Baltimore Orioles Roundtable: Bold Predictions, Expectations, And More
John Means was a pleasant surprise for the Baltimore Orioles last season. Can he anyone rise up from the pile and impress this season?
Contributor Ben Schneider- With all of the pitchers the Orioles signed this offseason to low-risk deals, there are many potential options for someone to come out of nowhere. How about Kohl Stewart? The righty pitched terribly with the Twins last season, but the front office obviously sees something in him if they gave him a split contract. I’m not confident this will happen, but maybe the coaching staff will unlock the stuff that made him the 4th overall pick in 2013. I am also holding out for the team to sign Taijuan Walker in hopes and he returns to how well he pitched before his injuries.
Contributor Ryan Beckwith- I can see Miguel Castro having an All-Star caliber season in 2020. His stuff is so raw and electric that he’s just one or two adjustments from being untouchable.
Here’s to hoping.
Contributor Chuck Boemmel- LHP Keegan Akin has the potential to be the 2020 version. I see him taking a big step forward, despite his 2019 Norfolk stats, and making the club out of spring training. His 2019 stats were suppressed due to working on certain pitches, his off-speed ones especially, in certain counts and all that work will pay off in 2020.
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Contributor Ari Ezra- I think Dillon Tate will be this year’s John Means. We got a small glimpse of Tate in the big leagues last season. He appeared in 16 games with the Orioles and did show some promise, even through his 6.43 ERA. Though the jump from the minors to the majors is a big one, I believe Tate has the arm that could surprise the baseball community. That small sample size with the O’s should not turn off Baltimore fans. His career minor league totals include a 22-13 record with an ERA of 3.76. There have been many first-round picks that didn’t go on to have great careers. I believe this fourth overall pick will show the O’s why he was such a valuable pick up in the Zach Britton trade.
Contributor Jesse Morrison- I think this year’s John Means will be someone a little more highly regarded as a prospect but someone most fans probably do not think about anymore as a major piece for the future due to injuries. Yes, I’m talking about Hunter Harvey. He finally made it to Baltimore in 2019 and was terrific in seven appearances (1.42 ERA, 11 SO in 6.1 innings pitched). The move to the bullpen has seemed to work and seeing Harvey as an All-Star reliever in 2020 would not surprise me at all.
Site Expert Nick Stevens- A lot of pitchers are going to get the opportunity to step up and impress in 2020. While I don’t think anyone steps up to the level of 2019 John Means, I do think fans walk away from 2020 impressed with a few different names, most notably Brandon Bailey. Bailey brings five pitches to the table, success at the minor league level, and a scientific approach to pitching. He has a lot to overcome as a Rule 5 pick making the jump from Double-A to Triple-A, but stay tuned for what I think is going to be a solid 2020 campaign from the former Houston Astros minor leaguer.