Baltimore Orioles: How The Orioles Compare To Baseball’s Other Rebuilding Clubs
The Baltimore Orioles aren’t the only team in baseball in the midst of a major rebuild. How do they compare to the other clubs in the same boat?
2019 has gone exactly as expected for the Baltimore Orioles. The O’s enter play Tuesday 39-80 which puts them on pace to finish the season 53-109. This is only six games better than their 47-115 finish in 2018.
Despite being on pace for nearly 110 losses, the Orioles don’t have baseball’s worst record. The Detroit Tigers currently sit a woeful 35-80 and would hold the first pick in the 2020 MLB Draft over the Orioles who are on pace to end up with the second pick.
Like the Orioles, the Tigers are in the beginning stages of what figures to be a lengthy rebuild. Other teams also still in the early phases of the rebuilding process are the Kansas City Royals and Miami Marlins who are also both on pace to lose over 100 games.
Though Baltimore isn’t the only rebuilding team in baseball, they’re often dubbed the MLB’s worst team. That got us wondering is that true? Are the Tigers, Royals and or Marlins really in better shape than the Orioles?
To find out, we compared the Orioles to the three other major rebuilding clubs in baseball. We made the comparisons by looking at each team’s current major league talent that is under contract through at least 2022, minor league offensive depth and minor league pitching depth.
Are the Baltimore Orioles really baseball’s worst team? Let’s dig in.
*Note All Minor League Stats Are Retroactive to the start of action on Monday, August 12th
Current Major League Talent Signed Through 2022:
As bad as the 2019 Orioles are, the 2019 Detroit Tigers are much worse.
36-year-old Miguel Cabrera leads all Tigers hitters who are signed through 2022 in batting average at .285. The next closest Tiger who will still be under contract then is 27-year-old Niko Goodrum who is batting .250. Detroit’s current offense is woeful, and they really don’t have many offensive pieces in the majors now that will ever help them win.
The Orioles, on the other hand, do have a few players signed long-term that may be factors when they are finally ready to compete. Trey Mancini is just now entering the prime of his carer and has hit 29 home runs while hitting near .300 this season. 24-year-old Anthony Santander has also had an outstanding season as he’s batting .302 with 10 home runs.
In the pitching department, both teams have solid top of the rotation arms locked up long term. The Tigers have left-hander Matthew Boyd, and the Orioles have 2019 all-star John Means. After that, however, there isn’t much depth that’s under contract outside of former all-star Joe Jimenez of Detroit.
While both teams lack much major league talent, the Orioles have more, and luckily a handful of those who have produced for the Orioles in 2019 are locked up long term.
Minor League Offensive Depth:
Both the Orioles and Tigers farm-systems rank in the top half in baseball according to MLB Pipeline. The Orioles rank 13th while the Tigers rank 6th.
Offensively, however, the Orioles may hold the edge. Five of the Orioles top 10 prospects are offensive players including 2019 first overall pick Adley Rutschman. In addition, first base prospect Ryan Mountcastle ranks 70th in baseball, and outfielder Yusniel Diaz was the centerpiece of the Orioles 2018 Manny Machado trade.
As for the Tigers, their topped ranked bat is 2019 first-round selection Riley Green who ranks as Detroit’s third-best prospect and baseball’s 49th best. The other three offensive prospects who rank among the organization’s top ten do not rank in the MLB top 100, and one is a catcher in Jake Rogers who is currently in the majors batting .182.
With the Tigers in need of more bats in their farm system, Baltimore holds the edge here.
Minor League Pitching Depth:
It’s hard to find a farm system with better pitching depth than the Detroit Tigers. 13 of the Tigers top 30 prospects according to MLB Pipeline are pitchers including six who rank in the organization’s top ten.
None are ranked higher than 2018 first overall selection Casey Mize who ranks as baseball’s top pitching prospect and currently holds a solid 3.22 ERA in Double-A. The Tigers minor league pitching staff also features baseball’s 29th best prospect Matt Manning and Tarik Skubal who has posted a carer 2.39 ERA in the minors.
As for the Orioles, they also have some talented pitching prospects. Both DL Hall and Grayson Rodriguez rank among baseball’s top 100 prospects and pitched in the 2019 MLB future’s game in July.
The Orioles also have Dean Kremer who went from a 14th round pick to the Orioles 8th best prospect thanks to a 2.67 carer minor league ERA. While Baltimore has some talent in the pitching department on the farm, it doesn’t quite compare to Detroit’s.
Who’s in better shape?
While the Tigers minor league system is ranked higher than Baltimore’s and they have a potential future Cy-young award winner in Mize closing in on the big leagues the Orioles are closer to contention.
In today’s home run happy league the Orioles are stacked with big bats in the minors and have players such as Mancini and Santander that can mash in Baltimore for a long time.
Though neither team is all that close as of now, it’s hard not to think Baltimore will reach the .500 mark before Detroit.
Verdict: Orioles Are a year ahead of Detroit.