After the September call-ups and the end of the season, the MLB Pipeline named the top prospects in the Baltimore Orioles organization. One pitcher and one position player were named the Prospects of the Year.
Each year the MLB Pipeline recognizes the best prospects in each organization. Last year, Chance Sisco and Brian Gonzalez were awarded with the honor. In 2015, Trey Mancini and Mychal Givens won the award.
Hays numbers are impressive
Even though Hays was named the top position player prospect for 2017, Sisco is still considered the number one prospect overall for the Orioles. Hays, the 22 years old right-hander, was drafted by the Orioles in 2016. He played low-A ball in 2016, but played Double-A ball in 2017. Hays was one of the few minor league players who was called up in September where played 20 games with the Orioles.
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In Double-A ball, Hays hit .330/.367/.594/.960. He also hit 16 home runs and 54 RBIs in his 64 games. Hays in an outfielder who plays right and center field. In his 20 games in Baltimore, he hit .217/.238/.317/.555 with one home run and eight RBIs.
Wells is an up-and-comer
Alex Wells is a left-handed pitcher from Australia. He has been in the Orioles organization for two years. In 2016, he played in short-season Low-A with the Aberdeen IronBirds and in 2017, he played with the Delmarva Shorebirds in Single-A. His career ERA in both leagues is 2.31.
According to Fangraphs, Alex Wells is expected to pitch in Baltimore in 2020. Since he was not part of the MLB draft as a player out of Australia, he was signed for $300,000 -which isn’t bad for a minor leaguer. He does not pitch at outstanding speed, usually topping out at 89 with his fastball. At the beginning of the 2017 season, he had a curveball and changeup to complement his fastball.
The Orioles farm system has serious limitations, but it is good to know that there is at least one pitcher on the way up. Australia and New Zealand have been building up their baseball leagues and Orioles just recently signed a scout to be on the look out for talent down under.