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Jim Callis comments on the O's lack of prospects in the league top 20's


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http://www.masnsports.com/steve_melewski/2010/10/a-look-at-the-os-lack-of-prospects-listed-by-baseball-america.html

"The average team had ten prospects. The Rays finished second, the Red Sox and Yankees tied for third and the Blue Jays came in eighth. To be honest, that would probably be the bigger concern as an Orioles fan.

"They came in tied for last. I don't think their farm system is that bad. We haven't done the rankings and our top 30's and handbook yet, but I think the concern is where they rank compared to the others in the division. That is the most daunting task for the Orioles.

"They've gotten some young talent to the big leagues and have some talent still there. I think Manny Machado is going to be a superstar.

"But the Rays had the best record in the American League and still have one of the best farm systems in baseball. The Yankees can out-spend everyone and they have depth and that gives the Yankees trade bait. The Red Sox made a run at the playoffs and they have probably one of the younger farm systems and there is a lot of depth there. The Blue Jays, between the Halladay trade and being aggressive internationally, may have the most improved system in baseball.

"The Orioles spent 9.2 million on the draft this year, which was the sixth most in baseball and probably one of the top 15 figures of all time. But they were still out-spent by the Red Sox and Blue Jays within the division. That's the bigger concern.

"While I do like some aspects of their system, it's clearly the fifth best system in the American League East."

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Kinda hard to argue. We have some nice prospects here and there but those impact guys are few and far between. Injuries and poor performance has really hurt the 2009 draft and that in turn has hurt the Orioles system overall. The only good news that I can tell Orioles fans is that injuries and/or illness affected Hoes, Givens, Coffey, Wirsch, and Henry, all of which had top 20 league prospect potential.

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Kinda hard to argue. We have some nice prospects here and there but those impact guys are few and far between. Injuries and poor performance has really hurt the 2009 draft and that in turn has hurt the Orioles system overall. The only good news that I can tell Orioles fans is that injuries and/or illness affected Hoes, Givens, Coffey, Wirsch, and Henry, all of which had top 20 league prospect potential.

I think as fans it'd be great to a see a stocked system at all levels, but that takes time to get to. Honestly the Rays are still gleaning players out of their years of being terrible.

Desmond Jennings was drafted in 2005. Hellickson also 2005. Davis was drafted in 2004. Colome signed in like 2006/2007. Matt Moore 2007. Brignac 2004.

What's the point here...the bottom line is we're talking about how the injuries of 2009 'hurt' our current farm system. And yet of the top 6 top players coming into the Rays system this year were all drafted when the Rays were sub 70 wins. And none were drafted anywhere near 2009.

Long term consistency and growth matter more. Synder, Reimold, Spoone were all drafted in 2005. 2004 was a terrible draft for the Orioles. No lower level guys developed, we didn't sign our top pick...etc etc. The drafts from 5 years ago still very much matter in how we should assess our minor league system. Have our drafts improved? Absolutely. Does that mean we're going to be changed over night, no way.

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Kinda hard to argue. We have some nice prospects here and there but those impact guys are few and far between. Injuries and poor performance has really hurt the 2009 draft and that in turn has hurt the Orioles system overall. The only good news that I can tell Orioles fans is that injuries and/or illness affected Hoes, Givens, Coffey, Wirsch, and Henry, all of which had top 20 league prospect potential.

We are somewhat fortunate in that the major league team has a relatively young outfield, catcher and core of starting pitching with some relievers sprinkled in. We do have some good MI prospects (including Machado and the ones you listed above) even though they don't show up on a top 20 list. However, it's still depressing to hear that we have so few high-end prospects despite spending a good amount the last 3-4 years and drafting from a high position. We can't forget that Wieters, Matusz and Arrieta reached the majors very quickly so it's not like we got nothing out of the 2007-08 drafts.

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I think as fans it'd be great to a see a stocked system at all levels, but that takes time to get to. Honestly the Rays are still gleaning players out of their years of being terrible.

Desmond Jennings was drafted in 2005. Hellickson also 2005. Davis was drafted in 2004. Colome signed in like 2006/2007. Matt Moore 2007. Brignac 2004.

What's the point here...the bottom line is we're talking about how the injuries of 2009 'hurt' our current farm system. And yet of the top 6 top players coming into the Rays system this year were all drafted when the Rays were sub 70 wins. And none were drafted anywhere near 2009.

Long term consistency and growth matter more. Synder, Reimold, Spoone were all drafted in 2005. 2004 was a terrible draft for the Orioles. No lower level guys developed, we didn't sign our top pick...etc etc. The drafts from 5 years ago still very much matter in how we should assess our minor league system. Have our drafts improved? Absolutely. Does that mean we're going to be changed over night, no way.

Are you saying that their poor records gave the Rays an advantage in drafting those players?

Of all those players, only Brignac can possibly be credited to the Rays finishing so poorly. That's because he was a second-round pick, and possibly wouldn't have been around for them later in that round if the Rays had won more than 70 games that season. All the others were drafted in later rounds where position within the round is of negligible importance. Being lousy definitely helped the Rays grab David Price and Evan Longoria. It had nothing to do with them making Jeremy Hellickson approximately the 100th player chosen in 05, when 29 other teams could have taken him in the 3rd round.

The Rays are stocked today because they had a top scouting system and development system. That, and the willingness to spend money, is what separates the good teams with deep systems from the rest.

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I think one way to address it is push down from the top. If the O's don't trade a starter then Britton probably starts at AAA. Sign Werth or Maggs and Reimold is optioned to AAA. Build the pen so injured Berken start in the minors.

Add some depth at AAA with minor league free agent.

That gives time for some of the other prospects to be successful other places in the minors.

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I agree...I have been saying this...Our system isn't really that good right now and, outside of Britton, we don't have anyone who is likely to be any kind of a real help anytime soon..and no, Angle giving us a 600 OPS and playing good defense isn't help.

I am very concerned about our lack of depth in the upper minors. This is a big reason why I think we should be looking to deal Guthrie and/or Scott for a good young player or 2 that are either ML ready or close to ML ready.

Holding onto those guys for the purpose of having(potentially) a few win better season in 2011 is short sighted IMO.

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We are somewhat fortunate in that the major league team has a relatively young outfield, catcher and core of starting pitching with some relievers sprinkled in. We do have some good MI prospects (including Machado and the ones you listed above) even though they don't show up on a top 20 list. However, it's still depressing to hear that we have so few high-end prospects despite spending a good amount the last 3-4 years and drafting from a high position. We can't forget that Wieters, Matusz and Arrieta reached the majors very quickly so it's not like we got nothing out of the 2007-08 drafts.

I don't want to be a nag about this, but to be clear, draft position within a round only really matters in the first round. It's potentially significant in the second round. After that, it has almost zero significance. The perspicacity of the scouting and drafting crew matters much more (along with money, development skills, and luck).

Draft position within the rounds would matter much more if there were a universal draft board, with players exactly ranked according to talent and potential, and if teams were assigned those players down through the end of the board. In that case, there would be a definite advantage in sitting higher in each round.

But it doesn't work that way. There is wide variance of opinions from team to team, wide variance in the ability to develop young talent, and (somewhat) a variance in willingness to spend money. And luck matters too. It all matters much more than draft position, especially below the second round.

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I think as fans it'd be great to a see a stocked system at all levels, but that takes time to get to. Honestly the Rays are still gleaning players out of their years of being terrible.

Desmond Jennings was drafted in 2005. Hellickson also 2005. Davis was drafted in 2004. Colome signed in like 2006/2007. Matt Moore 2007. Brignac 2004.

What's the point here...the bottom line is we're talking about how the injuries of 2009 'hurt' our current farm system. And yet of the top 6 top players coming into the Rays system this year were all drafted when the Rays were sub 70 wins. And none were drafted anywhere near 2009.

Long term consistency and growth matter more. Synder, Reimold, Spoone were all drafted in 2005. 2004 was a terrible draft for the Orioles. No lower level guys developed, we didn't sign our top pick...etc etc. The drafts from 5 years ago still very much matter in how we should assess our minor league system. Have our drafts improved? Absolutely. Does that mean we're going to be changed over night, no way.

Yes, drafts from 5 years ago still are big to the system. We lost 2 of our top drafted arms to labrum injuries in Erbe and Spoone, only Britton is really a good contributor from anything pre-07 as far as the MiL system goes. Then, in 07 our 2 best picks which gave us the best draft to date in Wieters and Arrieta were both collegiate and rose through the system quickly, not long enough to help[ bolster the system but for a couple of years max. It kinda seems like our system right now consists of the 2008 draft on up(except for Matusz) in which we began to focus a bit more on HS and JuCo type players.

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Townsend may make us forget the 2009 draft disaster. I really think he's for real.But didn't they also draft some people with injury histories? (Coffey for one)

There's a 2-year gap between the bunch that came up last yr. and this yr. and the next bunch in the lower minors, mostly short season teams. In the middle area, there's next to nothing that really knocks your socks off outside of Zach Britton.

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Are you saying that their poor records gave the Rays an advantage in drafting those players?

Of all those players, only Brignac can possibly be credited to the Rays finishing so poorly. That's because he was a second-round pick, and possibly wouldn't have been around for them later in that round if the Rays had won more than 70 games that season. All the others were drafted in later rounds where position within the round is of negligible importance. Being lousy definitely helped the Rays grab David Price and Evan Longoria. It had nothing to do with them making Jeremy Hellickson approximately the 100th player chosen in 05, when 29 other teams could have taken him in the 3rd round.

The Rays are stocked today because they had a top scouting system and development system. That, and the willingness to spend money, is what separates the good teams with deep systems from the rest.

This is a great post, and on the money.

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I don't want to be a nag about this, but to be clear, draft position within a round only really matters in the first round. It's potentially significant in the second round. After that, it has almost zero significance. The perspicacity of the scouting and drafting crew matters much more (along with money, development skills, and luck).

Draft position within the rounds would matter much more if there were a universal draft board, with players exactly ranked according to talent and potential, and if teams were assigned those players down through the end of the board. In that case, there would be a definite advantage in sitting higher in each round.

But it doesn't work that way. There is wide variance of opinions from team to team, wide variance in the ability to develop young talent, and (somewhat) a variance in willingness to spend money. And luck matters too. It all matters much more than draft position, especially below the second round.

I buy this. However, as I documented in a recent thread on the main board, 62% of the top 40 OPS hitters under age 30 came from the first round of the draft, and another 10% from the second round. For pitchers (by ERA, among qualifiers under 30), it was 45% first rounders, 10% second rounders. So, the 1st two rounds of the draft are very important, and being in a high position in those rounds should be very helpful.

Now what you didn't say, but could have, is that the O's have had very few 1st round supplementals, and have given up their 2nd rounder a few times. That hurts.

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I buy this. However, as I documented in a recent thread on the main board, 62% of the top 40 OPS hitters under age 30 came from the first round of the draft, and another 10% from the second round. For pitchers (by ERA, among qualifiers under 30), it was 45% first rounders, 10% second rounders. So, the 1st two rounds of the draft are very important, and being in a high position in those rounds should be very helpful.

Now what you didn't say, but could have, is that the O's have had very few 1st round supplementals, and have given up their 2nd rounder a few times. That hurts.

The generalities may be true, but ABs point was that none of the prospects for TAM mentioned earlier were first round guys, and only Brignac was a 2nd Rounder.

If BAL wants to compete in the AL East, they can't hang their hat primarily on 1st and 2nd Round picks -- even if they are easier to "hit" on. You need scouting that will get you productive players from rounds 3 and on, as well.

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The generalities may be true, but ABs point was that none of the prospects for TAM mentioned earlier were first round guys, and only Brignac was a 2nd Rounder.

If BAL wants to compete in the AL East, they can't hang their hat primarily on 1st and 2nd Round picks -- even if they are easier to "hit" on. You need scouting that will get you productive players from rounds 3 and on, as well.

I did not mean to imply otherwise. What I'm saying (and did say) is, the lack of top 20 prospects in the various leagues is particularly disturbing when you consider where we've been drafting and the money we've spent on the draft the last 4 years or so. It would be disturbing in any event, but these factors make it more so.

Now, that said, of our last 4 first-rounders, two are in the majors and one didn't get signed early enough to be on anyone's list. And, we've only had two second-rounders in those 4 years, and no supplementals. So, what we're really talking about here, among the high picks, is Hobgood. Avery's on a top 20 list and Givens missed too much time to be considered for one.

Probably a bigger problem is that we're not seeing our overslot guys do much.

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Yeah, scouting is the thing. The Orioles haven't had it or at least enough of it and I don't know how you get it but somebody's going to have to figure that out because the other teams in this division certainly have. Obviously the Orioles will never compete on a regular basis without a farm system at least as good as (and probably better than) the Yankees and Red Sox.

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