Ryan McKenna
Credit: Craig Landefeld

by Wildcard

I know being negative is in vogue now but…

Only 21:

Ryan McKenna – Should be moving up to AA in the next month. From there he could be in the majors soon. He is a speedy centerfield with a better arm than Mullins. He could push Mullins to left sometime in the future. His 366/447/517/964 split at Frederick along with his defense has been impressive.

Just 23:

Chance Sisco – Is throwing, playing defense and calling games better than expected. Now if he can get his bat going like his minor league splits of 311/390/426/815.

Miguel Castro – After putting up a 3.53 ERA in 66.1 IP as a 22 year old for the O’s he is back this year with a 3.00 ERA in 33 IP in only a third of the season.

Cedric Mullins – Cedric has the rangy and skill of a major league centerfield right now. Tonight he moves to AAA after burning up AA with a 315/362/518/879. We will probably see him in CF with the O’s the day that Adam Jones is traded.

Keegan Akin – This 2nd round lefty starter is moving fast. In AA he has a 2.97 ERA in 10 starts and 57.2 IP. He is striking out over a batter per inning with 63. He should be moving to AAA in the next month.

Hunter Harvey – The O’s first rounder was having his innings limited because they wanted to call him up in the 2nd half to help in the pennant race. With no race this year he is now pitching more innings per start. Striking out a batter an inning through his first 30 innings. If we don’t see him this year he will come to spring trading in 2019 with a chance to make the team. He is already on the 40 man roster.

Austin Hays – Injuries and a change in his hitting approach messed him up early but this guy has the arm and range to be a major league right fielder. His 32 homer and 95 RBI to go with splits of 329/365/593/958 at AA and A+ last year made him the #21 prospect for Baseball America. Getting healthy and his batting approach straighten out could move very fast up to the O’s.

Anthony Santander – With a year in the majors under his belt as a Rule 5 steal, Santander is now starting to show how good a AA prospect he can be with a .313 average. Look for him to start flashing the power that he showed last year in Bowie and the year before in A+ when he hit 20 and drove in 95.

At 24:

Davis Hess – Has earned himself a place in the O’s rotation replacing Chris Tillman. His 3.47 ERA shows that his 2-2 record in his first 4 starts could even be better with a little more offensive support.

Tanner Scott – This lefty’s blazing fastball and effective slider is now showing flashes of what he could be in the near future as a setup reliever or maybe even a closer. With stuff this good it will be hard to keep him at AAA though he may be headed there with a roster crunch about to occur. Once Britton and Brach are traded by July 31st, look for Scott to become a fixture in the O’s pen.

DJ Stewart – is ready to be promoted to the O’s outfield. Only a strained hamstring stands in his way. Look for him to take over RF when he arrives. His .363 OBP and 814 OPS in spite of a tough home park for hitters. . Elsewhere in the International League he hit 295/370/500 870. He is ready when healthy.

Pedro Araujo – Taken in the Rule 5 draft he has shown flashes of a strong arm and good stuff. He still needs some polish on his pitches but could be a real factor in 2019 after beginning the year in the minors.

At 25:

Dylan Bundy – Is a fixture in the O’s rotation. He has 7 Quality Starts in his 12 games and could have a good record with a little offensive support. He has a 28-22 career record in his young career.

At 26:

Jonathan Schoop – Jon was the O’s MVP last year with 32 homers, 105 RBI and a 293/338/503/841 split. He is off to a slow start due to an injury this season but is expected to get back to his bashing ways soon. Jon will have 5 years of service at the end on this season and needs to be extended.

Trey Mancini – Showed a power bat with good control in his rookie year last year. His 293/338/488/826 split made him a dependable, productive hitter wherever Buck put him in the lineup. He is slumping now but his bat has been so good the expectation is he will trend back to what he did last year.

Luis Gonzalez – Look out for this lefty reliever. Buck has liked him in the past and he is having a good first half at Bowie. A 2.55 ERA in 24.2 IP with 31 strikeouts and a 1.05 WHIP. He should be at AAA in the next month. The only thing that will hold him back is having Bleier, Scott and Hart in front on him.

At 27 and now in their prime:

Kevin Gausman – Kevin was a workhorse last year with 34 starts and 186.2 IP. His 2016 was probably his best year to date with a 3.61 ERA in 30 starts. He has had a hard time putting two good halves of the season together. Its hard to know how good Gausman is this year with poor defense, poor hitting and an inconsistent pen so far. There is no mistaking his 98 mph fastball and his great secondary pitches when he has it all going his way.

Donnie Hart – has been a effective lefty reliever for the O’s over the passed 2+ years. His 2.66 career ERA shows his value to the team. So far this year he has a 1.59 ERA when in the major. He has been on the Norfolk shuttle because he has options.

28 and established:

Mychal Givens – Is the O’s next closer in waiting. Givens career numbers speak for themselves. 18-4, 2.86 ERA in 211 IP, 256 SO and a 1.13 WHIP. Mychal is not even arbitration eligible yet and will not be eligible for FA until after the 2021 season..

These 19 players are the young core of the O’s. It is expected that as Manny, Britton, Jones and Brach are traded in the next two months other young players will be added to the mix.