Dean Jones Report: Sisco, Mancini, Yaz, Mercedes on upswing -
Dean Jones Report

Dean Jones Report: Sisco, Mancini, Yaz, Mercedes on upswing


Although three of the Orioles’ four full-season affiliates still have losing records – Low-A Delmarva is the exception at 10-8 – it was a great week for several players in the organization.

One of the club’s top prospects received a much-anticipated promotion Monday, while two other minor leaguers were honored as Players of the Week by their respective leagues.

Each Tuesday, I’ll update how the minor leaguers on Baseball America’s Orioles 2016 Top 10 prospect list have played in the previous seven days as part of “The Dean Jones Report.”

The seven players – right-handed pitchers Dylan Bundy, Mychal Givens and Mike Wright are excluded because they’re with the Orioles – are categorized as rising stocks (bullish) or falling stocks (bearish), based on their recent performance. And as you’ll see, I’ve also listed some statistics and a link to each player’s Player Page in case you’d like to take a deeper look into the numbers.

Plus, I have selected a handful of additional players – divided into two categories (surging and falling) – who deserve some attention for how they’ve played lately. As I said last Tuesday, these players could change from week to week, depending on who’s hot and who’s not in the Orioles’ minor league system. You’ll notice that one “falling” player from last week has started “surging” in a big way. And a member of the Orioles’ 2015 bullpen is having a hard time getting out Double-A hitters so far this year.

Finally, the upcoming schedule for each of the minor league affiliates is listed at the bottom of this post. When you attend games this year, remember to take some notes about the players you see and give your analysis in the comments below each write-up.

Now, let’s get to this week’s update:

Hunter Harvey, RHP, extended spring training
Statistics: N/A Player Page

On paper, the 21-year-old right-hander remains on the seven-day disabled list at High-A Frederick. And nothing has changed regarding his status since last week. Harvey, ranked No. 2 in the Orioles’ system, is still in Sarasota, Fla., working his way back after straining his groin during a minor league intrasquad game in late March. The 2013 first-round pick (22nd overall) hasn’t pitched in a regular-season game since July 25, 2014. He has suffered from different arm, leg and groin injuries since then.

Chance Sisco, C, Double-A Bowie
Statistics: .277 average, 0 HRs, 6 RBIs, 11 BBs in 14 games Player Page

The 21-year-old catcher’s hitting streak was snapped at nine games when he went 0-for-3 with a walk in Bowie’s 6-4 victory over Harrisburg on Thursday. The next night, Sisco walked four times – including twice against Washington Nationals top prospect Lucas Giolito – as the Baysox won again, 6-3. The 2013 second-round pick was 0-for-4 with an RBI groundout last night in Bowie’s 8-6 loss to Richmond at Prince George’s Stadium. Sisco, rated as the third-best prospect in the organization, is 3-for-8 (.375) with runners in scoring position so far this season, but he’s only 5-for-29 (.172) with the bases empty.

Jomar Reyes, 3B, High-A Frederick
Statistics: .246 average, 2 HRs, 8 RBIs, 11 runs in 17 games Player Page

Reyes, 19, had only three hits in 17 at-bats (.176) since last week’s update and his season average dropped from .273 to .246 in that span. Despite the mini slump, he still leads the Keys in runs (11) and total bases (26) this year. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound third baseman had a double and two RBIs in Frederick’s 8-5 loss to Lynchburg on Friday. Reyes, who is listed as the fourth-best prospect in the Orioles’ system, is just 2-for-15 (.133) with runners in scoring position this season. It’s important to remember, though, that he is playing regularly in High-A before his 20th birthday. There’s plenty of time for him to develop into an everyday major leaguer.

Chris Lee, LHP, Double-A Bowie
Statistics: 3-0, 2.95 ERA, 9 Ks, 0.93 WHIP in 18 1/3 innings Player Page

Lee, 23, improved to 3-0 with his third consecutive, quality start to begin the season as the Baysox beat Harrisburg, 7-2, on Saturday. OK, technically, it’s only two starts since he relieved Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz in his season debut on April 11. But it’s three good outings in a row. The 2011 fourth-round pick, who came to the Orioles from the Houston Astros in a May 2015 trade, gave up one run and three hits in six innings. He struggled a little bit with his control, walking four batters and throwing 54 of his 91 pitches for strikes. Lee, the No. 6 prospect in the organization, has held opposing hitters to a .152 average through his first three starts. He is tied for sixth in the Eastern League with a 0.93 WHIP in 18 1/3 innings.

Ryan Mountcastle, SS, Low-A Delmarva
Statistics: .158 average, 1 HR, 4 RBIs, 19 Ks in 15 games Player Page

The 2015 first-round pick (36th overall) had a three-game hitting streak from Tuesday through Friday, but he went 0-for-7 in the final two games against Kannapolis over the weekend. Mountcastle, 19, had an RBI single and a double – only his second multihit game of the season – in the Shorebirds’ 10-4 win over the Intimidators on Friday. So far this year, the club’s No. 7 prospect has just 13 total bases in 15 games. But he did pick up his first hit at Perdue Stadium last Tuesday. He’s now 1-for-19 (.053) in five games there this season.

Trey Mancini, 1B, Triple-A Norfolk
Statistics: .302 average, 7 HRs, 14 RBIs, 18 runs in 17 games (at Bowie) Player Page

Well, that didn’t take long. Many people believed Mancini should have started the season at Norfolk, but the 24-year-old first baseman was sent to Bowie initially. Less than a month and an Eastern League-leading seven home runs later, the Orioles’ eighth-ranked prospect received his promotion to the Tides on Monday. Batting fifth in his Triple-A debut, Mancini went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as Norfolk lost, 4-1, to Louisville at Harbor Park. Before his call-up, the 2013 eighth-round selection out of Notre Dame was batting .302 with seven home runs, 14 RBIs and 18 runs scored in 17 games for the Baysox.

D.J. Stewart, OF, Low-A Delmarva
Statistics: .235 average, 0 HRs, 6 RBIs, 12 BBs in 16 games Player Page

Stewart, 22, had quite a weekend on the road against Kannapolis. After sitting out the series opener Thursday, the 2015 first-round selection (25th overall) was 6-for-8 with six walks and seven runs scored as the Shorebirds won the final three games by a combined score of 27-8. In those three games, the club’s ninth-rated prospect raised his average nearly 100 points from .140 to .235. Stewart is tied for the team lead with 12 walks. A left-handed hitter, he is batting .370 (10-for-27) against right-handers and just .083 (2-for-24) versus lefties so far this season.


Yermin Mercedes, C, Low-A Delmarva: The 23-year-old catcher was named the South Atlantic League Player of the Week for April 18-24 after batting .520 (13-for-25) with eight extra-base hits and 10 RBIs in six games. Mercedes, who is tied for the league lead in average (.435) and ranks first in OPS (1.232), has at least two hits in eight of his 12 games.

Garabez Rosa, SS, Triple-A Norfolk: While Mancini grabbed all of the attention after he was promoted to the Tides on Monday, Rosa made the jump from Bowie to Norfolk four days earlier. The 26-year-old utility player, who batted .366 with 11 RBIs in 10 games for the Baysox, had a home run in his first game with the Tides on Thursday.

Jason Stoffel, RHP, Double-A Bowie: The 27-year-old right-hander, whom the Orioles acquired from the Astros in August, has settled in as the Baysox closer after starting the year with two appearances at Norfolk. Stoffel, who has four saves in as many chances, has struck out 11 batters and only allowed two hits in 6 2/3 innings for Bowie.

Mike Yastrzemski, OF, Double-A Bowie: Last Tuesday, I wrote about how Yastrzemski had struggled to start the year. But now the 25-year-old outfielder is on a nine-game hitting streak and was just honored as the Eastern League Player of the Week for April 18-24. That’s a big turnaround. During his current streak, he is batting .390 (16-for-41) with six multihit games.


Odrisamer Despaigne, RHP, Triple-A Norfolk: The Orioles traded for the 29-year-old right-hander in February. Because he had minor league options remaining, Despaigne was sent to the Tides to pitch in their rotation. In four starts, he is 0-3 with a 6.63 ERA. On Sunday, he gave up five runs (four earned) and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings against Louisville.

Gray Fenter, RHP, Gulf Coast League: The Orioles were excited about the 20-year-old who had a 1.66 ERA in nine games (eight starts) in the Gulf Coast League last year. Unfortunately, he’ll be staying in Florida and rehabbing. He underwent elbow ligament (Tommy John) surgery earlier this month and will not pitch competitively in 2016. Fenter, the organization’s seventh-round pick last year, received an above-slot, $1 million bonus to forego a scholarship to Mississippi State, Buck Showalter’s alma mater. Fenter was listed as the organization’s 24th best prospect by Baseball America.

Jason Garcia, RHP, Double-A Bowie: After spending the 2015 season in the Orioles’ bullpen, the former Rule 5 pick was sent to Bowie to work as a starter this year. But Garcia, 23, has had trouble with his command during his first three games. He has walked 11 batters and given up 18 hits in 13 2/3 innings. And that 6.59 ERA isn’t pretty.

Joey Terdoslavich, 1B, Double-A Bowie: On the flip side of every exciting promotion is the reality of a demotion for someone else. The 27-year-old, switch-hitting first baseman – and nephew of longtime Boston Red Sox outfielder Mike Greenwell, by the way – was batting .140 (8-for-57) with no extra-base hits and one RBI for Norfolk before switching places with Mancini on Monday.


Triple-A Norfolk

April 26 – vs. Louisville, 6:35 p.m.
April 27 – vs. Indianapolis, 6:35 p.m.
April 28 – vs. Indianapolis, 12:05 p.m.
April 29 – at Indianapolis, 7:15 p.m.
April 30 – at Indianapolis, 7:05 p.m.
May 1 – at Indianapolis, 1:35 p.m.
May 2 – at Louisville, 7:05 p.m.

Double-A Bowie

April 26 – vs. Richmond, 6:35 p.m.
April 27 – vs. Richmond, 6:35 p.m.
April 28 – OFF
April 29 – at Harrisburg, 7 p.m.
April 30 – at Harrisburg, 6 p.m.
May 1 – at Harrisburg, 1:30 p.m.
May 2 – at Richmond, 6:35 p.m.

High-A Frederick

April 26 – vs. Salem, 7 p.m.
April 27 – vs. Salem, 7 p.m.
April 28 – vs. Salem, 7 p.m.
April 29 – vs. Winston-Salem, 7 p.m.
April 30 – vs. Winston-Salem, 2 p.m.
May 1 – vs. Winston-Salem, 2 p.m.
May 2 – at Wilmington, 6:35 p.m.

Low-A Delmarva

April 26 – vs. Greenville, 7:05 p.m.
April 27 – vs. Greenville, 7:05 p.m.
April 28 – vs. Greenville, 10:35 a.m.
April 29 – vs. Charleston, 7:05 p.m.
April 30 – vs. Charleston, 7:05 p.m.
May 1 – vs. Charleston, 2:05 p.m.
May 2 – vs. Charleston, 7:05 p.m.

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