Baltimore Orioles: Someone Will Rise Above The Rest, Right?
Which of the new arms steps up for the Baltimore Orioles?
Orioles fans are going to see a lot of familiar names back on the mound next season, including the likes of David Hess, Ty Blach, Luis Ortiz, Tom Eshelman, and Chandler Shepherd. Hess was on his way to posting record-breaking home run numbers before spending much of his time in Triple-A, but a revamped offseason plan will lead to earning another shot at a rotation spot in spring.
We already know what the other four arms have and we aren’t going to see anything different in 2020. Promising reports on Ortiz about his health and fastball are sure to surface, but the former highly-touted prospect has shown nothing in the last two seasons that warrants any bit of excitement.
The new arms added this offseason do provide something to be excited about, at least enough to give them a shot.
So, which one, in particular, do we think stands above the rest? I’m putting my money on Brandon Bailey. While I strongly believe Rucker and Zastryny provide value for the Orioles in 2020, Bailey has the opportunity and tools to make his home in the starting rotation.
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Armed with a smooth and repeatable delivery, Bailey has had success at every stop in the minors since being drafted in 2016 out of Gonzaga. If he can harness all five of his pitches and can work with the organization to create a plan that translates his early success to the big leagues, no one will be talking about his height or fastball velocity.
Here’s a quick snapshot of his minor league numbers:
- 2016 (Rookie ball)- 43 IP, 2.93 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, .212 average against, 46/10 K/BB ratio, 1 HR allowed
- 2017 (A-ball)- 91 IP, 3.26 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, .206 average against, 120/31 K/BB ratio, 8 HR allowed
- 2018 (High-A/AA)- 122 IP, 2.80 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, .204 average against, 136/52 K/BB ratio, 11 HR allowed
- 2019 (AA)- 92 IP, 3.30 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, .212 average against, 103/41 K/BB ratio, 12 HR allowed.
You can choose to sit back and write off all of these new arms as pieces who won’t be around in a few years, and that may be the case, but until the notable prospect talent reaches the big leagues, the Orioles are going to be throwing a lot of darts at the wall, hoping at least one is close to finding the bulls-eye. Will any of the previously mentioned names turn into a small gold nugget? We’ll start to find out in just a few weeks.