A look Baseball America’s top 10 Orioles prospects list (Surhoff note)

Baseball America’s top 10 Orioles prospects list has just been released. I was honored to be asked to compile the list for Baseball America this year. Below is the top 10 with a quick comment on each player.

1. Pitcher Dylan Bundy: Even after the Tommy John surgery, he remains No. 1, but it was pretty close. Some forget how good he was in 2012 and the success rate of that surgery is high. Still bullish on Bundy.

2. Pitcher Kevin Gausman: If you ranked Gausman No. 1 over Bundy, you would not get an argument here. As I said, it is close. Gausman showed better velocity last summer than he had at LSU.

3. Pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez: What a year this kid had, topping off with that strong showing in the Arizona Fall League championship game. He’s on the rise and close to being ready.

4. Pitcher Hunter Harvey: He had a strong first season in limited innings. He showed talent and poise, and looked the way a first-round pick should.

5. Infielder Jonathan Schoop: The back injury set him back some in 2013, but there remains a lot to like here. He’s the best infield defender on the farm with a strong arm and developing pop in that bat.

6. Pitcher Tim Berry: This is a lofty ranking position for a 50th-round draft pick. Berry showed good stuff in the AFL and had a career-best walk rate in 2013. His stock is clearly rising.

7. Outfielder Henry Urrutia: Hank put it all together at the plate in the AFL and plenty of scouts are high on his bat. Several in the O’s organization feel the defense will become good enough for him to be a regular player at some point.

8. Pitcher Mike Wright: A big, strong and durable right-hander, he was the club’s top minor league pitcher, winning the Jim Palmer Award. He made gains in 2013 in his secondary pitches and command.

9. Catcher Michael Ohlman: He had a big year at Single-A Frederick, has hit over .300 in two straight years, has power and is now on the 40-man roster. He shows a solid, average arm behind the plate and calls a good game.

10. Catcher Chance Sisco: The O’s knew he could hit and he batted .371, showing a mature approach beyond his years in the Gulf Coast League. Some in the organization were surprised at his strong catching skills since he just moved to the position as a high school senior.

Here is a link to the list.

The top four on this list could very well find their way to the Baseball America top 100 overall prospects list when it comes out in late February or early March.

I talked with Baseball America’s John Manuel about that.

“Bundy and Gausman, I think, are easily in there and I think Eduardo Rodriguez and Hunter Harvey are in there also. I’m a little more bullish on Harvey than some of the other guys on our staff. To me, three (players) are most likely with a strong possibility of four and it’s possible Schoop could make it. No more than five, minimum of three.”

So where would the O’s players rank in that top 100?

“The top two guys (Bundy, Gausman) are, at the very least, in the top 30 to 35. We don’t speak with one voice here and a lot of people will be involved in that decision. Some will grade Bundy down for the injury, but the track record of Tommy John guys is very strong.

“Eduardo Rodriguez is a top 75 guy for me. He is close to big league ready and that helps. For me, Harvey is a back of 100 guy, maybe 75 to 100. That is often where high school pitchers just drafted with a lot of upside fall.”

So what is your take on the O’s list? Feel free to provide any comments or ask any questions here about the O’s list.

Surhoff note: The Orioles are working to add former Oriole B.J. Surhoff to their player development staff. He would become a part-time instructor and work with players throughout their minor league system. The Orioles have not confirmed this or announced anything yet, but a source indicates Surhoff is likely to soon join the staff. He has helped the club before in the minor leagues but this would be an official position.

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