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We saw a glimpse of young, talented newcomers this season with Manny Machado becoming an everyday third baseman and gaining valuable experience here in the postseason.
Not to mention, we witnessed the much-anticipated debut of top prospect RHP Dylan Bundy this September.
The Birds have a wealth of young talent at almost every position, and through the trials and tribulations this season, they will only prove to continue to get stronger and learn at the major league level.
After just a week in the big leagues, Machado already earned an AL player of the week nod after he delivered three home runs and seven RBI over his first week with the Birds.
Although he struggled a bit with the bat down the stretch, the 20-year-old proved his worth at third base with superb defense and a cannon for an arm.
In 51 contests on the year, the rookie batted .262 with seven long balls and 26 RBI. He collected 50 hits, including eight doubles and three triples, along with 24 runs scored in 191 at-bats.
He really struggled in the postseason, as he picked up just two base hits in 16 at-bats. However, he did double to lead off the 13th inning in the fourth game, which ultimately was the winning run to force a fifth game.
He will continue to get better as he learns the league and matures. He is only 20 years old and he’s already played in the playoffs!
Although Bundy only pitched 1.2 innings at the major league level this season, next year he will have plenty of more opportunities and play a major factor in the Orioles' season.
The Orioles drafted the flame-throwing 19-year-old out of high school in the 2011 MLB draft. He dominated the minor leagues as he posted a 9-3 record with a staggering 2.08 ERA.
He pitched for three teams this summer, and did not allow his first run until he joined his second team, the Frederick Keys.
With single-A Delmarva, the righty tossed 30.0 innings and allowed just five base hits and no earned runs while going 1-0. Overall, he surrendered just 24 earned runs in 23 starts. Not to mention, he racked up 119 strikeouts over those 103.2 innings.
He is going to be special, and although he might not make the club out of spring training, there is no doubt that he will be a fixture in the Birds’ rotation come the middle of next season.
Another future star, southpaw Zach Britton, will be healthy and make his return to the starting rotation for a full season. This year, the left-hander was only able to make 11 starts, and although he struggled a bit in those outings, once he is healthy, he will flourish like he did last season.
In 28 starts last season, the 24-year-old started off hot and cooled down a bit, but still finished with a respectable 11-11 record and a 4.61 ERA in his first year in the majors. With the offseason, he will be able to rehab and prepare for next year.
Look for Britton to be a strong component in the Birds’ young rotation for years to come.
Of course, there are many more young, talented players that I do not have time to mention. RHP Chris Tillman, all-around star Adam Jones, LHP Brian Matusz, RHP Tommy Hunter, slugger Chris Davis, RHP Miguel Gonzalez, among others will all be important parts of the Orioles’ future.