Welcome to prospect season! The staff here at Birds Watcher has compiled our Baltimore Orioles top ten prospects list for the 2019 season.
Believe it or not, the Super Bowl is over and spring training is now less than two weeks away. Scouting and videos of JUCO talent has already infiltrated my Twitter feed and it really is a beautiful thing. Baltimore Orioles baseball is soon to follow and regardless of what 2019 brings, at least baseball is back.
A few members of the staff here at Birds Watcher watch a lot of minor league baseball, myself included, so we decided to produce our own Orioles’ top prospect list consisting of 10 of the top prospects in a farm system that is quickly developing into a respectable group. The following list was compiled by my co-expert Tim Smart, contributing writer Chuck Boemmel, and myself.
Before we dive into the list, a quick look at who just missed our top ten. RHP Brenan Hanifee, OF DJ Stewart, and SS Cadyn Grenier all received votes and made strong cases for consideration. Like I mentioned earlier, the talent in this system is on the rise and struggling to fit quality players like these on our list is a great problem to have. So, who made the cut?
#10) RHP Dillon Tate- A former first-round pick, Dillon Tate came to Baltimore in last year’s Zach Britton trade, struggling in his first action with his new organization. After striking out a career-high 22% of hitters faced with the Trenton Thunder (NY AA affiliate) and limiting opponents to a .215 average, Tate went 2-3 with a 5.75 ERA in seven starts with Bowie, allowing a .295 average and striking out just 12% of hitters.
MASN.com’s Steve Melewski recently reported that Tate suffered from shoulder inflammation late in the season, adding another note to his laundry list of injuries since becoming a professional. There is still a lot of potential with Tate, who is preparing to enter 2019 on a fresh note and with a new regime calling the shots in Baltimore.
Armed with a fastball that sits in the mid-90s, a slider, and changeup, Tate produces a high number of groundballs but hasn’t been able to put everything together over the past four seasons. Tate will be given every opportunity to make the major league ballclub as a starter, but you have to imagine his value will rise if he moves back to the bullpen as a late-inning arm.