New faces among Orioles' Top 20 Prospects
Gausman, Bundy swap spots at No. 1; three pitchers move onto list
Plenty of the Orioles' success in 2013 can be attributed to trades. Players brought in from other organizations have thrived this season, from Chris Davis to Adam Jones to J.J. Hardy. But that's not to suggest that the O's and executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette haven't paid attention to the farm system -- far from it. In fact, Baltimore has a handful of pitching prospects it should be excited about adding to its big league roster in coming years.
Manny Machado made the jump from top prospect to Major Leaguer last August, and his impact has been profound.
This season, pitching prospect Kevin Gausman tried to make the same jump, but with mixed results. His stuff was at times electric -- an upper-90s fastball combined with two changeups -- and he showed flashes that he belongs in the big league rotation long-term. But aside from a couple good starts and several good outings out of the bullpen, the 22-year-old occasionally appeared overmatched and gave up some costly home runs during his stint in the rotation.
Steve Johnson, who was ranked No. 14 on the Orioles' preseason prospects list, also had a stint with the club. The reliever is currently on the shelf with an oblique injury, suffered in the first week of June.
Outfielder Glynn Davis, the No. 10 prospect during the preseason, has fallen from the Top 20 list, as have right-handed pitchers Devin Jones and Parker Bridwell.
There are five new names on the midseason updated prospect list, including a trio of pitchers -- Jason Gurka (18), Chris Jones (19) and Tyler Wilson (20) -- who have made their way into the Top 20, a list that includes 13 pitchers.
Two new names also vaulted onto the list after this year's First-Year Player Draft. Hunter Harvey, the Orioles' top selection in the Draft, checks in at No. 4, just behind Eduardo Rodriguez, who maintained his third spot behind Gausman Dylan Bundy.
The team's second selection, Josh Hart, also made the list. The outfielder is ranked No. 13. Both Harvey and Hart were selected out of high school and are currently honing their skills with the Gulf Coast League Orioles.
orioles' top prospects
Former top prospect Bundy had Tommy John surgery in June and will likely miss at least a year. Gausman surpassed him as the Orioles' top-rated prospect, but Bundy retains the No. 2 spot.
Davis, the outfielder who has dropped from the Top 20, is a curious case. Once an undrafted free agent, the local kid was ranked as high as No. 9 on the Orioles' prospect lists. But the speedster has hit just .241/.321/.326 this season for Class A Frederick.
In 97 plate appearances for Frederick last season, Davis had an on-base percentage of .358, despite a batting average more than 100 points lower (.256). That ability to get on base will be important for his career, because he had a lowly .293 slugging percentage in 2012.
Meanwhile, left-handed pitcher Josh Hader continues his ascent up the prospect charts. Hader ranked 13th on the list of Orioles prospects coming into the season and has moved up eight spots to check in at No. 5. He surpassed top position player Jonathan Schoop, who missed some time with a strained lower back, but Hader is behind four other pitchers on the list, as the O's boast hurlers in each of the top five spots.
Top 100 representation
Although it may be a while now before Bundy and Gausman pitch together in a Major League rotation, the pair certainly provides reason for Orioles fans to get excited. They are joined by Rodriguez on the list of Top 100 Prospects across all of baseball.
Each of the Top 100 Prospects was given a point total based on where they rank, with the top prospect -- Byron Buxton of the Minnesota Twins -- receiving 100 points. The No. 2 prospect received 99 points, and so on. By that grading scale, the O's have the 12th-best farm system in baseball, at least in terms of top-end talent. The organization's top-three Minor League talents -- Gausman (No. 16 in all of baseball), Bundy (No. 17) and Rodriguez (No. 93) -- helped buoy a system that ranked eighth a year ago by the same measure. Rodriguez's addition to the Top 100 added a few extra points to the team's total, boosting it up to 12th from its preseason rank of 17th.
The Orioles are middle of the pack when it comes to Top 100 prospects. The Astros and Red Sox each had eight players crack the Top 100, while the Braves had none.
Derek Wetmore is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.