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November 1, 2010

Baseball America ranks top Orioles prospects

Baseball America today released its list of the top 10 prospects in the Orioles' system.

We don't want to step on their toes too much, but here's how they see the top five:

1. Manny Machado, SS
2. Zach Britton, LHP
3. Xavier Avery, OF
4. L.J. Hoes, 2B
5. Dan Klein, RHP

I don't think anyone is shocked to see Machado, the third overall pick in the 2010 draft, in the No. 1 spot on that list (or Britton at No. 2, for that matter).

But where there are some surprises, at least to me, is in BA's projected 2014 Orioles lineup. We're not going to reprint it here, but it's definitely worth checking out. If you're like me, there are a couple of names I was surprised to see still projected to be in the lineup four seasons down the road.

You can check out the rest of the top 10 Orioles prospects, the 2014 projected starting lineup, a list of the top prospect in a bunch of "tools" categories, the top Orioles prospects of the decade, and more here.

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Posted by Steve Gould at 6:34 PM | | Comments (9)


The projected lineup is simply the best available player within the organization at each position likely to still be playing four years down the road. Frankly, if that is the lineup four years from now, we'll be wondering if this team will ever break .500 again.

Whoa, no kidding, Steve! Josh Bell? Luke Scott?! I thought we learned this year that Josh Bell can't quite cut it. It takes a pretty serious optimist to see him putting it all together down in the minors over the next year or two. Luke's resurgence this year was really nice, but I don't know if I want him as our DH in his age 36 year. If he IS there, hopefully that means he's kept up the hot hitting! Unsurprising but still disappointing was the absence of Hobgood anywhere other than on the "most expensive" list. That was always a sketchy pick, and I guess BA is calling it like they see it. He's still pretty young and though he's not lighting any fires, we can still hope he gets it turned around.

This top 10 is pretty bad, especially after Machado and Britton. I wonder how much of the poor system is an indictment of Jordan or the development guys?

Why dont we hear more about Brandon Waring? The Orioles got him in the Ramon Hernandez trade. He has hit for power at every level he has been at. He was the Carolina League's MVP in 2009. He can play 1st and 3rd. Just wondering why he doesnt get much ink.

Our minors are in complete disaray. As for Waring he does hit with power - in the minors.

He also strikes out more each level that he moves up while his average dips each year.

Can't wait to see him at AAA. To put Waring in perspective, Josh Bell hit for a higher avg with less strike outs at the same minor league levels.

Makes you wanna run out and buy season tickets.

I was surprised not seeing Nolan Reimold on the list. One bad season does a career make? Josh Bell is only 23. I know players are jumping to the majors earlier and earlier, but he is still young enough to grow into a productive 3rd baseman.

With his age and service time, Nolan is not considered a prospect anymore.

Where is Hobgood?

How is Joe Mahoney not on the list? He is still considered a prospect, no? What are they going to do with Machado and Givens since they are both SS and in the top 10? Will one of them be forced to move to 3B since Hoes is at 2B? I like those three infielders in the system.

Let me tell you a dirty secret about the O's draft strategy and why you don't see Hobgood or Givens on the list. There were better players available when Hobgood and Givens were drafted....much better players. Hobgood and Givens were drafted because they were the best players available that were deemed easier and cheaper to sign. Look at the O's draft history, they go for the easy and cheaper signs when they can get away with it. I know they drafted Weiters and Machado, but historically the O's will opt for an easier player to sign when drafting. The O's dysfunctional player development system is a totally separate issue prime for discussion. Even at the major league level, the player development is abysmal. Take Weiters and Adams Jones for example - two guys with arguably a ton of prospective talent. Who is teaching these guys how to make adjustments at the MLB level?? The answer is no one. Maybe Buck will bring new teaching methods - this remains to be seen. Remember earlier this year when Markakis voiced his frustration and stated that, generally, guys are going to the plate with absolutely no idea what they are doing? He was right.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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