I know the O’s didn’t have first 3 picks of there draft, But in years past there were players taken in 3rd-10th round that I was excited about. Not this year, seems like a group of lackluster players. Am I way off the mark with this assessment?
I would not say way off the mark, but there are certainly a few intriguing guys within rounds 3-10.
Brian Gonzalez is a young, LHP that has reportedly already touched 93 mph down in the GCL. He’s a pitcher worth keeping an eye on and signed for $700,000. I know a few scouts have said to me they were intrigued by Gonzalez.
Pat Connaughton displayed an impressive arsenal on Friday when I saw him. This was my second time viewing Connaughton, as I saw him pitch against Maryland when he was with Notre Dame. On Friday, Connaughton’s Fastball was touching 92-96 mph. He was hit around some, but his arm is no joke. I’ll have more on him at Baseball Prospectus on Monday.
David Hess and Tanner Scott are also players to keep an eye on.
Build/Mechanics: Thick lower half; excellent push and drive off back leg; exerted delivery; nearly max effort; high 3/4th arm slot; good arm speed; ball explodes from downward plane.
FB: 92-94 mph; mild armside run; able to command and spot ball low in zone.
SL: 76-78 mph; good tilt with a tight spin; casted a few; one displayed more depth than tilt, almost like a CB.
- Tucker Blair
Martin Prado could be a fit for the Orioles don’t you think? Schoop and Flaherty have consistently showed they are not the answer at second base. I normally don’t like trading prospects, but Prado is a very good fit. For 2015, he could slide over to the hot corner if/when Machado transitions to shortstop.
Prado is a decent fit. He plays solid defense and while his bat has been mediocre over the past couple of seasons, he has out hit the Schoop/Flaherty tandem. I would worry about a transition from the NL to the AL and what if any drop off would ocurr in his production. He is signed through 2016 making $11 million a year which is not ridiculous and his positional versatility does add some value and protection for when/if Hardy leaves. I do not think it would take all that much to pry him away from Arizona. Also, it has been reported recently that Prado will be available. If the Orioles could avoid flipping one of their top three guys to get Prado, it would certainly make the team better and be a good deal for the Orioles.
- Alex Conway
Do any of the glut of middle infielders in Bowie/Norfolk hold any trade value at all? Alexi Casilla, Ivan De Jesus, Jemile Weeks, Niuman Romero, and Buck Britton have all at least performed reasonably well. David Adams, Cord Phelps, and Steve Lombardozzi have performed well in the past.
No, they do not. Most of them were minor league contract guys signed solely for depth. Weeks and Lombardozzi were brought in on trades, so they might have the most value. However, Weeks was a part of the Jim Johnson salary dump and Lombardozzi was traded for a non-roster invitee. One of them could potentially be a throw in for a deal for middle infielder so the team that Orioles traded with could plug a hole with a guy, but that cavalcade of middle infielders has little to no value.
- Alex Conway
This is getting a bit ridiculous. Jonathan Schoop is hitting .223/.263/.330/.592 and has options. Jemile Weeks is hitting .287/.406/.407/.813 in the minors, and is on the 40-man roster. Why haven’t the Orioles made the switch?
This is a question that I have been asking myself for a while now. Weeks solves multiple problems for the Orioles. He fills the offensive hole at second base and he comes with a solid OBP even if his average does not maintain at the major league level. Not to mention he does have some raw talent and has had success at the major league level. I would have liked to have seen him promoted a couple of weeks ago at the latest. There are two reasons I can think of, one more likelier than the other. The first being that Buck does not like Weeks at second base defensively and that is fair. Schoop has been good at second and fantastic at turning double plays. Schoop and Hardy are arguably the best double play tandem in the league right now. Buck has shown in the past that if he has to choose between an average bat and an average glove guy and a poor bat and above average glove guy he’s going to choose the latter (Steve Clevenger being another example of this). The hole that Schoop/Flaherty (and Caleb Joseph) cause in the lineup is detrimental. The only other reason I can think of is a trade showcase for Schoop as the Orioles may be looking to move him in a deal for a middle infielder or a pitcher. However, he has preformed so poorly at the plate and Buck has stuck with him so long that I doubt this is the case.
- Alex Conway
Who do you want the team to target in a trade(if anyone) and what would your offer for them be?
I am not usually one for outright trade speculation because the rumors tend to be spurious at best and teams value players way differently than fans do. However, I think the Orioles are in a position this year to be bold. As of this writing, they have a three game lead in the AL East and will have no worse than a two game lead going into the All Star Break. They have key players entering free agency after this season. I think now is a time to make a bold move and go after some of the top players available. Obviously, second base or starting pitching is where the glaring needs are. I think the Orioles should be bold. If they don’t do that, I would prefer they do nothing. The current players they are rumored to be interested in will not improve the team enough to make them world series contenders, they will marginally improve the team while continuing to deplete any depth the system has. Regardless, the next two weeks are going to be very interesting.
- Alex Conway