One scout's look at the Orioles' farm: Hays, Sisco, Scott, Castro, Mountcastle and others -

Dan Connolly

One scout’s look at the Orioles’ farm: Hays, Sisco, Scott, Castro, Mountcastle and others

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

Earlier this week I spoke to a major league scout from an opposing team about the Orioles organization.

You can read the first part – which takes a look at some of the current big leaguers – here.

Today, we’re running the second and final segment, which focuses on several players that spent a chunk of the year in the minors – or are still there.

The Orioles’ farm system has been much maligned over the years, but to be fair, much of the core of the 2018 team was developed by the organization: Manny Machado, Jonathan Schoop, Trey Mancini, Zach Britton, Kevin Gausman, Dylan Bundy, Mychal Givens, Caleb Joseph.

Here’s a look at the next wave through the eyes of a talent evaluator from another organization.

The system

“It’s gotten a little better. I like Hunter Harvey a lot if he can come back healthy. I like the (Keegan) Akin kid. He can pitch a little bit. And Austin Hays is a pleasant surprise, a shock really. They have a relatively high pick recently that can do something. That’s rather uncharacteristic on their part. Seriously, their system has gotten a little bit better, but it’s a far cry from, say, Washington or the Yankees.”

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  1. DauerPower

    December 8, 2017 at 7:40 am

    Good stuff Dan. And credit to you that this scout trusts you to talk openly. I always like the stories on our minor leaguers as that is where “hope springs eternal.” Was surprised he didn’t mention Cedric Mullins or DJ Stewart.
    Keep up the great writing and hope to see you on Wall To Wall from time to time this winter.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 8, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Thanks. Mullins was hurt for much of the year so opportunities to see him were scarce. I forgot to ask about Stewart. He should have been on my radar.

  2. Boog Robinson Robinson

    December 8, 2017 at 7:48 am

    Very encouraging report for most of these kids … especially Castro … but what I find a bit (OK … more than bit) alarming is this scout’s opionion that Mountcastle can’t play the infield? This is the 1st I’ve heard of this. Wasn’t this guy drafted to be a shortstop? Everything I heard was they had moved him to the hot corner in preparation for Manny’s inevitable departure. What gives? And to top it off, he’s gonna have to “get a 1st baseman’s mitt”? Newsflash … that position is taken for the next 5 years by the organization’s albatross. Not good…

    Other than that … not a bad report on the system by an insider. Thanks Dan … good stuff.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 8, 2017 at 12:51 pm

      They knew he didn’t have the D to play SS in the majors. They still have hope he can play 3B, and it is early in his transformation. But it doesn’t look great.

    • Jbiglen49

      December 9, 2017 at 8:20 pm

      It’s kind of funny to hear scouts give rave reviews on Castro. Every single NL team passed him over and a bunch of AL teams when he was on waivers and had options left last year. Hopefully he can repeat last years success out of the pen. I don’t have much for him in the rotation.

  3. 54orioles

    December 8, 2017 at 8:38 am

    This confirms my thoughts from yesterday. The future is brighter than it has been for awhile. Just keep them healthy, be patient, and make room on the roster. This can change the entire complexity of the team. Makes the hometown fans excited about the team. Oh yeah, keep them standing during the National Anthem.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 8, 2017 at 12:52 pm

      Still would like to see some high upside pitchers come calling.

  4. Orial

    December 8, 2017 at 9:12 am

    Number one thing I noticed from the article was “organization getting better but not in the NYY Wash category”. How can elite teams like them always be top 5 major league and top 5 minor league when the Orioles struggle consistently at both? Dan you may have hit on it yesterday–lack of scouting. Mountcastle another Trumbo/Mancini not what I wanted to see. Pitching has hope according to the scout. BTW I see where the “trading Manny” articles are hitting the presses.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 8, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      New York and Washington both do a great job internationally too. Enough said. … also, tis the season of rumors.

    • Jbiglen49

      December 9, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      If we don’t change our stance on international FA’s we’ll never get much higher than we are right now. Certainly never top 5. Can’t trade your money for guys like Milton Ramos and Konrad or whatever his name is from Colorado and expect to have a great farm.

  5. phildell

    December 8, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    Great job Dan! This is both uplifting and cause for consternation because of the many “ifs”.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 8, 2017 at 2:36 pm

      Yeah. That’s kind of the rub on prospects. Promise and ifs.

  6. Dpsmith22

    December 8, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    Thanks Dan.

    The only thing I disagreed with is that he said Sisco will not hit for power.
    1) OPACY makes EVERYONE hit for power. (Makes me shake my head knowing this swing n’ miss lineup Duquette built)
    2) Hitters who use the middle of the field, eventually get bigger, stronger, and balls start going out.

    Early prediction: Because of the 2 things I mention here, Sisco will hit 15 homers, if not more. I have seen him 3-4 games and his plate discipline and approach are unheard of, coming from this organization.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 8, 2017 at 3:16 pm

      He’s never hit more than 9 in a season. But he is still young.

  7. Raymo

    December 8, 2017 at 10:18 pm

    If JJ Hardy retires, the Os should hire him to work with Beckham and teach Mountcastle how to throw.

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