunez’ pop. Could Martin and Bannon be the ‘kind-of near future’ versions of those two? Bannon impressed me in games with his power and ability to drive the ball and then back at minor league camp just belting bombs at cage sessions. He can hit a bit so he represents upside. I don’t know what’s an evaluator for the O’s as they make these calls. We’ll see if/how/when they’re forced to make roster decisions
  25. I have Velazquez on O’s and Martin penciled in for a full season of ABs at Norfolk. Who knows? We have nothing to go on and can only wait....
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