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

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1 hour 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 pretty much concur with the analysis.   Honestly, from what I can tell - I think they've done a good job with the draft.  But none of the very young players have made a mark yet past AA.  And there haven't been acquisitions to really bolster the future.  No diamonds in the rough.  And we know the problems building up international talent.  They need to do better,  Maybe it'll happen all at once, but things rarely work out that way.  We're basically depending on both Hall and Grayson Rodriquez to be stars early in their careers, and it usually takes a few years in the majors for even the most talented pitchers to blossom.   C-  And they will have to show willingness to spend once they finally start trying to win.   

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Health issues aside, the Kjerstad pick really threw me for a loop. Until then, I would’ve gone “A” all the way, but I am not so sure now. Going the cheap route on a #2 pick signals to me that ownership is all about cutting costs and Elias may be here for reasons none of us will like. 

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The Kjerstad pick wasn't really intended to save money and cut costs.   It was to allow them to sign guys overslot later in the draft and give yourself a shot at multiple guys with high upside.  They still spent the same total overall amount of money.  They weren't 'being cheap'.  It was a strategy that paid huge for Elias when he was with the Astros and came away with Lance McCullers and Carlos Correa from the 2012 draft.   (That was the same draft where the O's took Kevin Gausman, who decided to stink horribly for the Orioles so that he could move to San Francisco and become a star.)

The fact that he developed a serious health condition is just absolute horrendous misfortune...  but missing on a top draft pick when you are embarking on a total rebuild is just a disastrous setback....

 

My guess is Elias will try the same strategy again this year.   I think it will depend on if he can cut a pre draft deal to free up some money to spend elsewhere in the draft.   Sal Frelick's name has been thrown out there, along with Harry Ford, Colton Cowser.  I wouldn't be thrilled with any of those guys, personally....

 

I will backtrack my original grade of C.  I forgot that we built a State of the Art facility in the Dominican and put renewed emphasis on analytics.  I'll revise my grade to C+.   Would have liked to have seen somebody acquired in a trade actually become something useful...  Would be infinitely happier of Kjerstad didn't get sick....

 

 

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I've seen some posts suggesting Elias failed with the Kjerstad pick because he wasn't in contact with him and didn't do enough background work.

Here's a good article on Oriole scout Ken Guthrie's close relationship with Kjerstad dating back to early high school years. https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/orioles/how-heston-kjerstads-relationship-orioles-area-scout-came-full-circle

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2 hours 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 completely. Overall, at the moment, I'd give a C.

The progress with the team's international presence, analytics, etc is great - but I'd expect that from any GM in 2021. The Farm System is ranked high by sports journalists - but I feel like those rankings notoriously favor a few top prospects over a deep system. I don't really think those rankings are the end-all-be-all of development-system health.

Adley, GrayRod, DL Hall, and Gunnar Henderson are exciting - but beyond that, I'm not quite sure who else is really going to make an impact. And, they all could have been here without tanking.

Like you, I'm not really confident this team can begin to turn it around in 2022 or 2023. There's too many holes, this regime hasn't been able to find anyone via waivers/trade, and I'm not very confident in them being able to put together a solid pitching staff with what they have. They're going to have to rely on Free Agency to fill a lot of holes, and I just don't see this team in this market being able to do that.

I'm hopeful more young players can emerge after the lost COVID minor league season in 2020, but I'm generally feeling more pessimistic by the day.

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3 hours ago, interloper said:

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. 

You say we "are finally playing the same game as everyone else" in terms of analytics and the international market. I agree that's what the Orioles are trying to do, but I question whether that is a sufficient recipe for success. The Orioles are spending and doing much, much more in those areas than they were when Peter Angelos trashed virtually any effort to invest in them -- a really, really low bar. I don't have any specific numbers or facts about those investments, and so far as I know neither does anybody else who's not an MLB insider. But I'd be willing to bet that the NYYs, RS, Dodgers, Rays and probably five to ten other teams, maybe more, spend more than the Orioles in these areas, and of course they started years, in some cases well over a decade, ahead of the Orioles in experience and sophistication on these fronts. And while Orioles are upgrading, those other teams are not standing still.

I think you're positing that the Orioles can catch up with competing organizations in these respects. I have no doubt that they can reduce the enormous gap between them and the rest of MLB (and the AL East in particular), and that closing that gap will help the Orioles improve improve their talent level, move up to mediocrity and, every once in awhile, with some luck, compete for and maybe win a division title. I'm not sure how you catch up to or surpass teams that start out way ahead of you on, and are spending more than you on, "the big stuff." The possibilities that occur to me, and they're sort of two ways of saying the same thing, are (1) finding, hiring and retaining people who work better and smarter than the competition, and (2) finding ways to do things, in the front office and in running the team on the field, that are different and innovative (not only bringing the prospect of success but also inviting a higher risk of failure). In today's game, with a lot of talented and creative people around, it's hard to be smarter and innovative. I think that as team owners and executives get smarter, or at least less dumb, it will get even more challenging. Based on very limited information, the two teams I most closely associate with recent innovation are Tampa Bay and Oakland. (Maybe not coincidentally, they, possibly along with the Brewers, are the best recent/current examples of MLB teams competing successfully against divisional rivals with much higher revenues.).

Just closing the wide gap in international development and in analytics will help get the Orioles out of the ridiculous hole they've dug for themselves, but I think it will take more than that to become competitive again. I can only hope that Elias and others who are part of or join the Orioles organization are forward-looking innovators with original ideas who bring to their jobs special talents that will improve the team in a very challenging environment.

P.S. I don't see how the grade can be anything but "Incomplete."

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2 hours ago, milbest77 said:

Health issues aside, the Kjerstad pick really threw me for a loop. Until then, I would’ve gone “A” all the way, but I am not so sure now. Going the cheap route on a #2 pick signals to me that ownership is all about cutting costs and Elias may be here for reasons none of us will like. 

This is a pretty flawed conclusion IMO. It isn’t like millions of dollars of the overall draft pool went unspent. Almost all of it was accounted for, it was just divvied up differently.

 

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2 hours ago, Mr. Chewbacca Jr. said:

I agree completely. Overall, at the moment, I'd give a C.

The progress with the team's international presence, analytics, etc is great - but I'd expect that from any GM in 2021. [B]The Farm System is ranked high by sports journalists - but I feel like those rankings notoriously favor a few top prospects over a deep system. [/B]I don't really think those rankings are the end-all-be-all of development-system health.

Adley, GrayRod, DL Hall, and Gunnar Henderson are exciting - but beyond that, I'm not quite sure who else is really going to make an impact. And, they all could have been here without tanking.

Like you, I'm not really confident this team can begin to turn it around in 2022 or 2023. There's too many holes, this regime hasn't been able to find anyone via waivers/trade, and I'm not very confident in them being able to put together a solid pitching staff with what they have. They're going to have to rely on Free Agency to fill a lot of holes, and I just don't see this team in this market being able to do that.

I'm hopeful more young players can emerge after the lost COVID minor league season in 2020, but I'm generally feeling more pessimistic by the day.

On the point about farm system rankings, I really like Fangraphs’ approach.   They assign a dollar value to each tier - a 60 FV hitter is worth X, a 55 FV is worth Y, etc.   The assigned values are evidence based.    They value all prospects down to 35+ FV.   So, they just add up the values and that’s how they do their rankings.   By their reckoning, the O’s have a deeper than average system (45 players at 35+ or higher) and some good top end talent, but overall the O’s are going to finish 10th or 11th in their rankings, solidly above average but not elite.   

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IMO it should be judged  in the context of having one of the most desired after  talents in Machado.  So the expectations there were  quite high and by that bar, the return, while still in progress was, to me at least, disappointing.  A  very recent  pick has an ailment, who knows what the final outcome of that mess will be.  Kjerstad.  I find it hard to believe that it was a wise pick, not counting the health issue, which I guess evaded the due diligence effort.   The farm has been improved a lot, but that should be the bare minimum starting from the low level it was.  Being in the International market is a step into the 21st century, but since it was ignored forever, who knows when it will be the true pipeline of talent it should have been for years.    In short, I do not know how long of a leash Elias has.  For his sake, I hope it is long and flexible.  And I know, things can come together quickly, sometimes, and often it is darkest just before dawn.  However, not having foresight into the future  on this thing , as I sit here tonight, the situation looks anything but  rosy.  And yes, in baseball as some other things in life, hope springs eternal, and wait ll  next year.   Well, some of us do not have a great many years left to wait on something like this.   We were hoping more things would have gone  good, if not excellent.   But again, who on earth knows?   And as I have stated in the past, those who post on this board are usually fans thru thick and thin, but the casual fan must be wondering just what is going on.

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4 hours ago, milbest77 said:

Health issues aside, the Kjerstad pick really threw me for a loop. Until then, I would’ve gone “A” all the way, but I am not so sure now. Going the cheap route on a #2 pick signals to me that ownership is all about cutting costs and Elias may be here for reasons none of us will like. 

Like stripping the team down for a sale?

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Not just Kjerstand but Baumler went down with TJ. In a way his timing was good because he would have lost last year anyway, but still…

I agree with @spiritof66. We’ve been catching up but the other guys aren’t standing still. I don’t know anything about the Jays’ finances but the Rays are smart and NY and Bos are loaded, and we haven’t demonstrated we are smart enough to keep pace.

a grade has to be two-fold: creating an efficient  organization and, second and only second acquiring a plethora of genuinely productive players. 
At the moment we don’t even have anyone good enough to replace Franco or Valaika. 
the organization grade has to be B or better. Acquiring talent has to be incomplete or C- because what we’ve acquired is either bad or too far away to judge.

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1 hour ago, Philip said:

Not just Kjerstand but Baumler went down with TJ. In a way his timing was good because he would have lost last year anyway, but still…

I agree with @spiritof66. We’ve been catching up but the other guys aren’t standing still. I don’t know anything about the Jays’ finances but the Rays are smart and NY and Bos are loaded, and we haven’t demonstrated we are smart enough to keep pace.

a grade has to be two-fold: creating an efficient  organization and, second and only second acquiring a plethora of genuinely productive players. 
At the moment we don’t even have anyone good enough to replace Franco or Valaika. 
the organization grade has to be B or better. Acquiring talent has to be incomplete or C- because what we’ve acquired is either bad or too far away to judge.

Several of our top prospects are infielders, they just aren't ready yet. You don't judge a rebuild by the stopgap players that happen to be on the Major League team.

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11 hours ago, Gurgi said:

Like stripping the team down for a sale?

That is what I fear, although new ownership will be nice. We’ll get a few years into the rebuild and Elias will take a better job elsewhere. Then again, the transition from McPhail to Duquette went pretty well…

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Rebuild:

*All Star caliber

Starting Pitching

Grayson* in 2022;  DL Hall* sometime in 2022; Means*; Tyler Wells 2nd half of 2021;  5th starter in 2022 Kremer/Akin/Zimmermann/Bradish/Smith/Blaine Knight/Peralta/Lowther/Baumann

Those not in the rotation may be in the pen.

Relievers:  Fry; Scott; Hunter Harvey; Tate; Vespi

Impressive development system.   A strength of the rebuild.

  Lineup in 2022

Mullins CF *

Vavra 2B  On base machine

Mountcastle 1B/LF/DH

Rutschman C*

Mancini 1B/DH: Signs a 2year extension with a  option year.  Needed to become a winning team in 2022. Team leader and established run producer. Could be traded later in the rebuild.

Santander in RF currently playing on one leg;  He is better than this.  Needs time off to heal. Kjerstad in 2024 maybe

Hays LF/CF/RF; Excellent defense, currently disappointing offensively but should be better;  Needs at bats to develop in the majors.  Injury prone. Future outfielders McKenna, Haskin, Rizer, Turchin.  I think Jones is more of a LF than 2B.  Error prone at 2B. But he may hit in the majors.

Grenier SS/2B:  Little early to know if this works;  Major league defensively now;  Offense good at AA but has a lot to prove.   Future SS/infielders: Henderson, Ortiz;  Westburg; Adam Hall 

3B ?  Leyba, Dorrian,  FA acquisition

Elias needs to begin winning in 2022 for rebuild to be on track.   Its possible if right moves are made.  

Grade: Pending deadline moves.

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