It’s been a brief two-week hiatus since we published our last top prospects list at Baseball Essential, but we are back in action once again. Here is our next prospect list and it’s for the Baltimore Orioles, who have many holes to fill in the big leagues during the 2018 season:

 

1. Austin Hays, OF

Rating: B+

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2018

There is no reason to believe that he’s not an All-Star, however we need to see how he responds to the pressure of the bigs. The glove is plus and the power is enticing. He will need to work on his plate discipline though. He had a cup of coffee in the big leagues last September, appearing in 20 games and posting a slash line of .217/.238/.317 with one home run, three doubles, eight runs batted in and a 16/2 K/BB ratio.

 

2. Tanner Scott, LHP

Rating: B+

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2018

He should be moved to the bullpen because the control issues could make him just another hard throwing, inconsistent spot starter. As a reliever, though, we’re looking at an All-Star. The fastball that he has would be among the top five in the league right now.

 

3. Hunter Harvey, RHP

Rating: B+

Risk: Very High

ETA: 2020

This kid has been through the ringer physically, but he has all of the potential in the world. We’ll have a much better view next season, however he could be the ace of the Orioles staff or a tale of what could have been. Based on his numbers throughout, he definitely looks like a big league starter.

 

4. Alex Wells, LHP

Rating: B+

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2019

Wells put up a 113/10 K/BB ratio, so let that sink in really quick. Obviously, he’s still in A ball, and his lack of stuff might limit his ceiling a little bit, but any player who can post a K/BB ratio like that doesn’t abide by the typical laws of scouting grades, and could wind up as a No. 2 starter, anyway. His floor is also very high, maybe as a No. 4 starter.

 

5. DJ Stewart, OF

Rating:B

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2018

There’s a lot to love about this kid. A lefty bat with plus-plus plate discipline and the potential to be a 20/20 guy is exceptionally exciting. Don’t listen to the reports that list him as a fourth outfielder, because is you ask me, he’s starting in Baltimore by 2019.

 

6. Chance Sisco, C

Rating: B

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2018

Sisco is a solid lefty bat who brings a little bit of power and a decent glove, but I don’t see how 60/45/40/45/50 translates to a 55 overall on MLB.com. Sisco looks like a solid regular, but he doesn’t really look like the All-Star he’s being hyped up to be. However, Sisco did perform well during his call-up in September, hitting .333/.455/.778 with two home runs, two doubles, four runs batted in and a 7/3 K/BB ratio in 22 plate appearances.

 

7. Cedric Mullins, OF

Rating: B

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2018

Mullins is overall a very solid player, but he does not look like he would be a game changer. He has decent power, decent speed, a decent bat, but none of those tools are at plus-level. He looks to me like an average regular in the big leagues.

 

8. Ryan Mountcastle, SS

Rating: B

Risk: Medium

ETA: Late-2019

Mountcastle is solid, however he isn’t any more than solid. He really shouldn’t be rated until we see how he adjusts to upper minor league pitching seeing as how he is still just 20, but the tools don’t really excite me. He profiles as a six-hole hitter and didn’t impress during the Arizona Fall League, as he only managed to slash .244/.287/.402 with three home runs, four doubles, 14 runs batted in and a 19/4 K/BB in 87 plate appearances.

 

9. Anthony Santander, OF

Rating: B-

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

Santander has decent power, very good plate discipline and a good arm which makes him a perfect fit in left field. Taking that into account, he looks like a potential seven-hole hitter. He also got the chance to showcase his stuff with a September call-up, hitting .267/.258/.367 with three doubles and two runs batted in across 13 games.

 

10. Jomar Reyes, 3B

Rating: B-

Risk: Medium

ETA: Early 2020

There’s a lot to love about his hit tool and his arm at third, however, he lacks speed and his lack of power is a bit concerning for a third baseman, but he could serve as the long-term replacement for Manny Machado, who won’t be in an Orioles uniform come 2019. He looks like a .280/.335/.370 type hitter.

 

11. DL Hall, LHP

Rating: B-

Risk: Very High

ETA: 2022

This one is a wild card. We need to get an extended look at Hall against actual competition. He has an unbelievable ceiling, however he’s not a guy who is ready to be given such an endorsement just yet.

 

12. Yefry Ramirez, RHP

Rating: B-/C+

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

Given the Orioles’ need of rotation depth, Ramirez should get a chance and could very well run with it. He’s not an ace, but he can control a big fastball rather well and seems likely to be a low-4’s ERA guy. He’s a personal favorite of mine, too.

 

13. Zac Lowther, LHP

Rating: C+/B-

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2019

There’s nothing that goes against Lowther as a No. 4 starter. His secondaries are very solid, and his command is plus. Furthermore, as a college lefty, he could be a very solid mid-back-end starter sooner rather than later.

 

14. Keegan Akin, LHP

Rating: C+/B-

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2018

Akin has a very good fastball and a solid slider, furthermore, he can control it and he’s a southpaw. Unfortunately, he’s not shutdown, which limits his ceiling a little. He’s certainly a starter, as he looks like a very strong No. 4.

 

15. Adam Hall, SS

Rating: C+/B-

Risk: Very High

ETA: 2020

Hall is promising, but he’s 18 years old and has played in two pro games. We need to see him a little bit more before judgement is passed. He has a very high ceiling, though.

 

16. Brenan Hanifee, RHP

Rating: C+/B-

Risk: High

ETA: 2020

Hanifee has pitched well as a starter, thus far, but he lacks stuff and his control isn’t quite good enough to allow me to comfortably slate him as a starter. That could change if his success continues through the upper minors, however he might run into trouble as he ascends up levels.

 

17. Cole Billingsley, OF

Raitng: C+

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2019

There’s nothing not to like about Billingsley. He hits for solid average with plus-speed, above-average plate discipline and a solid glove in center field. Furthermore, he made it to Double-A in his second pro season. Many see him as a fourth outfielder, due to his lack of power, but a starting job is possible. He’s another personal favorite of mine.

 

18. Michael Baumann, RHP

Rating: C+

Risk: High

ETA: 2021

He has a decent fastball and a good slider, however the control isn’t quite there. He could have a little bit of trouble once he hits High-A or Double-A, which will force a move to the bullpen, but nevertheless, his stuff could play up making him a strong setup man.

 

19. David Hess, RHP

Rating: C+/C

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

Similar to Means, Hess isn’t going to blow anyone away, but he has good control and he could be a very strong middle relief option in the short-term.

 

20. Cameron Bishop, LHP

Rating: C+/C

Risk: High

ETA: 2021

The control is what gets me here. The fact that Bishop is a lefty is a plus for him, however the question is whether he will be able to maintain that success in the upper minors. He looks like a him as a very solid lefty seventh inning guy.

 

21. Jay Gonzalez, OF

Rating: C/C+

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2018

Gonzalez is a leadoff type who has plus-speed, a very strong glove in center field and solid plate discipline. He doesn’t look like he’ll be able to hit for high enough average to be a big league starter, but he could serve as a fourth outfielder who can post a .240/.345/.360 line with 20 stolen bases and 3.5 dWAR over 100 games, which is certainly valuable.

22. Lamar Sparks, OF

Rating: C/C+

Risk: Very High

ETA: 2022

The speed and plate discipline are great, and obviously he’s still young, which gives him plenty of time to get the contact down. His ceiling is that of a solid second division’s starter.

 

23. Austin Wynns, C

Rating: C/C+

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

The O’s should try to trade Caleb Joseph to give Wynns the backup catcher’s role. He hits for good average with plus plate discipline and very solid power for a catcher.

 

24. Cody Sedlock, RHP

Rating: C/C+

Risk: High

ETA: 2019

Sedlock has a high ceiling, however he just gets hit. He has good command, good velocity, a solid slider, but he just gets pounded. His stock could drop rather far soon.

 

25. Matthias Dietz, RHP

Rating: C/C+

Risk: High

ETA: 2019

Obviously Dietz isn’t going to stick as a starter. Nevertheless he has the chance to be a very good reliever, however we need to see how he performs in relief before any judgement is made.

 

26. Perci Garner, RHP

Rating: C/C+

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

Garner is an older piece, however he could play a role in the O’s bullpen this year. He has looked great since being moved to relief and will be given every opportunity to break camp with the club this spring. He’s a sleeper.

 

27. Luis Lugo, LHP

Rating: C/C+

Risk: Medium

ETA: Late-2018

Lugo doesn’t have great stuff, but he has very solid control. While he seems destined to be moved to the bullpen sooner rather than later, he looks like a very solid lefty reliever who can be used as both a LOOGY and as a swing man. He’s a versatile arm who could make it to Camden Yards this season.

 

28. John Means, LHP 

Rating: C/C+

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

Means isn’t going to blow anyone away or excite anyone, however a career as a durable LOOGY, almost like a Joe Thatcher type, seems like a reasonable expectation.

 

29. Ralston Cash, RHP

Rating: C/C+

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

Don’t be deceived by Cash’s numbers last season. His peripherals including a solid FIP and an exceptionally high BABIP, suggesting that he is in line to see some improvement in his bottom line numbers. He could be up as a high octane taxi guy by mid-season.

 

30. Stefan Crichton, RHP

Rating: C

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

Crichton is a decent taxi-squad reliever who isn’t going to blow anyone away, but he is usually able to limit the damage.

 

31. Mike Yastrzemski, OF

Rating: C

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

At 27, his ceiling is rather limited, but his power and ability to hit for relatively solid average qualifies him to be a solid fourth outfielder.

 

32. Jesus Liranzo, RHP

Rating: C

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2018

He’s another guy who throws the ball extremely hard, but has no idea where it’s going. He’s young, so give him some time, but the ceiling is falling.

 

33. Brian Gonzalez, LHP

Rating: C

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2019

Gonzalez has struggled with control, however he has decent stuff and a move to the bullpen would cause him to ascend through the O’s system rather quickly.

 

34. Konner Wade, RHP

Rating: C 

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

Wade is a control artist, however there isn’t much of a ceiling. He’s a guy who comes up, makes a spot start or two, and once he is on the 40-man roster, he is shuffled up and back until he is sent through waivers.

 

35. Angelo Mora, INF

Rating: C

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

Mora has a very solid hit tool, and has a moderate amount of power. We could see Mora in the major leagues at some point, even it if is just for a cup of coffee, however, based on his skill set, he could be a solid utility guy if given a chance.

 

36. Joe Mahoney, 1B

Rating: C

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

At the very least he seems like he could be a pretty decent source of power off of the bench. There is not much depth in Baltimore at first base, making it a bit more likely we see Mahoney in 2018.

 

37. Drew Dosch, 3B

Rating: C

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2018

Dosch isn’t really anything too special. He has average power, hits for average average, strikes out a ton, and might not be able to make it in the bigs. He’s probably an emergency call-up injury replacement.

 

38. Milton Ramos, INF

Rating: C

Risk: Low

ETA: 2019

Ramos seems like a late-inning defensive replacement long-term if he makes the majors at all. The glove is rather solid, however the bat is just non-existent.

 

39. Jason Gurka, LHP

Rating: C

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

Gurka is older at this point and has never really had any notable success in the major leagues. He looks like an emergency call-up at best. Not too much should be expected here.

 

40. Garabez Rosa, SS

Rating: C

Risk: Low

ETA: 2019

Rosa has decent power and defensive versatility which could lead to his name being called if the organization is ever in a jam. However, he’s 28 years old, therefore, don’t anticipate too much.

 

41. Randolph Gassaway, OF

Rating: C

Risk: Medium

ETA: 2019

There are no tools here that suggest he has much of a ceiling. He’s not very fast, he doesn’t have good plate discipline and doesn’t have any power. He looks like depth.

 

42. Ryan McKenna, OF

Rating:C

Risk: High

ETA: 2019

McKenna has very good speed, however he doesn’t hit for enough average or power to help him get through the low minor leagues.

 

43. Ofelky Peralta, RHP

Rating: C

Risk: Very High

ETA: 2019

He has a big fastball, but absolutely no control nor secondary pitches, which makes him looks like more of a depth piece than anything else.

 

44. Erick Salcedo, INF

Rating: C

Risk: Low

ETA: 2019

Salcedo will head back to Double-A this coming season. Salcedo is really just a depth piece. While he’s a switch-hitter who can make good contact, he has no plate discipline nor power, which seems likely to serve as a significant roadblock for him.

 

45. Chris Lee, LHP

Rating: C

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

Lee is 25 and posted a 5.11 ERA with Triple-A Norfolk, along with an 83/54 K/BB ratio. He is most likely AAAA depth at this point.

 

46. Josh Hart, OF

Rating: C

Risk: Very High

ETA: 2021

Hart was selected as a defensive specialist with plus-speed. He was expected to hit for average, as well, but he has never been able to do that. Unfortunately, his time to show what he can do is running out.

 

47. Armando Araiza, C

Rating: C

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

Araiza is simply an organizational piece. He spent the majority of the 2017 season in High-A and will be 25 years old in June.  

 

48. Irving Ortega, INF

Rating: C

Risk: High

ETA: 2022

His glove is very solid, however his bat is horrible which will probably make him more of a depth piece than anything else.

 

49. Yojhan Quevedo, C

Rating: C

Rating: Low

ETA: 2020

Quevedo had only reached Class-A Clinton with the Mariners’ organization, and has never shown much offensive potential. He’s simply depth.

 

50. Christian Binford, RHP

Rating: C

Risk: Low

ETA: 2018

Binford posted a 6.11 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A last season in Kansas City’s system. He really doesn’t have much in terms of stuff and has gotten absolutely blasted. He’s depth.

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