Tap-In Question: Which Orioles prospect are you most excited to watch in the majors? - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Tap-In Question: Which Orioles prospect are you most excited to watch in the majors?

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

On Monday, Baseball America released its annual Top 100 prospects list, and the Orioles had three representatives: outfielder Austin Hays at 21, catcher Chance Sisco (pictured above) at 68 and third baseman Ryan Mountcastle at 71.

That’s a solid showing considering the Orioles had a total of three on the list in the previous seasons combined. The last time they had three on one list was 2014, with pitchers Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman and Eduardo Rodriguez.

The bad news is the Orioles have no pitchers on the list this year, and that’s obviously where they need the most help currently. I’ll admit I was a little surprised right-hander Hunter Harvey wasn’t toward the back end of the Top 100, but I assume Baseball America – like the rest of us – are holding out judgment on the former first-round pick until he can stay healthy for a full season.

Here’s some other unpleasant news: The Tampa Bay Rays and New York Yankees each had six on the list and the Toronto Blue Jays had four, including two of the Top Eight. The only AL team with a worse showing than the Orioles was the Red Sox, who had two (at 83rd and 85th).

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Two things about this annual evaluation:

One, prospect lists are guesses – educated guesses by people who know their stuff. But guesses, nonetheless. Some high prospects fizzle and some lesser prospects surge (Hays, for instance, didn’t make it last year at all).

Two, the Orioles system is better than it was in recent years, but still has a way to go. Still, three prospects in the Top 100 is solid (how many would it be if Dan Duquette and company were authorized to spend money on international amateurs?).

We already have seen two of the three Orioles on this list at Camden Yards: Hays and Sisco both played there in September. Both have a legitimate chance to get an extended look in 2018.

With a good spring, Sisco, 22, could start the year as Caleb Joseph’s backup. Hays, who blew through the minors in 2017, will probably begin the year at Triple-A Norfolk. But it’s not an impossibility, especially if injuries occur, that the 22-year-old could play his way onto the Opening Day roster.

Mountcastle, 20, finished the year at Double-A Bowie and that’s likely where he’ll stay. His bat’s well ahead of his glove at this point. The Orioles don’t want to rush Harvey, but the Orioles need rotation help, so he could be summoned at some point in 2018, as well.

We’ll soon unveil our annual “Dean’s Dozen,” our Top 12 prospects in the Orioles organization – and we can compare our list with some of the others out there.

Today, though, I want to know who you are most excited about in the Orioles’ farm system. Who is the guy you most look forward to watching develop in an Orioles’ uniform? Trey Mancini doesn’t count; I want someone who has not yet spent a year in the big leagues.

Tap-In Question: Which Orioles’ prospect are you most looking forward to watching play in the majors?

31 Comments

31 Comments

  1. Zoey Dog Says Throw Strikes

    January 23, 2018 at 8:12 am

    In the short term, I’m looking forward to seeing Hays in Spring Training. It would be a great story if he was the kind of surprise that Mancini was last year.

    In the long term, I’m very curious and hopeful about DL Hall.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2018 at 9:06 am

      Hall is intriguing but so far away. Hays is a great story already. Very few players have flown through the organization like he has. I’m with you. Curious to see how this plays out.

  2. Orial

    January 23, 2018 at 8:47 am

    Right off the bat Hays comes to mind. His minor league career was so outstanding that one would think that big league success is guaranteed,but we’ll see. Injury prone Cedric Mullins is just what the organization needs–speedy OFer. I pick these two for one system reason–athletic/multi tooled. Stewart,Santander are interesting but I fear they fall into a typical Oriole group–DH type. My eyes will be on Hays. Quick side note-I’m not overly exited about Cisco. Think he’ll be an average catcher.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2018 at 9:07 am

      Mullins is fun to watch. I saw him in spring training and he drives the ball. It just jumps off his bat. And then he can really run. Or at least for an Oriole he can really run.

  3. woody

    January 23, 2018 at 9:00 am

    Ditto Mullins. Why sign Dyson when you’ve got an option like Mullins who really isn’t going to produce that much less, for free.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2018 at 9:08 am

      Because Mullins isn’t ready right now and as Orial suggested he’s had some hamstring issues. They need help in right now.

  4. bigdaddydk

    January 23, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Being as we don’t do too bad a job of generating and/or acquiring position players, I’m going to refrain from getting too excited over them. I’m going to go with starting pitchers instead and give two. One is pretty obvious: Hunter Harvey. He’s got such a high ceiling that if he stays healthy and is developed properly, he could be a top of the rotation guy for us. I want to see how he does against pitching above A-ball though. The other is Alex Wells. Again, I need to see him pitch above A-ball, but a guy who throws strikes and doesn’t walk people would be a tremendous asset. I’m not totally sold on him yet just because he’s not seen serious hitting yet. But all the same, even if he was a back of the rotation starter it would be a real boost for our system. My entire justification here is based on the needs of the rotation, both this year and in the future. The idea that we could have a completely home grown rotation in a few years, assuming Bundy and Gausman are retained, is quite appealing to me. It could potentially signal a shift in our system’s perception.

    Farther down the road, I’m curious to see DL Hall as well. He’s been called the steal of the draft, so I’m hoping he pans out that way.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2018 at 9:11 am

      I agree that Harvey is legit if he can stay healthy. And that is a legit if. Jury is truly out on Wells but the BB/K rate is encouraging. Excellent post. Drink chip.

  5. OsFanStuckInNY

    January 23, 2018 at 9:06 am

    Hunter Harvey — IF he truly has the goods (still, after surgery.)
    I think there is less than a 10% chance he is going to become a #1 starter, between O’s staff dubious record developing starters and the surgery, but here’s hoping!

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2018 at 9:12 am

      Aces are hard to come by. But if he can be a solid contributor toward the top of the rotation, that would be huge for the organization.

  6. JoeFundo

    January 23, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Position player – Ryan Mountcastle

    Pitcher – Hunter Harvey (if he is a bust or never healthy that is a mega huge hit to the organization)

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2018 at 9:19 am

      I haven’t seen Mountcastle play. But everyone tells me he can really hit.

      • bigdaddydk

        January 23, 2018 at 9:25 am

        I saw him in Frederick last year. He’s definitely got the bat. He just needs a position, and I don’t think he’s got the arm (from what I’ve heard) to play on the left side of the infield or in RF. Maybe in LF, but I’d rather a stronger arm. I didn’t get to see his arm as he DH’ed when I saw him. But again, he has the bat.

    • Buzz1979

      January 23, 2018 at 8:44 pm

      He’s already accomplished more than….Billy Rowell.

  7. Dblack2508

    January 23, 2018 at 9:35 am

    I have two, Keegan Aiken and Hunter Harvey. Aiken is a left hander with a warrior mentality and Harvey who has been injured quite often. Hunter is the wild card, personally i view him as playing with house money.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2018 at 10:21 am

      Akin is intriguing, too. We’ll see how he bounces back from mixed results in Frederick.

  8. phildell

    January 23, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Hunter Harvey. Hopefully he can stay healthy and begin to develop into the pitcher we all think he can be. A top of the rotation starter who can dominate.
    Alex Wells is another intriguing guy. After seeing the Miley and Jimenez walk a thons, it would be nice to see a guy who goes after hitters. I know he’s got a long way to go, but if he can stay healthy and continue to progress he’s just what the O’s need in a year or two.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2018 at 10:22 am

      Exactly. Long road. Encouraging first steps.

  9. karks

    January 23, 2018 at 9:42 am

    I just love the way Austin Hays plays the game. His hustle will at least be fun to watch, even if the team doesn’t have the greatest of seasons.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2018 at 10:23 am

      Admit it, Karks. It’s the old school, no batting gloves thing, too. As my 18yo son would say, that’s Hype.

      • karks

        January 23, 2018 at 12:27 pm

        Hey it worked for Moises Alou!

  10. DPG0124

    January 23, 2018 at 11:15 am

    It sounds like Hays has the chance to be a 5-tool player and I don’t want to get my hopes up with Harvey until he stays healthy for a full season. I’m also hoping Cody Sedlock has a bounce back year

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2018 at 11:41 am

      Funny how Sedlock has become a forgotten man in a year.

  11. ClyOs

    January 23, 2018 at 11:41 am

    Ryan Mountcastle. With Machado leaving after next year the organization switched Mountcastle from short to 3rd. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get called up around mid July, you know, right before the trade deadline.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2018 at 2:05 pm

      That would be a heck of a jump. He’s still 20. Doesn’t turn 21 until next month. I mean, when was the last time a guy came up from Double A at 20-21 to join the Orioles and play third base??? Never mind.

  12. plucknstrum

    January 23, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    As for pitchers–it’s gotta be Hunter Harvey. I agree with the earlier poster (JoeFundo) that it would be a major blow to the team’s future if Harvey flames out. For position players, I believe DJ Stewart is quietly flying under most fans radars. My gut tells me he’s gonna be a lot better player than most projections.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      Stewart took a really nice step in 2017. He’s regained prospect status. Now he has to build on that momentum. Everyone seems to love the kid as a person and a worker. Now it’s a matter of being consistent as he moves up.

  13. Grand Strand Bird Fan

    January 23, 2018 at 2:11 pm

    I went to a Baysox game last summer mainly to watch Mullins play who was impressive. DJ Stewart was just as impressive. He showed good plate discipline, solid defense as well as speed. He led Bowie in stolen bases too. I hope he gets a solid look during spring training.

    • Dan Connolly

      January 23, 2018 at 5:26 pm

      He may not get a solid look as far as job competition is concerned, but, knowing Showalter, Stewart will be given ample opportunities to make an impression.

  14. Mustang21

    January 23, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    It’s Austin Hays for me. His play in September was intriguing and hopeful. Obviously it changes if the O’s do something in signing an outfielder this offseason. Can’t wait to see what he can do playing everyday.

  15. BmoreBullets

    January 25, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Tanner Scott would be a force to reckon with should he ever gain command of his fastball and secondary pitches.

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