28 January 2010

Keith Law's top 100 - Orioles

Last night, Jonathan Mayo put out his top 100 list, which I mentioned to be rather peculiar. Today, Keith Law unleashes his own (subscription required). It makes more sense to me than Mayo's. I think Law is too bullish on Britton and too bearish on Arrieta, but I understand why he thinks the way he does.

His opinion of Zach Britton has improved greatly in the past three or four months. Back in September, Law's view of Britton was more in the 100-125 area of prospects. It seems after reassessing the player and talking with professional talent evaluators, his opinion changed. Britton is now listed at slot 25. His belief in Josh Bell seems a bit tamer in its translation to the list as number 60. Arrieta free falls down to the 90th slot.

Law seems to think it is likely to expect a solid rotation of Matusz as a 1/2, Tillman as a 1/2, Britton as a 3, and Arrieta as a 4. In addition to those players, he rates Camden Depot's 1st round shadow pick in last year's draft, Zach Wheeler, as a potential 1/2. If the Orioles also spent money on Miguel Jean and Aroldis Chapman that would have put them in with seven of the top 100 prospects. Of course, they did not do what we suggested.

Here is his ranking of the Orioles top ten:

1. Brian Matusz, LHP
2. Zack Britton, LHP
3. Josh Bell, 3B
4. Jake Arrieta, RHP
5. Brandon Snyder, 1B
6. Brandon Erbe, RHP
7. Caleb Joseph, C
8. Brandon Waring, 3B/1B
9. Matt Hobgood, RHP
10. Xavier Avery, OF

After the jump a listing of the Orioles who have made the list with some quotes.

The Orioles listed:
11. Brian Matusz
25. Zachary Britton
Britton is a true sinker/slider pitcher with enough velocity to work as a starter and a potential out pitch in the slider to miss bats when he's not getting ground balls...His control remains below-average and his command of all pitches and feel for the slider need to improve, as well, but he would slot in very nicely as a No. 2 starter behind Brian Matusz, or as an outstanding No. 3 behind Matusz and Chris Tillman.

61. Josh Bell
He's improving at third base and projects as an average glove there, with solid hands and an above-average arm. He should be able to take over in Baltimore sometime between midyear 2010 and the start of 2011 depending on how well he fares against left-handed pitching, regardless of how he does it.

90. Jake Arrieta
Two scouts with whom I spoke saw Arrieta in 2009 and tabbed him a No. 4 starter, but I wouldn't rule out him becoming a solid No. 3 with some command improvements and his feel for adding and subtracting from his fastball.

Shadow System
Our shadow system only had one more player listed in addition to the ones above:
84. Zach Wheeler
He has No. 1/No. 2 starter potential, and given how aggressive the Giants were with Madison Bumgarner and Tim Alderson, there's reason to believe Wheeler will start out in full-season ball in 2010.

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