Hello RotoBallers! The baseball season may be over, but as all y'all dynasty owners out there know, the offseason for us is arguably one of the most important times of the year. This is when you'll need to study which prospects to target in your draft, who to keep, who to drop, and which ones may be sleepers that other owners are undervaluing.
You will notice that we are rolling out a new format for these articles. Instead of discussing every prospect in depth, I am highlighting the ones that are most important and then providing an overview of the system at the bottom of the article. Some systems will include more commentary than others. It is probably more important to discuss the guys at the back of the Red Sox Top 10 list than it is to discuss the guys at the back end of the Angels list. I mean really, who doesn't already know that the Anaheim farm system is a complete dumpster fire?!
Just as a heads up, I am going in order of division from AL East to AL Central to AL West and then same order within the National League. Within the division, the order will be alphabetical. So without further ado, I hope you all enjoy reading about the first team for the 2016/2017 offseason, the Baltimore Orioles!
By the way, if you are interested in more MLB prospects columns, head on over to our 2017 fantasy baseball rankings dashboard. Throughout the offseason, you will find the rest of our team prospect breakdowns, fantasy baseball prospect rankings, tiered positional rankings, keeper values articles, and more - all in one easy place.
Baltimore Orioles Top Prospects for Dynasty Leagues
Top Overall Talent: Chance Sisco
Top Prospect to Play in 2017: Chance Sisco
Sisco does not possess an explosive bat offensively, but he looks very likely to become the next starting catcher for the Orioles. He has a reliable eye at the plate that has never seen him strikeout more than 20% at any level with more than 50 plate appearances. He will probably never hit 20 home runs, but Sisco could very possibly bat .280 with upwards of 10 home runs per season. And with the Orioles searching for a new catcher to replace Matt Wieters, it looks like Sisco (who reached Triple-A in 2016) will have a chance to see plenty of playing time in the 2017 season.
Top Prospect Who Won’t Debut in 2017: Cody Sedlock
I was tempted to put Ryan Mountcastle here, but overall I just love Sedlock’s high floor. I think the Illinois product has a very good chance to become a middle-of-the-rotation, Mike Leake-type starter for the Orioles thanks in large part to his heavy sinking fastball. A reliever in college, Sedlock may take some time to adjust to the increased workload of a full season as a starter, but I still think he reaches the majors before the end of the 2018 season.
Boom or Bust: Hunter Harvey
Harvey has always been regarded as having insane upside, but injuries have dominated the early part of his career to this point. Harvey’s elbow has been unable to give him any reliability and he has only one professional season with more than 15 innings under his belt since being drafted in 2013. That one season in 2014 at Class-A gave fantasy owners a glimmer of hope. Who knows if he will ever make it to the big leagues given his injury history.
Biggest Sleeper: Austin Hays
Hays was taken in the third round of the 2016 draft out of Jacksonville University and impressed in his first taste of professional baseball. In 38 games, Hays matched his four home runs with four stolen bases while hitting well above .300 and striking out only about 20% of the time. Scouts were low on him because he dominated a weak conference in college baseball, but he may have the tools to hit 10 home runs and swipe 10 bags per season.
Top Prospect Hitters
Best Power Hitter: Trey Mancini
Between Double-A and Triple-A in 2016, Mancini hit a combined 20 home runs in 142 games played and also mashed three in his first five big league games. His power is legit and he seems like the only guy who can hit over 20 dingers in this system.
Most Likely to Hit over .300: Chance Sisco
As discussed earlier, Sisco has a very promising eye at the plate and a sweet swing that will surely deliver plenty of doubles in his career.
Best Burner on the Bases: Ryan McKenna
McKenna stole 17 bags in 2016 at Low-A in only 62 games. However, he also struck out 23.4% of the time and hit only .241 despite his speed. If he can cut down on the swings-and-misses, he could be a potential bottom of the order speedster and provide fantasy owners with 25 steals per season. But that is a big if for now.
Top Prospect Pitchers
Strikeout Machine: Hunter Harvey
If Harvey can ever stay healthy, he certainly has the stuff to be an elite pitcher. He has an elite fastball/curveball combination and a plus changeup that could be a better pitch moving forward. But all those evaluations were done before Tommy John surgery so it awaits to be seen how he recovers.
Best Command: Cody Sedlock
This was a tough one between Sedlock and Harvey, but ultimately I stuck with Sedlock. He pitches mostly to contact with his sinker and will probably continue to improve on that moving forward. Expect him to continue to improve his command as he receives more development time.
Top 10 Dynasty Prospects for the Baltimore Orioles
1. Chance Sisco (C, AAA)
2. Trey Mancini (1B, MLB)
3. Cody Sedlock (SP, A-)
4. Ryan Mountcastle (SS, A)
5. Jomar Reyes (3B, A+)
6. Keegin Akin (SP, A-)
7. Hunter Harvey (SP, A-)
8. Austin Hays (OF, A-)
9. D.J. Stewart (OF, A+)
10. Christian Walker (OF, AAA)
Overall, there is really not too much to get overly excited about in the Orioles’ farm system. I think Mountcastle and Harvey both possess intriguing upside and I really like the high floors for Sisco, Sedlock and Mancini, but no one here is an elite prospect. The top three are the only guys I really consider worth owning in most dynasty leagues.