A closer look at the Orioles on the Baseball America top 100

The Orioles’ top two pitching prospects are ranked among the top 20 prospects in all of baseball on the latest Baseball America top 100 list, which was released last night.

Dylan Bundy was rated No. 15 with Kevin Gausman at No. 20. Baseball America ranked pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez No. 65 as he makes the list for the first time at age 20.

Baseball America’s John Manuel said two other O’s prospects just missed this list with Hunter Harvey coming in at No. 108 and Jonathan Schoop at No. 110 for the top 100 when they did their first draft of the list. A couple of BA’s editors ranked Henry Urrutia among their personal top 150.

Manuel talked a bit about the O’s on the list and those that just missed.

Manuel on Bundy:

“Bundy was one of the hardest guys to rank. After our top 14, you could rank the next group of players in a different way and Bundy is at the start of that. If you wanted to be more conservative with him, you could be. We chose to be pretty aggressive. He was our No. 2 last year.

“We are still very bullish on Bundy. The track record for Tommy John surgery is pretty strong. But this ranking reflects that he did miss a year. But we are still bullish on his ceiling and tried not to forget how good he was in 2012.

“He is kind of at the top of a group of pretty physical pitchers that have had success at Double-A or higher. That includes guys like Jameson Taillon, Gausman, Lucas Giolito, Robert Stephenson and Noah Syndergaard. He’s at the front of that list.”

Manuel on Gausman:

“The stuff is frontline stuff and now how much does he learn from the lessons he got in the majors last year? He had a little bumpy ride in the majors and that maybe knocked him down a bit compared to where his stuff is. He has top 15 stuff. I think he still has a very strong chance to succeed as a big league starter.

“Pitching in the big leagues is hard. O’s fans probably know that more than anyone. They’ve seen guys like Zach Britton, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman and Jake Arrieta all come up and have a bumpy ride in the AL East. To me, Gausman and Bundy have better stuff and are better pitching prospects than those guys that came before them.

“Also for me, I’m a fan of the tall, Colorado pitcher. Scott Elarton, Roy Halladay, Brad Lidge, David Aardsma, Mark Melancon and Luke Hochever are all from Colorado. Pretty good major league lineage there.”

Manuel on Rodriguez:

“I’m pretty bullish on Eduardo. He’s advanced for his age. There are not many lefties ahead of him and those ahead of him are all guys with big reputations that got big bonuses. For me, he is in the discussion as among the top five left-handed pitchers in the minor leagues.

“Now he gets some 50s and 60s (for his pitches) on our scouting report (on the 20-80 scale) and Gausman and Bundy have some 70s on their card. People that saw him in the (Arizona) Fall League at the end of a long year were pretty impressed.

“He is not a one or two starter, not a front-of-rotation starter. But there are not a lot red flags there. He’s shown durability, quality stuff and he misses bats. An awful lot to like here. Probably one of the safer bets in this top 100.”

Manuel on Harvey:

“It wasn’t seen as a very good high school pitching draft last year. You could make a case that Harvey was the best high school pitcher in that draft class. He was quite good after he signed.

“But he’s fairly raw and the industry consensus was he was not one of the top 20 prospects in the draft. He went 22nd. For me, that does not equal top 100 prospect, but it put him in the discussion.

“He didn’t quite make it, but he is one of those breakout candidates (for the list next year). We do like him though. Some people are very excited about him, but there is a wait-and-see and that is the approach we took.”

In this article, Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper says Harvey could break into the top 50 next year.

Manuel on Schoop:

“He didn’t miss by much. We do believe in his bat. We believe in the power even though he hit just nine homers (at Triple-A) last year. I think we see him as not a real high probability of having an All-Star career, but there is a solid chance he is a big league regular.

“The last two years, he’s hit .256. and .245. So is he going to make enough contact to get to that raw power? A real question for us is, is he a second-division regular or first-division regular?”

All five of these O’s prospects made the ESPN and Baseball Prospectus top 100 lists while there are three on the lists from Baseball America and MLB.com.

Here is how the O’s were ranked by each:

* Bundy: No. 15 - BP & BA, No. 20 - MLB, No. 31 - ESPN.
* Gausman: No. 10 - BP, No. 20 - BA, No. 23 - ESPN, No. 31 - MLB.
* Rodriguez: No. 43 - ESPN, No. 61 - BP, No. 65 - BA, No. 68 - MLB.
* Harvey: No. 38 - ESPN, No. 58 - BP.
* Schoop: No. 82 - BP, No. 86 - ESPN.

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