Yesterday, I gave you a sneak peek at Baseball America’s list of the top 10 Orioles prospects heading into the 2012 season.
Here’s the “Best Tools” portion of the report:
Best Hitter for Average: Manny Machado
Best Power Hitter: Aaron Baker
Best Strike-Zone Discipline: Tyler Kelly
Fastest Baserunner: Glynn Davis
Best Athlete: Xavier Avery
Best Fastball: Dylan Bundy
Best Curveball: Dylan Bundy
Best Slider: Mike Wright
Best Changeup: Dan Klein
Best Control: Oliver Drake
Best Defensive Catcher: Caleb Joseph
Best Defensive Infielder: Manny Machado
Best Infield Arm: Billy Rowell
Best Defensive Outfielder: Matt Angle
Best Outfield Arm: Matt Angle
Here’s the projected lineup for 2015:
Catcher: Matt Wieters
First Base: Nicky Delmonico
Second Base: Jonathan Schoop
Third Base: J.J. Hardy
Shortstop: Manny Machado
Left Field: LJ Hoes
Center Field: Adam Jones
Right Field: Nick Markakis
Designated Hitter: Ryan Flaherty
No. 1 Starter: Dylan Bundy
No. 2 Starter: Zach Britton
No. 3 Starter: Jake Arrieta
No. 4 Starter: Brian Matusz
No. 5 Starter: Jeremy Guthrie
Closer: Dan Klein
I’m not sure what part of this list jumped out at you, but I’ll start with Flaherty, the Rule 5 pick, being the club’s designated hitter. He’s viewed right now as a utility infielder who might evolve into a starter down the road. Will he hit enough to be a DH? Will the Orioles have a better option by 2015?
Hardy has never played third base. He’s also signed through 2014, so he’d need a new contract before he’s handling the hot corner.
You’ll also notice that Jones signed a long-term extension and Klein fully recovered from his shoulder surgery.
If you need to feel a little better about the Orioles’ future, here’s part of Will Lingo’s write-up on Bundy. You can read all of it in the current edition of Baseball America or at baseballamerica.com on Jan. 9:
Tick off everything scouts want in an ace, and Bundy has it. Fastball? He pitches at 94-98 mph and touches 100 with his four-seamer, which features explosive life. He also uses a low-90s two-seamer to get groundballs and also has a cutter in the same range that essentially gives him a third plus fastball. Complementary pitches? In addition to his cutter, his upper-70s curveball already grades as a plus pitch, and he shows good feel for a solid changeup. Mechanics? Bundy is a great athlete with good body control, so his mechanics are clean and balanced and he repeats his delivery well. That should give him good command, and he also shows a great feel for his craft. About the only way he doesn’t fit the ace prototype is with his listed 6-foot-1 size, but he’s strong and athletic and still gets good downhill plane on his pitches. He earns high praise for his makeup, and the attribute that might set Bundy apart the most is his work ethic. His workouts are the stuff of Oklahoma legend, going beyond the basics of running, lifting weights and long-tossing to push himself to do such things as digging holes, doing lunges around the warning track and chopping down trees and carrying them around.
Bundy’s humble goal when he started high school was to throw harder than Bobby, who has touched 97 mph. He accomplished that in short order and was elated to join his brother in the Orioles organization. He figures to begin his pro career at low Class A Delmarvain 2012, and he could quickly pass Bobby on his way to the big leagues. Bundy is so advanced that some scouts considered him the equal of the three college pitchers (Gerrit Cole, Danny Hultzen, Trevor Bauer) who went ahead of him in the draft, and he might not need more than two years in the minors.