2012 Top 25 Prospects: 1-10

1. SS – Manny Machado – 19 years old

A+ Frederick: .245/.308/.384, 12 doubles, 3 triples, 5 HR, 26 RBI, 8 SB, 237 AB
A Delmarva: .276/.376/.483, 8 doubles, 2 triples, 6 HR, 24 RBI, 3 SB, 145 AB

Machado lived up to high expectations last season, dominating at Delmarva as the second youngest player in the league second only to Bryce Harper. His overall numbers might not look dominant but thats because he dislocated his knee in May and struggled a bit when coming back from that. He was promoted to Frederick and became the youngest player in the league there. He struggled out of the gate but had a great month of July, posting an .875 OPS. He held his own overall and looked like he had adjusted during the Keys playoff run, hitting very well. His defense was smooth and he proved some doubters wrong that he could stick at shortstop, at least for the next five or six years. Hes still growing into his body and should develop more power to go along with his plus contact and plate discipline skills. He’ll play at AA Bowie at some point this season and from there will only be one step away from the Orioles.

2. RHP – Dylan Bundy – 19 years old

Did not play in 2011

The younger Bundy has the potential to be the first true ace the Orioles have had since Mike Mussina. I’ve already offered my thoughts on Bundy here and not much has changed since he was drafted since he didn’t get to pitch for us last season. It will be very excited to track him this coming, started at A Delmarva. I expect to see him at A+ Frederick at some point. With a high 90’s fastball, great conditioning, and very good secondaries already hes probably already the best pitcher we have in the minor leagues. It shouldn’t take long for him to rise through the system and justify the $4 million signing bonus and major league contract we gave him.

3. 2B/3B – Jonathon Schoop – 20 years old

A+ Frederick: .271/.329/.375, 12 doubles, 2 triples, 5 HR, 37 RBI, 6 SB, 299 AB
A Delmarva: .316/.376/.514, 12 doubles, 3 triples, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 6 SB, 212 AB

Schoop was the big surprise from the 2010 season and he did nothing to stop the momentum. In fact, he increased his profile and alot of scouts put him right up there with Machado with the bat. He pretty much dominated with Delmarva as the third youngest player in the league and held his own at Frederick as the second youngest player. He hits for a good average, has good on base skills, and a bunch of raw power. He still needs to work on translating the raw power into games like alot of young hitters. His defense was better than expected this year as well. He was solid at third and showed enough range to play second base moving forward. He’ll continue to move up in line with Machado, seeing AA Bowie at some point this coming season. Should be a heck of an infield to follow up through the minors.

4. RHP – Parker Bridwell – 20 years old

A Delmarva: 0-3, 7.06 ERA, 21.2 IP, 13 K, 13 BB
Short A Aberdeen: 2-5, 4.53 ERA, 53.2 IP, 57 K, 22 BB

Bridwell’s numbers weren’t very good last season but hes still learning after transitioning to baseball full time. He was a multi sport star in high school, recruited to be a quarterback in college. He has the second best raw stuff in the system after only Dylan Bundy. He throws a mid 90’s fastball with a couple off speed pitches with potential to be weapons. He had more strikeouts than innings pitched with Aberdeen against mostly college hitters. He’ll start next season in Delmarva’s rotation and could get a mid season promotion to Frederick if he performs well. Hes my biggest breakout candidate for 2012.

5. 1B/3B – Nick Delmonico – 19 years old

Did not play in 2011

Delmonico was a surprise signing last year. He was looked at as a back up in case the O’s couldn’t sign Dylan Bundy but they ended up shelling out the money for both. We need to do more of that to get as much talent into the system as possible. He didn’t get to play last season but reports out of the fall instructional league are that he shows a plus power bat. Hes athletic so should be able to play a good first base. He played at catcher and third base in high school so it shouldn’t be a tough transition. He’ll potentially be the systems biggest power hitter, something we haven’t had alot of. Big upside here.

6. LF – LJ Hoes – 22 years old

AA Bowie: .305/.379/.413, 17 doubles, 1 triple, 6 HR, 54 RBI, 16 SB, 344 AB
A+ Frederick: .241/.297/.342, 7 doubles, 3 HR, 17 RBI, 4 SB, 158 AB

Hoes had an odd season. He started off repeating A+ Frederick when I thought he should’ve been at AA Bowie but then he struggled there and looked like he was starting to lose his prospect status. But then he was promoted to Bowie anyway and performed well after that. Maybe he was frustrated about repeating A ball but that doesn’t look good. The year ended on a positive note with him showing great plate discipline and hitting for a good average. His power is still developing but he could be a utility guy in a year or two. If the power comes than he would be a solid left fielder.

7. RHP – Bobby Bundy – 22 years old

AA Bowie: 1-3, 9.60 ERA, 15 IP, 13 K, 11 BB
A+ Frederick: 11-5, 2.75 ERA, 121 IP, 100 K, 31 BB

The older Bundy brother doesn’t have the raw stuff of Dylan but hes developed nicely since coming into the Orioles system. He had a great season with Frederick but struggled after being promoted to AA Bowie. He was most likely tired after pitching the most innings of his professional career so I wouldn’t make much of it. He’ll start there next season and we’ll get a true read on his abilities. He reminds me a bit of Jim Johnson when he was coming up through the system. He should land in the back end of the rotation or as a late inning reliever in a couple years.

8. 3B – Jason Esposito – 21 years old

Did not play in 2011

Esposito was our 2nd round pick in this years draft. He wasn’t a guy that was expected to get much of an over slot bonus so I’m not sure why he waited to the last minute to sign, but it cost him some development as he wasn’t able to get any at bats in 2011. Hes regarded as a great fielding third baseman that should be able to hit around .280 with doubles power. Basically the anti Mark Reynolds. He could be an everyday third baseman if his bat develops. He should at the very least land on a major league bench with his defensive value.

9. RHP – Dan Klein – 23 years old

AA Bowie: 3-0, 1.08 ERA, 16.2 IP, 16 K, 3 BB
A+ Frederick: 0-1, 1.15 ERA, 15.2 IP, 21 K, 3 BB

Klein’s season was going along great until he came down with a labrum injury. The plan was to get him stretched out gradually over the season to eventually turn him into a starter. Obviously those plans are scrapped but the injury wasn’t as bad as expected and he should be able to pitch this year. He can still be a valuable reliever in the majors. I don’t think he has the stuff to be a closer but I could see him as a 7th or 8th inning guy as soon as 2013 if he bounces back quickly.

10. 2B – Ryan Adams – 24 years old

MLB: .281/.333/.326, 4 doubles, 7 RBI, 89 AB
AAA Norfolk: .284/.341/.454, 28 doubles, 3 triples, 10 HR, 37 RBI, 5 SB, 377 AB

Aside from the Orioles unexplainable idea to have Adams sit on the major league bench for almost a month in the middle of the season he had a successful season. He improved his defense alot. It might be close to average now but he was awful before this season. He proved he can hit for average at the major league level during a September call up. He just needs to translate his on base skills and doubles power next. He could be a potential fill in at second base or a good bat off the bench. He has a future in the majors, in what role remains to be seen.


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