A Minor Review of 2017: Baltimore Orioles

The Graduate: Trey Mancini, OF/1B: In any other season, Mancini’s rookie season would have received a fair bit of attention but he was contending with the likes of Aaron Judge and Cody Bellinger. The Orioles rookie doesn’t really have any defensive value but he can hit for both average and power. He’ll become even more valuable as he tightens up his strike zone. With Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis in Baltimore, Mancini will be forced to spend more time in left field, which hurts the team. I believe he has a chance to be quite good for the Orioles for a long time.

First Taste of The Show: Austin Hays, OF: A 2016 third rounder, Hays’ offensive explosion came out of nowhere with no one expecting that kind of power display (32 minor league homers). He was given a somewhat surprising big league promotion at the end of the year and hit .217 in 20 games. Hays doesn’t strike out as much as the typical slugger but he’s still an aggressive hitter and walked just 25 times in 128 minor league games split between high-A and double-A. That could limit his effectiveness at the big league level until he makes adjustments. If he looks good in the spring, Hays has a shot at breaking camp with the Orioles — a club stuck between contending and rebuilding.

The Stud: Chance Sisco, C: Matt Wieters was supposed to be the face of the franchise but never truly developed as hoped. Sisco has a chance to be the Orioles 2018 starting catcher (backed up by holdover Caleb Joseph) and could eventually develop into a stud behind the plate. He’ll likely only be an average defender behind the plate but he should hit better than most catchers — both for power and could develop 15 homer pop in his prime. Just 22, he needs to tighten up his approach at the plate as he gets too aggressive at times and needs to relax in key situations.

The Draft Pick: Adam Hall, SS: I’m going to skip over the first round pick D.L. Hall (if part because I wasn’t a huge fan of this pick) but because Hall played high school ball in my city of London, Ontario, Canada. The speedy infielder is very athletic but raw like so many other cold-weather prospects selected out of high school. Given time, he has a chance to hit for a solid average and rack up 20+ steals. It remains to be seen how much pop he’ll develop and I see him developing into a solid second base prospect, although he may stick at shortstop.

The Riser: Tanner Scott, LHP: The devastating injury to closer Zach Britton could keep him out much of 2018 but it could open up an opportunity for Scott to establish himself as a big league reliever. The young southpaw hits triple-digits regularly but walked 46 batters in 69 double-A innings in 2017. Those massive control issues will keep him from succeeding in a high-leverage role but, if he can develop even average control and polish the control of his slider, he could be a beast. He might take some lumps at the big league level early in his career.

The Sleeper: Cameron Bishop, LHP: Selected in the 26th round of the 2017 draft, Bishop has the raw ability to be a real steal. He has an excellent fastball but his other offerings need significant work — along with both his command and control. He has a very good pro debut but will need to be more consistent to succeed at higher levels. I could see him eventually developing into an excellent high-leverage reliever but he has the frame to be an innings-eater in a big league rotation — if he can add the necessary polish.



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Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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vinyldude
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Member

When I think ‘stud catcher’ I think someone who can hit 25 home runs, excellent peripherals, and top-of-the-line defensive ability. 15 home runs in Sisco’s prime doesn’t sound like a stud to me, nor does “average defender”. If he can hit well enough to do a good Yadier Molina impression then absolutely, he’ll be great. Doesn’t look like the next Gary Sanchez, unfortunately, but definitely a fine starter nonetheless.

tallndawkward
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tallndawkward

just because sisco isn’t a power hitter doesn’t mean he still won’t be a stud hitter. he’s just more of a high avg, high obp, doubles hitter than a power hitter. like nick markakis. still can be a great hitter and is actually more what the orioles need right now than another power hitter.

vinyldude
Member
Member

I just disagree with the word “stud”, as that usually refers to a superior, all around hitter with power. It also usually means someone who can carry, or be a primary source of, offense in a lineup. Apart from those early great years, Markakis was more of a supportive piece. Sisco sounds like he will be the same type of support, so a stud support guy? Sure. Not a true stud imo based on the description.

BudPoole99
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BudPoole99

That is as studly as it gets for the O’s farm system.