Keith Law Q&A with Connelly:
Last year, to the chagrin of many Orioles fans, you ranked the club’s farm system No. 18 of 30. This year you have it No. 10. Is the reasoning for the uptick the strides Orioles prospects have made or a drop in other systems?
I have to say that Orioles fans chagrined by my rankings probably aren’t taking an objective view of the system. I’ve pointed out a few times that they have less prospect capital from international scouting than any other organization in baseball. For them to rank 10th with that drawback is remarkable! They should be thrilled. But between that and the system’s lack of clear starting pitching prospects, expecting a higher ranking isn’t reasonable.
The system improved for several reasons — they had a strong draft class in 2021, and they saw a couple of big steps forward from guys already in the system, notably Joey Ortiz and Coby Mayo. I think that by next winter we’ll be able to talk about the impact of the international free agents (IFAs) the Orioles signed making a real impact on the system, which will be the first time in close to a decade that will be the case.