Which Orioles' minor leaguer will be the best big leaguer?
Well I am back. I’m not going to ask if you missed me. I can’t handle the truth.
And I am afraid to tell you I am gone again from the bar – but only physically. The entries for the next three-plus weeks will keep coming, but will be shipped in from Florida, slightly sunburned (even my words have fair skin).
That means you still have some time to fix the holes in the bar’s drywall before I start pointing fingers in person in April.
First, I want to thank Sun columnist Kevin Cowherd, who is much more comfortable passed out at a bar than tending behind it. But he did a heck of a job keeping this dive afloat for the past three weeks as our guest bartender.
I am going to have to buy him a beer or six for helping out. And that’s real beers, not the fictional ones poured in the blogging world.
Since I am in Sarasota, and spent my first day with the 2010 Orioles on Monday, I figured it’s most appropriate to talk baseball. We will get to that tournament thing later this week – I promise.
The Orioles made their first cuts on Monday, and there were no surprises. Among those jettisoned to minor leaguer camp were pitchers Luis Lebron and Brandon Erbe.
I asked manager Dave Trembley what he thought of those two – and let’s just say he gushed, talking about how the duo has everything it takes to be major leaguers one day, maybe one day soon.
It’s nice to think the Orioles still have some real prospects in the minors despite graduating so much talent last season. And it got me thinking. Who is the best Orioles’ prospect that has yet to arrive in Baltimore?
Baseball America thinks it is third baseman Josh Bell, with pitchers Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta and Matt Hobgood next in line. Also getting consideration are Brandon Snyder, Mychal Givens, Caleb Joseph and Lebron.
Here’s what I want to know: Of the current Orioles minor leaguers – ones that have not yet played in the majors – which one do you think will eventually emerge as the best big leaguer? In other words, when their careers are over, which one will be considered the jewel of this minor-league crop?
Because pitching is so unpredictable, the safe pick is a hitter like Bell or Snyder. I, however, am going with Britton; I just think he’s got the whole package, including the ability to throw with a left hand.
But I have never seen him pitch in a game of significance. And I know some of you minor league junkies have.
So let’s hear it. Get the crystal balls out and predict the future.
Pete Schmuck, my colleague and reluctant roomie for the next three weeks, says Snyder. And he’s the guy that called Wilfrido Perez as the surprise of the 2009 camp before Perez threw a pitch.
Daily Think Special: Which Orioles’ minor leaguer will be the best big leaguer?