Good stuff Adam.
I have zero credentials as a scout, but I've felt that Akin and McKenna have been under-rated as prospects and I'm high on the ability to contribute.
- My first was Akin and McKenna (above) at #6/7. Totally agree. This is also lining up with the just released mlb.com rankings.
- Very interested in your profile of McKenna. I did not understand his speed and defense at the level you presented them. Actually changes my thoughts about a thing or 2 in what I'd do. I value that in these forums, so thanks.
- Lowther keeps getting it done but his stuff seems under-whelming. Interesting to watch how it holds up in the zone against better hitters.
- Zach Pop and other relievers on the list. Seems like we have a lot of power arms coming up through the bullpen and that is the way to do it. Tate seems destined for the bullpen and try to get his stuff to play up.
- I am interested in your thoughts on one (I think, I checked several times...) omission, Cameron Bishop. Felt like him and Lowther were sort of linked in the system...Lowther more command and Bishop more stuff....but Lowther rocketed up your list (#9) and I don't see Bishop in the top 40. Bishop dropped off mlb.com Top30 too. Just curious on the thoughts there.
One other general comment. I felt like there was some "addition bias" in order to respect last summers trades as these guys were added to the Orioles lists. Seems like many had a somewhat heavy ranking versus guys already in the system that were performing as well or better. I think your list is more reflective of my perception of how those guys actually ranked internal to the system.
Again, good (and interesting) work.
Thanks for reading and the detailed response. I'll try to hit on everything you presented.
-Akin: Always have really liked this guy, going back to seeing him in college. The most enthusing development, for me, was seeing the stuff come back by late season without sacrificing the gains in command he has made in the last two years. There's a reason he was Eastern League Pitcher of the Year, though he won that award fairly quietly. We have been high on Akin as a top-10 prospect in this system earlier than many outlets.
-McKenna: His speed and defense are the things to be most confident in. I don't think there's a scout that would tell you he wasn't a 70 runner (consistently 4.0-4.1 up the line), and I don't think there's a scout that would say he doesn't play a good CF.
-Lowther: You hit the nail on the head--the stuff is the question mark. He does all the things you need to do in order to pitch with his velocity, though, so he's one of the soft-tossers I actually think has a chance to be a legitimate back-rotation piece. He'll be in the FV 50 tier if he continues performing upon reaching AA/AAA. The O's did a great job with Lowther in 2017, it was an example of scouts and data both saying the same things.
-Bullpen arms: Getting a few power arms in the system is good, seeing as Baltimore didn't have many this time two years ago. I really like Zach Pop, he's going to surprise people in my opinion. Tate will be interesting to see in a 'pen role, though I don't know what the plan for him is entering 2019. Random name to mention with 'pen upside: Matthias Dietz. Always was destined for short-stints to me, and his control imploding in Frederick at the end of last season might have hastened the move to relief. Was 96-98 with power slider in one-inning stint during the SAL all-star game last June.
-Cameron Bishop: This has been a weird story since coming into the system. He was a later-round pick, there was some squabbling about the signing, and after drawing rave reviews on the Cape before agreeing to terms with the Orioles, scouts just haven't seen the same guy. I've seen Bishop twice and similarly did not see the prospect that created buzz on the Cape. Physical lefty with a fairly clean delivery, but I've seen him high-80s without a dynamic secondary.