Baltimore Orioles Farm System Named Top Five Most Improved

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JUNE 25: The 2019 top overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft, Adley Rutschman #35 of the Baltimore Orioles acknowledges the crowd during the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 25, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - JUNE 25: The 2019 top overall pick in the Major League Baseball draft, Adley Rutschman #35 of the Baltimore Orioles acknowledges the crowd during the fourth inning against the San Diego Padres at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on June 25, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /
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The Baltimore Orioles have one of the most improved farm systems in baseball.

If this rebuild is going to work for the Baltimore Orioles, stockpiling major league quality talent in the minors leagues is a crucial step in sustained success for Mike Elias and this organization. Within one year of taking over the reins in Baltimore, Elias has focused a lot of time and energy into building up his farm system immediate efforts have been both productive and positive.

In a piece from MLB.com’s Mike Rosenbaum, the Baltimore Orioles farm system was ranked among the top five most improved farm systems in 2019. You can read Rosenbaum’s piece here.

I started extensively following the Orioles minor league system nearly five years ago and after having the opportunity to interview players, meet a fantastic group of employees who help keep each minor league affiliate running on a daily basis, and watching the growth and development of many prospects from the press boxes of Delmarva and Frederick, my love for not only Orioles minor league baseball but all of minor league baseball has never been higher.

Luckily, we now get to enjoy a lot of real talent throughout the organization. With another season of rough baseball at the major league level upcoming for the Baltimore Orioles, the 2020 season will be another prime opportunity to catch a minor league baseball game around Birdland.

Drafting Adley Rutschman with the top overall pick in last year’s draft will certainly send your farm system ranking up the ladder, but this system is so much more than just Rutschman.

Ryan Mountcastle, coming off an International League MVP award in 2019, is set to make his major league debut in 2020 and the 64th ranked overall prospect in baseball is sure to bring a big bat to the big leagues. Other Top 30 prospects like Austin Hays (#6), Dean Kremer (#8), Keegan Akin (#11), Hunter Harvey (#15), Rylan Bannon (#24), and Dillon Tate (#28) are all expected to either be major producers for the major league Orioles or get their first taste of the big leagues at some point in the near future.

We must also include Brandon Bailey (#21) on that list, seeing as the Orioles used their first-round Rule 5 pick on him just a few weeks ago. Bailey will compete for a major league rotation spot this spring.

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It doesn’t matter where you go and catch a minor league game next season, you’re sure to see some fantastic talent at every level.

Grayson Rodriguez (#2) made his presence known last season and it’s now hard to find a scouting report that doesn’t believe he is a solid #1 or #2 starting pitcher at the major league level. There’s also the electric DL Hall (#3) who throws in the upper-90s from the left side and struck out 116 High-A hitters in just 80 innings last season.

Fellow pitchers Zac Lowther (#10), Michael Baumann (#9), and Drew Rom (#19) all took big steps forward in 2019 and will look to build on that success at more advanced levels in 2020.

Fans will also have the opportunity to become more acquainted with an impressive group of 2019 draft picks, including the new hot names on the scene like outfielders Kyle Stowers (#12) and Zach Watson (#23).

This draft class played a major role in producing a record number of wins for the short-season Aberdeen Ironbirds and a first-place finish for the Gulf Coast League Orioles.

With the Orioles currently owning three picks among the first 40 in next year’s draft (including the number two overall pick), we will likely see more elite talent enter the pipeline in the coming months. The 2020 draft is loaded with college talent this year, especially pitching talent, and should be another fun time for Orioles fans.

Next. A Look At The Current Starting Rotation Candidates. dark

Get out to these minor league ballparks, get your first live looks at the future of Birdland, and enjoy the growth and development currently taking place down on the farm. I promise you won’t regret it.