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February 24, 2010

Baseball America Top 100: Matusz is No. 5

matuszkapustinvertical.jpgThe Orioles are not quite as prominent in Baseball America's list of the game's 100 top prospects this year as they were in 2009, but there is a good reason for that. Two of the three players ranked in last year's top 25 -- No. 1 Matt Wieters and No. 22 Chris Tillman -- are no longer eligible.

Left-hander Brian Matusz is ranked fifth overall, behind Braves outfielder Jason Heyward, Nats pitcher Stephen Strasburg, Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton and Yankees catcher Jesus Montero. The other Orioles on the list are power prospect Josh Bell (No. 37), pitcher Zach Britton (No.63) and Jake Arrieta (No. 99). Brandon Snyder and 2009 first-round pick Matt Hobgood did not make the cut.

Last year, Wieters, Tillman and Matusz were all in the top 25, with Arrieta the only other Oriole on the list at No. 67. If you want to take a look at this year's Top 100, or last year's for that matter, you can check out the Baseball America Web site right here.

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Posted by Peter Schmuck at 9:42 AM | | Comments (23)
Categories: Just baseball


Matusz at #5? Well, he's #1 in the hearts of O's fans! Can't say it's a surprise he's listed behind Strasburg, but I thought he was the greatest prospect since Ruth so how come he's not at the top of the list? And I thought Wieters was the Catching Jesus, not the guy in the Yankees system?

Did Arrieta regress or did those other guys just show more progress? Any way you slice it, three pitchers in the top 100 prospects in all of baseball is not too shabby. It will be nice to see more position players high on this list in the near future. I long for the day when the Orioles regularly have multiple top 25 prospects. That would indicate a really impressive and consistent scouting and development program.

Pete's reply: I'm guessing Baseball America felt that Arrieta didn't quite live up to their billing.

Bell at 37? very cool.
Perhaps the o's will have switchhitters at the 4 and 5 slots in a couple of years.

I could not agree more with "CSB Jack." It's great to see that we have guys on this list. And it might also help to remember some of the rankings are BS because of the media coverage they do or do not get.

It's been nice getting to see some of these guys play A-Ball in Frederick. Whenever I come home from college for the summer, I like to go see our newest prospects play. One of the few perks of being a Frederick native.

Bell at #37 was a much nicer result than Matusz at #5. Expected Matusz to be near the top. Bell was the #4 3b

Jack -

About Jake Arrieta......

The reason why he dropped so far down the list from last year is because of his age. The older a prospect gets or the more time he spends in th minors, the less value he has. And usually after 25 years of age, a player is no longer considered a "prospect" - he would become a journeyman (like Melvin Mora was or Oscar Salazar).

It doesn't necessarily mean he "doesn't fit the billing" because most of his scouting reports project him as a future middle rotation starter anyway. It just means that his stock has dropped because he hasn't cracked the big leagues yet (and is getting older). Anyways, to be recognized a Top 100 Prospect of all the thousands players in MiLB speaks a lot about his potential.

But I wouldn't put much stock into these lists. I mean, Arrieta might flop and Troy Patton or Brandon Erbe might turn out to be something good. That's why I consider prospects a crapshoot, you never know.

Whats with all the optimism??? This Matusz guy had a 4.63 ERA last year in 8 games. How many guys with 4.63 era's are in the Hall of Fame? hahaha!

Here's to a season of many reenactments of his 9/12 performance vs. the Yankees!

Your an idiot- Just look at Glavine/Smoltz/Pettite/Clemens there first year. Heck, Glavine LOST 17 in his first full season- with a 4.56 era!!!
Besides, it was better than Joba's era...

Posted something similar to this in Dean Jone's Blog earlier:

Hope this silence all of the McPhail haters.. We graduated 2 top 25 prospects, not to mention Nolan Reimold and we still end up with 4 prospects in the top 100, which doesn't even include Brandon Snyder. By most publications we have better than a top 10 farm system. A couple of notes:

I think Arrieta's drop was due to the addition of several new prospects combined with him basically staying even. His age is a factor as well. He is still a top 100 prospect, which is great. And the difference b/w 70 and 99 isn't as great as it seems, a little bit more than splitting hairs.

Snyder's absence isn't a big deal to me, a 1B that doesn't appear to have plus HR power, typically isn't going to rate exceptionally well. And some scouts do wonder if he rakes enough to stay on 1B in the long term. Thats why he isn't rated, which doesn't mean he's a bad player or prospect, just not enough room on the top 100, Jim Callis (exec editor of BA) confirmed today on an ESPN chat thar Snyder was among the next 5 guys on his list after the top 100.

I agree with basically everything that you said Dave in GB. This list isn't the end all be all, but typically the more top prospects that you have the better your future looks. Better to have 4 5 prospects on this list than to have none. And the higher a prospect is rated (especially if they have some Minor league or Major League experience), the more accurate rating tends to be. I think we would agree on that. And you made another good point, we have prospects such as Brandon Erbe or Troy Patton who might be in the top 5 of some teams systems who can't even get a sniff.

Our future is bright, our outfield is set. We have catcher (the most difficult position to find production at) with limitless potential. Appear to have above average 1B adn 3B in the system, and our pitching prospects rank among the top 3 or 4 in the league. Matusz, Tillman, Arrieta, Britton, we still have Guthrie and while I think Bergeson will have a hard time to sustain his rookie season's success (doesn't miss enough bats for me) I would kill to have a pitcher of his quality in the back of the rotation. Combine that with a number 3 pick this year, monitor the progress of Hobgood and I'm glad to be wearing the Black and orange

I think the biggest difference from the O's prospects of the past is that there was no depth so if Penn failed, we didn't have another great option, but under AM, there seems to be a lot of young prospects because you can't count on anyone till they do it in the bigs.


I was poking fun of the morons on here that have written him off but are ready to send Bergeson to Cooperstown.

Look up his line that I referenced last year vs. the Yankees on 9/12.

Birdland Todd-

Was Penn really a top talent, or did just have a cool name?


What ever happened to Troy Patton? Wasn't he supposed to be the main guy in the Tejada deal? I know he was hurt and had surgery, but I've not heard anything since then.


Patton pitched well in AA last year and got hammered in AAA. Not terrible for an injury comeback year. Prob pitch in Norfolk to start and get a crack at the bigs if he does well and someone gets hurt.


Tom -

In '09, Patton started off in Bowie (AA)where he dominated. In mid-season he was promoted to Norfolk (AAA) and struggled a little.

Scouts have backed off on Patton over concerns with his decrease in velocity due to Labrum sugury in '08. And a lot of times when a top prospect requires major surgury - especially pitchers - the stock value of their status drops. Overall, he's still considered as future major leaguer, it's just his role that is uncertain right now. Some say he still has the potential to be a solid starter, others say he would be a better fit in the bullpen. He's a lefty with good potential, therefore he's gonna get a shot either way.

I think the Orioles are in good position in spite of not being as high as last year and promotions. The Os have 4 players in the top 100. That's good. Other teams average around 2-3. Even the Rays have 3 players. We might be "disappointed" to only have 2 players in the Top 50...but that's a weird thing to be disappointed about.

conspicuous absence of many posters here

SHAMROCK, go away you bronx lovin troll. .

Now were really starting to see what AM is bringing into focus. Time was they would have maybe one in the top 100. Now were starting to see a repeat which is outstanding. Jeters gone next year.


Matusz went 7 IP allowing an ER and 4 hits in the game I mentioned... I was taking a swipe at the group of morons who think Matusz isn't going to be that great because of his 4.63 and like to ignore the load of young talent on the raoster and loads of promise.

ugh... no more sarcasm out of this guy.


Your sarcasm didn't track because you didn't express it too well. Sounded more like a genuine dig at Matusz. Work on it!

The way I look at it Matusz wont be on the list next year.

I agree with Glen....Prospects progress on their own schedule not a list funded by popularity and media coverage for the most part.

what is never stated is the amount of coverage by the magazines staff on each prospect. Ill bet we would be surprised that they it is not an even proposition!

Pete's reply: Of course he won't be on the list next year. He won't be eligible for it.


You don't know baseball. Worst yet, you're dishonoring the old wayne. People loved to hate the guy, but he knew baseball.

Brilliant deduction that Matu won't be on the list next year. Simply brilliant!

SHamrock- fwiw, I caught the sarcasm and grokked your post from the start. Oh well . . .different strokes

Sorry, I didn't catch the sarcasm- After looking it up, I see it was ooh, not so bad!

Still, look at the records of those pitchers referenced in my posting- and it supports that this kid has the potential to be something special. (not that every pitcher who has a 4.5+ era his first yr pans out...)

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Peter Schmuck wants you to know that, contrary to popular belief, he is more than just a bon vivant, raconteur and collector of blousy flowered shirts. He is a semi-respected journalist who has covered virtually every sport -- except luge, of course – and tackled issues that transcend the mere games people play. If that isn’t enough to qualify him to provide witty, wide-ranging commentary on the sports world ... and the rest of the world, for that matter ... he is an avid reader of history, biography and the classics, as well as a charming blowhard who pops off on both sports and politics on WBAL Radio. That means you can expect a little of everything in The Schmuck Stops Here, but the major focus will be keeping you up to the minute on Baltimore’s major sports teams and themes, whether it’s throwing up the Orioles lineup the minute it’s announced or updating you on the latest sprained ankle in Owings Mills. Oh, and by the way, that’s Mr. Schmuck to you.

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