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BA ranks Machado as no. 14 prospect; Britton 28


Frobby

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This probably belongs on the minor league board eventually, but Machado at no. 14 deserves our attention!

Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis said it was impressive for Machado to be rated so highly even before he played a full year in the minors.

"Definitely. We sometimes hear that we jump on the bandwagon or put too much faith in young players, but who is a better shortstop prospect in the minor leagues right now? I don't even think it's close," Callis said.

"He is the only five-tool shortstop I can think of. Almost any shortstop prospect is either a really good defensive guy and you don't know if he'll hit or a offensive guy that won't stay at the position. He's both. You are talking a .290, .300 hitter with at least average power playing a quality shortstop. Those guys are All-Stars," he added.

"I recently looked for one of my ask BA columns. Last year, there were six shortstops in the big leagues who hit .275 with 10 homers. Of those six, only three even had a .750 OPS and that was Tulowitzki, Hanley Ramirez and Stephen Drew. He's young, but you look at the tools and that ranking is very justified," he said.

Britton, the Orioles 2010 minor league pitcher of the year, went 10-7, 2.70 last season between Bowie and Norfolk. Britton, who turned 23 on December 22, gave up two earned runs or less in 21 of 26 starts.

"I think Britton is the top left-handed pitching prospect in the minors, although on our list he is sixth. I think he can even be underrated a little bit," Callis said.

"I still think he has the best sinker in the minors. He's throwing in the low 90's consistently with unbelievable sink. His slider got a lot better. It just seems like he gets better every year. He holds his stuff deeper into games and keeps improving his command and secondary stuff. Personally, I see him as the top lefty pitching prospect in the game."

On his personal rankings, Callis rated Machado ninth and Britton 17th.

http://www.masnsports.com/steve_melewski/2011/02/two-orioles-make-baseball-americas-top-100-prospects-list.html

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And I personally think Callis is right on the mark with his Britton comments. ;)

He's my dark horse to steal a rotation spot this spring even though he has options and is in competiion with Arrieta and Tillman.

How many starts do you think Britton gets in Baltimore before the season is over?

Obviously a lot goes into determining that but when do you think he comes up?

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Other AL East prospects:

3. Montero, Yankees

6. Hellickson, Rays

22. Jennings, Rays

27. Archer, Rays

29. Drabek, Jays

30. Sanchez, Yankees

36. D'Arnaud, Jays

40. Lawrie, Jays

41. Banuelos, Yankees

43. Betances, Yankees

52. Iglesias, Red Sox

67. Ranaudo, Red Sox

71. McGee, Rays

78. Brackman, Yankees

88. Sale, Rays

91. Lee, Rays

95. McGuire, Jays

97. Britton, Red Sox

98. Romine, Yankees

That's 19 players on our four division rivals -- 6 Yankees, 6 Rays, 4 Jays and 3 Red Sox. The Sox gave up Kelly (31) and Rizzo (58) in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, or they would have had 5.

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Other AL East prospects:

3. Montero, Yankees

6. Hellickson, Rays

22. Jennings, Rays

27. Archer, Rays

29. Drabek, Jays

30. Sanchez, Yankees

36. D'Arnaud, Jays

40. Lawrie, Jays

41. Banuelos, Yankees

43. Betances, Yankees

52. Iglesias, Red Sox

67. Ranaudo, Red Sox

71. McGee, Rays

78. Brackman, Yankees

88. Sale, Rays

91. Lee, Rays

95. McGuire, Jays

97. Britton, Red Sox

98. Romine, Yankees

That's 19 players on our four division rivals -- 6 Yankees, 6 Rays, 4 Jays and 3 Red Sox. The Sox gave up Kelly (31) and Rizzo (58) in the Adrian Gonzalez trade, or they would have had 5.

That is a strong list, but teams like the Red Sox and Yankees can leave prospects in the minors longer as they seem to almost always look to fill voids via free agency unless the guy is a superstar. The Orioles have pulled so much talent from the minors over the last 2-3 years, that it is hard to stop the system from being depleted outside of top prospects Machado and Britton. I think the Orioles could do better on the international market and by not passig on a guy like Matzek in favor of a guy like Hobgood.

On a side note, is the Red Sox Britton any relation to ours?

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How many starts do you think Britton gets in Baltimore before the season is over?

Obviously a lot goes into determining that but when do you think he comes up?

Like you said, there are too many factors when it all said and done to give a real educated answer, but it would not surprise me if Britton ends up with 20 or more starts this year.

If he throws like he's capable of throwing and doesn't try to do too much, he could force his way onto the team. I have no confidence that Justin Duchscherer will hold up as a starter over this season I personally think Britton is better than Tillman and Arrieta right now, so he's going to end up with an opportunity this year. Duchscherer's health and Arrieta's and Tillman's performance will dictate how much of an opportunity he gets this year.

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Why do I keep seeing Machado lauded as a 5 tool guy? Isn't he an average speed guy? Is being a 4 tool shortstop just not impressive enough, so they need to embellish?

He's definitely not a five-tool guy because his speed is average at best. Those four other tools are pretty impressive though. ;)

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Why do I keep seeing Machado lauded as a 5 tool guy? Isn't he an average speed guy? Is being a 4 tool shortstop just not impressive enough, so they need to embellish?

Everything I have read has his speed at slightly above-average, but I do agree with your point. When it comes to top prospects though, everybody is described as a 5-tool player.

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Why do I keep seeing Machado lauded as a 5 tool guy? Isn't he an average speed guy? Is being a 4 tool shortstop just not impressive enough, so they need to embellish?

This is correct. He's got 4 above average tools. I respect Callis, but he has been exaggerating things in his reports of Machado for a while. He's not the only one.

Machado is an excellent prospect. He's just not Alex Rodriguez.

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This is correct. He's got 4 above average tools. I respect Callis, but he has been exaggerating things in his reports of Machado for a while. He's not the only one.

Machado is an excellent prospect. He's just not Alex Rodriguez.

Well, Callis definitely isn't saying Machado is Alex Rodriguez. He's saying that he could easily be a .750 OPS guy and stick at shortstop with solid defense, and guys like that are very valuable.

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