When it comes to baseball prospects, do you want quantity or quality? Do you want stars or depth?
These questions were raised again this week when the Orioles had just two players ranked in the Baseball America top 100 prospects list, with Dylan Bundy at No. 2 and Kevin Gausman at No. 26.
Of the American League East teams, Tampa Bay and Boston had five players in the top 100, New York had four and Toronto joined the Orioles with just two.
But it's not just how many are ranked, but where they are ranked, and do they have the chance to become true impact talents for an organization? Many in the game feel that Bundy and Gausman have the chance to do just that.
It is also worth pointing out that Manny Machado, who had 61 at-bats too many to qualify for rookie status and this list, would be ranked in the top five if eligible. In fact, Baseball America's John Manuel, in an interview this week on WBAL Radio, said he would have ranked Machado No. 1 and he also said he would not trade Machado straight up for current No. 1 prospect Jurickson Profar of Texas.
If Machado were eligible, the Orioles would have three top 30 prospects and two in the top five or, at least, top 10. The Mariners are the only team that has three in the top 30 and they have none in the top 16.
No less an authority than Jim Callis of BA said again this week that he'd take the quality of the Orioles two prospects over perhaps a team like New York that had players ranked at Nos. 32, 57, 63 and 77.
"I don't think any of us thought that Manny Machado would not qualify for this list. If they had just waited for September to call him up, he'd be on this list and the Orioles would have three of the top 25 prospects in baseball," Callis said.
"I've said all along, I do believe you want stars. Given my choice, I'd rather have two elite talents. If I had my choice between two elite talents and depth, I'd take the elite talents. You can find depth.
"That said, the lack of other guys on this list shows the Orioles haven't had the deepest drafts or done the greatest work internationally. If I were running a team, I'd want more than two in the top 100, but if I had a choice of having the No. 2 and 26 players or having five on the list all in the bottom two-thirds of the list, I'd rather have the two elite guys."
There is no doubt the Orioles have some work to do on the farm, but no team can claim three top 30 prospects with two ranked in the top five or 10. The Orioles are a few Machado at-bats away from being able to do that.
Now that threesome just has to live up to the hype and yes, that is the hard part.
I'd love to read your thoughts on the O's and the top 100 list. Here are three other topics for your discussion this weekend:
* Which pitcher do you predict will be the O's opening day starter?
* What kind of season do you see Nolan Reimold having in 2013? It seems a lot of fans are confident in his bat and think this will be his breakout year. Others just don't think he'll make it to the field enough to be a huge factor.
* What kind of season will Machado have? Do you expect his stats to improve or will he have at least a few sophomore slump moments?