What do you expect from Josh Hart this season?
Josh Hart is clearly one of the better position player talents in the Orioles’ system, which should not be surprising considering they selected him in the supplemental first round. I have gone back and forth between whether I think Hart will start at Delmarva or be held back for Aberdeen. It really comes down to how Hart looks in Spring Training, but I will guess that he gets the nod for Delmarva. Hopefully I will hear more when I am down in Sarasota this upcoming week.
Hart is a tremendous athlete with a potential 60 glove, 60 speed and 60 contact. I have to admit, speed/contact is one of my favorite combinations, and I think Hart flashed his capabilities last season. I think the difference between Hart and someone like Ben Revere, is that Hart could potentially offer more pop in the bat. I do not think he becomes a player hitting 10-15 HR a year, but could hit his fair share of doubles. He is a gap-to-gap type hitter and has good control of the bat. The bat speed is solid-average at this stage in his career. The Orioles have struggled to grow players of the nature in the past (Glynn Davis comes to mind), so it will be interesting to see how Hart does. And please, stop giving him such a big deal about not knowing who Frank Robinson was. I certainly do not know who the most historic Government Contractors are. Either way, he knows now!
I think Nick Markakis is leading this category for me. That off-season beard,the constant 5 o’clock shadow, the Greek background. It’s just a win-win for everyone, right?
Any additional info on either Carlos Diaz or Jomar Reyes?
Here is what I have heard on both players, albeit not much at this stage.
One scout called Diaz “an OK bat with an average body. The power is evident. Young kid but I do not foresee impact here”. I have not heard the contract details for Diaz, but Dan Duquette said it was “significant” at Fanfest.
Jomar Reyes was a more prolific signing from all the reports, such as this report from Baseball America’s Ben Badler. The Orioles announced Reyes’ signing this year, but they actually signed him a while ago, closer to the July 2nd international signing period. I have heard that the power is real, and he is constantly driving the ball with extreme force. Much the same as what Badler reported. He was given a signing bonus of over $300,000, so the Orioles clearly like the impact potential of his bat. I also heard he could see some time in the GCL, which is amazing for his age.
Do you think that Mike Wright winds up pitching for the Orioles in 2014?
Yes, I think we see him at some point. The real question is whether he will be starting or relieving. It is tough looking at this right now, but we really have no idea how the roster will play out over the course of the season. He could end up being needed at some point in one of those roles, although you hope it is when he is actually ready. I wrote about Wright in more detail earlier in the off-season. I think Wright is one of the most improved arms in the system, and he has the ability to help this club at some point in 2014 if they need him.
Tucker, really enjoy all of your articles and reports on all of the players. Had a chance to see Christian Walker towards the end of the off season and I was blown away at the size of this kids upper body and condition overall, compared to when I saw him at the Futures game last year. We saw him with several other pro college players at the University of South Carolina. Looks like he has worked very hard over the off season. My question is if there an updated report on him, and where do you think he will be at the end of this season? Thanks
First, thanks for the kind words. I am glad that at least a few people enjoy my work!
Christian Walker has definitely improved his body-frame and overall fitness since his USC days. I have noticed that myself, and also talked to scouts about it. He has always displayed a terrific eye at the plate, but we have always waited for the power to come. He flashes it every once in a while, but it has not been an impact tool at this point. However, the contact ability has a chance to be plus. Back on my tools list, I ranked him second overall in the system. I really like the swing and it is not an over-exerting style that we see out of many first base prospects. Maybe with his improved workout regime and improved athleticism, the power will begin to flash more in 2014. He is not a “sexy” player, but neither is James Loney. These guys can find roles on a MLB club if they can hit enough. Even at first base. I expect Walker to play most, if not all of the year at AA Bowie. I do not think the Orioles have a need for Walker in 2014 at this point. Next year could be different.