Last week’s trade between the Chicago Cubs and the Oakland Athletics, which sent pitchers Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel to Oakland for a prospect package that includes top 10 prospect Addison Russell, kicked off the MLB trade season in spectacular fashion. This week, we’ll go through the Orioles system level by level and highlight players of value who could have new homes by the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline if the Orioles want to make a move.
High-A Frederick is where the Orioles can begin plucking the fruit of a strong 2013 draft for trade purposes, with some of the best-performing and more developmentally advanced players from that class getting their feet wet in the second half of the Carolina League.
Chief among those 2013 prospects are eighth-rounder Mike Yastrzemski and 14th-rounder Trey Mancini.
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Yastrzemski, the grandson of Boston Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski, hit .306 with 14 doubles, 10 triples, and 10 home runs in the first half for Low-A Delmarva before moving to the Carolina League, where in 18 games he’s hitting .319/.390/.449 with a home run and 15 RBIs. He’s not going to show elite tools, but the outfielder does pretty much everything on the field well and is the type of baseball rat who no one would be surprised to see pop up in the major leagues one day.
Mancini is a towering first baseman with gap power, though he has three home runs in 19 games for the Keys. Mancini hit .317/.357/.422 with three bombs in Delmarva, and is following it up with a .260/.301/.455 line for Frederick.
Another interesting position prospect is 20-year-old shortstop Adrian Marin, who was selected out of high school in the third round in 2012 and has been age-advanced since he joined the system. Marin is still developing at the plate -- he’s batting .236/.267/.341 with 23 extra-base hits for Frederick, but his defense is ahead of his bat and he’ll be an up-the-middle defender regardless of how he hits. Teams looking for a developmental middle infielder could ask for Marin as a secondary piece in a deadline deal.
A few pitchers in Frederick are intriguing, but like so many other Orioles prospects, they probably wouldn’t headline a deal. Right-hander Parker Bridwell, who spent parts of three seasons in Delmarva after signing in 2010, has a low-90s fastball and experienced plenty of success this year after rediscovering his changeup.
Reliever Matt Hobgood is on a strict schedule as he comes back from shoulder issues, but he can throw in the mid-to-high 90s out of the bullpen. Branden Kline has a 5-3 record with a 3.83 ERA, and though the second-rounder might be destined for a major league bullpen to assume the role he had in college at Virginia, he’s a pitcher who teams could believe will move quickly.
Lastly, Jimmy Yacabonis, selected in the 13th round last year, has a 92-94 mph fastball with a changeup and a 76-mph slider, and went on a scoreless tear earlier this year with Delmarva. Now in Frederick, Yacabonis has given up 13 runs in 5 2/3 innings, but the luster isn’t off. He could be a third piece in a deal if teams saw him on the right day.