Now that the minor league baseball season has begun, let’s take yet another look at the opening day/break-camp rosters and provide a few thoughts on the four Orioles full-season affiliates at Triple-A Norfolk, Double-A Bowie, high Single-A Aberdeen and low Single-A Delmarva.
Pitchers: Diógenes Almengo, Kyle Brnovich, Marcos Diplán, Conner Greene, Ryan Hartman, Blaine Knight, David Lebron, Zac Lowther, Ofelky Peralta, Grayson Rodriguez, Cody Sedlock, Kevin Smith, Cole Uvila, Nick Vespi, Alexander Wells.
Catchers: Brett Cumberland, Chris Hudgins.
Infielders: Rylan Bannon, Patrick Dorrian, Cadyn Grenier, Jahmai Jones, Mason McCoy, Terrin Vavra.
Outfielders: Yusniel Diaz, Robert Neustrom, Johnny Rizer, Kyle Stowers.
Tides injured list: Shed Long Jr., Rico Garcia
The Tides could be the club with the most top 30 prospects as the season begins. And five of the six have yet to play for the Orioles, which could bode well later. Per the MLBPipeline.com O’s top 30, there is Rodriguez (No. 2), who is set to make his Triple-A debut Friday, along with Stowers (No. 8), Vavra (No. 14), Smith (No. 18), Jones (No. 22) and Diaz (No. 26).
Of that group, it’s go time for Diaz, who was once the club’s No. 1 rated prospect. But a sub .500 OPS last year means not only that some outfielders are passing him by on the minors depth chart, they may be leaving him in the dust. Time to hit the gas pedal.
It will be intriguing to see if Stowers can follow up his big 2021 season, if Grenier can hit enough to put himself more on the infield radar and if Dorrian could play his way into time in the majors this year. Bradish begins the year on the development list while building up innings in extended spring training. But he should join Norfolk’s roster pretty soon.
Pitchers: Cameron Bishop, Tyler Burch, Ryan Conroy, Logan Gillaspie, Nolan Hoffman, Conner Loeprich, Easton Lucas, Morgan McSweeney, Zach Peek, Shelton Perkins, Drew Rom, Garrett Stallings, Adam Stauffer, Mattew Vogel, Ryan Watson, Brandon Young
Catchers: Maverick Handley, Cody Roberts
Infielders: Andrew Daschbach, Adam Hall, Gunnar Henderson, JD Mundy, Joey Ortiz, Jordan Westburg
Outfielders: Shayne Fontana, Hudson Haskin, Zach Watson, Toby Welk
We have discussed before in this space how the organization will get three good prospects in Henderson, Westburg and Ortiz all time at shortstop and other spots in the Bowie infield to get their reps. When we mention the top infield prospects, Hall, who had a good spring, can put himself back more firmly on the radar with a good year in his Double-A debut. Watson was a 20-20 player on the Baltimore farm last year - the only player on the O’s farm to do that with homers and steals - but he is still back here looking for his time to move up. How will Peek and Young do with the bump up and how long before Rom moves to Triple-A?
Pitchers: Justin Armbruester, Noah Denoyer, Jensen Elliott, Ignacio Feliz, Connor Gillispie, Clayton McGinness, Griffin McLarty, Xavier Moore, Jean Pinto, Jake Prizina, Rickey Ramirez, Wes Robertson, Houston Roth, Kade Strowd, Carlos Tavera, Peter Van Loon, Gregori Vasquez
Catchers: Connor Pavolony, Ramon Rodriguez
Infielders: Collin Burns, TT Bowens, Coby Mayo, Connor Norby, César Prieto, Jacob Teter
Outfielders: Billy Cook, Colton Cowser, John Rhodes, Donta’ Williams
A host of 2021 O’s draft picks get their first shot at the high-A level, and my guess is it will challenge them but it won’t be long before the likes of Cowser, Norby and Rhodes are putting up numbers here. What does Mayo do after a year when his OPS was .981? It will be fun to find out. Teter, a 13th-round pick last year, can fly under the radar, but he had a .936 OPS in 24 games late last summer with Delmarva. That is just a few points less than what Henderson and Cowser put up there. Might be time for him to get more attention. Pinto, so good last year, moves up and so does last year’s fifth-rounder, right-handed pitcher Tavera.
Pitchers: Carson Carter, Moisés Chace, Shane Davis, Juan De Los Santos, Daniel Federman, Thomas Girard, Conor Grady, Dan Hammer, Kelvin LaRoche, Yeankrlos Lleras, Daniel Lloyd, Ryan Long, Hector López, Alejandro Méndez, Eduard Monroy, Preston Price, Raul Rangel
Catchers: Brayan Hernández, Michael Mantecon
Infielders: Josué Cruz, Isaac De León, Darrell Hernaiz, Ryan Higgins, Moisés Ramírez, Noelberth Romero
Outfielders: Isaac Bellony, Mishael Deson, Davis Tavárez, Luis Valdez
The Shorebirds have a huge international presence on their roster. I count 10 position players - most of them - that were signed as international amateurs. Some were traded to the Orioles, like infielders De Leon and Romero and outfielder Deson, but the club is high on those players and now they all get their first shot at full-season ball.
There are seven more international players on a pitching staff that includes Chace, Rangel and Méndez. When I ranked the top 20 O’s international prospects, I had Rangel at No. 8, Chace at No. 9 and Mendez, who can touch 100 mph, at No. 20. Deson was ranked No. 7, the highest on that list on this team, with De Leon No. 18 and Ramirez at No. 19.
Tides lose opener: Norfolk lost on opening night 3-1 to Charlotte. Stowers was hit on the hand by a pitch in the fifth inning and was pinch-hit for two innings later. Smith allowed one run in 3 2/3 innings in his season-opening start. Peralta took the loss, allowing two runs (one earned) over the last four innings.
The Tides will start Sedlock tonight, followed by Wells, Rodriguez and Brnovich.