Power Ranking Baltimore’s 25-Man Roster
Great ideas are meant to be stolen — with proper credit, of course. A former colleague of mine named Paul Swydan used to power rank the 25-man roster for the Boston Red Sox for a newspaper he worked for, and I’ve always thought that was a fun exercise, so here I’m attempting to do it for the Baltimore Orioles.
There’s no better way to get into a pool than to dive right in, cannonball style, so here we go!
1) Trey Mancini – RF: Mancini is absolutely mauling opposing pitchers, hitting .337/.391/.606. The defense is still a work in progress, but he can really, really hit.
2) Jonathan Villar – 2B: It’s not a stretch to say he’s made fans forget about Jonathan Schoop, as he’s hitting a solid .274/.342/.425 with six steals, three homers and solid infield defense. He could be a nice trade chip in July after representing the team as an All-Star, possibly.
3) Dwight Smith Jr. – LF: Like Villar, Smith has been a nice pickup off the scrap heap, hitting .286/.327/.527 — pretty much in line with his brief career line — with five homers and three steals. Unlike Villar, though, he’s more likely a part of the future, it seems.
4) John Means – SP: Surely it’s early, but it’s impossible not to be impressed by what we’ve seen from the lefty who turned 26 earlier this week. He’s got more strikeouts than innings pitched, isn’t walking anyone and has featured an absolutely dazzling changeup (26.3 percent swinging-strike rate!). Baltimore developing a starter internally? What’s this feeling in my heart? Is it….warmth?
(Discuss this on the BSL boards here!)
5) Renato Nunez – DH/1B: What you see is what you get with Nunez, who reminds of a cross between Jeimer Candelario and Jimmy Paredes. Teams won’t fall all over themselves to acquire such a player, but when you have one it sure is nice.
6) Pedro Severino – C: Severino has done a nice job — .250/.325/.528 with good defensive marks — but he just hasn’t played that much. He’ll be 26 later this season, and probably merits a longer look if his defense can keep up as it has so far.
7) Andrew Cashner – SP: This is where things get sort of blah, as Cashner is off to a very Cashner start — 5.09 FIP, 5.6 K/9, 3.6 BB/9, 1.4 HR/9 and a GB rate of 53.4 percent — but if he can sustain an ERA around 4.00, he might convince some team to deal something for him in a couple of months to round out a decent rotation.
8) Paul Fry – RP: He’s looked good — 3.18 ERA, 66.7 percent GB rate — but he hasn’t pitched much (11.1 innings) and there are some questionable peripherals in the mix, too (.207 BABIP, 20 percent HR/FB rate).
9) Evan Phillips – RP: Phillips has looked fine (4.00 ERA), but like others has goofy peripherals ranging from awesome (12.0 K/9) to awful (6.0 BB/9) over just nine innings.
10) Hanser Alberto – IF: He’s a decent utility guy doing utility guy things. You probably don’t want someone like that ranked this highly.
11) Mychal Givens – RP: Remember in Mighty Ducks II where Julie Gaffney got really bored in the net?
12) Rio Ruiz – 1B/3B:
13) Jimmy Yacabonis – RP: He’s been somewhere between so-so (0.7 HR/9) and so bad (6.66 xFIP, 4.0 K/9).
14) Joey Rickard – OF: He’s played an awful lot, which isn’t good for his prospects of maintaining anything close to what he did last year (.244/.300/.413, plus-0.6 fWAR).
15) Gabriel Ynoa – RP: He’s looked good, but it’s two appearances.
16) Jesus Sucre – C/RP: He’s looked good, but it’s only one…oh you mean as a catcher? He hasn’t hit much but defensively he’s been fine.
17) David Hess – SP: It hasn’t been pretty — especially with eight homers allowed in just 26 innings (2.8 per nine).
18) Tanner Scott – RP: Could end up being the team’s best reliever by the end of the season, but in a limited spell he’s walked too many guys to have much stake to that claim.
19) Stevie Wilkerson – OF: Only so much damage can be done in eight plate appearances — even if the one hit was a homer.
20) Dylan Bundy – SP: The strikeouts are nice, but it’s certainly easy to see where the Orioles are falling short with each of the next four spots occupied by pitchers.
21) Miguel Castro – RP: The stuff — it is nasty…but so are the numbers.
22) Alex Cobb – SP: He’s pitching tonight. There’s nothing else to say.
23) Dan Straily – SP: Somehow….worse than Cobb.
24) Chris Davis – 1B/DH: He beat the streak and he beat out the Rule 5 kid. Short hurdles.
25) Richie Martin – SS: No rush to do anything different here for the O’s, but he just isn’t looking the part right now.
So what do you think? How would your list differ?
Warne is a Minnesota Twins beat reporter for 105 The Ticket's Cold Omaha website as well as a sportswriter for Sportradar U.S. in downtown Minneapolis. He also contributes to FanGraphs / RotoGraphs.