Dean Jones Report: August not kind to O's prospects either -
Dean Jones Report

Dean Jones Report: August not kind to O’s prospects either




Maybe I shouldn’t take a vacation again.

In the two weeks since the last “Dean Jones Report,” the Orioles are 5-8. They were tied with the Toronto Blue Jays atop the American League East when I left. Now, they’re in third place, two games behind the Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox.

And, as you’ll see below, things aren’t looking any better down on the farm. Every prospect listed below is “bearish” this week except Delmarva shortstop Ryan Mountcastle.

Regular readers know the “Dean Jones Report” is my way of updating readers on how the Orioles’ top prospects, according to Baseball America, are performing. I rate each player as bullish (rising stock) or bearish (falling stock) based on his recent performance. For each prospect, I also list notable statistics and a link to his Player Page in case you want to look deeper into the numbers.

Also, I include sections for players who are “surging” or “falling” in recent weeks, as well as an update on some notable 2016 draft picks. And, at the bottom of the post, I provide the upcoming schedules for the club’s affiliates.


No. 1: Chance Sisco, C, Bowie
Statistics: .309 average, 3 HRs, 39 RBIs, 25 2Bs, 48 runs in 103 games Player Page

The Orioles’ second-round pick in the 2013 draft has struggled offensively in August. Sisco, 21, is only batting .250 in 16 games this month, causing his overall average to drop to its lowest point since early July. His average hasn’t been below .300 since April 25, but it’s getting close to that point because Sisco has hit .156 (5-for-32) in his past eight completed games. (He was 1-for-2 with a run scored before Sunday’s contest against Akron was suspended due to rain with the Baysox trailing, 6-3, in the fourth inning.) Sisco now ranks fourth in the Eastern League in hitting, trailing Portland’s Aneury Tavarez (.331), Hartford’s Raimel Tapia (.323) and New Hampshire’s Harold Ramirez (.311). Sisco continues to lead the league in on-base percentage (.399).

No. 2: Hunter Harvey, RHP, disabled list
Statistics: 0-1, 3.52 ERA, 7 Ks, 9 hits, 6 BBs in 7 2/3 innings (at Aberdeen) Player Page

Harvey, 21, underwent successful Tommy John surgery last month and is expected to miss at least a year. It’s possible that the 2013 first-round selection (22nd overall) won’t pitch in a game again until April, 2018. After a promising start to his career, Harvey has pitched just 12 2/3 innings – all this season – in the past two years due to several injuries.

No. 3: Jomar Reyes, 3B, Frederick
Statistics: .219 average, 9 HRs, 46 RBIs, 47 runs, 93 Ks in 113 games Player Page

Like Sisco, Reyes has had a rough August. The 19-year-old third baseman is batting .171 (12-for-70) with only two extra-base hits (one double, one home run) and five RBIs in 19 games this month. Thanks to a 2-for-28 (.071) stretch over his past eight games, Reyes’ overall average has plunged to .219. That’s the lowest it has been since June 9. He did have a two-run home run and an RBI single in the Keys’ 8-7, 13-inning win over Potomac on Aug. 12. But since then, he has just one RBI – a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning of Frederick’s 6-4 win at Potomac on Friday. It’d be nice to see Reyes end his first Carolina League season with a little bit of momentum, but he’s trending in the wrong direction right now.

No. 4: Ryan Mountcastle, SS, Delmarva
Statistics: .284 average, 9 HRs, 45 RBIs, 25 2Bs, 50 runs, 89 Ks in 105 games Player Page

Mountcastle, 19, has had a productive month for the Shorebirds – and it’s not over yet. In 18 games in August, the 2015 first-round selection (36th overall) has three home runs and 12 RBIs. With about a week to play before September comes, both of those totals are already the second-most he has had in a month this year. Mountcastle had four homers and 13 RBIs in 26 games in June. Although he started poorly – batting .162 in April – Mountcastle has turned his season around since then. A quick note on his splits: He has batted .373 against left-handers (41-for-110) in 2016.

No. 5: Tanner Scott, LHP, Bowie
Statistics: 1-2, 7.36 ERA, 13 Ks, 14 hits, 10 BBs in 11 innings (at Bowie) Player Page

The Orioles’ 2014 sixth-round pick has given up at least one run in six of his nine appearances since moving up to the Baysox a month ago. Scott, 22, has a 2.18 WHIP and opponents are batting .341 against him at the Double-A level, but he has been slightly better with his control over his past three appearances. Scott still allowed seven hits and two runs (one earned) in 4 2/3 innings over that span, but he walked just one batter and hit another while striking out seven. In Bowie’s 4-1 loss to Akron on Friday, Scott (pictured above while with Frederick) made a few miscues to lead to an unearned run. He struck out the first two batters of the ninth inning before hitting the RubberDucks’ Eric Stamets. Then, he made two throwing errors to allow Stamets to score, and gave up a single before getting the final out with another strikeout.

No. 6: Trey Mancini, 1B, Norfolk
Statistics: .283 average, 13 HRs, 48 RBIs, 18 2Bs, 106 Ks in 111 games (at Norfolk) Player Page

Mancini, 24, is hitless in his past 18 at-bats since he hit a two-run home run in the third inning of the Tides’ 10-6 win at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday. Because of that, his average since moving up to Triple-A in late April has dropped to .283. It hasn’t been that low since June 24. And a month ago, the 2013 eighth-round selection was batting .310. Since then, Mancini is hitting just .214 (25-for-117) with three home runs and 11 RBIs in 30 games. Before he went deep Wednesday, Mancini didn’t have an extra-base hit since he hit a double in Norfolk’s 2-1 win over Gwinnett on Aug. 9. Overall, Mancini is still on the right path. But it’d be nice to see him begin hitting again before we head into September.

No. 7: Chris Lee, LHP, Bowie
Statistics: 5-0, 2.98 ERA, 19 Ks, 1.05 WHIP in 51 1/3 innings Player Page

Not much has changed with Lee, 24, since I went on vacation a couple of weeks ago. He did celebrate a birthday Wednesday. And he started throwing from 60 feet earlier this month. But it has now been exactly three months since Lee last pitched for the Baysox in a 2-1 loss at Hartford on May 23. He remains on the disabled list at Bowie with a strained lat muscle. Lee likely would have been pitching with the Orioles this season if he were healthy, but now he’ll need to work in the offseason for a shot in the major leagues next year.

No. 8: Garrett Cleavinger, LHP, Frederick
Statistics: 2-2, 4.45 ERA, 40 Ks, 31 hits, 20 BBs in 32 1/3 innings (at Frederick) Player Page

In his past five appearances since my last update on Aug. 9, the 2015 third-round pick has allowed six runs, 11 hits, six walks and a hit batter in 7 1/3 innings. That’s a 7.36 ERA if you’re keeping track at home. Cleavinger, 22, had the most trouble in the Keys’ 6-4 win at Potomac on Friday. In that game, he struck out the Nationals’ Austin Davidson with two runners on base to end the sixth inning. But then Cleavinger walked the bases loaded in the seventh and hit a batter to force in a run before he was replaced by Garrett Cortright. And Sunday, Cleavinger allowed Potomac to tie the game in the seventh inning with a triple and a sacrifice fly before the Nationals eventually won the game in 11 innings.

No. 9: Ofelky Peralta, RHP, Delmarva
Statistics: 7-5, 4.12 ERA, 95 Ks, 84 hits, 57 BBs in 98 1/3 innings Player Page

Peralta, 19, is 1-1 with a 7.11 ERA in four starts for the Shorebirds this month. In his last start, Peralta was charged with four runs and three hits in two-thirds of an inning Sunday against Lakewood. He had fared much better in his previous two starts – both against West Virginia. In those games, Peralta allowed only two unearned runs and seven hits while striking out nine batters in 10 innings. But he was also rocked in his first start in August, allowing six runs and six hits in two innings at Hickory on the first day of the month. Because of the two poor performances, I’m listing him as bearish right now.


Dariel Alvarez, OF, Norfolk: In his past three games, the 27-year-old Cuban outfielder has busted out of a slump. Alvarez has batted .692 (9-for-13) with three doubles, a walk and an RBI in that stretch after he had only two hits in his previous six games. Since the All-Star break, Alvarez is hitting .354 with 16 extra-base hits in 35 games for the Tides.

Jeff Beliveau, LHP, Bowie: The 29-year-old former major leaguer earned a promotion to the Baysox last Tuesday after he went 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA and 64 strikeouts in 45 innings for Frederick. Beliveau, who missed most of last year with a torn labrum, has a 4.00 ERA in 58 career outings in the majors. He had a 2.63 ERA in 30 games for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2014.

Parker Bridwell, RHP, Orioles: The 2010 ninth-round pick made his major league debut Sunday after pitching well in a relief role over the past month. Bridwell, 25, had a 2.93 ERA in 10 appearances for Bowie and allowed one run in three innings for Norfolk last Tuesday before receiving the promotion to the Orioles.

Yermin Mercedes, C, Frederick: Mercedes, 23, got off to a rough start with the Keys following his promotion from Delmarva on Aug. 1. But he has heated up recently, hitting .387 (12-for-31) with four home runs and eight RBIs in his past nine games. Mercedes had his second multi-homer game of the year in Frederick’s 8-7 win over Potomac on Aug. 12.

Cedric Mullins, OF, Delmarva: Mullins, 21, had his 19-game hitting streak snapped when he went 0-for-4 with a strikeout Saturday in the Shorebirds’ 4-2 loss to Lakewood. But the 2015 13th-round selection bounced back with two hits – including his 10th home run of the year – in Delmarva’s next game, a 9-6 loss to the BlueClaws that was completed Monday.

Christian Walker, OF, Norfolk: The 2012 fourth-round pick earned the International League Batter of the Week award Monday. Walker, 25, had his first multi-homer game of the year in the Tides’ 10-6 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday. He is currently on an eight-game hitting streak during which he is batting .367 (11-for-30) with three home runs and eight RBIs.


Caleb Joseph, C, Norfolk: The demotion is only temporary, as my colleague Dan Connolly discussed Monday, but it’s still unfortunate for the 30-year-old catcher to be in this position. With a .193 average, only two extra-base hits and no RBIs in 40 games this year, though, Joseph needs to do something to try to snap out of the season-long funk.

T.J. McFarland, LHP, Bowie: McFarland, 27, tossed three scoreless innings in his first rehab start for the Rookie-level GCL Orioles on Aug. 10. But his last three rehab outings haven’t gone nearly as smoothly. In 4 1/3 innings with Frederick and Bowie, the 2012 Rule 5 pick has allowed eight runs (six earned) and 11 hits.

Logan Ondrusek, RHP, Bowie: Ondrusek, 31, has pitched in two games for the Baysox since he was sent down Aug. 12. In his first appearance, Ondrusek allowed a double but struck out three batters in a scoreless inning at Hartford. And Saturday, he suffered the loss after giving up three runs and four hits in the ninth inning against Akron.


Keegan Akin, LHP, Aberdeen: The second-round selection hasn’t allowed a run in his past four starts for the IronBirds. Akin, 21, has struck out 14 batters and given up only six hits in 12 innings during that stretch. He had a season-high six strikeouts in three innings during Aberdeen’s 2-1 win over Lowell on Aug. 13. Overall, Akin is 0-1 with a 1.35 ERA.

Cole Billingsley, OF, Aberdeen: Billingsley, 22, earned a spot in the New York-Penn League All-Star Game last week after hitting .268 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in 39 games before the break. But the 19th-round pick has struggled in August. He is just 6-for-43 (.140) in 13 games this month.

Austin Hays, OF, Aberdeen: In 15 games this month, the third-round selection is batting .380 (19-for-50) with one home run and 10 RBIs. Hays, 21, is currently on a six-game hitting streak in which he has four multi-hit performances and six RBIs. He doesn’t have enough at-bats to qualify, but his .352 average is better than the league’s current leader.

Jake Ring, OF, GCL Orioles: The 31st-round pick has been a nice surprise for the GCL Orioles. Ring, 22, is batting .272 with 17 RBIs and a team-leading 14 stolen bases in 45 games. In the GCL Orioles’ 6-4 win over the GCL Twins on Monday, Ring – who has batted leadoff in 17 games – went 2-for-3 with an RBI double, a stolen base and a run scored.

Cody Sedlock, RHP, Aberdeen: The first-round selection (27th overall) has pitched three innings in each of his seven starts this year. And Sedlock, 21, might have been at his best in his most recent outing. In the IronBirds’ 4-2 loss at Tri-City on Thursday, he allowed one hit and one unearned run. But he threw a season-low 37 pitches (26 strikes) in the game.


Norfolk (56-74)
Aug. 23 – vs. Rochester, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 24 – vs. Rochester, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 25 – vs. Rochester, 12:05 p.m.
Aug. 26 – vs. Charlotte, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 27 – vs. Charlotte, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 28 – vs. Charlotte, 6:05 p.m.
Aug. 29 – at Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m.

Bowie (52-75)
Aug. 23 – at Trenton, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 – at Trenton, 2 p.m.
Aug. 25 – vs. Binghamton, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 26 – vs. Binghamton, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 27 – vs. Binghamton, 6:35 p.m.
Aug. 28 – vs. Binghamton, 2:05 p.m.
Aug. 29 – vs. Harrisburg, 7:05 p.m.

Frederick (63-63)
Aug. 23 – vs. Winston-Salem, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 – vs. Winston-Salem, 7 p.m.
Aug. 25 – vs. Winston-Salem, 7 p.m.
Aug. 26 – at Salem, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 27 – at Salem (doubleheader), 4:05 p.m.
Aug. 28 – at Salem, 4:05 p.m.
Aug. 29 – OFF

Delmarva (63-62)
Aug. 23 – at Hagerstown, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 24 – at Hagerstown, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 25 – at Hagerstown, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 26 – vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 27 – vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 28 – vs. Lexington, 5:05 p.m.
Aug. 29 – OFF

Aberdeen (27-34)
Aug. 23 – at Staten Island, 7 p.m.
Aug. 24 – at Staten Island, 7 p.m.
Aug. 25 – at Staten Island, 7 p.m.
Aug. 26 – vs. Hudson Valley, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 27 – vs. Hudson Valley, 7:05 p.m.
Aug. 28 – vs. Hudson Valley, 5:35 p.m.
Aug. 29 – at State College, 7:05 p.m.

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