I guess they are only having a draft at all to keep players from top players going to Japan to play. As they won't have minor league baseball this year what is the point of drafting 10 rounds? Good for college players to finish up their degrees.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes! Although exactly how many is unclear, because home/road splits don't go back to the 1890s. The '94 Orioles still hold the all-time record for triples in a season with 150, in 129 games. That seems about as likely to be broken as Cy Young's win total. Since the Orioles moved from St. Louis in '54 no team has hit 80 triples in a season.
I'd like to see 10 rounds. Five seems too short. Hockey and Football have more rounds than 5.
In terms of losers, I only see Minor League baseball and HS seniors who would've gotten scholarships to LSU or Vandy to fill the spot of the kid who signed via MLB draft. More high school kids will go to college and hopefully end up with an education and better situation than pro ball, college juniors will stay a senior year not getting drafted, and seniors will continue to play or move on to more realistic jobs with their degrees. Seniors, both college and High school who want to play professional would go to the indy leagues to play for organized ball contracts, which I think would improve the talent level in those organizations. I won't be seeing 36 year olds in York throwing 82 MPH fastballs because that's all left in the tank and they are just playing until they can get a coaching contract somewhere.
Especially this year, I am curious how teams will draft. I assume more college juniors as more video on them and then the usual High School suspects/top 100.