2017 Orioles’ Break Camp Rosters Breakdown
With spring training in Sarasota wrapping up, early break-camp rosters have started to emerge. Steve Melewski of MASN Sports published a list of players and their assignments to start the season.
Although these assignments are not “final” – this gives fans a good idea of where players will be assigned once MiLB kicks off later this week. Below, I’ll list the affiliate with a few of the players to watch.
(Discuss this on the BSL Board here.)
Norfolk Tides – Triple A
As it was during prior seasons, Norfolk is 75% minor/MLB veterans mixed in with a few of the system’s prospects. Baltimore likes to keep depth at the Triple-A level (like other major league teams) in case of an emergency. However, the big story line to keep an eye on is catcher Chance Sisco. Sisco, 22, spent a lot of time in big league camp this spring, as the Orioles continue to develop him into their catcher for the future. Sisco hit .320/.406/.422 in 112 games for Double-A Bowie last season, before a brief call-up with the Tides at the end of the year.
Pedro Alvarez signed during spring training this year and will continue to work on his transition from 3B/1B/DH to outfielder. He figures to see a heavy dose of playing time in RF.
As far as pitching goes, recently acquired RHP Alec Asher figures to be in the rotation to start the season. LHP Chris Lee and RHP Mike Wright will join Asher, along with a mixture of RHP Parker Bridwell and RHP Joe Gunkel. In the bullpen, RHP Jimmy Yacabonis makes the jump from Bowie, after striking out 46 in 44.1 innings. Yacabonis has a mid-90s fastball, but has struggled with control in the past. However, if walks are limited, he could be a nice mid-innings reliever.
Bowie Baysox – Double A
Hard throwing LHP Tanner Scott will start games for Bowie this season, instead of being used in the later innings. His role as a late inning pitcher hasn’t changed, but the organization feels Scott, who walked 57 hitters in 64.1 innings last season, can work on his command, by focusing on his delivery and mechanics as a starting pitcher.
Former 1st round pick, LHP Jed Bradley is scheduled to pitch with Bowie, but Bradley, whom has MLB experience, could be in-line for a long reliever role with the Orioles down the road.
Catcher Austin Wynns gets a chance to be an everyday starter with Bowie in 2017. Wynns, 26, has spent the past few seasons as a backup to Chance Sisco, but Wynns is a valuable asset for the Orioles and their minor league pitching staff. His ability to call games and take control of the field is highly regarded within the organization. He hit .287/.336/.416 between all levels last season.
In the outfield, the Baysox will have former 1st round pick DJ Stewart. Stewart split time between Delmarva (A) and Frederick (A+) last season – posting a .254/.377/.399 slash line with 26 stolen bases. Perhaps the bigger story in the Bowie outfield is Cedric Mullins. The 13th round pick in the 2015 draft made an impression on the Baltimore brass during spring training, and will be skipping Frederick to start the 2017 campaign. Mullins, 22, has a career .325 OBP between Aberdeen (R) and Delmarva, along with 47 stolen bases and 16 home runs.
Frederick Keys – Advanced Single A
Perhaps one of the most talented teams, at least on paper, will be the Frederick Keys. The Keys will feature a mixture of first round talent related to pitching and hitting.
Starting with the arms, RHP Cody Sedlock (1st, 2016) will begin his first full professional season. After making 9 starts for Aberdeen last season, Sedlock will skip Delmarva and dive right in to Advanced A play. Not an unexpected move, as Sedlock, 21, was drafted out of college (University of Illinois). Behind Sedlock, LHP Keegan Akin figures to take the mound every fifth day. Akin, a 2nd round pick in 2016, also made 9 starts for Aberdeen last season. Akin, 22, struck out 29 over 26 innings, posting a 1.04 ERA.
In the field, Ryan Mountcastle will continue his journey as the starting shortstop. Mountcastle was a supplemental 1st round pick in 2015, and there are concerns about an everyday position for the 20 year old. However, Mountcastle will be the everyday shortstop in Frederick, as Jomar Reyes will return for another season at third base in Frederick. Reyes, 20, posted a .607 OPS with 102 strikeouts in 126 games. 21-year-old outfielder Austin Hays will skip Delmarva and report to Frederick to start the season. The 3rd round pick from 2016 posted a .386 OBP with 4 home runs in 38 games at Aberdeen.
Delmarva Shorebirds – Single A
One of the biggest headlines to keep an eye on in Delmarva this season will be the transition of outfielder turned pitcher, Dariel Álvarez. After appearing in 14 big league games during 2015-2016, the Cuban free-agent now attempts to revive his career as a relief pitcher. Perhaps the Orioles can find some of that same magic that worked for RHP Mychal Givens for Álvarez?
2016 2nd round pick, RHP Matthias Dietz is perhaps the top prospect (at least on paper) on the roster for the Shorebirds to open the season. Dietz, 21, posted a 4.82 ERA across 7 starts in 2016.
First baseman Preston Palmeiro, 7th round – 2016, hit .258/.301/.320 in 34 games for Aberdeen in 2016. Palmeiro will be joined by third baseman Alejandro Juvier, the only returning position player for the Shorebirds. Juvier, 21, appeared in 30 games for Delmarva last season.