2013 Orioles Midseason Top 30 Prospect List

The Orioles have improved their minor league system since Dan Duquette and Buck Showalter joined the team. There is no doubting that. However, the system is still fairly thin in terms of overall depth. They have a large stockpile of arms, but most are very raw and have a ton of refinement and growth left before they amount to anything.

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In talking to scouts and sources within the industry, the Orioles have a few “standouts” and then the “rest of the system”. I really need to reiterate how loose this system is in terms of talent. After the first few players, there is a significant drop-off and the gap in ratings and talent levels become much smaller. In talking to scouts, only the Orioles top three players were given an OFP rating over 55. You can learn more about what an OFP Rating is HERE. Essentially what I am getting at is that the difference between #9 and #25 on this list is really not all that big. The same goes for players that were left off this list. It is tough to pick only 30 players, and there were many that just missed the cut or were a casualty of the numbers game. It really depends on what you like, what skills pop out at you the most, and if you think a player will ever turn that raw potential they possess into production.

The system has certainly become more intriguing. There are more arms in the system that I want to watch compared to years past. There are more position players that I have made trips to see. But the overall talent level is still a work in progress for the Orioles and will not change overnight.

And with that, I present my Midseason Top 30 Prospect List.

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NOTE 1: I have seen 90% of the players within the Orioles system with my own eyes. The rest of the information I gather is from scouts and sources within the industry.

NOTE 2: I do not rank players that have played significant time in the MLB. Thus, Kevin Gausman and Xavier Avery will not be on this list. I understand they are still technically viewed as rookies, but once you make the majors and pitch or play more innings than just a cup of coffee…you are no longer a prospect to me, but a player back in the minors working on ways to improve. It’s a personal preference of mine.

30. Miguel Chalas – RHPMiguel-Chalas

Ceiling: Late Inning Reliever
Likely: Minor League Depth
Floor: Minor League Depth
Previous Ranking: 30
Report: “The Skunk” has always been a pitcher that I’ve liked. He is not a big framed pitcher, but has a lively fastball that can truly be surprising. He has some mechanical issues that forced him to the bullpen, but he has a strong two-pitch mix.
FB: 92-95 mph with some late life and explosion. Somewhat straight, but deceptive
SL: 83-86 mph with a sharp, sweeping action

29. Chance Cisco – C

Ceiling: TBD
Likely: TBD
Floor: TBD
Previous Ranking: N/A
Report: It’s way too early for any predictions on ceiling and floor, but Cisco has a solid bat and could prove to be a valuable asset for the Orioles. He’s too good of a prospect to leave off this list, but I’m not sure we know much more on him yet. One scout told me Cisco has “a good foundation for hit and hit for power”. He has a quick bat with plenty of room for growth. Cisco is a raw player who needs some time in the minors before we really determine what he’s going to be.

28. Hector Veloz – 3BHector-Veloz

Ceiling: Average Corner Infielder
Likely: Organizational Depth
Floor: Organizational Depth
Previous Ranking: 27
Report: Big bodied player, with broad shouldered frame. Not highly athletic. Legitimate raw power, poor approach at the plate, poor discipline. Swings early and often and struggles against any power-curve or slider. Drops his back shoulder and elbow on outside pitches at times, causing him to weakly fly out. Swing can get too long, drags his hands instead of following through. Does display good extension to outside portion of the plate. The defense is subpar, with poor range and he is a little stiff defensively. Veloz is a very raw player with many things to work on, but the raw power is terrific.

27. Glynn Davis – OFGlynn-Davis

Ceiling: Average Outfielder
Likely: Reserve Outfielder
Floor: Organizational Depth
Previous Ranking: 9
Report: Swing needed to be completely retooled. Too inconsistent at the plate, drops elbow, pulls head at times. Plate approach is not there, merely a highly athletic player without the raw baseball skills. Plus bat speed, plus athleticism, plus defender in center field. Still has a long way to go, but the underlying talent is there if his baseball skills ever catch up to his amazing athleticism.

26. Clay Schrader – RHP

Ceiling: Back End Bullpen Arm
Likely: Middle Reliever
Floor: Minor League Depth
Previous Ranking: 13
Report: Power Arm that could potentially be in the backend of a bullpen. Command and control is very inconsistent, has some trouble with his mechanics and release points. Still one of the better arms in the system despite the lack of results this season.
FB: 92-95 mph with some late life and movement. Tails into right handed hitters
SL: 83-85 mph with great bite and some late deception. Needs to refine command

25. Brady Wager – RHP

Ceiling: Back End Starter, Late Inning Reliever
Likely: Middle Reliever
Floor: Organizational Depth
Previous Ranking: N/A
Report: Bulldog on the mound, good frame that allows a max effort delivery without overdoing it. Stamina is surprising this season, and has been able to pitch deep into the season as a starter. Command and control are average right now. Fastball is lively, sitting in the mid 90′s, but is fairly straight. I worry about his arsenal at the higher levels being too hittable. Flashes an average secondary arsenal, with a change and curve that still need refinement.

24. Branden Kline – RHP

Ceiling: Back End Starter, Late Inning Reliever
Likely: Middle Reliever, Long Reliever
Floor: Minor League Depth, Long Reliever
Previous Ranking: 8
Report: Struggled in the SALLY this season prior to his injury which has knocked him out for quite some time. Delivery is still a work in progress, struggles to repeat it at times. Might be better suited as a reliever down the line, but is getting work in as a starter. Good command of all his pitches, reminds me of a Tommy Hunter type in the minors.
FB: 91-94 mph but fairly straight. Could add a tick or two in velocity if moved to bullpen
CH: 81-84 mph with decent fade, sometimes tips this pitch
CV: 78-82 mph power curve with some good bite and depth

23. Daniel Ayers – LHP

Ceiling: Mid Rotation Starter
Likely: Reliever
Floor: Minor League Depth
Previous Ranking: N/A
Report: Since none of us have seen him, let me share the views of a scout: “Ayers has a chance for three above average pitches, I could see 55 FB, 60 CV, 55 CH with the right development.” Ayers has a 90-94 mph Fastball and reports are out saying his curve has flashed plus. He was ranked 177th on the Baseball America list heading into the draft and was a great signing for the Orioles in the 25th round in the draft this year.

22. Eddie Gamboa – RHPEddie-Gamboa

Ceiling: Back End Starter
Likely: Organizational
Floor: Organizational
Previous Ranking: N/A
Report: I really struggled with this ranking. He is 28 years old but technically still a prospect. After much consideration, I decided to add him. He throws two variants of the knuckleball, a 90 mph fastball, a curve and a change. Gamboa essentially throws the kitchen sink at you, and it has been extremely effective this season. Your typical knuckler cannot throw a major league average fastball, but Gamboa has a late moving 90 mph two-seamer that is actually fairly effective. Add that along with a 65-69 mph knuckleball, a 75-80 mph knuckleball and you have a confusing guy to hit against.

21. Stephen Tarpley – LHPTarpley2

Ceiling: Mid Rotation Starter
Likely: Middle Reliever, LOOGY
Floor: LOOGY, Minor League Depth
Previous Ranking: N/A
Report: Three pitch mix, with fastball, change and curve. Decent sized frame with some room for growth. Mechanics have sharpened in past few years from reports I was given, has been able to strengthen body to add a tick of velocity on his fastball. Good arm speed action. Fastball sits low to mid 90′s with some life on it. From reports given, curve and change have promise, but still need refinement. He is fairly raw in terms of his arsenal, but could end up being a steal for the Orioles if he can develop.

20. Parker Bridwell – RHP

Ceiling: Mid Rotation Starter
Likely: Middle Reliever, Minor League Depth
Floor: Organizational Depth
Previous Ranking: 6
Report: Tough for me to put such a talented pitcher this far down on the list, but he has not displayed the results we have been looking for on a consistent basis. However, I need to reiterate that his talent and ability is still at the top of the system. He has a plus fastball with good movement sitting at 91-94 mph. Good curve with some solid tilt. His arsenal is full of legitimate swing and miss stuff. Command and control are his biggest issues. Sometimes it takes a long time for it to “click”. Remember that he is still only 21. Way too early to give up on the talented pitcher, but not too early to be worried. If Bridwell cannot stick as a starter, he could become a very solid 1-2 inning reliever as his velocity could tick up a few miles per hour.

19. Michael Belfiore – LHPBelfiore

Ceiling: Middle Reliever, Long Reliever
Likely: LOOGY
Floor: LOOGY
Previous Ranking: 15
Report: Former first round selection by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Advanced player in the upper minors that could help the Orioles right now at the MLB level. I have no doubt he could be a solid LOOGY at some point in his career. Could he be more? Sure, he could become a decent middle or long reliever, but that may be his ceiling. His fastball sits 89-92 with some decent life and some tailing movement against lefties. He has a slider that sweeps away from lefties and can really fool them. Belfiore is very deceptive on the mound. This ranking is more about what Belfiore is right now, rather than what he projects to be. I do not see a lot of growth left, but there is talent here to help the Orioles as a September call up.

18. Devin Jones – RHP

Ceiling: Back End Starter
Likely: Middle Reliever
Floor: Minor League Depth
Previous Ranking: 19
Report: Solid three-pitch arsenal that he mixes well. Nothing plus in his arsenal, but ability to induce many ground balls and keep the ball in the park. Some concerns over command and control. I still think he ends up as a reliever down the road, but he proved last year that starting was not out of the question. Change needs to be refined in order to have any success starting at higher levels.
FB: 88-92 and touched 93. Late life with some downward sink and some late tailing action. When kept low, induces a ton of ground balls.
CH: 81-85 with average fade. Inconsistent pitch lagging behind FB and SL, but shows promise at times.
SL: 79-85 with good bite and some late sweep. Plus pitch with MLB potential.
May 25 – Game Scouting Report

17. Tim Berry – LHPTim-Berry-THUMB

Ceiling: Back End Starter
Likely: LOOGY
Floor: Organizational Depth
Previous Ranking: 16
Report: Three pitch arsenal, with a fastball, change and curve. Fastball sits 89-92 with some average movement. Change is a newer pitch for Berry, and has been refined drastically over the past year or so. Still needs much refinement, but has come a long way. Curve has a great tilt on it and is clearly his best pitch. Berry struggles with command and control at times, but there is definitely some talent here. Command and control will determine whether Berry sticks as a starter or ends up as a LOOGY out of the bullpen down the road.

16. Tyler Wilson – LHP

Ceiling: Back End Starter
Likely: Middle Reliever, Long Reliever
Floor: Minor League Depth, Long Reliever, Middle Reliever
Previous Ranking: 20
Report: Cerebral pitcher with great presence on the mound. Mixes and matches well, changing speeds and keeping the ball low in the zone. Constantly thinking ahead, showing plus sequencing that you see out of MLB quality pitchers. Attacks hitters, really fearless on the mound. Arsenal is solid, but no one pitch is anything more than an average offering.
FB: 89-92 mph while touching 93 a few times. Some late life and rise, plus command.
CH: 82-85 mph with average fade. Inconsistent pitch, but flashes solid occasionally. Release has improved since last time I saw, and works well against his fastball, even though velocity difference is not large.
CU: 82-85 mph and more of a power curve than your true 12/6 curve. Some late sweep with average tilt. Pitch is very inconsistent still but really fools hitters sometimes with the speed difference from his other pitches
June 9 – Game Scouting Report

15. Lex Rutledge – LHPLex-Rutledge-300x300

Ceiling: Closer, Back End Bullpen Arm
Likely: Middle Reliever, LOOGY
Floor: Minor League Depth
Previous Ranking: 17
Report: Power lefty with the potential to be a late inning arm, and very exciting to think about considering he is a lefty. He has a dominant arsenal, with a big-time fastball that can top out at 96 mph with some good late life. Add in a curve and a slider, and hitters are simply going to have a tough time against him. Rutledge has true swing and miss stuff, and he is a pitcher to keep an eye on. Command is an issue for Rutledge, but his arsenal may be able to overcome some of that. However, it will need refinement at higher levels. Overall, his ability is nothing to scoff at. He’s still at Delmarva to work on some mechanical things and build up some innings in his arm, but I have no doubt he is a guy we could see knocking on the door by 2014. Big Lefties with swing and miss stuff do not grow on trees.

14. Christian Walker – 1BWalker

Ceiling: Average First Basemen
Likely: Bench/Role Player/Platoon Bat
Floor: Bench/Role Player/Platoon Bat
Previous Ranking: N/A
Report: Great approach, good discipline, decent bat speed, quick hands that move well through the strike zone. Average power at best for a first basemen. Bat may be better suited for the outfield or a platoon role off the bench. No tools besides his approach at the plate really stick out. Defense at first may not be great, but he is solid enough to get the job done there. Range is average at best. Important to keep in mind that Walker is an advanced college player and SHOULD have done this well in Delmarva and Frederick this season. Now that he has done what was needed/expected, the true test comes at Bowie. This is no knock on Walker, as James Loney and Casey Kotchman types have carved out great careers at the MLB level.
Ryan Minor on Walker

13. Adrian Marin – SSMarin

Ceiling: Average Shortstop or Second Basemen
Likely: Utility Player
Floor: Minor League Depth, Utility Player
Previous Ranking: 12
Report: Not rated plus in any aspect of the game, but he is solid in many phases. Good approach for a young player out of High School. Some pitch recognition troubles still, which are very common at this stage of a players’ career. Takes compact and calm swings, never trying to do too much. Average bat speed and more of a line drive swing. Power is more doubles power at the time, but there might be some growth for him to become an 8-10 home run guy. Shows solid agility, range and awareness in the field, although he is still very raw in terms of his overall defensive game. I think he can probably play an average shortstop, but might end up moving to second base.

12. Zach Davies – RHPZach-Davies1

Ceiling: Back End Starter
Likely: Middle Reliever
Floor: Middle Reliever
Previous Ranking: 14
Report: Small frame, but pitches a big game. Might have some of the best “pitchability” within the system. Mix and matches his pitches well, changing speeds and fooling batters. The arsenal is solid, but not great. I actually thought he threw a slider all this time, but he just throws so many different variants of his change, fastball and curve that it looks as if he has seven pitches. Davies is the perfect example of size not meaning everything. It remains to be seen how his stuff and stamina plays up at the MLB level, but I think he could handle AA fairly well right now.
FB: 87-91 mph with good movement and some late life. 2S tails away and ranges around 86-89 mph.
CH: 75-79 mph that he hides well and “pulls the string”. Plays well with his 2S Fastball.
CV: 73-75 mph with big tilt and 11-5 break
April 10 – Game Scouting Report

11. Josh Hader – LHPJosh-Hader-PROFILE

Ceiling: Mid Rotation Starter
Likely: LOOGY, Long Reliever
Floor: LOOGY
Previous Ranking: N/A
Report: Hader has taken a large jump in the system since being drafted last season. He is a solid pitcher who still needs to work on mechanical issues such as repeating his delivery. The most important thing for Hader this season was for him to build up innings in his arm. Stamina is still a concern, and he has a tall and lanky frame that will likely fill out more down the road. Scouts have expressed concerns to me over his arm slot, but it has worked before for guys such as Chris Sale.
FB: 89-92 mph and touches 93 on occasion. Hides it well, ball is lively out of his arm slot. When he loses stamina, drops to 87-90 mph.
CH: 79-83 mph with decent depth, although could be refined more. Has plenty of room for growth down the line.
SL: 73-77 mph with sweeping action. Looks to throw two variants, one more like a power curve. Good bite against LHB. Sometimes it comes off too flat. Command needs refinement.
April 21 – Game Scouting Report

10. Mike Wright – RHPMike-Wright

Ceiling: Innings Eater, Back End Starter
Likely: Late Inning Reliever
Floor: Middle Reliever
Previous Ranking: 7
Report: Solid three pitch mix, fronted by a 90-94 mph fastball that could tick up to 94-96 mph in relief. Big framed pitcher with an MLB body. Mechanics are a little messy at times on the mound, which can leads to some command issues. Arm action is quick for a big guy, but struggles following through at times.
FB: 90-94 mph with late explosion and some sink.
CH: 77-81 mph with solid fade, leaves up too much at times.
CV: 81-83 mph with good tilt and spin. Throws in dirt a lot.

9. L.J. Hoes – OFL.J.-Hoes-Norfolk-THUMB

Ceiling: Average Corner Outfielder
Likely: Platoon Player, Reserve Outfielder
Floor: Reserve Outfielder
Previous Ranking: 5
Report: Another year, another Hoes on the top 10 list. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist.) Best plate approach and discipline in the Orioles minor league system. Advanced for his age, and proving that it is no fluke at the AAA level. Ability to lay off borderline pitches in tough counts, able to recognize and identify late breaking secondary pitches. Swing is compact, ability to pull hands in and make solid contact, ability to extend hands and slap ball opposite field. Plus contact. Short load saps some power, but there is surprising pop in the bat. Could be a 10 home run guy, and hit a lot of doubles. Athletic player, but does not have the instincts or agility to play anywhere besides corner outfield. Arm is above average. Could be an average corner outfield at the MLB level that gets on base and provides some solid depth to a team.

8. Henry Urrutia – OF

Ceiling: Average Corner Outfielder
Likely: Reserve/Fourth Outfielder, Platoon Bat
Floor: Organizational Depth, Fourth Outfielder
Previous Ranking: N/A
Report: Quick hands, good bat control, above-average bat speed, good approach at the plate, struggles against high end secondary pitches. Defense has gotten better, displays a strong arm but struggles at times on his routes and reading balls off the bat. He’s been called up to the majors now, so he won’t be on this list next time.
June 13 – Full Scouting Report

7. Nick Delmonico – 1B/3B

Ceiling: Above Average Third Basemen, Marginal First Basemen
Likely: Bench Bat, Marginal First Basemen
Floor: Minor League Depth, Bench Bat
Previous Ranking: 4
Report: Advanced plate approach and discipline for his age and level. Has a good, level swing through the zone, and has worked to minimize the loop in the swing since being drafted. Not highly athletic, which begs the question of whether he can stick at third base. Might be better suited as a first basemen or corner outfielder, which brings the question whether he will hit enough. Seems to have that “injury prone” label. Tough to say that about a player in his second year of professional ball, but he has been injured a lot, which effects his ability to grow and learn. Overall, good player with some raw power and good approach, but might not be an impact player.
Ryan Minor on Delmonico

6. Josh Hart – OF

Ceiling: Above Average Outfielder
Likely: Average Outfielder
Floor: Fourth Outfielder, Defensive Replacement/Pinch Runner
Previous Ranking: N/A
Report: Above average to plus athlete, good approach at the plate, plus contact ability. Bat speed is improving and signs of more than just gap power. Great defender and a plus center fielder.
Scouting Report

5. Hunter Harvey – RHP

Ceiling: #2 Starter
Likely: Mid Rotation or Back End Starter
Floor: Backend Bullpen Arm
Previous Ranking: N/A
Report: Solid Fastball/Curve combo. Sits 91-93 mph while touching 95. 11/5 and 12/6 Curve, showing solid vertical drop. Ability to stick in the rotation is really dependent on the growth of his third pitch, the change up.
Scouting Report

4. Michael Ohlman – CMichael-Ohlman

Ceiling: Average to Above Average Catcher
Likely: Part-Time Catcher, First Basemen/Corner Outfielder
Floor: Minor League Depth
Previous Ranking: 28
Report: With this ranking, I obviously think there is a decent chance that he can stick at catcher. His ability to call a game has been noted to me by pitchers in the past, and Ryan Minor also noted how much it has improved. His footwork behind the plate has vastly improved from last season, allowing for him to set up better on pitches in the dirt and to make better throws on stolen base attempts. The bat is legitimate, above average raw power, solid bat speed, ability to keep bat in zone for an extended period, good hands and smooth swing. Ohlman is the one positional prospect in the Orioles system right now that truthfully grew from a “raw” prospect to a player that had the raw ability manifest into production. He is the most improved player in the Orioles system over the past two years, and there is a ton of value in a catcher that can potentially hit at the MLB level. I think Ohlman can absolutely stick there, although he still has much work left in the minors.
Ryan Minor on Ohlman

3. Eduardo Rodriguez – LHPEduardo-Rodriguez

Ceiling: Mid Rotation Starter
Likely: Back End Starter
Floor: LOOGY
Previous Ranking: 10
Report: Rodriguez has made a name for himself in 2013. The uptick in velocity has stayed the entire season. He needs to refine his command and control still, and there is a worry that he does not miss enough bats. He has a good arsenal, but the question really is whether any of the pitches are plus. One scout I talked to said that his fastball “is good but there might not be enough (movement) on it to make a difference at the highest level”. Will he be able to fool batters at the MLB level? We still do not know. However, Rodriguez has handled the Carolina League extremely well and is now one of the youngest pitchers in the Eastern League.
July 3 –  Full Game Scouting Report
FB: 91-94 mph while touching 95. Loses some velocity in later innings. Fastball has mild, late movement and run with some sink.
CH: 81-86 mph with plus fade, pulls the string well. Hides well off the FB. Inconsistent.
SL: 82-86 mph with some good, late break. Dips hard and has good spin. Pitch is sometimes left flat. Definitely has room for potential refinement

2. Jonathan Schoop – 2B/SS/3BSchoop

Ceiling: Above Average Infielder
Likely: Average Infielder
Floor: Utility Player
Previous Ranking: 3
Report: Plus bat speed due to quick hands and shoulders, Plus raw power. Large frame with room for growth. Could potentially grow larger than Manny Machado. Approach at the plate is average, plate discipline is below average. Struggles against secondary pitches such as SL and CV, which has elongated his swing at times. Swing has gotten a little better, but then he missed a ton of time due to injury. It is important to keep in mind that Schoop was rushed through the system and was one of the youngest players in the International League this season. He is still the best position prospect in the entire system due to his plus bat speed and raw power. His position is still an unknown, most likely ending up at second or third base.

1. Dylan Bundy – RHPbundy-spring-orioles_display_image

Ceiling: Frontline Starter
Likely: Solid #2 Starter
Floor: Solid #2 Starter
Previous Ranking: 1
Report: Nothing new to say sadly, underwent Tommy John Surgery. Still the same prospect he was before, which was the most advanced minor league pitcher I have ever seen.

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About the author


Tucker Blair  

Tucker Blair was born and raised in the Baltimore area and currently lives in Elkridge, Maryland. He graduated from York College of Pennsylvania with a B.S in Entrepreneurial Studies and is currently a Project Analyst for a Management Consulting Firm in Federal Hill, Baltimore. Tucker was previously the Managing Editor at Orioles Nation, where he worked on prospect lists, reports, and analysis on the Orioles minor league system. He also previously wrote his personal blog, The EntreprenOriole.


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2 Responses to 2013 Orioles Midseason Top 30 Prospect List

  1. Chris Slade says:

    Wow. Michael Ohlman up to number four. That’s high praise for sure. Do you think he is in the Top 100 discussion now?

    • Tucker Blair says:

      Yea, I have been really impressed with Ohlman this year, and a MLB caliber catcher has a ton of value. I think there is definitely still a chance he sticks as a Catcher too.
      I think he might be in some discussion, but I don’t know how many will actually rank him in a top 100. But if he holds his ground at Bowie next year though, I would expect some serious buzz.

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