Keegan Akin
Keegan Akin (Credit: Craig Landefeld)

I haven’t done this is in a long time but I thought I’d change it up a bit and give an updated top prospect list going into the 2017 season. You can find our end of year 2016 list here. With some new acquisitions and spring performances now under our belt, there are few additions, some subtractions, and some climbers and fallers.

  1. Cody Sedlock will lead the Keys staff. (Pic: Doc Shorebird)

    Cody Sedlock – RHP: Most other publications have him lower, but I still think his three pitch mix, bulldog mentality and the fact he’s been put on the fast track with a jump to Frederick gives him a great opportunity to settle into a middle of the rotation starter.

  2. Keegan Akin – LHP: Similar to Sedlock in that he’s on the fast track, this lefty would be on everyone’s top 100 prospect list if he was 6-4 instead of 6-0. He and Sedlock will be an interesting 1-2 punch and if they end up in Bowie by year’s end they could both be knocking on Baltimore’s door by mid-2018.
  3. Chance Sisco – C: The consensus #1 prospect by most, Sisco’s bat is not really a question mark as he’s going to hit in the major leagues, the question is whether he can stick at catcher and whether he has the work ethic and desire to get better back there with his throwing. If he has to move to left field, the pressure for his power to develop will increase and his value decreases.
  4. Hunter Harvey – RHP: It would be easy to drop him further due to all his injuries, but his upside may be higher than anyone in the system when healthy. He may be back by late July or more likely August.
  5. Austin Hays – OF: The Orioles want him to be a lot of center field this year which could increase his value. His above average speed could play out there but he’ll need better jumps and routes. May not have a ton of game power, and he’s not going to walk a lot due to his aggressive style at the plate, but he’s as close to a 5-tool player this system has.
  6. Trey Mancini – 1B/OF: Forced his way to the big league team with a great spring and now that he’s shown he can play RF a bit, his versatility has improved his value. He’s a weapon against lefties which is something this team has struggled against.
  7. Chris Lee – LHP: Put on about 20 pounds this offseason and threw the ball very well this spring. Despite limited experience above A-ball, he’s in the running to pick up some starts this season in Baltimore if he throws well in Norfolk.
  8. Alex Wells – LHP: 20-year old Aussie will start at Delmarva and looks to bring his above average command of three pitches to the Sally League. The question is how his 87-90 fastball will play. Still reminds me of a left-handed version of Zach Davies.
  9.  Jesus Liranzo – RHP: Pitched well in big league camp and will be a phone call away of an injury occurs to one of the Orioles right-handed short relievers. Brad Brach type stuff just needs to improve the command.
  10. Ryan Mountcastle – SS: There are lot of things to like about Mountcastle’s bat speed and developing power, but hes not going to play on the left side of the infield and may not be able to stay on the dirt. His plate discipline needs to improve as well.
  11. Ofelky Peralta – RHP: No one in the system may have a better fastball when all things are considered, but he’ll need to find a consistent breaking ball to compliment his fastball, change-up combo. Will be just 20-years old in the Carolina League so this will be a good test.
  12. Matthias Dietz – RHP: Some reworked mechanics from the instructional league last year and a great spring has him as guy to watch. One of the better arms in the system but was raw.
  13. Anthony Santander – OF: The Orioles liked what they saw with his stick and will try to stash him as long as they can on the DL in an attempt to keep him in the organization. He shows good power and a decent eye at the plate, but his defense is still a question mark and it’s unsure whether the Orioles will be able to keep him.
  14. Gabriel Ynoa – RHP: Acquired from the Mets, Ynoa may get an opportunity to get some starts this year with the Orioles. Command remains his speed bump but the stuff is there to be solid back of the rotation starter.
  15. Jayson Aquino – LHP: Impressed Buck and his staff by working fast, changing speeds, and throwing strikes with a solid four-pitch mix. His curve ball was improved and his change up remains his best pitch, but he needs to spot his 87-90 MPH fastball to be successful.
  16. Brian Gonzalez – LHP: Scouts are all over the place with him, but he will get an opportunity to cement his status as a prospect this year in Frederick.
  17. Cedric Mullins – CF: Nobody had a more eye opener spring than Mullens who was rewarded with a two-level jump to Bowie partly because of impressing Buck Showalter in camp. It will be quite the challenge for the 22-year old. Projects as a platoon or fourth outfielder due to his weakness batting right-handed, but his speed and defense give him value.
  18. Zach Muckenhirn – LHP: We remain the only publication on Muckenhirn at this time and he’ll start in Delmarva’s rotation. This three-pitch lefty was dominant at times last year in Aberdeen and could be a real sleeper this season.
  19. Jhon Peluffo – RHP: Will jump Aberdeen and go into the Delmarva rotation as a 20-year old. Peluffo is another sleeper that’s worth a careful eye on.
  20. Tanner Scott – LHP: The wild thing took a step back last year and the fact that he didn’t get a look in big league camp suggests he’s still a work in progress. He will start every five days and pitch three to four inning stints in order to help develop his command and secondary pitches.
  21. Garrett Cleavinger – LHP: Can miss bats with a funky delivery but his velocity has remained down a bit this spring. Can get both right-handed and left-handers out when his stuff is on.
  22. David Hess – RHP: Put together a really good spring and although some observers felt he should move to the bullpen, his solid spring will have him stay in the Bowie rotation. A horse who can hold his stuff but searching for a strike out pitch.
  23. Randolph Gassaway (Credit : Doc Shorebird)

    Randolph Gassaway – OF: Gassaway is going to be the everyday right fielder in Frederick and will get an opportunity to cement his status as a prospect there. Some observers are not sold, but it’s hard to argue with the numbers he put up as a 21-year old last year in Delmarva.

  24. Donnie Hart – LHP: Still qualifies as a rookie and although he’s a LOOGY, his value as a dominant lefty vs lefty pitcher was shown during the Orioles stretch drive last year.
  25. DJ Stewart – OF: This will be a huge year for him at Bowie as the former #1 pick will need to show that his second half improvements last year are here to stay.
  26. Jomar Reyes – 3B: Big time raw power and plus arm gives him two tools to work from, but he’s got a long way to go with his hitting and there are questions about his ability to take coaching into games. Defensively he’ll probably need to move to 1B or RF if his straight line speed will be enough.
  27. Irving Ortega – SS: The only true shortstop prospect in the system, Ortega will get a chance to play everyday at Delmarva as a 20-year old. The Orioles are hoping when his man strength kicks in his offense will take a jump. Not going to wow anyone at SS defensively, but is consistent and has enough arm to stay there.
  28. Stefan Crichton – RHP: Made a good impression this spring in front of Buck and that can never hurt. Consistency remains his issue, but he strung together a nice finish to last season and his performance this spring got him a promotion to AAA.
  29. Yermin Mercedes – C: At the end of the last season the thought was to convert him to 1st base or outfield to move him along because of a stick, but the Orioles would like to see how he does once more behind the dish in 2017.
  30. Seamus Curran – 1B: We’ll take a flier on the big 1st baseman. Reportedly hit well enough to make Delmarva, but had some issue with umpires that maturity will need help out. He should be the every day 1st baseman at Delmarva as a 19-year old.