Sisco, Reyes, Lee bullish in first 'Dean Jones Report' -
Dean Jones Report

Sisco, Reyes, Lee bullish in first ‘Dean Jones Report’



The Orioles have jumped to the top of the American League East standings through the first two weeks of the 2016 season. But things aren’t going so well down on the farm.

The organization’s four full-season minor league affiliates – Triple-A Norfolk (3-8), Double-A Bowie (4-7), High-A Frederick (5-7) and Low-A Delmarva (5-7) – have a combined .370 winning percentage.

The minor leagues aren’t about team success, though, as much as they are about developing players who can help the major league squad down the road. Sure, teams love to win league championships – like Bowie did in the Eastern League last year. There’s also something to be said about a winning culture that is developed in the minors.

But as long as the organization has players who are making strides and advancing through the system, it’s a win – even if the collective record of the teams is well below .500.



That brings us to why I’m putting together “The Dean Jones Report.” It’s my way to provide readers with a once-per-week glimpse at which players could be coming to Camden Yards to help the Orioles – perhaps as soon as later this season.

Each week, I will track the performance of the minor leaguers on Baseball America’s Orioles 2016 Top 10 prospects list. For now, that only includes seven players, because right-handed pitchers Dylan Bundy, Mychal Givens and Mike Wright are all with the Orioles. We’ll categorize each of those seven as a rising stock (bullish) or a falling stock (bearish), based on their recent performance. The updated stats for each player are linked below to his page.

I also will highlight a handful of additional 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.

At the bottom of each post, is the upcoming schedule for each of the minor league affiliates. Your homework assignment is to attend a few games, take some notes about the players you see and give your analysis in the comments below each write-up.

Now, let’s get to how the players have performed so far this season:


Hunter Harvey, RHP, extended spring training
BEARISH Player Page

Harvey, 21, is technically on the seven-day disabled list at High-A Frederick. But he is in Sarasota, Fla., still 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 was shut down after that start with a flexor mass strain in his throwing arm. Then, he missed the entire 2015 season with a fractured right fibula and more soreness in his right elbow and forearm. There’s still plenty of time for Harvey to get his career back on track – and that’s why he’s still rated so highly by Baseball America (No. 2 in the O’s system) and other services – but he obviously needs to return to the field and begin making contributions soon.

Chance Sisco, C, Double-A Bowie
BULLISH Player Page

After starting the season with no hits in his first six at-bats, the 2013 second-round selection has an active seven-game hitting streak through Monday. In that stretch, he is batting .346 (9-for-26) with three doubles, five RBIs and six runs scored. Sisco, 21, contributed a double and three RBIs to give the Baysox their first win of the season on April 11. It’s still early, but the O’s No. 3 prospect has shown the ability to come up with clutch hits so far this year, batting .600 (3-for-5) with two walks and four RBIs with runners in scoring position.

Jomar Reyes, 3B, High-A Frederick
BULLISH Player Page

Reyes, 19, hit his second home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth inning Monday night as Frederick beat Wilmington, 5-1, for the club’s first home win of the year. His other home run came in the Keys’ 8-6 loss to Lynchburg on Thursday. The fourth-ranked prospect had a two-run single and a sacrifice fly in Frederick’s 5-3 victory at Salem on Wednesday. Reyes is batting .360 (9-for-25) with the bases empty, but only .167 (2-for-12) with runners in scoring position this year. Both of his home runs were solo shots at Harry Grove Stadium in Frederick.

Chris Lee, LHP, Double-A Bowie
BULLISH Player Page

The 23-year-old left-hander, whom the Orioles acquired in a May 2015 trade with the Houston Astros, earned wins in both of his appearances this year. So, if you were paying attention at the beginning of this post and can do a little bit of math, you’ll realize that means half of Bowie’s victories in 2016 have come with Lee on the mound. On April 11, he relieved Orioles left-hander Brian Matusz – who gave up six runs in one inning during a rehab start – and held Erie to three runs and three hits in 6 1/3 innings as the Baysox rallied to beat the SeaWolves, 11-9, for their first win of the year. Then, on Sunday, the No. 6 prospect allowed two runs and four hits in six innings as Bowie cruised to a 9-4 victory over Akron.

Ryan Mountcastle, SS, Low-A Delmarva
BEARISH Player Page

Mountcastle, 19, had a promising South Atlantic League debut with a two-run home run in the ninth inning of the Shorebirds’ season-opening win, 4-0, over Hagerstown on April 7. And he followed that up with a two-hit game in Delmarva’s 6-4 loss to the Suns the following night. But he has struggled mightily since then. In his last four games, the 2015 first-round pick (36th overall) is 0-for-16 with eight strikeouts. Overall, Mountcastle is batting .132 (5-for-38) in 10 games. The seventh-ranked prospect is also hitless (0-for-16) with eight strikeouts in four games at Perdue Stadium this season.

Trey Mancini, 1B, Double-A Bowie
BULLISH Player Page

While many people expected Mancini to start the year at Norfolk, a logjam in the organization pushed the 24-year-old first baseman back to Bowie – at least for now. Through 11 games for the Baysox, the 2015 Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year has continued to tear through Double-A pitching. He is tied for the most home runs in the Eastern League (five) and sits among the league leaders in several other offensive categories, including OPS (1.207, third). Despite the accolades within the organization, Baseball America listed the Notre Dame product as the Orioles’ eighth best prospect heading into 2016.

D.J. Stewart, OF, Low-A Delmarva
BEARISH Player Page

Unlike Mountcastle, his teammate and fellow 2015 first-round selection, Stewart (25th pick overall) started slow at Delmarva and has started to hit a little bit better lately. Since his average dipped to .095 after he went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in the Shorebirds’ 4-1 loss to Hagerstown on Thursday, Stewart is 4-for-16 with two doubles and two RBIs. The 22-year-old outfielder, and O’s ninth-rated prospect, had a pair of RBI singles in his first two at-bats Monday night for Delmarva against Greensboro, but he also was picked off and caught stealing in the game.


Alex Murphy, C, Low-A Delmarva: Through 12 games, the 2013 sixth-round pick and Calvert Hall grad ranks among the South Atlantic League leaders in batting average (.362, ninth), hits (17, second), doubles (six, second), RBIs (10, fifth) and total bases (26, third). Murphy, 21, has hit safely in 11 of his 12 games so far this season, including five with at least two hits.

Christian Walker, OF, Triple-A Norfolk: Walker, 25, is tied for the International League lead with three home runs. He is also tied for third with 24 total bases and ranks first on the Tides with eight RBIs. Switched to the outfield this year, the 2012 fourth-round selection has a perfect fielding percentage so far.

Garabez Rosa, SS, Double-A Bowie: The 26-year-old utility player has carried over an impressive spring training performance into the Eastern League regular season. After batting .571 with eight RBIs in 16 games for the Orioles in the Grapefruit League, Rosa is tied for second in the league with 11 RBIs in nine games.

Chaz Roe, RHP, Triple-A Norfolk: The 29-year-old right-hander was outrighted to the Tides to start the season. And Roe has succeeded so far with a 1.42 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. He has four straight perfect appearances after giving up one run and four hits in his season debut April 7 against Gwinnett.


Mike Yastrzemski, OF, Double-A Bowie: Although the 2013, 14th-round pick had his first multihit performance of the season in Bowie’s 5-1 win over Erie on Monday night, he’s still only batting .182 with three RBIs and one extra-base hit through nine games. The one bright spot is his ability to get on base so far (seven walks).

Jonah Heim, C, High-A Frederick: While the other two catchers the Orioles selected in the first six rounds of the 2013 draft – Sisco and Murphy – have started strong in 2016, Heim hasn’t had the same success in eight games for the Keys. He is batting .185 (5-for-27) overall and only .063 (1-for-16) in five games on the road.


Triple-A Norfolk
April 19 – at Charlotte, 7:05 p.m.
April 20 – at Charlotte, 7:05 p.m.
April 21 – vs. Durham, 6:35 p.m.
April 22 – vs. Durham, 7:05 p.m.
April 23 – vs. Durham, 7:05 p.m.
April 24 – vs. Louisville, 4:05 p.m.
April 25 – vs. Louisville, 6:35 p.m.

Double-A Bowie
April 19 – at Erie, 6:35 p.m.
April 20 – at Erie, 12:05 p.m.
April 21 – vs. Harrisburg, 6:35 p.m.
April 22 – vs. Harrisburg, 7:05 p.m.
April 23 – vs. Harrisburg, 6:35 p.m.
April 24 – vs. Harrisburg, 2:05 p.m.
April 25 – vs. Richmond, 6:35 p.m.

High-A Frederick
April 19 – vs. Wilmington, 7 p.m.
April 20 – vs. Wilmington, 11 a.m.
April 21 – at Lynchburg, 6:30 p.m.
April 22 – at Lynchburg, 6:30 p.m.
April 23 – at Lynchburg, 6:30 p.m.
April 24 – at Lynchburg, 2 p.m.
April 25 – OFF

Low-A Delmarva
April 19 – vs. Greensboro, 7:05 p.m.
April 20 – vs. Greensboro, 7:05 p.m.
April 21 – at Kannapolis, 7:05 p.m.
April 22 – at Kannapolis, 7:05 p.m.
April 23 – at Kannapolis, 7:05 p.m.
April 24 – at Kannapolis, 5:05 p.m.
April 25 – OFF



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