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How do you feel our Rebuild is going? Grade the rebuild effort:

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I'm not happy about the state of our rebuild.   We've had some terrible luck that will set us back.

 

The trade return for Manny Machado has not been nearly has helpful as I'd hoped.   Yusniel Diaz simply can not stay healthy, period. He hasn't exactly set the world on fire when he has been able to play (which is almost never).  I'm not ready to give up on Kremer, but his results at the MLB level leave a lot to be desired.   Bannon is hurt and struggling at AAA.   Pop ended up being claimed in rule 5 draft.

#2 overall pick in the draft last year Heston Kjerstad is suffering from Myocarditis.  The fact that he was diagnosed with this months ago and is still experiencing problems is of grave concern.  The natural history of this disease is 1/3 make complete recovery, 1/3 develop chronic illness, and 1/3 deteriorate to the point of needing transplant, (or die).   The fact that he seems to be in the chronic illness category casts serious doubt on whether he can return to professional sports.  There is nothing the O's could have done, there was no way of seeing this happening, but it's a terrible blow to the rebuilding.  I pray for this young man's recovery, as his health is what is most important, of course.

We don't seem to have gotten any yield for Gausman (who suddenly 'remembered' how to pitch for the Giants, that $%!&!* jerk...) or Zach Britton.

Injuries have derailed Bannon, Britton, Diaz, Baumann, 

McKenna and Sisco have failed in MLB auditions..

 

Looking at the farm, I only see a few "definite" key pieces that may be part of the next competitive team:

DL Hall

Greyson Rodriguez

Gunnar Henderson

Adley Rutschman

 

That's really it.  That doesn't seem like a whole lot this far in to a rebuilding effort...   

There are certainly lots of other players with potential: Baumann, Smith, Bradish, Lowther, Westburg, Haskin, Vavra, Jones, etc...  but there are question marks with all of these guys...

 

Rebuilds take time and test the patience of the fan base.  But I was certainly hoping we'd be further along in the process than it seems like where we are...

Grade C.

 

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A-. Top 5 farm system, #2 overall prospect, #1 pitching prospect plus another TOR upside close behind. A lot of potential pieces you did not mention, including Westburg, Ortiz, Grenier, Vavra, Haskin, and yes, Kjerstad. On the pitching side, Bradish looks like a major coup, Smith could be something. You can see the makings of a competitive team taking shape. The minus is for being too early to tell on the underslot strategy but it hasn't paid off yet. Some teams have gone worst to first quickly but they usually have loaded farm systems. I think Elias is crushing it. 

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1 minute ago, Aristotelian said:

A-. Top 5 farm system, #2 overall prospect, #1 pitching prospect plus another TOR upside close behind. A lot of potential pieces you did not mention, including Westburg, Ortiz, Grenier, Vavra, Haskin, and yes, Kjerstad. On the pitching side, Bradish looks like a major coup, Smith could be something. You can see the makings of a competitive team taking shape. The minus is for being too early to tell on the underslot strategy but it hasn't paid off yet. Some teams have gone worst to first quickly but they usually have loaded farm systems. I think Elias is crushing it. 

Grenier shouldn't even be in the vicinity of these guys.

 

BTW, literally every one of those players you named could be here, outside of Adley, even if they tried to win games.

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It’s a pretty broad question. I think Elias has done a good job with his acquisitions (drafts/trades/signings), and Duquette did ok with drafts and not very well with trades. It will be years until we can judge the 2020 draft. I think the Kjerstad strategy could like a genius move if he didn’t develop this serious health issue and Baumler didn’t need TJ. A lot of the players Elias brought into the org haven’t played their first game yet. There’s a lot of moving parts in a rebuild, and ours had regime change. We’ve got young players in the majors now who are taking their lumps. Good. That’s part of a rebuild too. Once Rutschman/Rodriguez/Hall/Bradish join them early next season I think we’ll be poised for a dramatic change in competitiveness. And our system will still have a lot of quality prospects. I have a number of concerns with Elias, and some very important ones with ownership, but I think things are going well. 

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A. We are investing in analytics and the international market and have a unified development approach throughout the organization. All three of those things are completely unprecedented and historic things for the Orioles organization. We are finally playing the same game as the other teams organizationally. 

Everything else is just noise. The big stuff is what matters, and the results will eventually appear on the field, albeit much later than we'd like. 

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Very tough to grade it.   I’ll say this: I expected the team to suck for three years, so I am not that disappointed with the team’s record.  I also knew that our virtually nonexistent international presence was going to mean it would take longer to build the farm system to an elite level than it would for a team that was at least credible in that area.   I can’t say that the team is behind schedule, especially when you consider that the pandemic delayed the development of our farmhands.

At the same time, I’m not really confident that the team will begin to turn it around next year.   I haven’t seen any trades or waiver pickups that have produced big results in our favor, and the early wave of pitching talent (Akin/Kremer/Lowther/Wells) has yet to yield a reliable back end starter, of which we need a couple.  (Note: I haven’t given up on any of those four.)

Overall I’d give it a C+, but in a year I could be saying B+ or D.
 

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3 minutes ago, Frobby said:

Very tough to grade it.   I’ll say this: I expected the team to suck for three years, so I am not that disappointed with the team’s record.  I also knew that our virtually nonexistent international presence was going to mean it would take longer to build the farm system to an elite level than it would for a team that was at least credible in that area.   I can’t say that the team is behind schedule, especially when you consider that the pandemic delayed the development of our farmhands.

At the same time, I’m not really confident that the team will begin to turn it around next year.   I haven’t seen any trades or waiver pickups that have produced big results in our favor, and the early wave of pitching talent (Akin/Kremer/Lowther/Wells) has yet to yield a reliable back end starter, of which we need a couple.  (Note: I haven’t given up on any of those four.)

Overall I’d give it a C+, but in a year I could be saying B+ or D.
 

I second all of this. Good post. 

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10 minutes ago, Frobby said:

Very tough to grade it.   I’ll say this: I expected the team to suck for three years, so I am not that disappointed with the team’s record.  I also knew that our virtually nonexistent international presence was going to mean it would take longer to build the farm system to an elite level than it would for a team that was at least credible in that area.   I can’t say that the team is behind schedule, especially when you consider that the pandemic delayed the development of our farmhands.

At the same time, I’m not really confident that the team will begin to turn it around next year.   I haven’t seen any trades or waiver pickups that have produced big results in our favor, and the early wave of pitching talent (Akin/Kremer/Lowther/Wells) has yet to yield a reliable back end starter, of which we need a couple.  (Note: I haven’t given up on any of those four.)

Overall I’d give it a C+, but in a year I could be saying B+ or D.
 

I agree this crew of starters has been disappointing, but they were all here prior to the rebuild. This year we've found out they aren't really prospects, they're just guys. Akin is inconsistent, Kremer has lost a ton of velocity and confidence, Lowther is getting beat up everywhere he pitches, and I don't really have much hope for Wells being much better once we get a look at him. But! It is what it is man. This is a group very much like the cavalry, where we all thought they were much better prospects than they actually were. 

And that's not a fault of the rebuild efforts, it's an indication that a rebuild was absolutely necessary because these are the guys who are ML ready from our farm. Which speaks to the previous state of the farm. 

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5 minutes ago, Frobby said:

At the same time, I’m not really confident that the team will begin to turn it around next year.   I haven’t seen any trades or waiver pickups that have produced big results in our favor, and the early wave of pitching talent (Akin/Kremer/Lowther/Wells) has yet to yield a reliable back end starter, of which we need a couple.  (Note: I haven’t given up on any of those four.)

Overall I’d give it a C+, but in a year I could be saying B+ or D.
 

Good post. 

I'm pro-Elias and IMO, there are several factors to consider. One is development of players in the system and I believe that's been pretty positive or maybe even better than that. I think big strides have been made in Latin America in several ways that won't show up for a few years.

Signing Iglesias turned out well as did Tommy Milone.

Early trades have targeted quantity over quality. I think that probably made sense and hopefully the Cobb trade signaled a change in direction by taking a more highly regarded prospect closer to MLB level in Jones. Quantity trades would be less likely to show "big results".

The other factor with trades is I'm not sure Elias has traded a lot of value away to date. I don't believe more value was available for Bundy or Cobb or Givens or Cashner.

Santander and Mancini and Fry should provide a much greater return as would Mullins or Means if those are traded. I think those are the type of players that bring back the "big results". There's only so much available for Stewart or Galvis or Tate. So hopefully the trade returns become better but I just don't think there was a lot available to trade early to bring big results. 

My grade would be a B. I feel like there are now several players in the system to be hopeful about and they'll start showing up in '22. But the MLB record won't take a big jump until '23.

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5 minutes ago, interloper said:

I agree this crew of starters has been disappointing, but they were all here prior to the rebuild. This year we've found out they aren't really prospects, they're just guys. Akin is inconsistent, Kremer has lost a ton of velocity and confidence, Lowther is getting beat up everywhere he pitches, and I don't really have much hope for Wells being much better once we get a look at him. But! It is what it is man. This is a group very much like the cavalry, where we all thought they were much better prospects than they actually were. 

And that's not a fault of the rebuild efforts, it's an indication that a rebuild was absolutely necessary because these are the guys who are ML ready from our farm. Which speaks to the previous state of the farm. 

I have not written off any of those four guys.   Let’s just say it isn’t off to a smooth start.    But I still won’t be surprised if a couple of those guys turn into decent back end starters.   They’re all works in progress and the fact that we didn’t have a MiL season last year set them back.   We’ll see.  

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33 minutes ago, Frobby said:

I have not written off any of those four guys.   Let’s just say it isn’t off to a smooth start.    But I still won’t be surprised if a couple of those guys turn into decent back end starters.   They’re all works in progress and the fact that we didn’t have a MiL season last year set them back.   We’ll see.  

Yeah I mean I'm not giving up on them either. It's just been disappointing, especially Kremer. He should be throwing 94 and mixing in a devastating curve and that's just not the case for him this year. Akin has looked the most like he belongs of the 4 so far (knowing that we haven't seen Wells yet). 

Speaking of looking like he belongs, though, the other Wells, Tyler - that kid can pitch and looks the part. I don't know if he's a starter but I wouldn't mind seeing him get a shot. 

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I'm giving it a B.

A top farm system, the #2 overall prospect and the #1 pitching prospect.  I am writing off Kjerstad. However, that still leaves us with Hall and Henderson.  As mentioned there are some other players in the system that are doing really well this season so far who could also be contributors.  As slow as Mountcastle started, he's been coming around lately and he looks like he could be a contributor.  

I don't believe guys like Akin, Kremer, and Lowther are going to be contributors.  These are all guys with average, middling stuff.  I'm not sure why anyone else can't see this but it's fairly obvious to me.

We have some top flight prospects with some others in the system that are very intriguing.  Could be a B+ from me by the end of the season depending on how guys are doing in the minors.

The one thing I don't like about where we are is that we don't have very few tradable assets on the ML roster.  If we traded Mancini, I'm not sure what the return would look like, but I don't think we'd be getting a haul.  We could get something of quality for Means, but would you want to keep him?  G-Rod, Hall, Means could be a very nice trio.

 

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The plusses I see:

   -- Infrastructure improvements in the minors

   -- Better use of analytics

   -- Investment in international talent

   -- Good performances in the minors from the last several Duquette drafts and the first Elias draft

   -- Clear, undeniable improvement of the talent level in the minors

The concerns:

   -- Is our player development that good?   Seeing guys with respectable (but not great) minor league credentials come up and struggle this year, one after the other, is concerning.   I had a certain amount of hope, maybe even faith, that this was one area where Elias would improve.   Especially with pitchers, using analytics to get them to throw their most effective pitches, all the things that were touted as part of the overhaul that would at least get us up to speed with other major league teams.   I thought this could translate into guys having a bit more initial success.

   -- It's still very early but we have gotten very little tangible performance out of the 2020 draftees

   -- While I am not asking for them to spend money needlessly on some extra wins this year, I have seen a number of things that make me concerned that there are some severe budgetary restrictions hamstringing what Elias & company are trying to do.   This creates a huge concern for me that when the time comes to spend money on payroll, whether extending players or signing free agents or simply tendering guys who may make a lot in arbitration, it won't be allowed.  It feels to me like Elias got management to allow some significant spending in certain areas, including the international market, but that they are under SEVERE budgetary restrictions in other areas.

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