Dean Jones Report: Preparing for the 2019 minor league season - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dean Jones Report

Dean Jones Report: Preparing for the 2019 minor league season

Yusniel Diaz
Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

I have a confession to make…

For me, this season came out of nowhere. Yet, here we are, with only 161 games to go.

We just completed the earliest Opening Day ever – excluding international games. So it really did sneak up earlier than before, even if it was just a day sooner than last year.

Plus, as you’re well aware, the Orioles aren’t supposed to be very competitive this year. And I think the nightmare everyone endured in 2018 killed a lot of the excitement around town.

Finally, it just never feels the same when the Orioles open the season away from Camden Yards. Before yesterday in New York, that hadn’t happened since 2015 in Tampa Bay.

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But when you’re in a full-scale rebuild, hope always springs eternal in the minor leagues.

The Orioles made it clear in spring training that they aren’t going to rush anything. They’re going to take their time with top prospects Yusniel Diaz, Ryan Mountcastle, Austin Hays, and others. This process isn’t going to play out overnight. It’s a multiyear plan.

As someone who covers the Orioles’ minor league system, that’s great news. I know that you’re reading this blog post – and will read all the others throughout the year – to see what’s going on with Diaz, Mountcastle, Hays, and the rest of the club’s minor leaguers.

They’re the pivotal pieces of this rebuild after all. If they aren’t good, the Orioles won’t be.

Before I go any further, I want to let everyone know that I’ll be producing the “Dean Jones Report” on a monthly basis for the 2019 season. Look for your first update on April 26.

But that doesn’t mean you’ll be getting any less coverage of the minor leagues here at BaltimoreBaseball.com. I’ll still provide comprehensive updates on the various players. And, of course, my colleague Rich Dubroff will pass along relevant news throughout the season.

Beyond that, I want to make sure you – the fans – pass along your insights on the players.

I’m sure a lot of you will be heading to minor league games this season. So, please be sure to share your observations with me at [email protected] or in a comment below any of our blog posts. I might not respond to everything, but I’ll be sure to read them all.

Below, you’ll see that I’ve tweaked my 2019 “Dean’s Dozen” slightly from the preliminary list that I shared back in January. Some players shifted spots, and I also made two swaps at the bottom of the rankings. Enter right-handed pitchers Hunter Harvey and Brenan Hanifee. Exit right-handed pitcher Dillon Tate and shortstop Cadyn Grenier – at least for now.

No matter how much I want to, I just can’t quit on Harvey. It isn’t a secret that injuries have derailed his path to the majors. But the important thing is, he’s still on that path.

If you missed it, Rich wrote a nice piece on Harvey at the beginning of February. (You can read it right here.) I’m willing to give him another shot, so he’s back on my list at No. 11.

Although I won’t be posting updates every week this year, nothing else will change.

Just like I’ve done in the past, I’ll track the Orioles minor leaguers on my Dean’s Dozen rankings – categorizing each as a rising stock (bullish) or a falling stock (bearish), based on their recent performances. I’ll also highlight a handful of players divided into two categories – surging and falling. These players will show you who’s hot and who’s not in the system.

With that said, here’s the latest “Dean’s Dozen” rankings that I’ll track monthly…

No. 1: Yusniel Diaz, OF, Bowie
No. 2: Ryan Mountcastle, 3B/1B, Norfolk
No. 3: DL Hall, LHP, Frederick
No. 4: Austin Hays, OF, Norfolk
No. 5: Keegan Akin, LHP, Norfolk
No. 6: Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, Delmarva
No. 7: Ryan McKenna, OF, Bowie
No. 8: Zac Lowther, LHP, Bowie
No. 9: Dean Kremer, RHP, Bowie
No. 10: Blaine Knight, RHP, Delmarva/Frederick
No. 11: Hunter Harvey, RHP, Norfolk/Bowie
No. 12: Brenan Hanifee, RHP, Frederick

And finally, here’s the upcoming schedule for the Orioles’ full-season affiliates…

Norfolk (0-0)
April 4 – at Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m.
April 5 – at Gwinnett, 7:05 p.m.
April 6 – at Gwinnett, 6:05 p.m.
April 7 – at Gwinnett, 1:05 p.m.
April 8 – at Charlotte, 7:04 p.m.
April 9 – at Charlotte, 7:04 p.m.
April 10 – at Charlotte, 7:04 p.m.
April 11 – vs. Toledo, 6:35 p.m.
April 12 – vs. Toledo, 7:05 p.m.
April 13 – vs. Toledo, 7:05 p.m.
April 14 – vs. Toledo, 1:05 p.m.
April 15 – vs. Durham, 6:35 p.m.
April 16 – vs. Durham, 6:35 p.m.
April 17 – vs. Durham, 6:35 p.m.
April 18 – vs. Durham, 12:05 p.m.
April 19 – vs. Charlotte, 7:05 p.m.
April 20 – vs. Charlotte, 7:05 p.m.
April 21 – vs. Charlotte, 1:05 p.m.
April 22 – OFF
April 23 – at Columbus, 6:35 p.m.
April 24 – at Columbus, 6:35 p.m.
April 25 – at Columbus, 11:35 a.m.

Bowie (0-0)
April 4 – at Harrisburg, 6:30 p.m.
April 5 – at Harrisburg, 7 p.m.
April 6 – at Harrisburg, 6 p.m.
April 7 – at Harrisburg, 1 p.m.
April 8 – at Richmond, 6:35 p.m.
April 9 – at Richmond, 6:35 p.m.
April 10 – at Richmond, 10:35 a.m.
April 11 – vs. Harrisburg, 6:35 p.m.
April 12 – vs. Harrisburg, 7:05 p.m.
April 13 – vs. Harrisburg, 1:35 p.m.
April 14 – vs. Harrisburg, 1:35 p.m.
April 15 – vs. Erie, 6:35 p.m.
April 16 – vs. Erie, 6:35 p.m.
April 17 – vs. Erie, 6:35 p.m.
April 18 – at Akron, 6:35 p.m.
April 19 – at Akron, 6:35 p.m.
April 20 – at Akron, 2:05 p.m.
April 21 – OFF
April 22 – at Erie, 6:05 p.m.
April 23 – at Erie, 6:05 p.m.
April 24 – at Erie, 12:05 p.m.
April 25 – vs. Akron, 6:35 p.m.

Frederick (0-0)
April 4 – vs. Winston-Salem, 7 p.m.
April 5 – vs. Winston-Salem, 7 p.m.
April 6 – vs. Winston-Salem, 1 p.m.
April 7 – vs. Winston-Salem, 1 p.m.
April 8 – vs. Fayetteville, 7 p.m.
April 9 – vs. Fayetteville, 7 p.m.
April 10 – vs. Fayetteville, 7 p.m.
April 11 – at Salem, 7:05 p.m.
April 12 – at Salem, 7:05 p.m.
April 13 – at Salem, 6:05 p.m.
April 14 – at Salem, 2:05 p.m.
April 15 – at Myrtle Beach, 7:05 p.m.
April 16 – at Myrtle Beach, 7:05 p.m.
April 17 – at Myrtle Beach, 7:05 p.m.
April 18 – vs. Salem, 7 p.m.
April 19 – vs. Salem, 7 p.m.
April 20 – vs. Salem, 1 p.m.
April 21 – vs. Salem, 1 p.m.
April 22 – OFF
April 23 – at Fayetteville, 7 p.m.
April 24 – at Fayetteville, 7 p.m.
April 25 – at Fayetteville, 7 p.m.

Delmarva (0-0)
April 4 – at Lexington, 7:05 p.m.
April 5 – at Lexington, 7:05 p.m.
April 6 – at Lexington, 6:35 p.m.
April 7 – at Lexington, 2:05 p.m.
April 8 – at Kannapolis, 7 p.m.
April 9 – at Kannapolis, 7 p.m.
April 10 – at Kannapolis, 10:35 a.m.
April 11 – vs. Lakewood, 7:05 p.m.
April 12 – vs. Lakewood, 7:05 p.m.
April 13 – vs. Lakewood, 7:05 p.m.
April 14 – vs. Lakewood, 2:05 p.m.
April 15 – vs. Kannapolis, 7:05 p.m.
April 16 – vs. Kannapolis, 7:05 p.m.
April 17 – vs. Kannapolis, 10:35 a.m.
April 18 – at Greensboro, 7 p.m.
April 19 – at Greensboro, 7 p.m.
April 20 – at Greensboro, 7 p.m.
April 21 – OFF
April 22 – vs. Asheville, 7:05 p.m.
April 23 – vs. Asheville, 7:05 p.m.
April 24 – vs. Asheville, 7:05 p.m.
April 25 – vs. Augusta, 7:05 p.m.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Boog Robinson Robinson

    March 29, 2019 at 7:37 am

    ONLY ONCE A MONTH?!?! I demand a refund.

    Welcome back Dean.

  2. SamAbate

    March 29, 2019 at 8:01 am

    The players who will be on contending Orioles teams down the road are currently in the minors which is why I’m really interested in the minors this year. Even got a subscription to MiLB.tv this season!

  3. Ekim

    March 29, 2019 at 9:18 am

    This is where the “action” will be… in the minors. As one who reads the box scores for aa four teams, I can’t wait for their seasons to start. As I wrote after one of Rick’s posts, the highlight of the season might end up being the draft. With all the “hype” Elias got when he was hired, it will be his chance to show just what he’s got.

    Of note… out of the 15 minor leaguers we got last year only two made your list. We wuz robbed! Just sayin…

  4. Bancells Moustache

    March 29, 2019 at 10:03 am

    I don’t know, Dean, it might be time for you to become a full-time employee. I don’ think any dedicated Oriole fan cares more about the big league squad than the boys on the farm.

    O.T. Did the Orioles grooming standards change with the arrival of Elias? There were beards everywhere yesterday! What’s that about?

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      March 29, 2019 at 11:12 am

      I was wondering the same thing but was wating to see if the razors would be utilized a bit more after the boys came north. Evidently not … even the Manager of the team is in full Grizzly Adams mode.

      Now if we can only find a moustache to rival that of …

      • Bancells Moustache

        March 29, 2019 at 4:25 pm

        There can be only one.

  5. Disco Stupid

    March 29, 2019 at 11:45 am

    The minor league action is definitely what I am most interested in the season. It’s a bit harder to lay eyes on the milb guys so your observations on their development are welcome. Thanks Dean and I appreciate you crowdsourcing scouting reports too!

  6. willmiranda

    March 29, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    Hey, Dean, great to see your column again! Disappointed it’s only once a month, though.
    It’ll just extend the anticipation. Given the new hirsute look on the Big Club, will this extend to the minors? Elias and Hyde should vow not to shave until the Birds win the East. The analytics people could keep track of the beard growth and make predictions. Add a little diversion to the season. Anyway, looking forward to April 26. Thanks again for the diligence and insights.

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