Written by Chris Slade
It's been two weeks and we have now entered the month of June which means its time to recap the hottest performers during the month of May with the Orioles prospect HOTSHEET.
In the first two editions, I limited the HOTSHEET to ten players but I couldn't do that this time because I found 12 candidates worth mentioning. That's a great problem to have and as you'll notice, many of them are with Delmarva as the 1st place Shorebirds have been on some kind of a tear recently. The Shorebirds are 10-2 over the last two weeks and placed nine players on this edition of the HOTSHEET.
That's promising because the Orioles upper level prospect depth has been stretched thin recently thanks to callups and trades so its good to see many of the Shorebirds players hitting their stride and I imagine several of them will be making their way to Frederick in the coming months.
On to the HOTSHEET. Number one shouldn't be a surprise if you have been paying attention to the Orioles minors in May. Without further ado...
1) Christian Walker – 1B – Bowie Baysox (AA)
OH Prospect Rank: 16
The Orioles announced today that Walker was named the Hitter of the Month. Shocker. He only swatted out nine bombs in May and is having the kind of power breakthrough we wanted to see thus far in 2014. If he keeps this up, he'll likely find himself bumped up into the Top 10 prospect discussion.
2) Hunter Harvey – RHP – Delmarva Shorebirds (Low A)
OH Prospect Rank: 3
The teenage stud continues to dominate SALLY league hitters and is establishing himself as one of the top pitching prospects in all of the lower minors. For example, Keith Law recently placed Harvey at number ten on his updated Top 25 prospects list. He'll also be starting in the SALLY all-star game for the North division. Impressive, folks.
3) Jon Keller - RHP - Delmarva Shorebirds (Low A)
OH Prospect Rank: 28
Jon Keller thoroughly dominated out of the bullpen for the Shorebirds in May, posting the best ERA, FIP, GB%, and K% of all Orioles minor league pitchers with at last 15 innings pitched. He does it with a heavy sinking fastball that can run up as high as 97 mph and an inconsistent mid-80's slider that flashes plus at times. Like, I mentioned last time, I wonder if they will move him to the rotation at some point considering he started in college at Tampa.
4) Drew Dosch - 3B - Delmarva Shorebirds
OH Prospect Rank: UR
Drew Dosch is starting to make a name for himself in the Orioles minors and was named the starting third baseman for the North division in the SALLY all star game today. His upside might only be a role player/ platoon hitter in the majors but the kid can hit and should be considered a Top 20 prospect in the system now, in my opinion.
5) Mitch Horacek - LHP - Delmarva Shorebirds (Low A)
OH Prospect Rank: UR
Horacek had the kind of May performance that puts him on the prospect radar in my opinion. His stuff isn't overpowering, but he can touch low 90's with his fastball at times and he knows how to locate his off speed offerings. As a polished college lefthander, he'll likely bump up to Frederick at some point this season.
6) Steven Brault - LHP - Delmarva Shorebirds (Low A)
OH Prospect Rank: 17
Steven Brault continues to dominate down at Delmarva and has made the cut for all three of my HOTSHEET's this far. Like Horacek, Brault is a polished college lefthander who I would imagine doesn't have much left to prove at Delmarva either.
7) Trey Mancini - 1B - Delmarva Shorebirds (Low A)
OH Prospect Rank: Unranked
Mancini can flat out hit and I have never doubted that going back to his college days at Notre Dame. However, converting his above-average raw pop to in-game results has been a question mark for several years now. With only one home run on the season, we'd ideally like to see the balls leaving the yard far more frequently, if Mancini is ever to establish himself as a serious 1B prospect.
8) Mike Yastrzemski - CF - Delmarva Shorebirds (Low A)
OH Prospect Rank: UR
Whether Yaz is a true prospect is up for debate considering he's a polished 23-year old from Vanderbilt and should be thriving against this level of competition. There's no doubting he had a sensational month of May, though, and he was named the starting CF for the the North Division of the SALLY all-star game today. The five home runs and three triples stand out to me. He also stole five bases in May.
9) Parker Bridwell - RHP - Frederick Keys (High A)
OH Prospect Rank: 15
From nottie to HOTTIE, a real encouraging turnaround month for Bridwell. According to Tucker Blair, he has shown a significantly improved changeup this year and increased usage of the pitch in May lead to better results. Bridwell has always shown promise in spades, often struggling to put up good results on a consistent basis. Hopefully, he continues to build on his May success in June.
10) Chance Sisco - C - Delmarva Shorebirds (Low A)
OH Prospect Rank: 9
Here's what we like to see from last year's 2nd round pick out of high school. A debut appearance on the HOTSHEET! Sisco has been on fire since returning from the DL on May 5th. If his raw defensive skills improve, we have ourselves an intriguing catching prospect.
11) Sebastian Vader - RHP - Delmarva Shorebirds (Low A)
OH Prospect Rank: UR
Sebastian Vader had a terrific month of May, winning all five starts. He also earned a spot in the SALLY all star game and continues to show excellent control and efficiency on the mound despite an average arsenal.
12) Dariel Alvarez - CF - Bowie Baysox (AA)
OH Prospect Rank: 11
Alvarez continues to hit the ball with authority down at Bowie and quietly bashed out 7 home runs during the month of May. His aggresive approach at the plate leads some to question whether he'll hit like this at higher levels but the bat to barrell skills have certainly been there at AA this year.
The Not Sheet…Uh Oh…
Suk-Min Yoon - RHP - AAA - 2-2, 5.97 ERA, .270 AVG - His most recent outing (7 IP, 6 H, ER, 0 BB, 5 K)was his best to date but the overall results for Yoon once again weren't pretty in the month of May. We may start to see him shine in June, though, because his ERA drops to 3.14 over his last ten starts if you remove that May 4 stinkbomb (3 IP, 11 H, 8 ER) from the picture.
Mike Wright - RHP - AAA - 1-3, 7.85 ERA, .310 AVG - An ugly performance from Mr. Wright in May. Seems like problematic command has hampered his recent outings. Hopefully, whatever issue behind the recent command slippage is corrected in June.
Tyler Wilson - RHP - AA - 1-5, 5.67 ERA, .328 AVG - Wilson doesn't have overpowering stuff so his margin for error is a thin one. He thrived in April thanks to supreme control but with his walk rate slipping a little in May, it's no surprise to see he got hit around more frequently. He'll have to make adjustments.
Wynston Sawyer - C - A+ - .174/.284/.261 - Myself and maybe a few other prospect diehards liked Sawyer as a possible breakout candidate this year at Frederick but that hasn't been the case. The silver lining is that he has respectable K/BB numbers so we may start to see the offensive production bump up in June.
Josh Hart - CF - A - .273/.293/.273 - Not a fun month for Hart as his production slipped and to cap it off, tore his meniscus recently and will likely miss at least 4-to-6 weeks of action.
Prospects On The DL:
Henry Urrutia - OF - AAA - Big Hank, as mentioned last time, underwent Sports hernia surgery on May 9. He's expected to miss all of June judging by the initial timetable of 6-to-8 weeks on the mend.
Dylan Bundy - RHP - AA - Bundy's rehab continues to go as well as you'd hope. The latest report (courtesy of MASNROCH) tells us that he threw four perfect innings in an extended ST game today and sat 91-94 MPH with his heater. He could be ready to return to an affiliate in the coming weeks of June.
Back From The DL:
Zach Davies - RHP - AA - Davies returned from the DL last week after dealing with shoulder tendinitis. He struggled in his first outing back but has sported a K-rate above nine in his 5 AA starts.
Eduardo Rodriguez - LHP - AA - E-Rod has made two starts since recovering from a knee sprain that landed him on the DL. He's has fared well combining to pitch 10.2 innings with just 5 hits allowed, 2 runs, 4 walks, and 7 K's.
Blast From The Past:
The Orioles announced yesterday that veteran LHP Johan Santana has been added to the 40-man roster and placed on the 15-day DL. Santana has gotten his fastball velo back as high as 88 mph recently and could be ready to join the Orioles later this month once he completes his rehab work in the minors.
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