By this time subsequent week, Orioles pitchers and catchers could have descended upon Sarasota, Fla., as soon as once more. That’s how close to spring is. The wait is nearly over.
We figured the easiest way to move the remaining time can be to dig into a couple of extra of your most urgent Orioles questions, so let’s get after it. With out additional ado:
Which prospects do you assume might get the decision up in 2021?
We coated the pitching aspect of this equation in last week’s Inbox, and the quick reply was: Fairly a couple of. I believe we are able to anticipate to see at the least 4 Top 30 pitching prospects — Michael Baumann, Zac Lowther, Kevin Smith and Alexander Wells — and probably a couple of others (the most secure wager right here being reliever Isaac Mattson) arrive in some unspecified time in the future this season.
Issues are about as busy on the place participant aspect: Ryan Mountcastle nonetheless qualifies as a prospect; Jahmai Jones and Rylan Bannon will get possibilities to make the membership out of Spring Coaching; and the time is coming for Yusniel Diaz and Ryan McKenna.
Throw in Dean Kremer, Keegan Akin and Bruce Zimmermann, who debuted in 2020, and that’s loads of contemporary faces. For what it’s price, I don’t assume Adley Rutschman debuts in ’21, however stranger issues have occurred.
Do you see DJ Stewart as a risk for the on a regular basis designated hitter function?
He’ll should earn it, however Stewart has an opportunity to hit his means into common at-bats in that function. Because it stands now, the plan is for Trey Mancini to play day by day at first base, with Anthony Santander having carved out a beginning function in proper, and Mountcastle getting the possibility to play day by day in left. That would change if both Mancini or Santander is moved by way of commerce, which stays a risk. However the best way it’s, the DH slot ought to give the Orioles wanted flexibility. I see them utilizing it to offer at-bats for Austin Hays, Probability Sisco and, sure, Chris Davis, in addition to Stewart, at the least within the early going. Others may very well be within the combine too on any given day relying on matchups, as might prospects like Diaz by midseason.
Hernandez, however I believe each make the staff. Baltimore’s want for innings and the depth are simply too nice.
Simply how shut is Diaz to creating the soar to the Majors? Can we anticipate to see him this season? Really feel like he is a forgotten prospect from the outdated regime.
I believe Diaz debuts in 2021. Had there been a Minor League season in ’20, it is a honest wager that Diaz would have spent most of it at Triple-A. And had that occurred, he might have been within the Majors by September or maybe earlier. Because it was, Diaz was restricted to work on the Orioles’ alternate coaching web site, the place he stayed wholesome whereas gaining reps in any respect three outfield positions. The wholesome half is essential, after Diaz missed chunks of each ’18 and ’19 to leg accidents.
The O’s nonetheless have excessive hopes for Diaz, who remains to be simply 24, even when he’s now not the group’s top-rated prospect. They’d be thrilled if he might get some early seasoning at Triple-A and debut by the tip of 12 months.
What’s going on with Blaine Knight? I do not hear his title anymore.
The Orioles’ third-round Draft choose in 2018, Knight’s inventory has fallen since arriving from the College of Arkansas (the place he was teammates with Heston Kjerstad). The principle wrongdoer was a disastrous 2019 season at Class A Superior Frederick, the place Knight went 1-12 with a 6.13 ERA. He participated in O’s educational camp final fall and doubtless begins ’21 at Double-A. However he’ll flip 25 this 12 months and is now not thought of one of many prime arms within the O’s now pitching-rich system.