All Questions Answered

John Sickels does one of these every few weeks, and the response is generally overwhelming, so I thought I’d give it a shot. The rules are pretty simple:

  • Three questions per poster.
  • Please avoid asking broad questions like “name your top 20 catching prospects”.

About The Author

- Founder and Executive Editor

Jordan founded Orioles-Nation.com in November 2009. He is a computer science & business major at Towson University. He is the site programmer, designer, editor and primary minor league writer. He also contributes to and maintains the site’s prospect rankings and scouting reports. Jordan's work has been recognized in a number of publications including MASN, The Baltimore Sun, MLB Trade Rumors, FanGraphs and Project Prospect. In addition, Jordan is a special contributor to John Sickels’ (formerly of ESPN.com) blog, Minor League Ball. Read more about Jordan at JordanTuwiner.com and follow him on Google+ and on Twitter @JordanTuwiner.

26 Responses

  1. Avi M
    Avi M July 21, 2010 at 1:39 pm |

    -Who are the current AAAA players in the Orioles organization in your opinion?
    -Do you believe Brian Matusz may need a demotion to work on his breaking stuff in Norfolk? He never tested it at that level.
    -What’s the actual experience like at GCL games?

    1. Jordan
      Jordan July 21, 2010 at 1:55 pm |

      1. Alberto Castillo, Zach Clark, Chris George, Mike Hinckley, Frank Mata, Dennis Sarfate, Adam Donachie, Michael Herndandez, Michael Aubrey, Blake Davis, Joey Gathright, Jeff Salazar, Jonathan Tucker. Almost any guy older than 26/27 on this roster is in that group. they can have a solid AAA career but will never help a major league team or have a full time job in the bigs.

      2. Brian Matusz will be fine. His FIP is a solid 4.43 which is, I believe, the best of any starter on the team. He’s only walking 3.46 per 9 and his K rate is around 7/9 IP. It’s clear he still needs to make some adjustments but Matusz is a special pitcher, he’ll be fine in the long run.

      3. The experience you can have at the GCL in unbelievable. You get to interact and watch young studs like Cameron Coffey, Aaron Wirsch, Jonathan Schoop, Dudley Leonora, Tim Berry, etc. It’s free, you can go wherever you want, there’s no one else at the games.

  2. KT
    KT July 21, 2010 at 1:58 pm |

    Are the Orioles better off not signing Machado because of the perceived talent in next year’s draft? (I have seen it suggested on some sites… a guy whose upside is Derek Jeter sounds good to me though…)
    What are the chances that Miclat is the starting SS in 2011 for the O’s?
    How would you rate the O’s affiliates stadium experience, if you had to recommend one which one would you recommend? (Thinking about checking out a game in August) Thanks for the time.

    1. Jordan
      Jordan July 21, 2010 at 2:04 pm |

      1. If it was anyone other than Machado, Taillon or Harper at #3 this year, I would definitely say don’t sign them so we can grab two elite talents next year. But next year’s class is actually low on HS bats so Machado this year is probably just as good as #4 next year.

      2. I could see him starting at some point in 2011, but he shouldn’t be looked at as a long term option.

      3. I’d say Bowie & Frederick are the best for family experience. The lower levels, Bluefield and GCL, are best if you are looking for an up close experience where you can really interact with the players.

      1. Doug in DE
        Doug in DE July 22, 2010 at 3:07 am |

        I always have a good time at Bowie. Usually make the hour and 20 min drive once or twice a year. Aberdeen’s cool if you can get tix. And depending where you live, Wilmington DE is a cool place if you wanted to catch a Keys road game. Its sorta like the minor league set up of Camden yards in that its easily accessible right off of 95 and has the city skyline as a backdrop. I think the keys are up there the end of this month, hoping to go

  3. Justin Bader
    Justin Bader July 21, 2010 at 2:12 pm |

    • Is Joe Mahoney for real?
    • Which player in the system has the highest ceiling?
    • When/if Dan Klein signs where does he rank along with the other pitchers in the system?

    1. Jordan
      Jordan July 21, 2010 at 2:54 pm |

      1. We still need to see him put up numbers for a longer period of time at AA. If he does that, he’s for real.

      2. Xavier Avery.

      3. I’d put him right behind Berry on the most recent depth chart.

  4. Doug in DE
    Doug in DE July 21, 2010 at 2:38 pm |

    I see the previous poster asked abouy Mahoney too, but do you think he will develop 25-30 homer potential? I think in the AL East you have to have that from your 1st basemen to compete. Ive already written off B. Snyder in my mind

    1. Jordan
      Jordan July 21, 2010 at 2:59 pm |

      He’d have to sacrifice some AVG, and 25 HR is more realistic. We still need a better read on him at the higher levels, and we’ll get that for the rest of the season.

  5. Andrew
    Andrew July 21, 2010 at 3:15 pm |

    Where do Dudley Leonora and Jonathan Schoop fit on the Orioles’ list of top prospects?

    1. Jordan
      Jordan July 21, 2010 at 3:20 pm |

      Probably in the 40-50 range. They have the tools to succeed but we need to see more date before bumping them up.

  6. slade
    slade July 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm |

    Based on your interactions with some of the O’s minor leaguer’s, who do you come away impressed with? Who do you think has the right attitude to succeed at the upper levels?

    1. Jordan
      Jordan July 21, 2010 at 4:26 pm |

      Randy Henry and Xavier Avery really stand out to me.

  7. qbsillest1
    qbsillest1 July 21, 2010 at 4:29 pm |

    Whats the matter with Randy Henry, what injury is he suffering from right now? If you have seen him pitch, how would you rate his stuff, his draft writeups sounded very intriguing FB touch mid 90′s, plus curve and a solid changeup

    1. Jordan
      Jordan July 21, 2010 at 4:35 pm |

      It’s not clear what’s wrong with him right now. His fastball was 91-94 mph, but told me once he’s fully recovered from TJ he’ll be 94-96, has a lot of sink. His breaking ball is definitely a plus pitch most of the time. He can put them wherever he wants. He started working real hard on his changeup this year, below-average right now but lot’s of potential.

  8. DoubleB
    DoubleB July 21, 2010 at 6:48 pm |

    Ryan Adams or L.J. Hoes?
    What should we make of Tyler Henson?
    Should we call up Angle?

    1. Jordan
      Jordan July 21, 2010 at 7:59 pm |

      1. L.J. Hoes
      2. Henson strikes out too much, and doesn’t walk enough. He seems to have lost speed and the power isn’t at a point where the discipline issues are okay. Fringe prospect right now.
      3. I’d like to see Angle get a shot up here, I just don’t think there’s enough room.

  9. Tim
    Tim July 21, 2010 at 8:10 pm |

    Justin Dalles or Michael Ohlman?
    In a game of chicken who moves away from SS first Givens or Machado?
    Who in the minors is the future answer in the closer role? (can be any level currently)

    1. Jordan
      Jordan July 21, 2010 at 8:16 pm |

      1. Ohlman. You can’t ignore his potential. But Dalles is an extremely safe bet to turn into a MLB backup. If you ask any pitcher in the O’s system to pick a catcher to throw to, they’ll all say Dalles. Had one player tell me, “I love the way he takes control on the mound, he really knows that he’s going. He sets a nice tempo for you.”

      2. That’s a good question. I assume you’re asking because both will likely start at Delmarva next year. I’d expect Givens to rotate between SS and DH, while Machado rotates between 3B, SS and DH. But you never know.

      3. Luis Lebron has the stuff to close. It’s just a matter of staying healthy and throwing enough strikes. Randy Henry is a little far off, but if he gets moved to the bullpen he could zoom through the minors as a reliever. See description here.

  10. Brian
    Brian July 22, 2010 at 12:45 am |

    Everything on Mike Flacco

    1. Jordan
      Jordan July 22, 2010 at 12:47 am |

      Best JUCO hitter in Maryland for ’09. Has good size, but he was a JUCO freshman at age 22. More of an org. filler.

      1. Brian
        Brian July 22, 2010 at 12:58 am |

        That’s what i thought, I just hope that he has potential since he had that injury

  11. Justin
    Justin July 22, 2010 at 1:20 am |

    -Do you see Snyder as 1B of the future, enough to make MacPhail stay away from external options?
    -Do ANY higher-level SS stand out to make MacPhail stay away from a external SS for 2011 till Machado is ready (assuming he’s signed)?

    1. Jordan
      Jordan July 22, 2010 at 1:29 am |

      1. Snyder can be an average big leaguer, but if we really want to contend we need a big, slugging 1B.

      2. Miclat could start for the second half of 2011 but shouldn’t be looked at as a long term option.

      1. Don
        Don July 22, 2010 at 8:43 pm |

        I just do not see Synder as an everyday player. I think he is more of fringe utility player because I fear he will only be a “situational hitter”. He was not a bad draft pick because he was suppose to stay at catcher. His hitting at catcher would have been at least average for the position. He just does not have the defensive skills or the slugging that you would want out of first base every day. To his credit, he plays in a left handed hitters nightmare. Norfolk is not kind to fly balls and he has turned into a flyball hitter.

        Could it improve? yes, because he has size and bat speed.

        Will it? I highly doubt it because he has holes in his swing against minor league pitchers. It would only be exacerbated against the nasty filthy stuff at the major league level.

        1. Jordan
          Jordan July 22, 2010 at 10:50 pm |

          Yeah. Basically he could start for use next year but should not be looked at as a starting option beyond that.