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Eric-OH

Quick Player Profiles-Offense/Minor League Camp

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It’s been a while since I had something on my preferred side, the minors and also today it was brought to my attention that I’m not identifying every single player I’m seeing daily at camp for our readers who don’t know them.  It’s my responsibility to provide info, not just names so I’ve decided to give a very brief capsule on each player named on my camp roster.  
I know that my daily observations can go long, just know that I’m aware of it but I’m trying to see everything and tell everything.  Here, it’ll be shorter.  I’ll do like a this player has shown me ____________ type of profile.

 

In short, the group is extremely hungry.  All at different points in both their development and career, what I’m seeing is a mostly intense desire to make a name for themselves and several with the skills necessary to do that and much more.  O’s fans have an intelligent and focused front office and a good base of talent to add to. I think it’s better than consensus but I’m just there everyday watching....what do I know.

 

First the guys on the list I haven’t seen or have barely seen:

Seamus Curran-1B a very large guy (6-6, 250lbs) who is at camp and not doing anything physical/last year at Delmarva he hit .224 with 17 home runs and 125K

Malachi Emond-righty pitcher-also a big guy who hasn’t done anything physical and only dressed once.  His first year pro was 2019 at Aberdeen and he went 3-2 with a save and a 2.66 ERA and 1.18 WHIP

Mickey Jannis-the knuckleballer’s name is on my list but I haven’t seen him yet.  His stats are all over the place after a decade in pro ball.  Last year he had 108 k in 125.2 innings at AA and AAA.  Hitters teed off to a .283 average.  Eek

Francisco Jimenez-I haven’t seen him much but he’s at camp, maybe he’s been outside twice for morning exercises.  He can build on a 8-1 record and 81K in his 83.2 innings pitched at Frederick, Bowie and Norfolk.

Zach Pop-I have not seen him at camp

Luis Ortiz-I have seen him outside in the morning going through calisthenics and that was 3 times at most.  He’s still carrying a lot of weight.  Last year he pitched 3 innings in the bigs, they hit him for a .308.  Before that he pitched 67 in the minors where they got him for a .289.  He had 50k/31BB  in those 67 innings

Also Jay Flaa and Zach Muckenhirn may be there as they’re from North Dakota and there’s a car with ND plates there.  I saw Flaa pitch sitting with Weams at an O’s game so I know he’s in town.  I’m sorry if I don’t have capsules on them.  
 

Now for everyone I have seen-

Catchers

Ben Brezeale-4th year pro who is always busy catching, ive almost barely seen him without his gear on.  Last year reached Frederick and batted .213 at two levels.  Career fielding pct is .992

Jordan Cannon-loud and positive communicator who will punish a ball breaking late in front of him.  Big burly guy who encourages his pitchers and restate positive.  Last year was year 1 for him and he hit .212 climbing as high as Aberdeen 

Brett Cumberland-a quiet and strong athlete who lets his on-field performance and demeanor speak for him.  Great receiver/framer with an exceptionally quiet lower body.  He’s a switch hitter but I’ve only seen him lefty and he pulls hard to that side bringing pop from a strong core.  He can build on a 2019 where he reached AA and had a total of 183 AB at 3 levels.  

Daniel Fajardo-always moving from station to station and always catching.  He’s a great guy with a big smile but he’s a serious player.  He’s a 7 year pro with 9 HR for his career and only 171 K’s in 1150 at bats.  Daniel played at multiple levels each of the last 3 seasons.  
Maverick Handley-another guy who usually has the gear on but I’ve seen some promising swings and takes with him in the box.  He doesn’t seem the .200 hitter he was last year at Aberdeen.  Stocky, barrel chested build and probably has shown the second best arm at camp to date.  
Cody Roberts-this guy can throw from behind the plate.  Accuracy, steam and a lack of wasted movement help him fire strikes down to second.  He did not succeed controlling runners at Delmarva however allowing 23 steals, stopping 8 so he’s got work to do.  He had a .610 OPS in his second pro season last year

 

Infield

JC Encarnacion-lots of baseball skills.  Quiet guy, loud bat.  Fundamentals are not the cleanest but he gets lots out his movements.  I like him and he can throw across the diamond.  Last year at Delmarva he played 120 games as a 21 year old(!) and hit .240 with a ton of K’s and  a low slugging pct.  Don’t close the book yet    
Andrew Daschbach-very big guy who hits the fastest leaving HRs here at camp.  Righty large plane swing with a big strike zone.  Played at Aberdeen as a 1st yr pro last season and batted .222 with 47 K in 158AB.  An 11th round pick from Stanford he’s got pop, promise and some work to do.  6-3 and 225 lbs gives him a good power framework.    
JC Escarra-24 yr old lefty 1B.  He’s big and thick and has some uppercut in his swing but this guy’s best skill is an awesome attitude.  He’s trying hard but having fun and shows lots of desire.  The volume and smile are impossible to ignore.  He can build on a decent eye at the plate.  Last year at Frederick he had 13 HR, 76K and 52BB in 440 ABs.  
Cadyn Grenier-there’s lots of differing opinions on him.  I see a guy who can play mlb defense today but prob could as a teenager.  In the cage he’s getting there and can hit high stuff better than low.  He’s built like an NFL fullback and has huge legs and a lower body truly built for grounder stopping.  His stats have been underwhelming but did hit 7 out at Delmarva before going .208 in 24 games at Frederick.  
Adam Hall-I haven’t seen a ton of him but he has strong defensive fundamentals, speed and especially acceleration.  His pro career is off to a good start and he’s batted .301 over his first 700 ABs with 60 steals and 117 runs scored.  He played at Delmarva last season.  
Darell Hernaiz-motivated and improving player with room to grow and every indication is he will.  Fast bat, fast feet, fast pivots, fast transfers and fast eyes.  Good attitude and players like him lots.  Last year his pro career started at 17 and he hit .263 with 26K in 99 rookie league at bats.  
Gunnar Henderson-I don’t understand how O’s fans aren’t flocking to Twin Lakes to see him-dude is a stud.  His baseball movements are so clean and strong.  The Gun show is on!  In the cage he’s an animal and in both phases he’s good, developing and ready to keep going.  Gun bounces from drill to drill singing his country and does so with extreme confidence.  The time is coming for the hype train to leave the station.....Soon.  
Joey Ortiz-a righty shortstop with pedigree, pop and a whip of an arm that he loves to show off.  He’s a loud hitter in cage sessions and live BP and I like his future power profile very much.  Ortiz can build on a pro debut at Aberdeen where he walked 30 times, K’d 37 and hit .241.  Bringing up a .161 vs LHP will help.  
Ryan Ripken-I love watching all the elements of Cal shine through everyday.  To say he’s an instinctive defender would be an insult to his family name but Rip can handle the leather a little bit.  Rip will turn 27 this season and has 19 taters in his 5 pro seasons to go with 300 strikeouts and 70 walks.  He’s swinging.  He’s reached AA and batted .283 there in 2019.  
Jesmuel Valentin-Ive only seen the 25 year old son of José in defensive drills and he’s a magician with the glove.  He positions his glove with precision and never ever gets outplayed by a hop.  I don’t know why I haven’t seen him hit.  He’s reached the bigs and last year had 403 AB at Bowie hitting .260 with 10SBs, 8HR and 47 runs scored to fortify that glove.  
Toby Welk-Toby is having fun, kicking ass, getting better and seemingly on cloud 9 at camp.  He’s got room to go but knows he’s already better off than most 21st round picks from D-3 schools.  He can field.  He can throw.  He can hit.  He reached high A last year after controlling Aberdeen pitchers to a .330 average and a .900 OPS. He’ll face adversity, respond well and be on prospect radars soon.  
Willy Yahn-hes the guy who made me realize that saying someone is ‘the sum of their parts’ is not an insult but the ultimate compliment.  He’s not as large as the other players but plays as big as the sky.  Every person in camp respects him because he finishes the rep and never beats himself. If you watch him, you will root for him.  I guarantee it.  Yahn hit .271 with 5HR as a 3rd baseman at Frederick first than Bowie and had a .957 fielding percentage.  
 

Outfield

Mason Janvrin- he is the player who has excited me the most and has explosive speed and even more full throttle acceleration.  He’s a great draft pick and isn’t perfect but reminds me of a righty Christian Yelich.  Focused as hell.  He turned 22 today and debuted last year reaching Aberdeen after making the rookie league look easy.  17 pro steals in 42 games is good. 7 professional walks and 5 extra base hits leave him room to improve. We’ll all know his name in 12 months.    
Robbie Thorburn-turns 25 in 3 weeks and has been a pro for 3 seasons, reaching Frederick last year.  High effort and energy player with ok swing mechanics, good feet in the outfield.  His career strikeout to walk ratio is trending towards 4:1 and his best on-base season was 2018 at Aberdeen and it was .321.  
Kyle Stowers-intriguing package of skills, physical ability and showing signs of putting things together at a young age.  Strong but not thick.  Great core strength and waist/hips combo.  Good outfield strider, thrower and route taker.  I’m intrigued and would put more on his plate.  He can build on a 2019 where he debuted at Aberdeen and hit .215 but cleared the fence 6 times and had 13 doubles and 5 steals.  
Zach Watson-I’m wondering if he’s hurt.  He can run and accelerate very well.  He can drive the ball when he barrels it.  His arm is weak.  He doesn’t do enough to make me understand where he is in development.  I don’t have a good read on him but his first pro year he got to the Shorebirds and hit 5 total HRs.  36 games, 5HR/5SB/26runs.  Ok.  For reference, this is me being critical.  
Zach Jarrett-has been in and out as he’s been called up to the O’s a couple times. Is a very big guy in person and has hands as fast as a boxer in the cage.  He’s 25, has been a pro for 3 seasons and has played as high as AA.  Last season he hit .270 with a 3:1 k to walk ratio but sent 11 over the fence.  For a 28th round pick, not too shabby.     
TJ Nichting-the best that I’ve seen from him is a few good catches he made in the O’s outfield playing left.  TJ smiles a lot and is upbeat but not loud.  This will be his 4th pro season and he carries a .678 career OPS accompanied by 14 bombs and 25 SBs.  Last year he played at Bowie.  
Robert Neustrom-if anybody looks like a baseball player it’s him.  Good size, good strength, good arm, faster than average bat.  He’ll turn 24 after this season and has 11HR through his first 550 pro at bats.  I get the impression that execs like him-he’s a grinder.  It’s Bowie time for him in my opinion.  

I’ll do the arms for you tomorrow as this took longer than I thought.  Also there will be some pitchers throwing then who I have yet to see so I can have one more session of data.  
 

 

 

 

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This is really fascinating. Will be following these guys, and it’s nice to have performance in production to associate with a name.. I have another question.

What is the age range for a given level? Your comment about Encarnacion being “21 at Delmarva!” Was that implying that he was young for the level or old for the level? And what would be expected for that level? Thanks, and thanks again.

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8 hours ago, Philip said:

This is really fascinating. Will be following these guys, and it’s nice to have performance in production to associate with a name.. I have another question.

What is the age range for a given level? Your comment about Encarnacion being “21 at Delmarva!” Was that implying that he was young for the level or old for the level? And what would be expected for that level? Thanks, and thanks again.

Thanks, there’s some good reasons to follow these guys.  I’m glad to help.  

The reason I put an exclamation mark next to JCE is because he’s still so young and folks have written him off despite some serious baseball education he has and is receiving.  I don’t associate an age with a level, usually that’s a chief factor but there are others.  A reasonable expectation for him is to keep improving and even though it’s coming slow, he has shown me a variety of baseball skills that can get results.  Also the HR in the sim game was a good sign.

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One name I noticed not on here is Jomar Reyes. If there is anyone in the organization that is on their last legs with the club, it would have to be him.

Has he not been seen, or is he just not worth mentioning right now with all the “fresh blood?”

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Last year in Greensboro they have a gimmick of donating $ to charity for each strikeout of the opposing teams clean-up hitter.  The game I seen there it was JC Encarnacion.  The Shorebirds won the game 8-0 behind a dominating G Rod performance.  JCE went 0-4 with 4 K's and looked like he was clueless at the plate.  It was a great game to see but definitely was memorable to win by that margin with the cleanup hitter being the hole in the lineup.  Doesn't mean anything but a one game snapshot.  I did see him several other times last year, he has good size but didn't really stand out offensively or defensively. 

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9 hours ago, Philip said:

This is really fascinating. Will be following these guys, and it’s nice to have performance in production to associate with a name.. I have another question.

What is the age range for a given level? Your comment about Encarnacion being “21 at Delmarva!” Was that implying that he was young for the level or old for the level? And what would be expected for that level? Thanks, and thanks again.

Average age at every level last year (league first, O’s affiliate in parentheses), then some comments.

International (AAA): batters 26.9 (25.9), pitchers 26.2 (25.8).    This league is a mix of prospects and AAAA guys, hence the advanced average age.    I’d say the average age of the prospects is 23/24, anyone younger is young for the league.   Mountcastle was 22 last year.   Hays and Kremer were 23.

Eastern (AA): batters 24.1 (24.2), pitchers 24.3 (24.0).     Most prospects here are 22/23.    McKenna, Diaz and Wells were 22.

Carolina (A+): batters 22.7 (23.4), pitchers 23.2 (23.1).    High college draft picks from the previous summer often start here at 22.   High school/foreign guys who have been in the system a while might get here at 21.    DJ Hall pitched here last year at 20, Hanifee at 21.    

South Atlantic (A): batters 21.5 (21.9), pitchers 21.8 (22.3).    This league is normally graduates from the prior year’s short season teams, including some mid-tier college guys drafted the previous summer, some high school picks/foreign guys who have been in the system a year or two, and if you’re lucky, a high school kid from the prior summer who aced the GCL.    We had two of those last year, Grayson Rodriguez and Drew Rom, who played the Sally League at 19 and were among the youngest in the league.    Adam Hall and Adam Stauffer both played well here at age 20.    

NY-Penn (A-): batters 20.9 (21.7), pitchers 21.3 (21.6).    This league typically includes college guys who were just drafted (some 21, some 22) and some GCL graduates.    Nothing wrong with being 21-22 in this league if you were just drafted, but if you were in the organization the year before and are 22+, you are probably not a prospect.   The O’s did draft several college guys who were young for their class and played here last summer at age 20, including Joey Ortiz, Griffin McLarty and Jake Lyons.    Jean Carmona, acquired in 2018 in the Schoop trade, played here at 19 last summer but may have to repeat that level this year.

Gulf Coast (Rk):  batters 19.5 (20.9), pitchers 20.3 (22.1).     Here, you usually get a mix of lower tier college guys who were just drafted, high school guys who were just drafted (and maybe some high school repeaters), and graduates from the Dominican league.   We had a very old GCL team, primarily because (1) we have minimal flow from the Dominican league at this point and (2) Elias had a very college-heavy draft.   Younger guys here included Darrell Hernaiz (17) and Gunnar Henderson (barely 18), who were drafted out of high school last summer, and Jake Zebron (19) and Yeancarlos Lleras (18), who were drafted the previous summer.    Honestly I think Zebron pitched well enough in 2018 to have moved up to Aberdeen, but he was crowded out by all the college guys.   Lleras, on the other hand, has struggled for two years in the GCCL after being drafted at 17.

Dominican (For): batters 17.8 (18.2, 18.1), pitchers 18.3 (19.0, 18.9).     The better players in this league are signed at age 16 and play in the DSL at 17.    You hope they do well enough to move to the GCL at 18.   Hopefully this summer we will see a few 18-year old DSL grads on our GCL team; there were none last year.     Note that we did have one DSL player, Stiven Acevedo, who was just old enough to play even though he was still 16.    He did OK but I’d guess he will repeat the DSL rather than being pushed up to the GCL, at least to start the season.     

For me, you not only need to look at the age the player is for his league, but the path he took to get there.   Did he have injury setbacks?    Did he have to repeat any levels?    Did he skip any levels, or move at midseason?    When I see a guy like Encarnacion, to me he is not terribly young for the Sally League considering that he has played professional baseball since 2016, and repeated the Sally last year without really mastering it (in fact, he was much better for Atlanta’s Sally League affiliate in 2018 than he has been at Delmarva since being traded).    I don’t know if he’ll start the year at Frederick, but to me he certainly needs to play well enough to finish the year at Frederick if he wants to get back on the prospect radar.    
 

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8 hours ago, Legend_Of_Joey said:

One name I noticed not on here is Jomar Reyes. If there is anyone in the organization that is on their last legs with the club, it would have to be him.

Has he not been seen, or is he just not worth mentioning right now with all the “fresh blood?”

Any player is worth mentioning and your assessment is accurate.  Reyes has not been at early camp but is also a vet and there’s only a handful here this early.   I expect to see him next week but I have seen him around town recently so he’s here.  
Your comment about the new blood has validity.  

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6 hours ago, Frobby said:

Average age at every level last year (league first, O’s affiliate in parentheses), then some comments.

International (AAA): batters 26.9 (25.9), pitchers 26.2 (25.8).    This league is a mix of prospects and AAAA guys, hence the advanced average age.    I’d say the average age of the prospects is 23/24, anyone younger is young for the league.   Mountcastle was 22 last year.   Hays and Kremer were 23.

Eastern (AA): batters 24.1 (24.2), pitchers 24.3 (24.0).     Most prospects here are 22/23.    McKenna, Diaz and Wells were 22.

Carolina (A+): batters 22.7 (23.4), pitchers 23.2 (23.1).    High college draft picks from the previous summer often start here at 22.   High school/foreign guys who have been in the system a while might get here at 21.    DJ Hall pitched here last year at 20, Hanifee at 21.    

South Atlantic (A): batters 21.5 (21.9), pitchers 21.8 (22.3).    This league is normally graduates from the prior year’s short season teams, including some mid-tier college guys drafted the previous summer, some high school picks/foreign guys who have been in the system a year or two, and if you’re lucky, a high school kid from the prior summer who aced the GCL.    We had two of those last year, Grayson Rodriguez and Drew Rom, who played the Sally League at 19 and were among the youngest in the league.    Adam Hall and Adam Stauffer both played well here at age 20.    

NY-Penn (A-): batters 20.9 (21.7), pitchers 21.3 (21.6).    This league typically includes college guys who were just drafted (some 21, some 22) and some GCL graduates.    Nothing wrong with being 21-22 in this league if you were just drafted, but if you were in the organization the year before and are 22+, you are probably not a prospect.   The O’s did draft several college guys who were young for their class and played here last summer at age 20, including Joey Ortiz, Griffin McLarty and Jake Lyons.    Jean Carmona, acquired in 2018 in the Schoop trade, played here at 19 last summer but may have to repeat that level this year.

Gulf Coast (Rk):  batters 19.5 (20.9), pitchers 20.3 (22.1).     Here, you usually get a mix of lower tier college guys who were just drafted, high school guys who were just drafted (and maybe some high school repeaters), and graduates from the Dominican league.   We had a very old GCL team, primarily because (1) we have minimal flow from the Dominican league at this point and (2) Elias had a very college-heavy draft.   Younger guys here included Darrell Hernaiz (17) and Gunnar Henderson (barely 18), who were drafted out of high school last summer, and Jake Zebron (19) and Yeancarlos Lleras (18), who were drafted the previous summer.    Honestly I think Zebron pitched well enough in 2018 to have moved up to Aberdeen, but he was crowded out by all the college guys.   Lleras, on the other hand, has struggled for two years in the GCCL after being drafted at 17.

Dominican (For): batters 17.8 (18.2, 18.1), pitchers 18.3 (19.0, 18.9).     The better players in this league are signed at age 16 and play in the DSL at 17.    You hope they do well enough to move to the GCL at 18.   Hopefully this summer we will see a few 18-year old DSL grads on our GCL team; there were none last year.     Note that we did have one DSL player, Stiven Acevedo, who was just old enough to play even though he was still 16.    He did OK but I’d guess he will repeat the DSL rather than being pushed up to the GCL, at least to start the season.     

For me, you not only need to look at the age the player is for his league, but the path he took to get there.   Did he have injury setbacks?    Did he have to repeat any levels?    Did he skip any levels, or move at midseason?    When I see a guy like Encarnacion, to me he is not terribly young for the Sally League considering that he has played professional baseball since 2016, and repeated the Sally last year without really mastering it (in fact, he was much better for Atlanta’s Sally League affiliate in 2018 than he has been at Delmarva since being traded).    I don’t know if he’ll start the year at Frederick, but to me he certainly needs to play well enough to finish the year at Frederick if he wants to get back on the prospect radar.    
 

Couldn’t have said it better myself.  Thanks for the assist and especially the numbers.  I’m feeling a bit of an improvement from JCE this year.  Nothing drastic but signs of maturity are present.  

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5 minutes ago, Eric-OH said:

Any player is worth mentioning and your assessment is accurate.  Reyes has not been at early camp but is also a vet and there’s only a handful here this early.   I expect to see him next week but I have seen him around town recently so he’s here.  
Your comment about the new blood has validity.  

Oh, got it. I thought March 1st was the reporting day for all players.

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