Once considered a top prospect within the Orioles organization, Brandon Waring has taken a mighty fall. Waring was awarded the Carolina League MVP Award as a member of the Frederick Keys after posting a .874 OPS along with 26 home runs, but was unable to carry his Single-A success into Double-A. He struggled through the 2010 season hitting just .242 while striking out in nearly 40% of his at-bats.
Waring’s game revolves around his above-average power, which is his only above-average tool. His swing is very pull oriented, with most of his present power to left field. When Waring advanced from Daytona (A) to Frederick (A+), he was able to cut his strikeout rate, despite moving up a level, from 35% to 26%. He wasn’t able to make the same adjustments moving from A+ to AA. Unless he shortens his swing and demonstrates ability to catch up to quality fastballs he will never return to the success he had in his MVP season with the Keys.
Expected to return to Bowie for a second season, Waring’s performance is going to depend on his ability to identify breaking pitches and most importantly, cut down the strikeouts. If he does that, we could start to see more of the 2009, MVP Brandon Waring and less of the 38 K% Brandon Waring.