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wildcard

Ryan Mountcastle no longer a prospect

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Mountcastle may be the O's first basemen for the next 5 years.  He looks good enough there to be a plus defender.  Good hands,  good mobility.  Being a former shortstop he can play the bounced throws well.  So I don't buy he does not have a fielding position.  That is just bunk built up from the O's trying to put him at positions he does not belong.

There is a big question about what the O's will do with Mancini as he approaches his free agency.   They probably are not going to give him a long term contract and its questionable if he gets that in FA from any team.   If he settles for a bunch of one year contract then the O's may keep him for a while.   He is a leader on this team.  But if Trey forces the O's to make a decision by not being open to one year contracts then they may need to trade him.  Can't let him go to FA and get nothing in return.

So Mancini effects Mountcastle's future.  I would be fine with keeping both as 1B/DH under the right circumstances.   

As far as Mountcastle slump goes, he is too good of a hitter not to adjust to the league given time.   I see no problem optioning him if he stays in the slump.  He can go down and work on his plate discipline.  He will be back.  I see him as a core player for the O's.  Not a trade chip anytime in the next several years.  

Stewart is much more likely to go than Mountcastle.  And who knows what happens with Mancini and FA.

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In s season of baby steps and small victories, it's good to see RM has appeared to weather the early season struggles and is starting to hit the ball a bit better. With today's 2 hits, he now has a 7-game hitting streak and has been on base 10 straight games. Strike outs are still concerning but he only had 1 in the 3 games in Oakland.

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4 hours ago, CanadianOsFan said:

In s season of baby steps and small victories, it's good to see RM has appeared to weather the early season struggles and is starting to hit the ball a bit better. With today's 2 hits, he now has a 7-game hitting streak and has been on base 10 straight games. Strike outs are still concerning but he only had 1 in the 3 games in Oakland.

Good to see and I’m expecting Mountcastle will turn it around, he’s too good of hitter to stay in this type of a rut. 

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On 4/28/2021 at 11:29 AM, Moose Milligan said:

Even thought I was poking fun at you, I don't necessarily disagree here.  He's young, making very little and we have depth behind him....depth that can probably adequately play a corner outfield spot, too.

I don't even know if in 2-3 months of lackluster performance he'd still have enough stank on him to where people wouldn't want to deal for him because of what you mentioned...young, cheap, and he has upside.  And with the way teams are laying into analytics and advanced development, there's probably a team out there that thinks they can tease out better performance than what he's doing right now.  

Who is the depth at 1B or do you think the Orioles are going to give Mancini a long term contract?

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3 minutes ago, Tony-OH said:

Who is the depth at 1B or do you think the Orioles are going to give Mancini a long term contract?

Outfield depth.  Diaz, for example.  In other words, the Mountcastle in the outfield experiment failed, which is fine because we have a lot of outfielders that we need to take a look at.

I don't know if the Orioles are going to give Mancini a long term contract.  I wouldn't be surprised if they did and I wouldn't hate it, depending on the dollars and the length of course.  I can deal with a Mancini/Mountcastle duo of 1B/DH over the next 5 years.  

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4 minutes ago, Moose Milligan said:

Outfield depth.  Diaz, for example.  In other words, the Mountcastle in the outfield experiment failed, which is fine because we have a lot of outfielders that we need to take a look at.

I don't know if the Orioles are going to give Mancini a long term contract.  I wouldn't be surprised if they did and I wouldn't hate it, depending on the dollars and the length of course.  I can deal with a Mancini/Mountcastle duo of 1B/DH over the next 5 years.  

This is why I don't think he has depth necessarily. He's the only 1B in the organization right now (unless Henderson for some reason ends up there and no, I don't think he will end up there, but just trying to think of a big guy who would work there) outside of Mancini. 1B is going to end up his position at the major league level as I just don't see him ever becoming a decent outfielder.

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6 minutes ago, Moose Milligan said:

Outfield depth.  Diaz, for example.  In other words, the Mountcastle in the outfield experiment failed, which is fine because we have a lot of outfielders that we need to take a look at.

I don't know if the Orioles are going to give Mancini a long term contract.  I wouldn't be surprised if they did and I wouldn't hate it, depending on the dollars and the length of course.  I can deal with a Mancini/Mountcastle duo of 1B/DH over the next 5 years.  

Agree, I think its time for the Os to start keeping their homegrown players and not jettison everyone thats reaching FA before 2023.   You cannot assume all the prospects are going to work out and start producing at the same time and its possible you have guys like Means who peak early anywa, so you run into the problem  "what if we had just kept our good players". 

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10 minutes ago, Tony-OH said:

This is why I don't think he has depth necessarily. He's the only 1B in the organization right now (unless Henderson for some reason ends up there and no, I don't think he will end up there, but just trying to think of a big guy who would work there) outside of Mancini. 1B is going to end up his position at the major league level as I just don't see him ever becoming a decent outfielder.

I hope Henderson doesn't end up there.  I don't think that would be good.  

I agree, Mountcastle's position outside of DH will be 1B.  

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On 4/28/2021 at 3:02 PM, wildcard said:

Mountcastle may be the O's first basemen for the next 5 years.  He looks good enough there to be a plus defender.  Good hands,  good mobility.  Being a former shortstop he can play the bounced throws well.  So I don't buy he does not have a fielding position.  That is just bunk built up from the O's trying to put him at positions he does not belong.

There is a big question about what the O's will do with Mancini as he approaches his free agency.   They probably are not going to give him a long term contract and its questionable if he gets that in FA from any team.   If he settles for a bunch of one year contract then the O's may keep him for a while.   He is a leader on this team.  But if Trey forces the O's to make a decision by not being open to one year contracts then they may need to trade him.  Can't let him go to FA and get nothing in return.

So Mancini effects Mountcastle's future.  I would be fine with keeping both as 1B/DH under the right circumstances.   

As far as Mountcastle slump goes, he is too good of a hitter not to adjust to the league given time.   I see no problem optioning him if he stays in the slump.  He can go down and work on his plate discipline.  He will be back.  I see him as a core player for the O's.  Not a trade chip anytime in the next several years.  

Stewart is much more likely to go than Mountcastle.  And who knows what happens with Mancini and FA.

I don't know what you mean by bunk, but I think Mountcastle's path is an unusual one. He was a shortstop in high school. I thought I recalled that it was clear from the outset that he couldn't handle shortstop as a pro, but that may be wrong: he played there primarily for two-plus minor league seasons, until he was switched to third base at Bowie in 2017. I saw him  in ST games (on TV) in 2018, and it was obvious he couldn't handle third base. In addition to having a poor arm for a third baseman, he made a lot of errors (.912 FA at Bowie in 2018, his only full season at third base). By then there was a lot of discussion about where he might be able to play. He didn't have the arm to try RF, and CF was out of the question. In addition to time at first base, he was tried in LF but that didn't work. I was among those who suggested a couple years back that he be tried at 2B since he seemed to have the speed and agility to field the ball and might get by with his arm from there; that was not pursued so far as I know, and I have to figure the Orioles had a good reason.

Like a lot of drafted high school shortstops, Mountcastle showed pretty quickly that a less challenging spot would need to be found for him. Happens all the time. What doesn't happen all the time is that a converted high school shortstop can't be used at third base or any of the three OF positions, or (apparently) second. I can't recall another example of a high draft pick who started at shortstop and, with neither age nor injuries a factor, failed there and at two other positions, and around the time he got to the big leagues was deemed able to play only first base. Yeah, the Orioles put him at "positions he does not belong." It turns out there are about eight positions where he doesn't belong. 

Here's what I don't get. Before they drafted him, Oriole scouts must have seen quite a lot of him playing shortstop on a regulation baseball field. How in the world could they have concluded that his throwing arm would enable him to be a major league shortstop or third baseman? Maybe I read or heard some explanation and forgot it, but it's hard for me to see how that could be missed.

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Yeah, I always said he should have been tried at 2B. I’m sick to death of hearing, “Well, the Orioles must have had a good reason.” Because they had such a good record of developing players? Not having any, thanks. 

However, (and I cant believe I’m saying this) WC makes a good point about Mancini’s contract. And since as a hitter RM (his initials are R and M, not RMC 😂) is younger with a similar profile (good hitters who need better plate discipline) to Mancini I’ll take the guy who costs less and is under control. 

At this point 2B is not happening, but RM has soft hands and can play 1B. Mancini isn’t so good that considering RM there is inconceivable. 

And yes, Mancini is a good guy, but baseball is a business. I expect Elias to make a good baseball decision when the time comes.  

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16 hours ago, spiritof66 said:

Before they drafted him, Oriole scouts must have seen quite a lot of him playing shortstop on a regulation baseball field. How in the world could they have concluded that his throwing arm would enable him to be a major league shortstop or third baseman? Maybe I read or heard some explanation and forgot it, but it's hard for me to see how that could be missed.

I remember reading his scouting reports after he was drafted and some said he had a strong arm. I don't know what the original Orioles scout said about Mountcastle, but I remember hearing about his arm strength in instructional league that first year and the word I got was, "Awful arm, like a 30. No way he can play shortstop."
 

Reports after he was drafted:

Oriole scouting director Gary Rajsich:

"Ryan is an advanced hitter. He has on-base and slugging ability," he said. "He has bat speed and will grind at-bats with pitch recognition and discipline at the plate. He likes to hit, he's aggressive, but he's also selective and patient and has a very good feel for situation hitting.

"You watch his approach in games - especially in showcases where we saw him against top competition - we saw him change his approach in the middle of an at-bat. Those are the things we notice. Defensively he has loose actions, sure hands and a good first step for the left side of the infield and an accurate arm. He's a heads-up baserunner and we look forward to watching him out here at Camden Yards."

Tony's Take: Notice he didn't say strong arm.

Minorleague ball (John Sickles)
"Ryan Mountcastle is not a future shortstop. I don't know where he will play. I don't really care where he will play. Probably 3B or a corner OF spot but what I do care about is the bat. Mountcastle has impressive bat speed. He doesn't have the cleanest swing but he hits line drives from line to line and has the raw power to hit plenty of home runs. He hit well in the games I've seen him and I have a lot of faith that he will be one of the better hitters in the draft. He has a good arm, good enough for 3B and he has enough foot speed to be useful as a corner OF. If he goes to school, he is committed to UCF but I don't think he'll get there."

Tony's Take: Brutally wrong and one of the reasons why people kept repeating that he had a good arm initially.

Stotle from 2080 baseball: "No -- the profile is a third round profile for me (generally) because there isn't much value in the glove or legs. So it's all bat, and the performance has been erratic. I like Mountcastle; he isn't my favorite as a sandwich round pick. But you grab the guys you like and no team is worried about where a website has their players ranked."

Tony's Take: He missed on the legs but he wasn't a huge fan overall.

Here are some reports from Baseball America

After he played in the GCL in 2015: "A high school shortstop, Mountcastle stayed at the position in the GCL but won't be there for long. His hands are fine and he doesn't play out of control, but despite solid-average speed, he lacks the quickness and range for shortstop. He got into a better pre-pitch setup to get better jumps off the bat in the GCL. He doesn't rush his throws, but his arm grades as well below-average, so a move to third base would be difficult. Some think he might be able to become a tall, angular second baseman in the mold of the Rockies' D.J. LeMahieu, while others think he's destined for left field."

Tony's Take: Pretty good assessment other than the potential 2nd base thing.

In 2016 after his Delmarva year "Baltimore plans to develop Mountcastle as a shortstop, though some scouts project him move to left field. He has a quick release with good hands but a below-average arm. He has a good game clock to compensate for his lack of arm strength." 

Tony's Take: Mountcastle's long arm action was another reason why his well below average arm doesn't play on the left side of an infield. Maybe he flipped a few easy ones over there quickly but he never had a quick release.

 

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6 hours ago, Il BuonO said:

Yeah, I always said he should have been tried at 2B. I’m sick to death of hearing, “Well, the Orioles must have had a good reason.” Because they had such a good record of developing players? Not having any, thanks. 

However, (and I cant believe I’m saying this) WC makes a good point about Mancini’s contract. And since as a hitter RM (his initials are R and M, not RMC 😂) is younger with a similar profile (good hitters who need better plate discipline) to Mancini I’ll take the guy who costs less and is under control. 

At this point 2B is not happening, but RM has soft hands and can play 1B. Mancini isn’t so good that considering RM there is inconceivable. 

And yes, Mancini is a good guy, but baseball is a business. I expect Elias to make a good baseball decision when the time comes.  

Well here's a better reason. He has well below average arm strength that is even worse because of the long arm action he needs to generate any kind of velocity on his throws. He would be absolutely awful at turning double plays and although he has good sprint speed, he doesn't have a ton of good first step quickness so he would be a well, well below average second baseman.

His position will end up at 1B and occasion LF but a good team will want a better defender in LF. He settle in at 1B or DH on a good team.

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5 hours ago, Tony-OH said:

Well here's a better reason. He has well below average arm strength that is even worse because of the long arm action he needs to generate any kind of velocity on his throws. He would be absolutely awful at turning double plays and although he has good sprint speed, he doesn't have a ton of good first step quickness so he would be a well, well below average second baseman.

His position will end up at 1B and occasion LF but a good team will want a better defender in LF. He settle in at 1B or DH on a good team.

And that makes sense. When they moved him to third I thought 2B would have been the better option because of his lack of arm strength, as you mentioned. 

I agree 1B is his spot defensively going forward.

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RM looking really locked in at the plate right now with another HR tonight to go along with some really hard hit balls.  I’m ok with him not being a defensive stud. He’s a legit middle of the lineup big bat. 

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