2011 Top Prospects: #1 – 10

1. Manny Machado – SS – 18 years old

GCL Orioles: .143/.143/.571, R, HR, 2 RBI, 7 AB
Short A Aberdeen: .345/.406/.448, 2 R, double, triple, 3 RBI, 29 AB

The Orioles took Machado with the third overall pick in the 2010 amateur draft. Alot of scouts think he could end up being the best player from the draft. Hes a great hitter that should develop power as he grows into his body. Has a chance to stay at shortstop where he has a good glove and rocket arm, but might eventually outgrow the position and shift to third base. Impressed the O’s in limited time, should start 2011 as the starting shortstop in A Delmarva.

2. Zach Britton – LHP – 23 years old

AA Bowie: 7-3, 2.48 ERA, 87 IP, 68 K, 28 BB
AAA Norfolk: 3-4, 2.98 ERA, 66.1 IP, 56 K, 23 BB

Britton picked up right where he left off in 2009. He dominated in AA before getting promoted to AAA Norfolk. He continued his success there but needs to work on getting deeper into games. He gets a ton of ground balls (2.80 go/ao combined in 2010) and is still developing his already good slider and changeup. Will most likely start 2011 in AAA Norfolk but won’t stay there all year. Look for a mid season promotion to Baltimore.

3. LJ Hoes – 2B – 20 years old

Short A Aberdeen: .464/.531/.821, 8 R, 5 doubles, triple, HR, 5 RBI, SB, 28 AB
A+ Frederick: .278/.375/.368, 19 doubles, 2 triples, 3 HR, 44 RBI, 10 SB, 353 AB
AA Bowie: .222/.222/.222, R, RBI, 9 AB

Hoes started off red hot for A+ Frederick until he came down with mononucleosis and missed a solid month. He was the best player on the field when he rehabbed in Aberdeen but the mono was still effecting him for the rest of the year. His power was sapped but he got his patience at the plate back to 2008 levels. The Orioles think the power will develop and were impressed by him in offseason work outs. He’ll start 2011 as AA Bowie’s starting second baseman.

4. Xavier Avery – CF – 21 years old

A+ Frederick: .280/.349/.389, 73 R, 25 doubles, 6 triples, 4 HR, 48 RBI, 28 SB, 447 AB
AA Bowie: .234/.288/.374, 10 R, 6 doubles, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 10 SB, 107 AB

Avery is another guy that rebounded nicely from a bad 2009 campaign. His patience at the plate improved tremendously and he hit for more power than ever. He struggled a bit after being promoted to AA Bowie but showed flashes. He still needs alot of work both offensively and defensively but the potential is there for a star player. Likely won’t reach Carl Crawford levels but that is his absolute ceiling. Maybe Felix Pie with less power and more steals is more accurate.

5. Dan Klein – RHP – 22 years old

Short A Aberdeen: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, SV, 6.1 IP, 10 K, BB

Klein was the Orioles second pick in the 2010 draft, a third rounder. He was a closer for UCLA and dominated for Aberdeen in their bullpen but the O’s are going to turn him into a starting pitcher. They’ll probably limit him to five inning outings in 2011 and he should start at either Delmarva or Frederick. Hes got three very good offerings with a fastball, curve ball, changeup combo. If he fails as a starter he can transition back to relief and get fast tracked.

6. Matt Hobgood – RHP – 20 years old

A Delmarva: 3-7, 4.40 ERA, 94 IP, 59 K, 38 BB

Hobgood had a disappointing year for a top five pick but he actually wasn’t too bad for a starting pitcher at his age in low A ball. He was bothered by a sore shoulder in the middle of the season and he needs to get his weight and conditioning under control. He can still be a workhorse third starter in the majors but its going to take some time. He gets a good amount of ground balls. I expect a bit of a break out season for him in 2011 where he’ll start at A+ Frederick.

7. Jonathon Schoop – SS – 19 years old

GCL Orioles: .250/.329/.467, 11 R, 4 doubles, 3 HR, 16 RBI, 60 AB
Rookie Bluefield: .316/.372/.459, 16 R, 11 doubles, triple, 2 HR, 16 RBI, SB, 133 AB
A+ Frederick: .238/.273/.381, 5 R, 3 doubles, 3 RBI, 21 AB

Schoop came out of nowhere this year. He was promoted from the Domican Summer League and performed well at every stop from there. A shortstop with some power and good patience at the plate is a very valuable commodity and he looks like he has that potential. He even held his own at A+ Frederick at a very young age. He might have to move to second or third base eventually but for now I think he’ll start 2011 in Frederick as the shortstop.

8. Mychal Givens – SS – 20 years old

GCL Orioles: .207/.207/.276, 2 R, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 29 AB
Short A Aberdeen: .364/.488/.727, 8 R, 3 doubles, 3 HR, 5 RBI, 2 SB, 33 AB
A Delmarva: .222/.444/.222, 2 R, 4 RBI, SB, 18 AB
A+ Frederick: .500/.600/.500, 2 R, RBI, 4 AB

Givens had a weird year. He stayed in extended spring training for a while to get extra work before making his debut in Delmarva. He broke his thumb less than a week later and was sidelined until late in the season. When he was finally healthy he broke out with Aberdeen, showing great plate discipline and power in limited at bats. Fully healthy, heading into 2011 will be a big season for him. He’ll move to third base and start in Frederick next to Schoop most likely. We’ll find out if he can sustain the pace he set at the end of the year.

9. Clayton Schrader – RHP – 19 years old

Short A Aberdeen: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, SV, 8 IP, 10 K, 4 BB
A Delmarva: 0-1, 6.75 ERA, 4 IP, 6 K, 2 BB

Schrader might be the first 2010 draft pick to make it to the majors. Hes got filthy stuff but is a fly ball pitcher. He showed his strikeout ability at the end of 2010. That should continue in 2011 where he’ll start in Delmarva but could end the year at AA Bowie. Potential closer of the future for the birds, hes someone I’d keep an eye on next year.

10. Ryan Berry – RHP – 22 years old

A Delmarva: 0-3, 3.50 ERA, 46.1 IP, 43 K, 11 BB
A+ Frederick: 2-2, 3.04 ERA, 71 IP, 63 K, 25 BB

Berry was handled delicately this year since he was coming off an arm injury. He was effective in the short stints and showed strikeout ability. I would think the leash will be taken off in 2011 where he’ll start at AA Bowie. His eventual role might be in the bullpen as a swing man or set up guy but for now the O’s will let him build up his innings as a starter. Injuries will always be a concern for any pitcher that comes out of the Rice program and Berry is no exception.

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