Baltimore Orioles Top Under-the-Radar Hitting Prospects, Each Minor League Level

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Baltimore Orioles Top Under-the-Radar Hitting Prospects, Each Minor League Level
Robbie Widlansky (Baltimore Sun)

One major challenge Baltimore Orioles' brass will face over the next few years involves adding much needed hitting depth to its minor league system.

While Manny Machado recently gained well-deserved national attention for his tremendous potential, other prospects like Jonathan Schoop, Nick Delmonico and Xavier Avery have not yet lived up to their full abilities.

This is not to say that the Orioles do not have solid, though not as well-known, hitters in their minor league system. These hitters, one for each level of the Orioles' system, are highlighted below.

Stats courtesy of MILB.com, current through 16 August (List not all-inclusive).


Norfolk Tides (AAA)

L.J. Hoes (OF)

G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG OPS
68 265 86  11  3
 2 29
 29  37 8 .325 .396
.411
.807

Analysis: Probably the most well-known of bunch, this speedy outfielder has hit well since his promotion from Bowie in June. Hoes has a great opportunity to break in with the big club this year. Would make a nice addition to an outfield that already boasts Adam Jones and Nick Markakis. 

 

Bowie BaySox (AA)

Robbie Widlansky (OF)

G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB AVG OBP SLG OPS
112 405
120
26
 1
 6
 68
57
 60  10
.296 .391
.410
.801

Analysis: While a little older as far as prospects go, this 27-year-old left-handed hitter has had a very nice season at Bowie. He was recently selected to to the EAS Mid-Season All-Star game, per MILB.com. A decent contact hitter, look for Widlansky to return to Norfolk very soon. Also keep an eye on outfielder Ronnie Welty.

 

Frederick Keys (A-Advanced)

Jeremy Nowak (OF)

G AB H 2B 3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG OPS
99
389
109
21
 1
 5
 33
33
103
 6
.280
.340
.383
.723

Analysis: This 24-year-old is the big cheese, now that hot-hitting outfield prospect Ty Kelly has been promoted to Bowie. A strapping switch-hitter, Nowak has impressed at Frederick. This 13th-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player draft was recently selected to the CAL Mid-Season All-Star game.

 

Delmarva Shorebirds (A)

Michael Ohlman (C)

G AB H 2B 3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG OPS
44
152
45
13
 2
 3
 22
25
27
 0
.296
.398
.466
.864

Analysis: Ohlman is a big, strapping 21-year-old catching prospect with big upside. A right-handed hitter, Ohlman was selected 11th by the O's in 2009.  A SAL Mid-Season All-Star, Ohlman has good plate discipline. In the last 10 games, Ohlman has been on a tear. He is batting .412 (14-for-34) with a homer and nine RBI. His OBP/SLG/OPS is .488/.618/1.106.

 

Aberdeen IronBirds (A-Short Season)

Joel Hutter (SS)

G AB H 2B 3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG OPS
46
178
54
15
 0
  0
23 15
19
 3
.303
.361
.388
.748

Analysis: Finally a good hitting infielder to talk about, Hutter has had a nice season for Aberdeen this year. The 22-year-old from Davenport, Iowa has good potential. But in order for Hutter to take that next step, he needs to improve his fielding (13 errors in 45 games).

 

GCL Orioles

Adrian Marin (SS)

G AB H 2B 3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG OPS
39
154 43
6
 3
  0
11
10
31
 6
.279
.331
.357
.688

Analysis: With hot-hitting first baseman Nick Balog hitting the 60-day DL and with Greg Lorenzo earning promotion to Delmarva, the GCL Orioles are thin as far as hitting goes. That said, Marin has still had a good season at this level. The Miami native still has some upside, but he still has plenty ways to go (especially fielding/nine errors in 40 games).

 

DSL Orioles

Alexander Mercedes (SS)

G AB H 2B 3B
HR
RBI
BB
SO
SB
AVG
OBP
SLG OPS
62
244
71
 3
10
  1
 21
27
22
 23
.291
.370
.398
.767

Analysis: Now I have seen some strange stats in my life, but this 20-year-old prospect has a weird one. He has seven more triples than he has doubles. Add 23 stolen bases and his solid BB/SO ratio and O's fans may drool at this player's potential. Mercedes is definitely a guy worth keeping an eye on.

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