Hope you didn't blink, because he's back again!
"I might be more down on the Baltimore Orioles than most. I think everyone agrees they were very fortunate in 2012, and while they have some good offensive pieces including recently-graduated superstar prospect Manny Machado, I don’t really know that their pitching can hold up again. Fortunately for them, that’s where their strength lies in farm system, including a couple of near major league ready blue-chippers not unlike the Mets’ Law Firm of Harvey and Wheeler ®. I also still like non-rookie guys like Zach Britton and Jake Arrieta. There is certainly a scenario where the Orioles could end up being right back in the thick of the playoff chase; I just wouldn’t bet on it.
The Blue-Chippers: You know the number one male baby name in 2012? Dylan. That’s because Dylan Bundy is every scout’s dream as a pitching prospect, and every one of them wanted to do everything in their power to brag that they could produce someone as Bundyriffic as Dylan Bundy from their very own loins.
Okay, so every bit of that first paragraph aside from the first independent clause in sentence two is probably not true. But it might as well be. Dylan Bundy is the answer. He is the answer to our job crisis. He is the answer to the Catholic church’s search for a new Pope. He’s the answer to Parks and Recreation’s mind-bogglingly low ratings. Dylan Bundy is the answer to ESPN’s ESPNness. He is the answer to your relationship problems. He is the answer to our political stalemate. He is the answer to our broken education system. He is the answer to North Korea. He is the answer to prospecting. Dylan Bundy is the answer to all questions that have ever been asked, will ever be asked, and to the questions nobody asked.
Dylan Bundy is The Answer™.
And if Dylan Bundy is The Answer™, then Kevin Gausman, of course, is the question. Arguably a top 10-15 prospect himself, Gausman was drafted 4th overall out of LSU in the 2012 draft. He only threw 13 innings after signing, but I’ve already managed to impregnate my girlfriend and bring Kevin Gausman Floyd into the world.
Okay, so that isn’t true either. But Gausman hits the upper nineties with his fastball, gets great sinking action on it, and has a true wipeout changeup. His control is also very good for a pitcher his age. He is less likely to reach the majors this year than Bundy is, but if they once again find themselves in the playoff race, he could find himself in a big league bullpen at the end of the year, a la Bundy in 2012.
Gausman probably fits more as a squinter, but that would ruin the entire narrative I had going, and we obviously can’t have that.
The Squinters: Beyond The Question and The Answer, there isn’t too much for the Orioles to get excited about. There are a handful of potential relief arms and reserves who could prove useful, but they’re pretty much set at most positions. One they aren’t set at, due to Brian Roberts’ unfortunate chronic concussion issues, is second base.
So, while it’s a bit of a reach, I’ll go ahead and tab Jonathan Schoop (pronounced “Scope”) as a squinter. Born with halitosis, Schoop’s parents quickly changed the family’s surname so as to not have to remind Jonathan to wash consistently in an attempt to mask his embarrassing condition.
As you must know by now, all of that is a lie. Earth would be a better planet as a whole if it were true, though. Schoop is an interesting case in that he hasn’t really showcased his tools in terms of putting up numbers but still found himself at Double-A in 2012. His numbers weren’t particularly impressive, but he held his own. Schoop has very good raw power but hadn’t started really tapping into it until the AFL this offseason. The Orioles hope it’s a sign of things to come in 2013. If it is, and a spot opens up, I wouldn’t put it past them to push Schoop aggressively just as they did Machado.
The Sleepers: I hate Tyler Wilson. He hasn’t done anything to me personally. I don’t know the guy. But he is remarkably uninteresting, which ruins the tone of this entire entry. He has a boring name and boring stuff.
His fastball, curve, and change are all average but play up due to excellent command. He doesn’t walk people, registering only 30 in 143 innings between low-A and high-A in 2012. He’ll spend the entire season as a 23 year old, and given his profile could move quickly if given success.
But I hope he fails. Seriously. I’m done writing about him. He’s ruined the vibe. He’s ruined my post. I hope you get Jason Neighborgall disease and start walking every other batter, Tyler. You’ve made an enemy for life. For. Life.
Other potential contributors: TJ McFarland, Mike Belfiore, Xavier Avery"