The minor league rosters for the Orioles four full season affiliates are not officially set yet but it appears that second baseman Ryan Adams and outfielder Tyler Henson are likely to begin the year with Triple-A Norfolk.
Adams hit .298 with 43 doubles, 15 homers and 68 RBI at Double-A last summer. He had ten hits in 19 at bats in Major League spring training games. Henson, a fifth-round pick in 2006, batted .278 with 12 homers, 37 doubles and 60 RBI at Bowie in 2010.
O’s 2010 Minor League Player of the Year Joe Mahoney is expected to begin the season as Bowie’s first baseman. Brandon Snyder still appears ticketed to start at first at Triple-A.
Nolan Reimold, Matt Angle and Rhyne Hughes could also be outfielders at Triple-A, along with Henson.
Adams should be joined in the middle infield by Brendan Harris and Nick Green with the Tides.
The Orioles will have around nine pitchers at Norfolk that will be stretching out to pitch starter-type innings. With the tenuous nature due to injuries and youth of the starting staff in Baltimore, the O’s need several pitchers stretched out in Norfolk in case they are needed this month, or early in the year.
That list of nine should include Mark Hendrickson, Chris George, Troy Patton, Chris Jakubauskas, Ryan Drese and Rick VandenHurk.
The O’s likely have five catchers to play at the top two levels of the farm including Craig Tatum, Michel Hernandez, Adam Donachie, Steve Lerud and Caleb Joseph. Tatum should start at Norfolk with Joseph at Double-A Bowie.
The Baysox will have a lot of returning players and guys like Brandon Waring, Pedro Florimon, Greg Miclat and Xavier Avery should start there.
Outfielder Ronnie Welty is expected to move up from Frederick and join the Bowie outfield. Welty impressed the O’s with his spring and also his winter ball play in Australia.
Players ticketed for Class-A Frederick include Tyler Townsend, LJ Hoes, Steven Bumbry and Kyle Hudson.
Dan Klein, last year’s third-round pick out of UCLA is expected to start the year in the Keys bullpen, possibly pitching two-inning stints. He will most likely not be used as the Keys closer.
Delmarva is expected to have Manny Machado at shortstop on Opening Night. The O’s seemed to be at least open to the thought of starting Machado at Frederick at one point this spring, but that appears unlikely now, though he could move there at some point during this season.
O’s director of player development John Stockstill has shown he will move some players quickly to a higher level to be challenged. He did that with Angle last year, who was just briefly at Bowie before moving to Norfolk. The O’s are open to moving Machado to Frederick sooner rather than later if they think he’s ready.
Machado’s infield mates in Salisbury are expected to include Jonathan Schoop and Mychal Givens. Trent Mummey will start somewhere in the Shorebirds outfield.
Matt Hobgood is still in the early stages of a six to eight-week throwing program.