Very extensive chat by Meoli. He pointed out a couple of thing that make me think.
1) Does Westburg see the big leagues at any point in 2022?
Jon Meoli: I think it may be a stretch, but definitely isn't out of the question. The Orioles like how he adjusted to the advanced competition at Double-A Bowie late in the season after he started out terribly. He had a .563 OPS in his first three series there, and a .918 OPS in his last three. He could spend most of 2022 at Triple-A Norfolk, and then it's just a matter of whether all the non-baseball reasons to not bring him up exist or not.
Wildcard: Westburg was promoted to Bowie on August 17th. He struggled a first which makes his 232/323/429/752 line at Bowie not look that that impressive. But he made the adjustment and in 67 September at bats he hit 299/364/612/976. Now that is impressive. If he follows that up with a good April at Bowie I think he will gets promoted to AAA pretty early in the season to play SS.
That could have some impact on who get protected this off season. While Grenier is a fringe-ish prospect the O's do need a good AAA defensive SS that is available to be called to the majors if there are injuries in the infield. That's among the best reasons to protect Grenier. But if Westburg is that close to being the AAA shortstop that reason goes away. I hadn't realize that before Meoli comment.
2) Bradish: he's clearly established himself as the third-best pitching prospect in the organization's eyes. There's some skepticism about what he ultimately is outside the Orioles, but they believe his pitches are going to work in the big leagues as long as he repeats his delivery and stays on the attack.
Wildcard: Meoli ranked Bradish as the 9th best O's prospect. Ahead of Baumann. Even though Baumann put up a 2.00 ERA and a 1.148 WHIP in 6 starts at AAA. He is probably behind Bradish because he had trouble pitching to the Red Sox and Jays in Sept. Meanwhile Bradish struggled with a 5.25 ERA in his first 14 starts at AAA until he turned it around in Sept/Oct with 5 starts at a 1.80 ERA. Seems pretty similar to me.
3) At some point the Orioles need to start winning games right? Are there moves they could make this winter to start becoming semi-competitive?
Jon Meoli: I think it would be fantastic if the Orioles won more games. I'm not sure they think they're ready to do that yet, which means trading for or signing a mid-rotation starter the way they should isn't likely to happen this year.
Wildcard: Seems like Meoli has already thrown the white flag on the off season. I am not giving up yet.
I took Gunnar here as I have been doing since #3. Just can't look past the upside of the hit, power, speed, and fielding tools. Yes, he made a lot of errors but from all reports i've read his range is what caused the errors. He will learn when to pocket the ball when he gets to almost impossible throws (hopefully). Also I liked what i seen with his approach and maturity in coming out of the massive slump in Aberdump. And he was still drawing walks like crazy throughout the slump.
Regardless of the order, I really do see the fact that there are arguments for placements this high for many prospects as a HUGE improvement. DL needs to get him a Jobu statue to avoid injuries.