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Baltimore Orioles: Top 10 Dynasty Prospects

fantasy baseball prospects MLB prospects rookies call-ups

The Baltimore Orioles will be our next stop on the farm to evaluate the best prospects on each MLB team. Once the 2020 MLB season begins, it may turn out that Minor League systems will be more important than usual. Franchises are losing money during the pandemic layoff, so many teams will be looking for sources of cheap production. It might also take older players longer to rebound from a long layoff meaning we could see more injuries and more roster moves. We will also see expanded rosters, at least in the early going.

One important question to ask is: How will a long layoff affect prospects? One has to assume the more advanced prospects prior to the work stoppage will be at an advantage, while the more “toolsy but raw” type could be hurt with the lack of repetition and in-game action; throwing or hitting in simulated environments just doesn’t match up to the real thing. Many prospects will have to work jobs during the pandemic just to make ends meet, while players who signed for large bonuses will have an advantage. Other prospects that lack strong discipline and commitment to their craft could struggle to stay in shape.

We won’t really know what the layoff impact will have on baseball in general until things start ramping up. But we do know that a strong prospect pool will continue to be an important element for a successful baseball franchise. We're looking at the Top 10 (or more) dynasty prospects in each organization with an eye to discovering which organizations are best positioned to succeed with their player development when games resume. Make sure to check out all of our prospect content, including Top 50 for 2020 and Top 250 for Dynasty Leagues.

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Quick Synopsis

The Orioles system has a couple of impact prospects at the top but falls off quickly after that and lacks overall depth. The club hasn't done enough in the last two drafts to maximize its standing at the top of the draft. Years of ignoring the international market have also had a noticeable, negative impact.


1. Adley Rutschman, C

Dynasty Prospect Rank:  35
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

The first overall selection of the 2019 draft, Rutschman easily became the best prospect in a very weak system — as well as one of the top prospects in the game. However, developing a plus-hitting catcher is no easy task as Orioles fans know from watching Matt Wieters — once considered a generational talent — develop into good MLB player who was hardly the superstar many were expecting. Rutschman has shown the talent to hit for both power and average while playing excellent defense behind the dish. His leadership skills and reportedly strong makeup should help him succeed as he moves up the ladder.

2. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 39
2020 LEVEL: A+
MLB ETA: 2022

At 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, the 20-year-old Rodriguez is a beast on the mound. He can dial his heater up into the 95-97 mph range while backing it up with two pitches that possess above-average potential. He’s also shown solid command/control for his size and age. He has top-of-the-rotation potential and is vastly underrated.

3. DL Hall, LHP

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 71
2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Hall has mid-90s heat from the left side and backs it up with two pitches that both have a chance to be better-than-average. His control, though, is currently below average — he actually allowed more free passes than hits in 2019. After showing the ability to induce ground balls at an above-average rate in his first two pro seasons, Hall developed into an extreme fly-ball pitcher in 2019. I’m worried about how the long layoff in 2020 will impact this prospect.

4. Ryan Mountcastle, 1B

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 110
2020 Prospect Rank: 13
MLB ETA: 202

I’m not the biggest fan of Mountcastle. He has 20+ home run potential and has shown flashes of putting it all together but he has a very aggressive approach at the plate that might not work against big league pitchers. His walk rate at just above 4% at Triple-A in 2019 was well below average and he doesn’t work himself into favorable hitting counts consistently enough. Still, his 29% line-drive rate last year is intriguing.

5. Austin Hays, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 139
2020 Prospect Rank: 26
MLB ETA: 2020

Hays has shown flashes of potential over the past two years but has yet to put it all together. He’s shown 20+ home run pop but injuries have kept him from playing full seasons over the past two years. Hays has some swing-and-miss to his game, which could impact his overall ceiling, and the missed development time has not helped. He needs a healthy season to show what he’s fully capable of.

6. Yusniel Diaz, OF

Dynasty Prospect Rank: 169
MLB ETA: 2020

Diaz has intriguing raw skill but he’s struggled to reach his full potential on the baseball diamond. The move from an outstanding development system (Dodgers) to a modest one (Orioles) also hasn’t helped. A likely corner outfielder in the Majors, Diaz hasn’t shown the in-game power necessary to develop into an impact, everyday player.

7. Gunnar Henderson, SS

2020 LEVEL: SS-A
MLB ETA: 2023

Henderson is an intriguing young player who was an excellent get with the 42nd overall pick in the 2019 draft (I saw him as a late first or supplemental-first round talent). He has good size and plus-power potential as he continues to mature. He may not stick at shortstop long term and could move to third base.

8. Michael Baumann, RHP

2020 LEVEL: AA
MLB ETA: 2021

Baumann is a prospect who’s on the rise after a solid 2019 season that saw him split the year between High-A and Double-A. He has good size and two above-average offerings, including a fastball that can hit the upper-90s. If he can find more consistency with his command and polish the third offering, he has No. 4 starter potential.

9. Zac Lowther, LHP

2020 LEVEL:  AAA
MLB ETA: 2020

Lowther is a big-bodied hurler with the potential to develop into an innings-eating No. 4/5 starter. His modest fastball plays up because he has some deception to his delivery and he backs it up with a solid curveball. Lowther also needs to improve his third offering to help keep big league hitters on their toes.

10. Dean Kremer, RHP

MLB ETA: 2020

I’ve been a fan of Kremer for a couple of years now but he’ll likely have more of an impact as a reliever than as a starter. He has two pitches with above-average potential as well as above-average control.

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