Updating our Top 12 Orioles prospects list - Dean's Dozen - with Lowther and Sedlock - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dean Jones Report

Updating our Top 12 Orioles prospects list — Dean’s Dozen — with Lowther and Sedlock

Photo credit: Douglas DeFelice/USA Today Sports

We’ve made it through another offseason.

Three of the Orioles’ four full-season affiliates – Double-A Bowie, High-A Frederick and Low-A Delmarva – will kick off their 2018 campaigns Thursday. The Baysox (against Harrisburg) and the Shorebirds (against Asheville) open at home, while the Keys start on the road at Myrtle Beach. Triple-A Norfolk will play its first game Friday against Gwinnett.

The beginning of another minor league season also means the return of the weekly “Dean Jones Report” here on BaltimoreBaseball.com. Just like I’ve done in the past, I’ll track the Orioles minor leaguers on my “Dean’s Dozen” rankings. I’ll categorize each of the 12 players as a rising stock (bullish) or a falling stock (bearish) based on their recent performances.

I’ll also highlight a handful of players divided into two categories – surging and falling. These players could change from week to week, depending on who’s hot and who’s not in the Orioles’ minor league system. Finally, I’ll provide the upcoming schedule for the Orioles’ affiliates – in case you’re interested in getting out to see some of these players in action.

Shortly before spring training started, I unveiled the preliminary Dean’s Dozen list for the 2018 season. I said that I’d re-evaluate my rankings if any of the players made the Orioles’ Opening Day roster. Catcher Chance Sisco and outfielder Anthony Santander did that.

So, as you’ll see, I’ve bumped Sisco and Santander from the list and moved everyone else up either one or two spots, depending on where they were in the initial rankings. Then, I added left-hander Zac Lowther (pictured above) and right-hander Cody Sedlock at No. 11 and No. 12.

Lowther, who will turn 22 later this month, just missed the cut in my preliminary rankings for 2018. The 2017 competitive balance round B selection struck out 75 hitters in 54 1/3 innings at Short-A Aberdeen last season. He had a 1.66 ERA and an impressive 0.85 WHIP. In his first full season in the Orioles’ system, Lowther will start in the rotation at Delmarva.

Meanwhile, the second addition to my updated rankings comes with a little more intrigue.

When I put together the list in early February, I omitted Sedlock because of his struggles with injury and command during the 2017 season. Sedlock, 22, jumped over Delmarva and headed straight to Frederick to start last year. But with the Keys, the 2016 first-round pick (27th overall) made two trips to the disabled list due to issues with his throwing arm.

After going 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in his first four starts with the Keys, Sedlock fell off a cliff. His ERA soared to as high as 6.80 in late May – and stayed above 6.00 until late August. Overall, Sedlock went 4-5 with a 5.90 ERA and 1.72 WHIP in 20 starts at Frederick.

Those numbers obviously aren’t what you want to see from a first-round pick in Single-A.

Still, with Sisco and Santander making the Orioles, that opened spots in my Dean’s Dozen rankings. And since Sedlock is a player whom Orioles fans want to hear about on a regular basis, I’m willing to put him at No. 12 for now and see how things shake out. Obviously, if he struggles early, I’ll reconsider his position as the season progresses.

But, for now, Sedlock is reportedly healthy. So we’ll see if he pitches like it again.

Here’s the latest Dean’s Dozen list that I’ll be writing about weekly:

No. 1: Austin Hays, OF, Bowie

No. 2: Ryan Mountcastle, 3B, Bowie (disabled list)

No. 3: Hunter Harvey, RHP, Bowie

No. 4: Cedric Mullins, OF, Bowie

No. 5: Tanner Scott, LHP, Norfolk

No. 6: DL Hall, LHP, Delmarva

No. 7: DJ Stewart, OF, Norfolk

No. 8: Keegan Akin, LHP, Bowie

No. 9: Alex Wells, LHP, Frederick

No. 10: Michael Baumann, RHP, Delmarva

No. 11: Zac Lowther, LHP, Delmarva

No. 12: Cody Sedlock, RHP, Frederick

And, finally, here’s the first week of scheduled games for the Orioles’ full-season affiliates:

THE WEEK AHEAD

Norfolk (0-0)
April 5 – OFF
April 6 – vs. Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m.
April 7 – vs. Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m.
April 8 – vs. Gwinnett, 1:05 p.m.
April 9 – vs. Charlotte, 6:35 p.m.
April 10 – vs. Charlotte, 6:35 p.m.
April 11 – vs. Charlotte, 12:05 p.m.

Bowie (0-0)
April 5 – vs. Harrisburg, 6:35 p.m.
April 6 – vs. Harrisburg, 7:05 p.m.
April 7 – vs. Harrisburg, 1:35 p.m.
April 8 – vs. Harrisburg, 1:35 p.m.
April 9 – vs. Erie, 6:35 p.m.
April 10 – vs. Erie, 6:35 p.m.
April 11 – vs. Erie, 6:35 p.m.

Frederick (0-0)
April 5 – at Myrtle Beach, 7:05 p.m.
April 6 – at Myrtle Beach, 7:05 p.m.
April 7 – at Myrtle Beach, 6:05 p.m.
April 8 – at Myrtle Beach, 6:05 p.m.
April 9 – at Carolina, 7 p.m.
April 10 – at Carolina, 7 p.m.
April 11 – at Carolina, 11 a.m.

Delmarva (0-0)
April 5 – vs. Asheville, 7:05 p.m.
April 6 – vs. Asheville, 7:05 p.m.
April 7 – vs. Asheville, 7:05 p.m.
April 8 – vs. Asheville, 2:05 p.m.
April 9 – vs. Hickory, 7:05 p.m.
April 10 – vs. Hickory, 7:05 p.m.
April 11 – vs. Hickory, 10:35 a.m.

19 Comments

19 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    April 4, 2018 at 8:00 am

    Dean … how close is Jomar Reyes to making your list?

    • Dean Jones

      April 4, 2018 at 8:08 am

      Good question, BRR. I’ve considered him. He’s a BIG dude. We’ll see how he starts at the beginning of this season. Since he has been in the organization so long, people forget that he’s only 21. He started well last year before getting hurt. In other words, stay tuned.

  2. Orial

    April 4, 2018 at 8:49 am

    After watching Mancini “try” to play LF,Jones slow down before our eyed,and the RF fiasco when can we see Hays,Mullins. Desperately need speed, athleticism in the OF.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 9:05 am

      I’ll take this one. And it’s not super positive news. I don’t expect either soon. Both are at Bowie and it’s not just because Bowie is in close proximity to Camden Yards. The organization likes both but also sees some game flaws that need to be worked out with everyday playing time before facing the top competition in the world. I could see a 2018 promotion for both but I, personally, don’t envision it in the first half. I will say this about these recent Orioles. Whether it’s Machado, Schoop, Mancini, Sisco, Givens, etc, they are pretty good at getting the player in the majors full-time when that player is ready. Much harder with pitchers, and they’ve had some trouble there, but these recent Orioles are pretty good at knowing when a player can handle the monumental shift to the bigs.

    • Bancells Moustache

      April 4, 2018 at 10:32 am

      Jones didn’t do Mancini any favors running into his peripheral vision just as Mancini was attacking the ball. He should know better. But you are right, Mancini should be a First Baseman. Maybe THE First Baseman. I know everyone will point to Davis’ glove work, but does anybody know how a converted Third Baseman becomes a “Gold Glove caliber First Baseman”? By playing First Base. Whose to say Mancini doesn’t do likewise? Doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see the physical impossibility of improving as a First Baseman by playing Left Field. Interested to see how this shakes out. I’ve been a big Chris Davis proponent for a while now, but I’m warming to the idea that his contract may be the biggest financial blunder the Orioles front-office has ever made.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 11:34 am

      Here’s the deal though. Davis already is a quality defensive first baseman and the defense overall has slipped. I don’t think you remove Davis from that spot at this point, contract or not. And that’s not sayin Mancini couldn’t play a good first. Heck, Trumbo’s best position by far is first. But Davis is pretty darn good at it.

  3. Orial

    April 4, 2018 at 9:18 am

    Though this organization is always in search of pitching this may be the draft to grab a stud,athletic,fast,power armed outfielder.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 11:36 am

      I feel like they think OF is pretty well stocked in the minors with Stewart, Hays, Mullins and Santander among others. They need help up the middle, tho. Regardless, you almost never draft for position in Baseball. Although they did it a few years back with catcher.

  4. JParsley

    April 4, 2018 at 9:36 am

    do we have anyone in the minors who can play 1b, I am so sick of watching Chris Davis bat. He looks so sad all the time like he’s not even trying. And they have stop batting him leadoff. Maybe we could develop a new position. Designated fielder. I feel bad complaining about him like this cause I like the guy, but something has to change

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      April 4, 2018 at 9:49 am

      Trey Mancini is a 1st baseman.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 11:37 am

      There is also the belief that Ryan Mountcastle may end up at first. And be a pretty solid one.

  5. BunkerFan

    April 4, 2018 at 9:53 am

    Kudos to the photographer for that exceptional photo of Zac Lowther delivering a pitch. I have seen thousands of baseball photos over the years but never one quite like that. To seen the ball and the pitcher in the same photo and to see the determination in Lowther’s expression make this photo one of the great ones.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 11:38 am

      I agree. It was from spring training this year and by one of the USA Today photogs. Glad it caught you the way it caught me. And I’m sure I’ll use it again (if Lowther gives us compelling reasons).

  6. ClyOs

    April 4, 2018 at 11:09 am

    I find it interesting the top four prospects, Hayes, Mountcastle, Harvey, and Mullins are all starting out at Bowie and not Norfolk. The Organization must want to keep them close to Baltimore just in case.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 11:39 am

      The AA and AAA distinctions have changed over the years. There is widespread thought that the best prospects spend the most time at AA these days. And it isn’t unusual anymore for players to skip AAA.

  7. Dblack2508

    April 4, 2018 at 11:44 am

    I like Aiken, he reminds me of Danny Jackson. I think he has the potential to be a #3 in the rotation guy.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 4, 2018 at 2:02 pm

      That would be acceptable. Jackson had some good years.

  8. jkneps63

    April 4, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    I know he didn’t have the best Spring Training with Orioles, however I am a big DJ Stewart fan, hope he excels with Norfolk and, if he does, gets some games in with the Orioles later in the season. He has been drawing a lot of BB in the minors, has a very strong OBP, and has some good power too. I would move him up in your rankings.

    • Dan Connolly

      April 5, 2018 at 1:25 am

      He moved himself up last year. And if he repeats that, he’ll not only move up in the rankings, but into the majors as well.

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