Ranking the Orioles

Earlier today, I presented comments from Baseball America's Will Lingo on the O's farm system.

Lingo and Baseball America ranked the O's farm in the top third of baseball earlier this year.

"We rated them ninth coming into the season in our Prospect Handbook. For our midseason update, I wouldn't say they are one of the top organizations right now, but I would say they are in the middle of the pack," Lingo said.

But if the O's were ninth then and now are in the middle of the pack, are they going the wrong way?

"No, I think that sort of goes in cycles when you graduate guys. One of the reasons they would slip is because Brian Matusz was at the top of the list heading into the season for us and now he is not eligible for our prospect list. That will knock you down a bit, but Zach Britton seems to be emerging as one of the better guys in the minors right now. It doesn't seem to be a signal of anything bad going on."

Last week, in their midseason report, Baseball America rated Britton as the 10th best prospect in baseball.

"I don't think he is a top of the rotation guy, but I think he could be a solid two or three starter. His sinker is, we've heard, one of the best in the minors, if not the best. He's a very legit guy.

"L.J. Hoes has taken a big leap forward this year. I've always liked his talent. If some of their hitters start to come through, that would be a big deal for them because they have focused so much on pitching.

"They should have the foundation of their pitching staff going forward; now they just need to fill in all the hitters around them," Lingo said.

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