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When the Big Three Are Called Up . . .


TheOtherRipken

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How far does our organization fall in terms of farm system ranks in the league? Who becomes our top prospects? If we signed Sano would he be #1?

I feel like we'd fall quite a bit, because in terms of readiness, the dropoff after the big three is immense. Brandon Snyder is the only other player who seems close to the bigs and he hasn't been great in AAA.

The pitching drop-off is really scary. Granted Hobgood, Erbe, Britton, and Bundy all have potential, but you wonder if any of them will reach the level of our current big three.

Thoughts?

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Well, first we don't have to worry about the system taking a hit until the end of next year. Matusz and Snyder won't get enough major league experience to take them off prospects list until next year.

We will take a decent hit this year with Wieters and Reimold graduating, as well as Rowell completely falling off.

Next year Britton and Erbe will both be at Bowie, or Norfolk, and should help supplant a new top level of pitching prospects. Our big problem right now is that Bowie doesn't have a lot of stars in their rotation, so we may suffer for one year but the system will remain strong over all.

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How far does our organization fall in terms of farm system ranks in the league? Who becomes our top prospects? If we signed Sano would he be #1?

I feel like we'd fall quite a bit, because in terms of readiness, the dropoff after the big three is immense. Brandon Snyder is the only other player who seems close to the bigs and he hasn't been great in AAA.

The pitching drop-off is really scary. Granted Hobgood, Erbe, Britton, and Bundy all have potential, but you wonder if any of them will reach the level of our current big three.

Thoughts?

It wont be as bad as you think, as crazysilver said, we wont lose Snyder and Matusz until after the next seasons, and by that time, Hobgood BUndy and Beal will have emerged as good prospects(Bundy needs to find consistency). We will have prospects from this 2009 draft that will emerge as good prospects as well, a lot of the young HS pitchers once they get a full season in, they will begin to emerge as good prospects. We will also get some surprises from this draft, as we did with Caleb Joseph from the 08 draft. Speaking of Joseph, he will come out as possibly one of our top prospects if he keeps it up, along with Welty,Hoes and Avery who all will be on the map by then hopefully(Not worried about Welty, but Hoes and Avery need to have a strong 2nd half here). I dont know what Zagone is gonna do as he makes it to higher levels, but you can count on Oliver Drake becoming a pretty good pitching prospect.

Then, we still have Erbe and Britton who by this time may be the top prospects in our system. Erbe, if he can get back on track like he was earlier this year, will definately become our top guy, but thats only if he can get back on track, he hasnt been looking like himself lately. Then, you cannot forget about Chorye Spoone who Justin just gave some very very encouraging news on. It sounds like he will be back very soon and is feeling as strong as before. If he can bounce back , that would also bolster our system.

Even though it seems right now that we may not have any top flight guys, we do, they just havent made it to the higher ranks yet. Arrieta wasnt top flight until he had a monster 08 season in HiA. That is exactly what Britton is doing this year. Look for Hobgood to do the same when he finally getsa chance....

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We could have a lot of guys who can develop into top talent, it is just going to take a couple years. I think there is plenty of talent still in the minors. We have a lot of high ceiling guys, people like Avery, Hobgood, Townsend, Erbe, and Britton.

If you put a guy like Britton or Erbe in a worser farm system where they did not have the amount of pitching

prospects like we do, they would be top 5 caliber prospects. It is to bad that Erbe had to get injured, if he kept up his performance and lets say kept an era under 3, we might be talking about bringing him up to Nolfork, which at the age of 21 is great. Because of the big three, these two guys get lost in the mix, which in some ways is a good thing, because they can just focus on pitching rather than recieve media attention, and when the big three does get promoted to the majors, we can still look at our system and say wow we still have a lot of pitching in our minors. We still have plenty of pitching, which is going to be a joy to follow because it is going to cause a pretty big log jam. I cannot wait to see how Hobgood does at Bluefield. It is nice to have so many names that you can refer to as future major leaguers

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We had a great few years here with Wieters, Tillman, Matusz and Arrieta and when they do graduate, we wont' have anything near that and to say Erbe and Britton will fill that hole is really drinking the orange Kool-Aid.

I don't see either Erbe or Britton being anywhere near BA Top 10. Snyder is a good bat, but not near Wieters level.

The system is going to slow down a bit because we took some shots on high-ceiling HS prospects. If those guys pan out, we're going to be looking good. It rests on the following.

Xavier Avery - He was on fire for a month and a half early this season and has since cooled off. For a 19-year-old in Delmarva, I think he has done well. He was raw. We knew this going in and we've seen the best parts of drafting a toolsy player and the worst. We won't really be able to definitively just where he stands until the end of next season.

Matt Hobgood - This one is obvious. He is going to be under a microscope here because there were so many detractors to this pick. We'll surely have threads running updating us on the status of Grant Green, Zach Wheeler and Tyler Matzek for the next year. Hopefully Hobgood blows away Rookie ball in Bluefield after the All-Star break and can anchor the staff in Delmarva next season.

Bobby Bundy - While many were upset that we didn't draft Justin Smoak in the first round last year and then weren't happy with selecting Avery in the second round, the drafting of Bundy was unanimously praised. His last start in Bluefield was dominant. If he proves to be more like he was in his third start (7 IP, 5 Ks, 0 BBs, 2 Hs) than he was in his first two (7 IP, 7 Ks, 6 BBs, 5 Hs) then we may be in business.

Jesse Beal - Much like Bundy, this selection was a coup for the 14th round. Also like Bundy, he got bombed at the beginning of this season in Bluefield, but fought back and has been excellent the last two times out, tossing 14.1 innings and allowing 3 runs. His control has been excellent, walking just 1 batter in 24 innings.

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We had a great few years here with Wieters, Tillman, Matusz and Arrieta and when they do graduate, we wont' have anything near that and to say Erbe and Britton will fill that hole is really drinking the orange Kool-Aid.

I don't see either Erbe or Britton being anywhere near BA Top 10. Snyder is a good bat, but not near Wieters level.

The system is going to slow down a bit because we took some shots on high-ceiling HS prospects. If those guys pan out, we're going to be looking good. It rests on the following.

Xavier Avery - He was on fire for a month and a half early this season and has since cooled off. For a 19-year-old in Delmarva, I think he has done well. He was raw. We knew this going in and we've seen the best parts of drafting a toolsy player and the worst. We won't really be able to definitively just where he stands until the end of next season.

Matt Hobgood - This one is obvious. He is going to be under a microscope here because there were so many detractors to this pick. We'll surely have threads running updating us on the status of Grant Green, Zach Wheeler and Tyler Matzek for the next year. Hopefully Hobgood blows away Rookie ball in Bluefield after the All-Star break and can anchor the staff in Delmarva next season.

Bobby Bundy - While many were upset that we didn't draft Justin Smoak in the first round last year and then weren't happy with selecting Avery in the second round, the drafting of Bundy was unanimously praised. His last start in Bluefield was dominant. If he proves to be more like he was in his third start (7 IP, 5 Ks, 0 BBs, 2 Hs) than he was in his first two (7 IP, 7 Ks, 6 BBs, 5 Hs) then we may be in business.

Jesse Beal - Much like Bundy, this selection was a coup for the 14th round. Also like Bundy, he got bombed at the beginning of this season in Bluefield, but fought back and has been excellent the last two times out, tossing 14.1 innings and allowing 3 runs. His control has been excellent, walking just 1 batter in 24 innings.

They will most definately be in our BA top 10. I dont see what you mean by that.....

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They will most definately be in our BA top 10. I dont see what you mean by that.....

Tillman and Matusz are in the midseason BA Top 10 at 7 and 8 respectively. If we are going to say that Erbe and Britton will replace Tillman, Matusz and Arrieta as our top pitching prospects, neither will be anywhere near the Big 3 in regards to national attention. I doubt either would even be near where Arrieta is now in the Top 25.

I expect Britton to be in the Top 100 if he continues his ways from the first half of this season and Erbe could get back in the Top 100 with a big bounce-back second half.

The initial purpose of this thread is whether or not we have players that can replace Wieters, Matusz, Tillman and Arrieta at the top of the farm system. My answer is no, we don't. We have a much deeper farm system than ever before, and without them, we'll still have a better system than we did pre-McPhail.

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Tillman and Matusz are in the midseason BA Top 10 at 7 and 8 respectively. If we are going to say that Erbe and Britton will replace Tillman, Matusz and Arrieta as our top pitching prospects, neither will be anywhere near the Big 3 in regards to national attention. I doubt either would even be near where Arrieta is now in the Top 25.

I expect Britton to be in the Top 100 if he continues his ways from the first half of this season and Erbe could get back in the Top 100 with a big bounce-back second half.

The initial purpose of this thread is whether or not we have players that can replace Wieters, Matusz, Tillman and Arrieta at the top of the farm system. My answer is no, we don't. We have a much deeper farm system than ever before, and without them, we'll still have a better system than we did pre-McPhail.

Well, Tillman and Matusz werent BA top 10 until Tillman was in AAA and Matusz has the pedigree of being a top 4 pick. Britton has to work his way up without using pedigree to his advantage. He is pitching just as well as Tillman this year minus the walks. If he continues to pitch this way, by the end of the season he will be somewhere on the top 100 and hes only in HiA. If he conitinues his ascention as he has, by the time hes in AAA he may not be in the top 10, but he surely could make it close to that. Erbe HAS the pedigree, if he would have continues to pitch as he began the year doing, he woulda been top 75 this year and continue to climb the ranks. They both have the upside to ayttain what you are speaking of.

Hobgood needs to pitch well, if he is as good as Jordan says, he will take the palce of Tillman or Matusz.

I dont understand how you could say that none of Hobgood, Erbe or Britton could take the Big3's place. They are all very young, verygood and have a lot of time and upsuide left. If you looked at Matusz, Arrieta and Tillman at the age these 3 are, you would say the same thing, that they wouldnt be able to obtain what they ended up doing. Give our new Big 3 a chance before writing them off. They have the upside.....And dont forget Spoone....

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Hobgood needs to pitch well, if he is as good as Jordan says, he will take the palce of Tillman or Matusz.

I dont understand how you could say that none of Hobgood, Erbe or Britton could take the Big3's place. They are all very young, verygood and have a lot of time and upsuide left. If you looked at Matusz, Arrieta and Tillman at the age these 3 are, you would say the same thing, that they wouldnt be able to obtain what they ended up doing. Give our new Big 3 a chance before writing them off. They have the upside.....And dont forget Spoone....

I'll give you Hobgood. He has a shot. His youth and pedigree gives me hope. I really think he could be the best of the bunch. Erbe, though, I'm not going to put in elite status. I'm as big an Erbe fan as you'll find. I went to grade school with him, I was at a graduation party a few weeks ago for a friend of mine who grew up next door to Erbe and his parents were there. I'm pulling for him, but with his recent arm "fatigue" I'm not willing to put him in the same class as Matusz or Tillman. He COULD be Arrieta because of the power arm comparison and Arrieta is a few years old. Erbe, though, isn't going to be in Baltimore until 2012 IMO.

Britton I'm willing to wait on. He could be at Top 25 guy in time. He'll be 22 at the beginning of next season when he'll likely start in Bowie if he hasn't already been promoted this season. I really hope he does develop as well as you think he's going to.

Please, don't talk to me about Chorye Spoone. Somebody posted something about him pitching by the end of July. I'll believe that when I see it. And even if he does, he'll be limited. If he's 100% by spring training, he'll enter the season at 25, likely in Norfolk coming off a serious arm injury. At this point, anything we get out of him as a bonus. I'm not building any prospect lists around him, though.

Don't think I'm bashing out current pitching prospects. Our depth is fantastic, better than it's ever been. My hesitation to put Erbe, Britton, Hobgood in the same breath as Tillman, Matusz, Arrieta is due to the pure dominance our Big 3 have shown. Trios like that don't come along often and to put such expectations on our young batch is unfair. If we have those kinds of expectations, we'll just get upset and see dozens of threads each year about how angry we are about them failing to produce much like we have seen with Rowell.

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BBM, I agree 100% with that last paragraph (and really your whole post.)

No one is "writing off" our next group of pitching prospect, and I think it's premature to call any combo of them the "next big 3." Sure, any combination of Bundy, Beal, Erbe, Britton, or Hobgood could lead the next batch of pitchers, but as it stands right now they are no where near the Big 3. I like all of the guys I've listed, but each of them have a ways to go before they reach that status, and it's no knock on them that I don't think they'll be top 10 overall guys. FWIW, I think each of these guys have a shot at making the top 100 list as some point, and it's a given that they'll replace Matusz, Arrieta, and Tillman in our personal top 10. Regardless of where they stack up in our organization, I don't think our guys will get the same national attention as our current crop of pitchers, and I don't see that as a knock on the young guys, I just think that the Big 3 are that good.

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BBM, I agree 100% with that last paragraph (and really your whole post.)

No one is "writing off" our next group of pitching prospect, and I think it's premature to call any combo of them the "next big 3." Sure, any combination of Bundy, Beal, Erbe, Britton, or Hobgood could lead the next batch of pitchers, but as it stands right now they are no where near the Big 3. I like all of the guys I've listed, but each of them have a ways to go before they reach that status, and it's no knock on them that I don't think they'll be top 10 overall guys. FWIW, I think each of these guys have a shot at making the top 100 list as some point, and it's a given that they'll replace Matusz, Arrieta, and Tillman in our personal top 10. Regardless of where they stack up in our organization, I don't think our guys will get the same national attention as our current crop of pitchers, and I don't see that as a knock on the young guys, I just think that the Big 3 are that good.

I do not agree, but we soon will see. When Tillman was in HiA, he wasnt regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in the game. The guys who are ahead of you will get the recognition. Once some of our younger guys make it to the higher levels, we will begin to see more national recognition

Britton may not seem to have as high of a ceiling as Bundy, Beal and Hobgood do, but its very hard to say that these guys wont be as good as our current Big 3. Hobgood at the age he was drafted was better than Tillman was when he was draffted. Bundy was regarded as a possioble late 1st rounder- supplemental pick, but fell due to injury. When was Tillman drafted? Wasnt it in the 2nd round? And its not like the 08 draft was weak, its the last strong draft we have seen....

Britton IMO at his peak if he continues to pitch as he has will probably gain recognition around what Arrieta gets. But as for Bundy Beal and Hobgood, there really is no way you can say they wont be as good as the Big 3. They have major upside and very high ceilings....Same with Erbe, if he can put it together, its said he has a hgiher ceiling than Tillman. Our Big 3 are very good, but they arent all #1 starters, they arent immortal. They are solid bets to be #2's and possibilty to be #1's....Same label youd put on Hobgood Bundy and possibly Beal. They just do not have the track record yet....

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The system ranking will take a big tumble when the Big Three graduate, but so what? Any system that produces Wieters, Reimold, Bergesen, Hernandez, Berken, Tillman, Arrieta, and Matusz in a 13-14 month window has done three years worth of work in that period. We may need to include Mickolio and Snyder in there, too. A good system should produce 2 good players a year and maybe a third who can be a role player.

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Over the last several years the O's have had some certified lights-out prospects. Weiters, Matusz, Tillman, Arietta. When they all graduate I don't see the potential for a top 10 prospect. Hobgood might develop into one, but that will be a few years down the road. Britton will probably top out in the 40's and I don't see Erbe, Spoone, Joseph, Welty Avery, Bundy being top 75 prospects. In the baseball prospect prognostications one of the keys for having a good system is top-shelf talent who is at a reasonably advanced level. The O's just don't have it after the big 3. Even if they sign Sano I doubt he is top 25 until a year or two in the system. I predict the team will drop to the high to mid 20's after the big three graduate.

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I do not agree, but we soon will see. When Tillman was in HiA, he wasnt regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in the game. The guys who are ahead of you will get the recognition. Once some of our younger guys make it to the higher levels, we will begin to see more national recognition

Britton may not seem to have as high of a ceiling as Bundy, Beal and Hobgood do, but its very hard to say that these guys wont be as good as our current Big 3. Hobgood at the age he was drafted was better than Tillman was when he was draffted. Bundy was regarded as a possioble late 1st rounder- supplemental pick, but fell due to injury. When was Tillman drafted? Wasnt it in the 2nd round? And its not like the 08 draft was weak, its the last strong draft we have seen....

Britton IMO at his peak if he continues to pitch as he has will probably gain recognition around what Arrieta gets. But as for Bundy Beal and Hobgood, there really is no way you can say they wont be as good as the Big 3. They have major upside and very high ceilings....Same with Erbe, if he can put it together, its said he has a hgiher ceiling than Tillman. Our Big 3 are very good, but they arent all #1 starters, they arent immortal. They are solid bets to be #2's and possibilty to be #1's....Same label youd put on Hobgood Bundy and possibly Beal. They just do not have the track record yet....

Exactly, they do not have the track record yet. You tell me that "there really is no way you can say they wont be as good as the Big 3," but as it stands now, we don't have the evidence that suggests that they'll be as good as our top crop. We can look at projection, but so much can change with development, and therefor I think it's too soon to say what they will become with so much conviction.

I really hope for the best with the younger guys, and the tools they have are very exciting. I just think that it's asking a lot of Hobgood, Beal, Erbe, Britton, and Bundy to develop into the next big 3 when the current Big 3 consists of two top 10 guys and a borderline top 25 guy. That's unbelievable. I guess my point is that they COULD become a trio of that caliber, I don't think it's fair to say that it's a certainty that they will become that.

I don't mean to sound anti-prospect, I'm just more conservative in my approach because of the failure rate of prospects. Believe me, I would love another Big 3, but we'll see what happens, because a lot of it is the "if" game. For the sake of the O's, QB, I hope you are right though, and two years from now we'll have a much better answer.

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Exactly, they do not have the track record yet. You tell me that "there really is no way you can say they wont be as good as the Big 3," but as it stands now, we don't have the evidence that suggests that they'll be as good as our top crop. We can look at projection, but so much can change with development, and therefor I think it's too soon to say what they will become with so much conviction.

I really hope for the best with the younger guys, and the tools they have are very exciting. I just think that it's asking a lot of Hobgood, Beal, Erbe, Britton, and Bundy to develop into the next big 3 when the current Big 3 consists of two top 10 guys and a borderline top 25 guy. That's unbelievable. I guess my point is that they COULD become a trio of that caliber, I don't think it's fair to say that it's a certainty that they will become that.

I don't mean to sound anti-prospect, I'm just more conservative in my approach because of the failure rate of prospects. Believe me, I would love another Big 3, but we'll see what happens, because a lot of it is the "if" game. For the sake of the O's, QB, I hope you are right though, and two years from now we'll have a much better answer.

Of Hobgood, Beal, Erbe, Britton and Bundy... if one of those guys goes on to be a Top 10 national prospect, two are in the Top 50 and another is in the Top 100, that's exceptional. I would be ecstatic if that happens and I think the system as a whole would be highly regarded in that situation. What we are looking at with Tillman, Matusz and Arrieta are three guys that in any other system not San Francisco or Texas would likely be considered Pitching Prospect #1 or at least #1A. That doesn't happen often. We can't get greedy and expect every year we have a machine of pitching prospects marching through the minors, forcing promotions and a spot in the ML starting rotation.

As of this posting, Erbe was just taken out in his first game back in Bowie from a shoulder injury, now with an ankle injury. Bundy was shelled for 5 runs in a third of an inning and Hobgood hasn't thrown a professional pitch. I'm all about eternal optimism... I am still an Orioles fan... but I'm not delusional.

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