With Oliver Drake nearly replicating his last season in Bowie, do you think he gets promoted to Norfolk before too long? What do you make of his future with the club? Potential bullpen help late this year or next?
If Drake continues to pitch well, I could definitely see him receiving a promotion to Norfolk. I think his ceiling is a role 4 type player, or a fringe middle reliever. His fastball is not as true of a weapon like in years past, although he can still throw a slider that flashes plus. I do not think we see Drake with the big league club this season.
- Tucker Blair
With Wieters out for the foreseeable future (hoping against TJ surgery), do you see the Orioles making a move for another catcher, or do you think they’re happy enough with a Clevenger/Joseph combination behind the plate?
It depends upon if Wieters is out for longer term than simply this DL stint. The reports have been that they want to find a right handed veteran back up to take the spot that Joseph has now. However, Joseph has played admirably behind the plate, when the pitchers give him the chance he has proven to not be a slouch at throwing out runners. He also appears to be a decent pitch framer as well. The bat has been less than exciting, but he has not had a lot of at bats and he hit one on the screws last night that was right at the 3B. If Wieters is only going to be out in the 2-4 weeks range, I doubt they make the move. Joseph has preformed well enough to keep his spot in my mind and probably better than the management team thought he would. It does not seem to me to be worth the 40 and 25 man roster shuffling to bring in someone else, but Duquette does love himself some roster shuffling. If Wieters is ruled out longer than 4 weeks and especially if he is out for the season, they probably will go for the veteran back up. There are enough veteran back ups roaming around that the Orioles should be able to find one that can serve that role, but hopefully they will not have to.
Glynn Davis‘s BABIP is .448 this year. The likelihood of that maintaining over the course of the year is between slim and none, but have you seen him play this year? Does it seem like he’s made any noticeable and meaningful adjustments?
Glynn Davis is having himself a great start to the season. Is his success attributable primarily to his now having 150+ games of experience in the Carolina League or has he done something mechanically that is allowing him to manifest his skills? Between him, Alvarez, and Hart it is quite pleasant having talent in CF at every level.
Davis is a very popular player in the mailbag. We probably receive a question on him at least once a week.
There is a very small chance that he can maintain a BABIP over .400 for the entire season, even in the minor leagues. The Baseball God’s simply do not like that number being so high. Also, the fact that he has spent a full year in the Carolina League is certainly a factor on developmental success. That matters more than people credit it. Comfort and recognition of pitcher tendencies also effect a player, and the great ones will adjust the first time. Now, there are plenty of players that need a second time through the league, but it usually means they are extremely raw or have serious flaws.
I wrote this two weeks ago about Davis, and it still works:
“Davis has improved in some areas though, such as consistency with his hands in the box. Last year, he was dropping his hands; they were noisy; he would drop his elbow, and generally would struggle to piece together an entire game’s worth of AB. It was not only the hands though, as he would step in the bucket. In 2014, Davis has improved his hands, and they are more quiet. He still has some consistency issues and I still see him stepping in the bucket at times, but there are small improvements. Davis is a plus athlete and has natural athleticism on his side, but it needs to turn into baseball athleticism. I still do not think it is quite there yet. His plate discipline is still fringe, as he does not pick up on anything with good spin.”
I have written a full scouting report for Davis, which will be up at Baseball Prospectus sometime within the next week or two.
- Tucker Blair
With the draft quickly approaching (and the O’s not having a first or second round pick), how excited are you guys for it? There seems to have been a philosophy of drafting pitchers in the first few rounds – do you think that continues, or will the O’s grab some more hitters this draft. Maybe some with signability concerns?
I have waited for this question. I am very excited for the draft, just like every other season. I loved the Orioles’ approach in the 2013 draft, and the results are speaking for themselves so far with Hunter Harvey, Josh Hart and Chance Sisco all looking like solid players with plenty of potential. I am always in the category of taking best player available, but this draft is different. The Orioles are without a first or second round selection, which means they should go after some high-risk signability guys in my eyes. This is how they can combat their lack of picks in the first two rounds.
They have done a very good job in the past two years of selecting talent in the later rounds at overslot, such as Daniel Ayers, Jacob Bray, Jon Keller, Conor Bierfeldt and a handful of others.The beauty of the MLB draft is you just never know what will happen.
With Jonathan Schoop now in the majors, who do you see as the next two or three position players to contribute to the big leagues ?
The upper minors of the O’s system is absolutely barren with position player prospects. You have Christian Walker, Dariel Alvarez, Michael Ohlman and that’s about it. I don’t view any of those three as ready, even if their numbers are excellent (outside of Ohlman). Francisco Peguero and Henry Urrutia are not prospects anymore, as they have seen major league time (technically they are, but I go by the “scouts” prospect view of a player losing status once he sees significant time in majors)
If I had to pick one of those players (which I would not this season), it would be Dariel Alvarez. He can play CF, a position they sorely lack depth at. The Orioles have Chris Davis, Steve Pearce, Ryan Flaherty, Steve Clevenger and a few other AAAA types that can play first base if necessary.
Long story short, all the position player talent in this system is at Delmarva or lower.