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Suddenly we have Depth at SS

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With us signing Narron today and the likely signing of Machado coming up within the month, I got thinking about how excited I am about our group of young SS's in the system. Last year, we really didn't have much. Schoop was barely on the radar and Miclat who had shown promise in 08 after the draft, was in the midst of a terrible sophomore slump and was written off by most. But, now a year later Schoop has shown some real promise down in the lower minors though he is only 18 and far from ready, Miclat has strongly rebounded and is looking like the SS we were hoping he'd be when we drafted him in the 5th round of the 08 draft. We drafted Givens last year, but has been hurt the entire time since then basically, but he too adds a high ceiling to the group if he can ever get back before he is too old. This year we drafted and signed Narron who was the 51st best HS prospect coming into this season and Machado(haven't signed yet) who is the cream of the crop and adds a tremendous ceiling to the bunch.

Miclat will IMO likely be our in-house SS option for the next few years. He will bring some solid speed, a solid glove, good bat and discipline at the plate, not to mention youth. I would expect to see him in Baltimore sometime next season...

Machado as we already know has the highest ceiling here adding projected above average power, good bat, good discipline, great arm and solid range out in SS.

Narron is a switch hitter who has a tremendous eye at the plate, great instincts, good bat, good power potential etc. I was just reading about Narron, and in 09, BA mentioned Narron as the top HS position prospect!

http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/prospects/ask-ba/2009/267833.html

Schoop is at this point our top international guy who has seen any type of PT in the system so far(Veloz hasn't played yet). He has a great eye, very good bat, good arm and has shown some much improved power. As he fills in, his power numbers will continue to increase, but as we know, as this happens, he will also lose range. Still, Schoop is one of my favorite sleeper candidates.

Givens is hurt, but adds premium potential to the group. The problem is that he is running out of time to fulfill this potential. He has good speed, a plus-plus arm and shows some power potential. His discilpine is the weakest of the group, but also has a better shot at this point to make an impact in the ML as a pitcher. I say this as a fact, not an opinion.......

All in all, I am excited about this sudden crop of young talent. 3 SS's around the same age who all have a shot to be top prospects. We will see how everyone progresses. So nice to have some MiL positional talent starting to be injected into the system!

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Although I like Miclat and said so in the other thread, I'm not convinced yet that he's going to be a viable option to be a starting SS while we wait for Machado, Narron, Givens and Schoop to mature. Those guys are all at least 3-4 years away. I think Miclat could be a .270/.350/.350 type hitter who plays average defensively and can steal bases occasionally. But, he's not going to do that in 2011, and it's a little questionable whether he'd be ready to perform at that level in 2012. So, we still need to find a SS for the next couple of seasons IMO.

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Hopefully some of them can actually stick at short, otherwise we're going to have a whole lot of 3B prospects (and one more if we draft Rendon).

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By the way, where are all these guys going to play next year? I've got to think that Machado, Givens, Narron and Schoop all have to be at Delmarva or below to start 2011. Then you've got Rosa, who arguably isn't ready to advance to Frederick (.249/.272/.355, 35 errors), but who is seen as having good potential and is just 20 years old. You can't have them all playing SS at Delmarva and Aberdeen.

My view is, you have to slot Machado wherever he best fits and adjust everyone else accordingly. Having Machado placed at the right level and on a path to be moved up quickly if he is successful trumps all other considerations.

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I think next year we will see Rosa pushed to Frederick unless Machado shows up in FL this fall and next spring with an extemely advances approach. Givens will go back to Delmarva and probably see time at 2nd, SS, and maybe 3rd. I think Schoop and Narron both start in short season ball with Schoop playing shortstop for Aberdeen and Narron in Aberdeen playing 3rd/ss or in Bluefield at ss. A lot depends on how these guys look this fall and in the spring.

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I think next year we will see Rosa pushed to Frederick unless Machado shows up in FL this fall and next spring with an extemely advances approach. Givens will go back to Delmarva and probably see time at 2nd, SS, and maybe 3rd. I think Schoop and Narron both start in short season ball with Schoop playing shortstop for Aberdeen and Narron in Aberdeen playing 3rd/ss or in Bluefield at ss. A lot depends on how these guys look this fall and in the spring.

I can't imagine the O's starting Machado above Delmarva. However, if he played really well there, I could imagine a promotion to Frederick at mid-year.

Let's get him signed before we worry about it too much.

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Simply guessing, I would think Machado goes to the Instructional League this fall, assuming he signs, and then is slotted toward Delmarva next year unless he struggles this fall and again in ST next year. Narron probably slots toward Bluefield, and unless he struggles, Schoop goes to Aberdeen.

Does Givens move to 3B next year?

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I felt that Narron was a great pick when they made it. Glad they signed him. I think he could wind up at second replacing Roberts.

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If, after next year's draft, we had a system with:

2B: Hoes, Narron

SS: Machado, Miclat, Schoop, Givens

3B: Rendon

I wouldn't know how to react to that kind of infield depth. Now, where do we find the next Eddie Murray? I doubt that player is Townsend or Mahoney, but who knows?

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Narron and Schoop project to fit better at 3B than 2B IMO. Also, there's Leonora and Veloz at 3B in the low minors (Veloz in the VERY low minors).

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I think Narron will spend most of his time at 3B.

Yeah, I don't think anyone expects this kid to play SS professionally. That would be a surprise to me.

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Unfortunately, it's not out of the question that every single guy mentioned in the OP moves off of SS, and several of them do not have the bat to stick anywhere else.

I have no idea how Schoop projects there, but of the guys I've seen Miclat is probably the closest to being a "true" shortstop, and even he has fringy arm and range IMO.

I'd be surprised if Narron gets more than half a season of regular work in at SS.

Who knows what will happen with Givens, but I'm not holding my breath.

I think at this point it's pray that Machado sticks at 6 and try to get a legit option in the meantime. Maybe Miclat could be an above-replacement-level place holder for a season or two.

SS is still our biggest positional hole in the system IMO.

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Narron isn't a SS as a pro, and Machado could be joining him moving off of the six-spot. I'd imagine both will start at Delmarva as the left-side of the infield. Hopefully they have a solid season in what seams to be a tough environment for hitters. Seeing them move quickly to Frederick and then Bowie would be exciting.

Here's to hoping people won't explode if the two of them don't come flying out of the gates with their slashes. I'm very interested to see how Narron's approach translates to pro game. Machado's defense and power would be my two "to watch" tools for next year, too.

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Does Givens move to 3B next year?

I think he'll have the same accuracy issues at 3B that he would at SS, and his bat is likely WAY light for hot corner.

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