By most accounts, the Orioles currently have one of the worst farm systems in baseball. Yes, they’ve won more games in the last 4 years than any other American League team, but they’ve certainly made sacrifices with young players to get there. The likes of Jake Arrieta, Josh Hader and Eduardo Rodriguez have been traded for short-term midseason reinforcements, in addition to multiple draft picks that have been surrendered in both free agent and trade deals. Couple that with countless injuries to both Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey, and the O’s minor leagues could certainly be in better shape.
But for you optimists out there, there’s one ‘objective analysis’ system that looks at the team’s farm system more fondly. The FanGraphs KATOH projection, which GM Dan Duquette actually referenced at FanFest, would rank the O’s farm as the 11th-best in the sport ((if based on their sheer number of prospects (4) in the top 100)) after selecting OF Joey Rickard in the Rule 5 draft, who is ranked 98th on their list. The O’s prospects break down this way:
- #22: C | Chance Sisco
- #42: 1B | Trey Mancini
- #49: 3B | Jomar Reyes
- #98: OF | Joey Rickard
Most other prospect rankings — from Baseball America to Baseball Prospectus to MLB.com — aren’t nearly as optimistic, so let’s hope and pray that the KATOH system ends up being accurate.