It's the first Monday of February and that means we will not have to suffer another month of no baseball until November! For today's segment of Minor League Monday, we thought we would dig a little deeper in the organization and touch on a few Baltimore Orioles prospects that you may not know, but should.
Most Orioles fans know of the big five prospects right now in Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, Eduardo Rodriguez, Hunter Harvey and Jonathan Schoop, and rightfully so, but the 10th ranked Orioles farm system has several other guys that could make an impact at the big league level in their futures, some sooner than you may realize.
So let's get to it shall we?
A shortstop, Marin has quietly been making a name for himself in the Orioles organization. Drafted in the third round of the 2012 MLB draft, Marin comes in a six feet tall and weighs 165 pounds. As you can tell, he is not a big guy by any stretch of the imagination, but power is not his game. He is a quick, shifty guy who has a good baseball mind. Marin is no seen as a power hitter, but a guy who will hit some doubles and use his speed to his advantage.
In 2012 Marin hit a combined .286 with seven doubles, three triples, 15 RBI and eight stolen bases in 53 total games in the minors, while playing 47 games with the Gulf Coast League, and six games with the Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds.
Marin spent all of 2013 with the Shorebirds and performed pretty well. He hit .265 with four homers, two triples, 19 doubles, 11 stolen bases and 48 RBI. That is a very respectable season considering he was just 19 years old and it was his first full professional season. Marin projects to be a top of the order type of bat, but the big question will be whether or not he will remain at shortstop when he gets older, but remember his name as he is a guy you should know.
OK, so some of you probably know of Wright, he is ranked right outside of the big five in the organization, but for those who don't know about him, you certainly should. Wright, the third round selection in the 2011 MLB draft, has pitched well in his two and a half professional seasons, especially last season.
Wright had a stellar campaign in 2013 as things began to click for him. Wright posted an 11-3 record with a 3.26 ERA in 26 starts and 143 2/3 innings for the AA Bowie Baysox. He also struck out 8.5 batters per nine innings and kept the ball in the ball park allowing just nine home runs, which equated to 0.6 allowed per nine innings of work.
He got called up late in the season to the AAA Norfolk Tides and the bigger stage didn't bother him whatsoever as he tossed 6 2/3 scoreless innings in his only start for the Tides and was forced to take a no decision. Wright throws his fastball in the mid-nineties and 2013 saw improvement in his secondary pitches, which helped him become more effective. Do not be surprised if you see Wright in Camden Yards at some point this season either as a spot starter or an addition to the bullpen. In 304 2/3 career Minor League innings, Wright has posted a 24-10 record with a 3.84 ERA.
Prior to this offseason, very few Orioles fans would have heard Berry's name, but his selection to play in the Arizona Fall League by the Orioles raised a few eyebrows, then he earned himself a spot in the AFL's Fall Stars Game, which drew even more attention his way and then his addition to the Orioles 40-man roster was the kicker as the team needed to protect him from the Rule-5 Draft.
Berry had his best season as a professional in 2013 and it became obvious that something certainly clicked for him. Berry posted a 11-7 record with a 3.85 ERA in 27 starts and 152 innings pitched for the High-A Frederick Keys in 2013. From watching him in 2012 to last season, it was clear that his mechanics were much better and his command followed suit. He posted his lowest walks per nine innings ratio in his career last season at 2.4.
As a 50th round selection in 2009, Berry has already exceeded any expectations that may have been put on him, but what he did in the Arizona Fall League this offseason shows that he is not yet satisfied. Berry posted a 2-0 record with a 1.84 ERA in 14 2/3 innings pitched in the AFL.
There you have it, three prospects you may not have heard of, but should. Did you know any of these guys? Did you know all three? One thing that all three have in common are that they are all playing well and proving that the Orioles' organizational depth is getting better, which could be a good sign of things to come.
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