Baltimore Orioles' 6 Best Prospects Who Won't Be Called Up This September
With the month of August coming to an end in just a few days, teams throughout MLB are considering who they would like to add from their minor league system to the parent club once rosters expand in September.
Teams with no chance at the playoffs will likely look to add some young talent and give them a taste of big league action. And while it wouldn't be surprising to see a contending team do the same, said teams would be less likely to offer a month-long tryout during a playoff race.
The Baltimore Orioles are one of those contending teams, and they'll certainly take advantage of the expanded rosters to add a couple more bullpen arms and bench players in order to keep the key guys fresh as they head to October.
While the team will add a couple veteran-types to help balance the workload through September (guys like Steve Lombardozzi), they may or may not add younger talent as well, like how they brought up Jonathan Schoop during the last week of the 2013 season.
What's more likely, though, is that many of the guys who are considered top prospects in the O's system won't be seeing the major leagues this September. For various reasons, O's fans shouldn't expect to see the following players at Camden Yards this season.
Dylan Bundy and Hunter Harvey, Starting Pitchers
I decided to include these two pitchers on one slide because they both share a similar reason for being on this list. This should be fairly obvious, but I'd like to get it out of the way before people start asking.
Dylan Bundy (pictured) underwent Tommy John surgery last year and had been recovering from it this year. In nine minor league starts, he threw 41.1 innings and pitched to a 3.27 ERA. That's solid work from a guy who went under the knife for a major surgery just over a year ago.
Bundy has been shut down for the rest of the season due to a late injury. For the Orioles, that's a smart move, and Bundy has pitched enough this year to show he can continue to progress in 2015.
Harvey, who pitched 87.2 innings with a 3.18 ERA for the Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds this season, was also shut down recently due to elbow inflammation. After a successful first professional season, it's a wise move to let Harvey's elbow rest over the winter as it adjusts to the workload of a professional starting pitcher.
Sure, it would have been fun to see both of these guys pitch for the Orioles while the team marches toward a division title, but alas, injuries have gotten in the way. Maybe next year.
Tim Berry, Starting Pitcher
Tim Berry has been very good for the O's this season.
Pitching at the Double-A level, Berry currently has totaled 133.1 innings with a 3.51 ERA while allowing opponents to bat .249 against him.
For Berry, 23, it's about progression. He's been slowly and steadily improving since he began his professional career in 2010, and it would surprise me to see the O's stray away from that. Granted, they did call him up for a day earlier this year, but it was simply if they needed an emergency long man, and Berry didn't end up pitching that day.
Berry has found success this season. There's no sense in messing with that. Let him finish the year strong and start him fresh at Triple-A Norfolk in 2015. If he performs well then, call him up that summer.
Mike Yastrzemski, Center Fielder
The grandson of Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski has been a bit of a surprise for the O's.
Drafted and signed in 2013, Yastrzemski was consistently projected to be a fourth outfielder at the MLB level at best. But so far this year, he's been promoted twice, making his way up to Double-A Bowie.
In his minor league career, the center fielder has posted a .288 average, a .353 OBP and tallied 46 doubles, 19 triples and 17 home runs in 716 at-bats.
Yastrzemski is quickly becoming one of the O's best minor league players and could very well force his way into the bigs soon. But he won't be appearing at Camden Yards this September, as that would be rushing his development a little too much.
Let the player rush his own development, not the organization. And besides, the O's have enough outfielders on their roster.
Mike Wright, Starting Pitcher
Many thought Mike Wright could be a factor for the O's this season after the right-hander pitched well enough in 2013 to claim the award for the O's top minor league pitcher.
Unfortunately, Wright had a very rough season up until about five weeks ago, when he began to settle down and turn in quality outings every time out. At one point this year, Wright had an ERA approaching 6.00 but has now brought that number down to 4.83.
In his most recent outing, Wright pitched a career-high 8.2 innings while striking out 11, and he didn't allow a hit until he had one out remaining in the game.
Wright hasn't been good enough consistently enough to warrant a call-up to the parent club this time around, but if he keeps up this improvement into next season, expect to see him in Baltimore as early as May or June.
Henry Urrutia, Outfielder/DH
If you asked fans after the 2013 season if they'd expect to see Henry Urrutia in Baltimore in 2014, most of them likely would have responded with a resounding "yes."
Due to injuries, though, Urrutia's season got derailed, and the Cuban outfielder's progression was halted.
Urrutia got off to a slow start in 2014, but since his recovery from an injury that kept him out for much of the year, he's returned to what he did all year in 2013: tally base hits.
In his last 10 games, Urrutia's batted to a .343 average. However, Urrutia's OBP on the season is just 17 points higher than his batting average (.278 compared to .261), and it's obvious that Urrutia needs to improve upon working more walks.
With Urrutia seeing the ball well in Triple-A, the O's will likely allow him to end his season on a strong note and make him work his way to the majors in 2015. And, like I said in a previous slide, the O's certainly have enough guys who can play the outfield on their roster already.