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State of the System: Starting Pitching - Grade A

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11 minutes ago, Moose Milligan said:

Fair enough.  But I'm still not excited about Lowther and Baumann.  I feel like they're guys we're supposed to be excited about since we've drafted them and they've put up some interesting numbers but both appear to have some flaws.

Definitely, all prospects are flawed and no pitching prospect can be counted on.

I would be very pleased to get a 3, a 4, a 5, and a late inning reliever (Castro or Givens quality) out of the Akin, Kremer, Baumann, Zimmermann, Wells, Bradish, and Smith crowd. A lot of quantity and reasonable quality. 

If we can get a #2 out of Hall and Rodriguez, I would be pleased. Tough to ever expect even 50 percent of pitching prospects to pan out. Obviously I hope they both become top of the rotation starters, but you can't rely on it.

I would have been pleased to get a reasonable 6th inning reliever out of David Hess.

Of course, occasionally a John Means comes along and blows your expectations out of the water, but that is much more rare than the other way around.

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1 minute ago, MurphDogg said:

Definitely, all prospects are flawed and no pitching prospect can be counted on.

I would be very pleased to get a 3, a 4, a 5, and a late inning reliever (Castro or Givens quality) out of the Akin, Kremer, Baumann, Zimmermann, Wells, Bradish, and Smith crowd. A lot of quantity and reasonable quality. 

If we can get a #2 out of Hall and Rodriguez, I would be pleased. Tough to ever expect even 50 percent of pitching prospects to pan out. Obviously I hope they both become top of the rotation starters, but you can't rely on it.

I would have been pleased to get a reasonable 6th inning reliever out of David Hess.

Of course, occasionally a John Means comes along and blows your expectations out of the water, but that is much more rare than the other way around.

Agreed with all points.  And reasonable expectations, too.

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IMO, the current major league rotation is a C+ depending on Means ceiling and the future outlook of Akin and Kremer.

I believe the minor league situation is an A.  I am not sure how many organizations have 2 SP candidates in the top 100, but by law of averages I doubt it is much more than 10.  There are a LOT of names with reasonable chances of becoming 3-5 SPs in the organization.  Baumann may be the next biggest name and we heard nice things about Bradish and we still have Lowther, Wells and Smith leading the wave after Akin/Kremer.  And a bunch of names below that.

I would have to strongly disagree about any renaissance with pitching philosophies.  Our current FO has spent very little of the past few drafts on pitching.  Almost all of the names in the opening post were provided by the prior regime.  I think this is mostly by design as Elias will draft hitters.  Going forward, I expect our pitching inventory to be stocked by international signs, trades for minor leaguers in other organizations (such as the Bradish and Smith deals) and lastly - like Houston - trade for TOR, cost controlled SPs mostly using the hitting inventory.  I expect high $ investments in pitchers in the draft and internationally will be a lesser occurrence.

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B-/C+. It’s Hall and Rodriguez and a lot of back of rotation/swingman types behind them. It just is what it is. Our depth has greatly improved. 

We’ve gone position player heavy in Elias’ first two drafts. Almost entirely position players in the first 10 rounds.
 

We’ve acquired a lot of NCAA arms that were drafted in rounds 10-30 of recent drafts. I think the hopes are is that those guys will be the role players/depth on a mlb pitching staff, not the rotation pieces. 
 

I still see Elias playing it safe in the next draft and going position player heavy again. It’s the safest and quickest way to build a system. Then we will eventually buy the rotation arms with prospects or cash.  
 

I think Elias’ goal is fill spots #3-#5 in the rotation and our entire bullpen, then buy top flight rotation/bullpen arms as needed, once we are “contending”. 

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I like the depth here and feel like there is more depth in the system at SP than we've seen since I've been following the minors. The major league rotation in 2021 will still leave something to be desired. Kremer and Akin still need to prove themselves after a nice showing (save that one start) in a SSS in 2020. Means looks like a dependable mid-rotation arm if not a bit more. I don't have high hopes for Lopez--and am ready to move on from Cobb--but they're placeholders at the moment.

As noted, the depth with Lowther, Baumann, Zimmermann, Wells, Bradish, Smith, etc. is great. I feel confident that with them (and Means, Akin, Kremer) we have a solid 3-5, plus some depth capable of stepping in for 2022 and beyond. One of those players (maybe Kremer or Means) might be able to step in as the #2, but we are missing a TOR arm. Hall and Rodriguez are great prospects and I'm hopeful they can be the #1 and #2 long-term, but it's possible they don't develop to that point. We may see them take the Zack Britton route. Or the Dylan Bundy route. Or the Hunter Harvey route. Or maybe they do become a top guy for a few years like Arrieta after flaming out here. I know this is a different regime with better analytics and (hopefully) better development, but it's not a guarantee that they'll pan out. 

We have depth to protect us for most of the rotation, but the options at the top are still limited and I'd like to have a couple more TOR options to feel good enough for an A grade. I'm going B.

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2 hours ago, jamalshw said:

I like the depth here and feel like there is more depth in the system at SP than we've seen since I've been following the minors. The major league rotation in 2021 will still leave something to be desired. Kremer and Akin still need to prove themselves after a nice showing (save that one start) in a SSS in 2020. Means looks like a dependable mid-rotation arm if not a bit more. I don't have high hopes for Lopez--and am ready to move on from Cobb--but they're placeholders at the moment.

As noted, the depth with Lowther, Baumann, Zimmermann, Wells, Bradish, Smith, etc. is great. I feel confident that with them (and Means, Akin, Kremer) we have a solid 3-5, plus some depth capable of stepping in for 2022 and beyond. One of those players (maybe Kremer or Means) might be able to step in as the #2, but we are missing a TOR arm. Hall and Rodriguez are great prospects and I'm hopeful they can be the #1 and #2 long-term, but it's possible they don't develop to that point. We may see them take the Zack Britton route. Or the Dylan Bundy route. Or the Hunter Harvey route. Or maybe they do become a top guy for a few years like Arrieta after flaming out here. I know this is a different regime with better analytics and (hopefully) better development, but it's not a guarantee that they'll pan out. 

We have depth to protect us for most of the rotation, but the options at the top are still limited and I'd like to have a couple more TOR options to feel good enough for an A grade. I'm going B.

Maybe like Asa Lacy?

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6 hours ago, sportsfan8703 said:

B-/C+. It’s Hall and Rodriguez and a lot of back of rotation/swingman types behind them. It just is what it is. Our depth has greatly improved. 

We’ve gone position player heavy in Elias’ first two drafts. Almost entirely position players in the first 10 rounds.
 

We’ve acquired a lot of NCAA arms that were drafted in rounds 10-30 of recent drafts. I think the hopes are is that those guys will be the role players/depth on a mlb pitching staff, not the rotation pieces. 
 

I still see Elias playing it safe in the next draft and going position player heavy again. It’s the safest and quickest way to build a system. Then we will eventually buy the rotation arms with prospects or cash.  
 

I think Elias’ goal is fill spots #3-#5 in the rotation and our entire bullpen, then buy top flight rotation/bullpen arms as needed, once we are “contending”. 

Elias' next 1st round pick will probably be a true short stop, or at least he will hope to find one there at #5.

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6 minutes ago, ScGO's said:

Elias' next 1st round pick will probably be a true short stop, or at least he will hope to find one there at #5.

BPA of course, but I will be disappointed if the Bobby Witt, Jr of 2021 is the demographic of the selection unless it is a too good to be true slam dunk.  I will be curious to see come June/July if MLB makes any effort to promote the combine NFL-style, especially if the College World Series doesn't make it back full bore.

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I'd give the situation a solid B. 

Means, Cobb, Akin, and Kremer are 4 ML caliber starters, which is more than we've had since 2016. Lots of reasons to be optimistic about Baumann, Hall, Rodriguez, Smith, etc. in the next few years too. 

But an A is too good for this group. The Reds had Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Tyler Mahle throwing gem after gem this year with some solid pitching prospects in the minors. Are they an A++?

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14 hours ago, weams said:

I think a top arm is available at 5. 

I was thinking this too.  Look for the SS, if its not there, take the best arm

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I understand the OP grade of an A, but I would imagine that grade takes into account what our organization was as much as what it currently is. If you compare it to our history, I would agree with the A grade. But comparing to other organizations, I would think a B is probably more realistic. I say this having done zero research to support this comment. Either way, I am happy with the state of the pitching, and think next year will be a big one to see what we actually have.

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On 9/29/2020 at 8:40 PM, ScGO's said:

I suppose the grade is a measurement of the actual talent, the philosophy in scouting/developing for the position, and the depth.  That's why I believe they deserve the A.

How do the Orioles' pitchers compare to the other 29 organizations?   It's fine to give them an A, I suppose.  But would that mean that 14 other organizations also get A's?

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14 hours ago, luismatos4prez said:

I'd give the situation a solid B. 

Means, Cobb, Akin, and Kremer are 4 ML caliber starters, which is more than we've had since 2016. Lots of reasons to be optimistic about Baumann, Hall, Rodriguez, Smith, etc. in the next few years too. 

But an A is too good for this group. The Reds had Trevor Bauer, Luis Castillo, Sonny Gray, and Tyler Mahle throwing gem after gem this year with some solid pitching prospects in the minors. Are they an A++?

Kremer is a former 14th round pick who's thrown less than 40 innings above AA, and I don't think he's made any top 100 prospect lists.  Although he has potential he's not an established MLB starter yet.

Akin has 25 MLB innings, had a 4.73 ERA last year in Norfolk, and has less than 400 professional innings on his resume.  He is not an established MLB starter yet. I like his strikeout rate, although he does not throw particularly hard.

The Orioles have a lot more potential and optimism than they do fully- (or even mostly-) formed pitchers.

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