A Minor Review of 2016: Baltimore Orioles

Welcome to the annual series that provides both a review of your favorite teams’ 2016 season, as well as a early look toward 2017. It also serves as a helpful guide for keeper and dynasty leagues.

The Graduate: Dylan Bundy (RHP): It felt like it would never come but Bundy finally enjoyed his big league rookie season in 2016. The former 2011 first-rounder suffered through a succession of bad luck and injuries that saw him virtually fall into a black hole from 2013-15. The Orioles then eased him into his big league duties in ’16 with a stint in the bullpen before loosening the reigns late in the year as a starter. He appears to still have mid-rotation potential and could be one of the Orioles more reliable arms in 2017 if he can continue to avoid the trainer’s table.

The Riser: Ryan Mountcastle (SS): Selected 36th overall in the 2015 draft, Mountcastle has done nothing but hit in pro ball. He batted more than .300 in rookie ball during his debut and then followed that up with a respectable performance as a teenager in full-season ball this past season. The big question is around how much patience he’ll show at the plate after walking just 5.1% of the time (25-95 BB-K) as a sophomore. If he can continue to make adjustments then Mountcastle has a chance to be a better-than-average hitter — although his defensive home is also up in the air. He’s currently playing shortstop but could end up at a slightly less demanding position due to modest range. He has a chance to reach double-A at some point in 2017.

The Tumbler: Hunter Harvey (RHP): The Orioles have a well-documented problem (or really bad luck) developing pitching. The organization just cannot seem to keep their arms healthy. It happened with Dylan Bundy (see above) and it’s happening with Harvey. Taken 22nd overall in 2013, Harvey has pitched slightly more than 125 innings in his four-year pro career and he’s likely not going to pitch in a professional game (or at least not many) in 2017 after undergoing Tommy John surgery (finally) in July. If he can get healthy, Harvey has impact potential with a strong fastball-curveball combo. With all the missed time and durability issues, though, he might very well end up in the bullpen as a high-leverage reliever like his father Bryan Harvey.

The ’16 Draft Pick: Cody Sedlock (RHP): Selected 27th overall last June, Sedlock immediately became the best pitcher in the Orioles minor league system. The right-hander has a great pitcher’s body and four pitches that could become average or better. Predominantly a reliever in college, he has everything necessary to develop into a mid-rotation starter or better — with the fallback planning being high-leverage reliever. If his command ticks up, look for Sedlock to move quickly through Baltimore’s system.

The Lottery Ticket: Jomar Reyes (3B): A year ago, I ranked Reyes as a “rising prospect” but he took a step back in ’16 and finds himself demoted to the “lottery ticket” category. He has yet to show much aptitude for pitch recognition and is an aggressive hitter who walked just 5% of the time in 2016. Working in his favor, though, is the fact that he was just 19 years old and playing in high-A ball. He’ll have to return to that level in 2017 and show some improvement while also looking to tap into his above-average power more consistently. His limited range at third base could eventually force him across the diamond to first base.

For reference sake, here is the 2015 Review.

Marc Hulet has been writing at FanGraphs since 2008. His work focuses on prospects and fantasy. Follow him on Twitter @marchulet.

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