27 July 2012

Midseason udpated: Top 25 Orioles Prospects (11 - 20)

We started off our midseason Top 25 update with Orioles prospects 1 through 10.  Today we finish the list, starting with 11 through 20. This afternoon we'll post 21 through 25 and some other names to know.  Here's the next ten; once again, all ages as of 7/15/2012:

11. Eduardo Rodriguez (rhp, Class A Delmarva) / Age: 19y3m / Prev. Rank: 14
Rodriguez has held his own as a 19-year old in full season ball and still has the potential to see a bump in his stuff as he continues to mature.  That bump will be necessary if he's to grow into more than a back-end arm.  He continues to search for consistency with his breaker, and his change-up remains a work-in-progress, but generally he has shown a solid degree of comfort with his three offerings.  Working the strikezone well, he needs to see one of his pitches evolve into a put-away offering or he could prove to be more hittable as he progresses up the ladder.

12. Clayton Schrader (Double-A Bowie) / Age: 22y2m / Prev. Rank: 9
Schrader has not taken the next step forward in 2012, instead remaining the power relief arm we saw over the past two seasons. Currently struggling through his first taste of Double-A, Clay-Schray spent the first half of the season as an unhittable, albeit wild, weapon out of the pen for the Class A-Adv. Keys.  The formula for future success remains the same -- find more consistency in his release and the walks will come down.  For now, he remains a high-risk, solid-upside reliever.

13. Adrian Marin (ss/2b, complex ball) / Age: 18y4m / Prev. Rank: N/A
Many area scouts viewed Marin as a good fit for college, with a chance to go a little higher in the draft after some refinement at the "U" in Coral Gables than he was expected to go in 2012 (4th or 5th Round.  Baltimore saw Marin as pro-ready and popped him in the top o f the 3rd Round, making Marin's college/pro decision an easy one. In the infield he projects as a second baseman, though his limited physicality may push him to center field where his straight line foot speed, average arm and below-average power might play better.  He has quick hands but some mechanical quirks that could take some time and instruction to smooth out.  While his skillset doesn't project to an impact talent, he scores highly in make-up and coachability, giving Baltimore a malleable piece of clay to work with.

14. Lex Rutledge (lhp, complex ball) / Age: 21y0m / Prev. Rank: N/A
Rutledge is similar in profile to Schrader, coming from the left side instead of the right.  While he has experience starting in college, he has always been most effective as a reliever, where his fastball gains some "umph" in short bursts, sitting in the mid-90s.  His breaker is a 1-to-7 curve that can be devastating as a chase pitch, but which he can struggle mightily to command.  Like Kline, Rutledge will be an interesting project for Peterson & Co. to tackle, as mechanical tweaks will be required in order for him to find enough consistency to succeed at the upper-levels.  His upside is that of a set-up man.

15. Christian Walker (1b, Class A-SS Aberdeen) / Age: 21y3m / Prev. Rank: N/A
Walker is a divisive prospect for upper-tier evaluators, but was generally loved by area scouts who had the pleasure of watching him on a South Carolina team that came within a game of a College World Series three-peat during Walker's tenure at first base.  We know Walker understands the strikezone well and is battle tested in the SEC. What we don't know is how well his power tool will develop once he makes the switch to wood and starts squaring off against advanced pro pitching. He should finish 2012 with Class A-SS Aberdeen and could jump to Class A-Adv. Frederick if he impresses during Fall Instructs and Minor League Camp.  His limited offensive profile projects him as a tweener at first base, as there are few indications that there is significantly more raw power to coax from his bat.

16. Jason Esposito (3b, Class A Delmarva) / Age: 21y11m / Prev. Rank: 8
The raw physical tools for success remain present in Esposito, but unfortunately his historical struggles with wood bats have continued to manifest through his first pro season.  Espo has the glove to develop into an everyday third baseman at the Major League level, but his bat remains an empty asset at this point.  The best thing for Esposito would be to string together a solid final month and forget 2012 ever happened.  Baltimore will need to utilize Fall Instructs to figure out what is broken and whether or not it can be fixed. 

17. Glynn Davis (of, Class A Delmarva) / Age: 20y7m / Prev. Rank: 13
Davis remains a projectable talent, but 2012 hasn't seen him show much in the way of physical maturation, which is the biggest obstacle he'll need to overcome.  He is a top tier runner, capable of developing into an above-average defensive center fielder in time, but needs to get stronger so as not to have the bat knocked out of his hands at Double-A, Triple-A and eventually in Baltimore.  He has performed reasonably well in his first full season league, but has seen just 16 of his 88 hits go for extra-bases -- a slightly disappointing number considering his foot speed.

18. Michael Wright (rhp, Double-A Bowie) / Age: 22y6m / Prev. Rank: 15
Wright ranked as high as 14th on variations of this list, but ultimately settles in here due to his continuing profile as a middle-reliever with average stuff.  He relies on a sinker/slider combo to produce groundballs, as he doesn't have a true swing-and-miss arsenal.  Development of a dependable off-speed and more in-zone consistency with his fastball will spell the difference between Wright the #4 workhorse, and Wright the 7th inning guy.  He is not far from Major League ready as a bullpen arm, and could get a taste early in 2013 if he shifts to relief.

19. Parker Bridwell (rhp, Class A Delmarva) / Age: 20y11m / Prev. Rank: 7
Bridwell's 2012 has been particularly disappointing, as the projectable righty was well situated to see an uptick in both stuff and results.  Instead, Bridwell has struggled to stay consistent in his stride and arm action, resulting in the same disconcerting BB/9 and SO/9 rates he produced in Delmarva last summer.  If things don't improve quickly, the former over-slot 9th Rounder will end the season a 21-year old still looking for his first taste of success in Class A.  That would be a big blow to a system already thin on impact talent.   

20. Roderick Bernadina (of, Class A-Adv. Frederick) / Age: 19y11m / Prev. Rank: 23
Bernadina held his own in Short-season Aberdeen against older competition and has now been jumped all the way up to Frederick.  It's an aggressive move, but the soon-to-be twenty-year old has the strength to hit more advanced pitching and has improved his approach and mechanics at the plate in 2012, including shortening his swing path some.  The power isn't manifesting in-game, yet, but he still projects to above-average playable pop if he can square enough balls.  Bernadina remains a low probability talent, but there is potential here for a solid corner bat if things break right.  
UPDATE: Bernadina was sent down to Class A Delmarva today -- a reasonable assignment given age and track record.  He should be expected to finish out the season at that level.

Midseason update: Top 25 Orioles Prospect Links
1 - 10 / 11 - 20 / 21 - 25 / vs The Depot 

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