Dean Jones Report: Updates on first-rounders Harvey, Stewart and Sedlock - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dean Jones Report

Dean Jones Report: Updates on first-rounders Harvey, Stewart and Sedlock

07 MAR 2016:     Hunter Harvey (72) of the Orioles during the spring training game between the Minnesota Twins and the Baltimore Orioles at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida.  (Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire)

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We’ve reached the official midpoint of the major league season.

And, at the same time, Triple-A Norfolk and Double-A Bowie have also reached their respective All-Star breaks. The Tides (35-56) have the worst record in the International League, while the defending Eastern League champion Baysox (38-51) are in fourth place in the Western Division, 12 1/2 games behind first-place Altoona.

It’s pretty obvious that the first half could have turned out a little bit (or a lot) better for the Orioles’ top two minor league affiliates this year. Instead of devoting any more space to their struggles, let’s dive right into this week’s update.

If you’re new here, “The Dean Jones Report” is how I update Orioles fans each Tuesday afternoon on the latest news involving the organization’s top prospects, according to Baseball America. Right-handers Dylan Bundy and Mychal Givens are currently in the major leagues, so they’re not included. And because right-hander Mike Wright is on the carousel between the Orioles and Norfolk, I’m skipping him this week.

The players each receive a bullish (rising stock) or bearish (falling stock) rating, based on their recent performances. For each prospect, I’ve listed notable statistics and a link to his MILB.com Player Page.

I’ve also picked a handful of players who are either surging or falling in the Orioles’ system. And, at the bottom of the post, I’ve listed the upcoming schedules for the club’s affiliates.

We’ll start at the top…

TOP PROSPECTS
No. 2: Hunter Harvey, RHP, Aberdeen
BEARISH
Statistics: 0-1, 4.26 ERA, 6 Ks, 9 hits, 5 BBs in 6 1/3 innings (at Aberdeen)
MILB.com Player Page

Harvey, 21, continues to make his way back from the sports hernia surgery that caused him to miss the first two-plus months of this season. After two dominant performances for the GCL Orioles at the end of June – 11 strikeouts and three hits allowed in five scoreless innings overall – the 2013 first-round selection (22nd overall) came north to Aberdeen. But he hasn’t fared as well in his first two starts for the IronBirds. Last Tuesday, Harvey gave up two runs (one earned) and five hits in three innings as Aberdeen beat West Virginia, 4-3. And then Sunday, he allowed three runs (two earned) and four hits in 3 1/3 innings during the IronBirds’ 6-2 loss at Williamsport. Harvey (pictured above) also walked four batters and hit one in that game. Overall, in those two starts, he threw just 71 of his 126 pitches (56 percent) for strikes. Still, at least he appears to be healthy.

No. 3: Chance Sisco, C, Bowie
BULLISH
Statistics: .307 average, 1 HR, 28 RBIs, 18 2Bs, 35 runs in 71 games
MILB.com Player Page

A certain blogger who shall remain nameless has been writing about the 2013 second-round pick’s lack of power for most of this season. But in my – I mean, the blogger’s – defense, Sisco didn’t go deep in 2016 until June 28. That’s a span of almost 70 games from his previous home run, dating back to last season. During Sunday’s All Star Futures Game at Petco Park in San Diego, however, Sisco – the Orioles’ only representative in the game – showed the country that he can hit it over the fence. With one out in the fourth inning, the 21-year-old left-handed-hitting catcher hit a solo shot to left-center field. On Friday, in his last game with the Baysox before heading west, Sisco was 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a run scored. He ranks fourth in the Eastern League in hitting at the All Star Break.

No. 4: Jomar Reyes, 3B, Frederick
BEARISH
Statistics: .231 average, 7 HRs, 33 RBIs, 33 runs, 64 Ks in 78 games
MILB.com Player Page

Since June 19, the 19-year-old third baseman has hit safely in 12 of the 15 games in which he has played for the Keys. But Reyes’ average has only gone from .226 to .231 in that span. That’s because he has just three multihit games in that stretch. And, in three games since last week’s update, Reyes had just two hits in 13 at-bats (.154). As the youngest player in the Carolina League, it’s understandable that he’s having an up-and-down season. After batting just .183 in 23 games in May, Reyes hit .280 in 26 games last month. And he only has a .207 average in seven games so far in July. One interesting statistic worth noting: All seven of his home runs have come at home this season.

No. 6: Chris Lee, LHP, Bowie
BEARISH
Statistics: 5-0, 2.98 ERA, 19 Ks, 1.05 WHIP in 51 1/3 innings
MILB.com Player Page

Lee, 23, still hasn’t returned to game action as he continues to recover from a lat-muscle strain. It has now been seven weeks since he threw eight innings in Bowie’s 2-1 loss in 12 innings at Hartford on May 23. The most frustrating part for Lee has to be knowing that he would have almost certainly received an opportunity with the Orioles during that span. Since Lee’s last appearance, the club has called up five different left-handers from the minor leagues – Ashur Tolliver, T.J. McFarland, Brian Duensing, Ariel Miranda and Jayson Aquino. And they’ve brought Tolliver and McFarland up twice in that stretch. It’s almost certain that Lee will get a chance at some point down the road. But his injury came at a bad time.

No. 7: Ryan Mountcastle, SS, Delmarva
BULLISH
Statistics: .298 average, 5 HRs, 28 RBIs, 18 2Bs, 2 3Bs, 36 runs in 72 games
MILB.com Player Page

The 2015 first-round selection (36th overall) is batting .356 (16-for-45) in 10 games this month. And that’s even after Mountcastle, 19, went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts in the Shorebirds’ 9-5 loss to Hagerstown on Sunday. Before that, he had six multihit performances in an eight-game span. In Delmarva’s 14-2 rout over Lakewood last Tuesday, Mountcastle had an RBI single and an RBI double. He followed that up with two hits in the Shorebirds’ 7-1 loss to the BlueClaws on Wednesday and three singles in the series opener against Hagerstown on Thursday. Mountcastle is batting .392 (31-for-79) against left-handed pitchers so far this season.

No. 8: Trey Mancini, 1B, Norfolk
BEARISH
Statistics: .292 average, 10 HRs, 30 RBIs, 14 2Bs, 69 Ks in 73 games (at Norfolk)
MILB.com Player Page

How do I rank the Orioles’ latest Minor League Player of the Month – his second time receiving that honor in three months this season – as bearish this week? Well, the 2013 eighth-round pick has just six hits in his past 31 at-bats (.194). Mancini, 24, struck out eight times in that stretch. He broke an 0-for-12 streak with a double in the first inning of the Tides’ 4-3 loss to Syracuse on Friday and later added an RBI single in the game. The next night Mancini had two singles and scored a run in Norfolk’s 5-2 win over the Chiefs. His long-term trend obviously hasn’t changed. But I’m downgrading Mancini just for this week.

No. 9: DJ Stewart, OF, Frederick
BULLISH
Statistics: .298 average, 2 HRs, 11 RBIs, 5 2Bs, 15 runs, 13 Ks in 16 games (at Frederick)
MILB.com Player Page

Maybe the 2015 first-round pick (25th overall) just needed a change of scenery. Stewart, 22, is now batting .298 in 16 games since he joined the Keys to start the second half of the season. In 62 games at Delmarva before his promotion, Stewart batted .230. He currently has a six-game hitting streak and has homered twice in the past four games. Stewart shined in Frederick’s 11-7 win over Winston-Salem on Monday afternoon. With two outs in the sixth inning, he hit a three-run home run to right field. The Florida State product also had an RBI groundout, a single, a walk, a stolen base and three runs scored. That ability to do it all is why the Orioles drafted him last year. We’ll have to see if he can keep the momentum going in the coming weeks.

SURGING

Conor Bierfeldt, OF, Frederick: At 25, the 2013 29th-round selection is old for the Carolina League. But he has put on quite a power display this year. Bierfeldt, who joined the Keys on May 17 after starting on the disabled list, has 11 doubles, 14 home runs and 41 RBIs in 47 games with Frederick. He earned the league’s Player of the Month award for June after contributing eight homers and 25 RBIs in 25 games.

Julio Borbon, OF, Bowie: On Monday, the Eastern League named the 30-year-old former major leaguer as its Player of the Week for July 4-10. In that span, he had six multihit performances – including three games with three hits – and batted .533 (16-for-30). Since the beginning of the month, his average has climbed from .254 to .286.

Ofelky Peralta, RHP, Delmarva: In two starts this month, the 19-year-old Dominican Republic native has 15 strikeouts and has allowed just one hit in 11 scoreless innings. The South Atlantic League selected Peralta as its Player of the Week for July 4-10 after he threw a rain-shortened no-hitter Friday against Hagerstown. He struck out eight batters and walked one in five innings during the Shorebirds’ 5-0 win.

Aderlin Rodriguez, 1B-3B, Frederick: Although Mancini continues to lead Orioles’ minor leaguers with 17 home runs this year, the Dominican Republic native is right behind him with 16. Rodriguez, 24, earned Carolina League Player of the Week honors from July 4-10 after batting .452 (14-for-31) with five home runs and 15 RBIs in the seven-game stretch.

Cody Sedlock, RHP, Aberdeen: The professional debut of the Orioles’ 2016 first-round pick (27th overall) is in the rear-view mirror. Sedlock, 21, struck out four hitters, walked one and gave up one hit in three innings as the IronBirds won, 6-2, at Williamsport on Saturday. He threw 27 of his 42 pitches for strikes. Reports said his fastball sat between 94-96 mph and touched 98 mph.

FALLING

David Hess, RHP, Bowie: Hess, 23, has struggled over the past two-plus months with the Baysox. Since May 21, the 2014 fifth-round selection is 1-8 with an 8.85 ERA. In his last start, Hess gave up nine runs (four earned) and seven hits – including a career-high-tying three home runs – in 1 2/3 innings as Bowie fell, 21-4, at Reading on Friday night.

Kirvin Moesquit, 2B-3B, Aberdeen: The 2015 24th-round pick, who batted .274 with 12 RBIs in 30 games between the GCL Orioles and IronBirds last season, started 2016 with three hits in his first nine at-bats. But Moesquit, 21, is currently in an 0-for-23 slump over his past nine games. He’s batting .094 with 10 strikeouts and two RBIs overall.

Cedric Mullins, OF, Delmarva: In nine games this month, the 2015 13th-round selection only has four hits in 34 at-bats (.118). Mullins, 21, did hit a leadoff home run in the Shorebirds’ 9-5 loss to Hagerstown on Sunday, but that was only his second extra-base hit this month. The switch-hitter is batting just .193 (17-for-88) against left-handers this year.

Garabez Rosa, 2B-SS, Bowie: At the All-Star break, the 26-year-old Dominican infielder ranks second in the Eastern League with a .329 average. However, Rosa is only batting .195 (8-for-41) in 10 games this month. He is currently on a five-game hitting streak, but his average has dropped 28 points from .357 on June 29 to its current level.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Norfolk
July 12 – OFF
July 13 – Triple-A All-Star Game, 7 p.m.
July 14 – at Rochester, 7:05 p.m.
July 15 – at Rochester, 6:05 p.m.
July 16 – at Rochester, 6:05 p.m.
July 17 – at Rochester, 1:35 p.m.
July 18 – at Buffalo, 7:05 p.m.

Bowie
July 12 – OFF
July 13 – Eastern League All-Star Game, 7:05 p.m.
July 14 – vs. Richmond, 7:05 p.m.
July 15 – vs. Richmond, 7:05 p.m.
July 16 – vs. Richmond, 6:35 p.m.
July 17 – vs. Richmond, 2:05 p.m.
July 18 – at Binghamton, 6:35 p.m.

Frederick
July 12 – OFF
July 13 – at Myrtle Beach, 7:05 p.m.
July 14 – at Myrtle Beach, 7:05 p.m.
July 15 – at Myrtle Beach, 7:05 p.m.
July 16 – at Carolina, 6 p.m.
July 17 – at Carolina, 2 p.m.
July 18 – at Carolina, 7 p.m.

Delmarva
July 12 – at Columbia, 7:05 p.m.
July 13 – at Columbia, 7:05 p.m.
July 14 – at Columbia, 7:05 p.m.
July 15 – at Augusta, 7:05 p.m.
July 16 – at Augusta, 6:05 p.m.
July 17 – at Augusta, 5:05 p.m.
July 18 – at Augusta, 7:05 p.m.

Aberdeen
July 12 – vs. Brooklyn, 7:05 p.m.
July 13 – vs. Brooklyn, 7:05 p.m.
July 14 – at Batavia, 7:05 p.m.
July 15 – at Batavia, 7:05 p.m.
July 16 – at Batavia, 7:05 p.m.
July 17 – vs. Staten Island, 5:35 p.m.
July 18 – vs. Staten Island, 7:05 p.m.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Jp12191

    July 12, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    Great minor league analysis Dean, I don’t keep up with our farm system as much as I’d like to so this was awesome. Do you think Ryan Mountcastle will eventually replace JJ at shortstop if Manny stays at 3rd?
    And I don’t know if you play MLB 16 The Show but I can’t find Trey Mancini in the game and I really want to call him up to the majors haha.

    • Dean Jones

      July 12, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Jp, thanks for the kind words. I appreciate it — and I am happy that you took the time to read it all. To answer your question on Mountcastle — I think it’s definitely possible. And I think that the organization wouldn’t have drafted him where they did if they didn’t have high hopes for him. But remember that he’s only at Low-A Delmarva now, so it could take him some time to climb the ladder to the bigs. As for MLB The Show, I used to love baseball video games, but I haven’t played in years. Sorry! Haha.

  2. JustWin8

    July 12, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    Is it possible Cisco is major league next year ready? Might be a big hole to fill in the catcher spot in Balt? Walker and Yaz have a future in Balt.?

    • Dean Jones

      July 12, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      JustWin8, It remains to be seen. He certainly has showed that he can hit for average so far, but can he hit for enough power to play everyday in the majors? And is his defense up to par with what Buck Showalter expects? He’s still 21. There’s a lot of time for him to develop. No sense rushing him, but you’re right — that hole could be mighty big next year. As for Walker and Yaz, both guys have shown flashes. But in my opinion, both are streaky. They could play roles, sure. And Yaz certainly comes from the right family.

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