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Eric-OH

Quick Player Profiles-Pitchers/Minor League Camp

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This stuff is just fantastic, Eric.   Really paints a picture.    What I’m enjoying about your perspective is that you don’t really purport to be a scout, but you are a keen observer who is learning more every day but still have the optimism of a fan, seeing the potential best in all the young guys.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to put you on the spot.     Below is a link to my chart of the Orioles’ top 30 prospects as ranked by OH and several other publications.    Who are 5 players who you think may be significantly underrated/ready to make a big jump, either because they’re too low on these lists or perhaps not on them at all?   I realize it’s still early in the spring and you’ll have more sophisticated thoughts about this by the time minor league camp breaks, but I’m interested in your early impressions.

  

 

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1 hour ago, Frobby said:

This stuff is just fantastic, Eric.   Really paints a picture.    What I’m enjoying about your perspective is that you don’t really purport to be a scout, but you are a keen observer who is learning more every day but still have the optimism of a fan, seeing the potential best in all the young guys.

So, with that in mind, I’m going to put you on the spot.     Below is a link to my chart of the Orioles’ top 30 prospects as ranked by OH and several other publications.    Who are 5 players who you think may be significantly underrated/ready to make a big jump, either because they’re too low on these lists or perhaps not on them at all?   I realize it’s still early in the spring and you’ll have more sophisticated thoughts about this by the time minor league camp breaks, but I’m interested in your early impressions.

  

 

Thanks for the compliment and the assignment.  This is a good question.  First glance, Welk at 30 seems a rank too low.  There’s lots of times you watch him and think about how close he is and other times where you are reminded that he’s not but the good outweighs the bad.  He feels like a cornerman in the field and isn’t a perfect athlete there but his contact and power make him a player more than his glove skills.  When he gets it and drives it, Welk can ding cars in the parking lot with a good uppercut.  He’s also in the middle of a physical transformation where he’s converting weight with stronger muscle.  I’m optimistic but feel even stronger that he’ll outperform a rank like that.  Same exact feelings for Joey Ortiz, not ranked by consensus.  Bat speed, a cannon of an arm and accuracy to mix in with good overall ability on the field.  His mistake count is very low and I’d bet he has some good offensive streaks that give him clean counting stats at the end.  I’d speculatively start him higher than most and let him sink or swim through April.  But unranked is too low for someone with his baseball ability.  That’s obvious.  Really, my list of future O’s STARTS with Gunnar so him at anything below 5 is way off.  Every single thing I see screams starter and more.  He’s so young but shows so many positives and is a special prospect capable of being an even more decorated big leaguer.  I’m all in. All. 
Ive been on Baumanm since marked improvement in 2017 and I have no reason to doubt myself now.  In fact, watching him go about his business, I’d put him in the class of Hall and Grayson not because of stuff on their level (not too far off) but because he was good, became much better and is nearing readiness.  Your list has him at 7 with a 13,9 and 7.  For me he’s fringe top 5 so not drastic.  Rom at 14 is a shade off but nobody having him near a top 10 is more then a shade off.  Rankers of Rom, talk to me after 2020 and Frobby you deserve some credit for being on the train early.  
I’m sorry but the things I like about Hays are not the things that raise prospect profiles and I continue to be surprised at what folks seem to see in him.  Outfield ‘go get it’ skills can only make a player good at defense, not offense and I’m not optimistic.  If a part of my brain thought his health/playing style would lend him to making 550 PA’s each season maybe I’d be ok with him as high as 5(!)   But I don’t, and a single digit next to him is not accurate.  I’ll take someone else’s upside over him.   Like most of these ranked too high picks, I hope I’m wrong.  I’d love to see him have a great season or few atop the batting order and running down flies downtown.  Pop is 23, that’s high to me too considering I haven’t seen him and he may not be healthy.  Fangraphs has Alex Wells at 24 and that’s probably too low, but the consensus has him at 13, in my mind too high.  I like him a lot but his skill set will be challenged, he’ll have to respond and even if that goes according to plan he may be a low walk guy and not much else. The new AAA baseballs he’ll be pitching to contact with won’t help.  As far as Sedlock he won’t be on my top 30 either and it says less about him and more about other players in the system with more upside .  His story is awesome and his stuff is far from awful post injury but other players have more intrigue to me and I’m more curious about their futures.  Finally it’s a question of readiness vs potential when I look at early camp attendees Hernaiz (16 consensus) and Stowers (18).  I see a good future for both guys and good players emerging down the road but it could be a bit.  They have both shown well at camp and impressed me, but could other guys ranked behind them help the organization significantly, and sooner?  I say yes so maybe, maybe switch them with a pair of early 20’s guys such as Bannon-who has demonstrated plenty to me, especially pop abs perhaps Zimm or McKenna who could do good things in orange and black sooner. Now I’m grasping a bit so I hope I have laid out a decent reply for you.  
Im trying to see every single item at camp so call it scouting, observing, speculating....whatever.  But the one takeaway is hunger mixed with better overall players than previous groups.  Overall that’s such a positive change that it’s hard to see how drastic it is without showing up every single day and seeing it.  
Gunnar is my number one O’s prospect and has been for a bit.  Says nothing about Adley who is a flat out stud and only in need of big-league like experience.  Or the pitchers who I see as rotation leading aces.  But he’s a show and his skills are louder than a heavy metal concert. Just impossible to not see.

I wish everyone could watch everyday-I’m trying my best to go through my phone, find the ideal videos to convey it and let you evaluate.  
Good question!

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Thanks for the complete and thoughtful answer.    The O’s are going to have some tricky decisions about where to place some SS/3B types this season, both in terms of level and position.    Encarnacion, Welk, Ortiz and Henderson arguably all belong at Delmarva, but there’s not enough playing time for all of them there.    

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Pop had Tommy John last summer. I am surprised someone on here hasn't brought that up when some have speculated on his health.

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1 hour ago, Frobby said:

Thanks for the complete and thoughtful answer.    The O’s are going to have some tricky decisions about where to place some SS/3B types this season, both in terms of level and position.    Encarnacion, Welk, Ortiz and Henderson arguably all belong at Delmarva, but there’s not enough playing time for all of them there.    

No, thank you for getting me warmed up before I get to camp.  Good problem to have as far as the infield overload?

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10 hours ago, zjsmith said:

Pop had Tommy John last summer. I am surprised someone on here hasn't brought that up when some have speculated on his health.

I haven’t seen him yet.  Today’s pitchers out to stretch were a much bigger group.  Maybe they’ll have a new roster when guys are all checked in by next week with updates like that. 

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