Baltimore Orioles: Top 10 prospects

Catcher Chance Sisco is one of the highest-ranked prospects in the Orioles' system. Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire

Organization ranking: 27

I've ranked every farm system, as well as the top 100 MLB prospects of 2016. Below, I've ranked at least the top 10 Orioles prospects, plus an overview of the system and any other names of note beyond the top 10. I also discuss any prospects who might help the big league club in 2016, prospects whose stock has taken a big hit in the past year and a sleeper prospect (or two) I think can jump into the main Top 100 list for 2017.

A few quick notes: 1) Just as in my other prospect files, I use the 20 to 80 grading scale when scouting these prospects; and 2) If the prospect is in the Top 100, clicking on his ranking will take you to the page his scouting profile is on.

Top 10 prospects (Top 100 rank in parentheses)

1. Chance Sisco, C (81)

2. Hunter Harvey, RHP (100)

3. David Hess, RHP

4. Jomar Reyes, 3B

5. Christopher Lee, LHP

6. D.J. Stewart, LF

7. Gray Fenter, RHP

8. Ryan Mountcastle, SS

9. Tanner Scott, LHP

10. Jonah Heim, C


This system has been badly weakened by injuries, a couple of ill-advised trades, and the club's continued refusal to do much of anything on the international market, with only two July 2 guys in their top 20.

Hess is a four-pitch guy who doesn't have a true swing-and-miss offering but sits mid-90s, bumping 96, with a chance to be a mid-rotation guy if any of the three offspeed pitches improves. Reyes was the club's only big splash in the international amateur market under Dan Duquette and still has huge power upside, although he's had injury problems and needs to work on his conditioning. He's got good feel to hit for a young kid who's primarily known for power. Lee was 89-95 in his last start of 2015 with good feel for a changuep and a hard slider, nearly a cutter, but it's a one-piece arm action and a slight cut off in his landing that really inhibits his command.

Stewart, the team's first pick in the 2015 draft, has a good approach and all-fields power, but he's a heavier player who's probably going to end up at first base, and his crouch at the plate makes it hard for him to get to the high fastball. Fenter is a six-foot right-hander who'll hold 95 mph; he had trouble throwing strikes last spring in high school, but showed much better control after signing and showed good spin on the breaking ball.

Mountcastle, another part of the 2015 draft class with Fenter and Stewart, is a good athlete with raw power but no clear position -- he's definitely not a shortstop and doesn't have the arm for third. Scott has hit 101 mph with a wipeout slider, but his control is still below-average -- although that's a darn sight better than the 30 control he showed in 2014. Heim missed the entire summer with a broken foot, but is the best defensive catcher in the system and could make a big leap in 2014 if healthy.

Ofelky Peralta (11) couldn't throw strikes in 2014 but was much improved in the GCL in 2015, up to 98 regularly with a decent breaking ball; he's still a long way off but is trending in the right direction. Trey Mancini (12) had a huge stat line for double-A Bowie last year, but it's a long swing with a lot of chasing out of the zone, and he's a first baseman with average power at best. Mychal Givens (13) should be death to right-handed hitters with his low slot and mid-90s fastball, although I don't see a weapon for him to get lefties out. Ryan McKenna (15), Baltimore's fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in New Hampshire, is a potential five-tool player, a center fielder now who could move to the infield, but who lacks experience against better-quality pitching.

Garrett Cleavinger (15), the team's third-round pick in 2015, has the weapons to start but a reliever's delivery, up to 94 with a chance to move quickly as a left-on-left guy. Cuban right-hander Lazaro Leyva (16) worked as a starter and reliever last summer but is a clear bullpen guy who needs a sharper breaking ball. Josh Hart (17) is still just 21 and young enough to repeat high-A, but he's a slap hitter who's never shown much feel for hitting or base running and now has two home runs in nearly 1,000 pro at-bats.

2016 impact

Givens should spend the year in Baltimore's bullpen. Hess, Lee or Wright could all surface this year as emergency starters or bullpen pieces. Scott could show up at any time with that fastball once he throws enough strikes.

The fallen

Dylan Bundy may be done as a starter, with just 63 innings pitched in the past three seasons due to Tommy John surgery and repeated shoulder woes due to calcification in the back of the shoulder joint. He was shut down at the end of May, tried to pitch in the AFL, and was shut down again after two appearances. Badly overworked in high school, Bundy may have to move to the bullpen to have any shot at major-league value, and even that is uncertain.


Reyes was my sleeper for this system last year, but his season was cut short by multiple injuries, including a broken hamate bone that he had repaired in October. Still just 19 and probably returning to the Sally League, he's the system's best chance for a big move into the top 100 next year.