Presently, the Orioles have the worst record in Major League Baseball and the top-ranked farm system (per MLB Pipeline). That’s what a complete rebuild is supposed to look like. That’s how you know the Orioles rebuild is on track. Other teams in recent years that have embarked on similar rebuilds have ultimately had great success at the major league level. The Astros and Cubs both won the world series. The White Sox and Padres are both very good young teams that will have chances at post-season success for years to come.
Poor Ownership Made Orioles Rebuild Necessary
For many years, the Orioles attempted to disguise themselves as playoff contenders under Owner Peter Angelos. Angelos was never willing to sufficiently invest in free agents, and other aspects of the organization, which are critical to having sustained success. Nor was Angelos willing to rebuild, and focus on the farm system, as a means to consistent winning. As a result, the Orioles were at best pretenders, and at many other times were simply mediocre or bad.
Under Angelos, the O’s inexplicably completely ignored analytics and international scouting. Additionally, the team’s draft record was terrible, and its system for developing young players was worse. The O’s would routinely fail to trade veteran players at the trade deadline when the team had major deficiencies and were not actual contenders. At other times, the team would rent soon-to-be free agents in exchange for prospects, under the guise of attempting to compete, with very few results. The O’s would lose the prospect, fail to sign the veteran free agent they received for the prospect, and, of course, never ultimately won. The reality is that under Angelos the organization was never built for sustained success.
Finally A Rebuild For Sustained Success
The O’s finally began a complete rebuild following a disastrous 2018 season after finishing 47-115. Thankfully Angelos had ceded day-to-day control of the team to his sons by then. Angelos’ sons hired a new front office led by Mike Elias and former NASA biomathematician, Syg Mejdal, who had been instrumental in rebuilding the Astros. The Orioles immediately began using available technology and resources that had been relied on by successful organizations for years. The O’s emphasized analytics and international scouting in earnest. The O’s also made major changes in its minor league scouting and development program and staff.
Now in the third year of the plan, the O’s have five of the top 100 prospects in baseball per MLB Pipeline, including the top-ranked overall prospect in the switch-hitting catcher, Adley Rutschman. The O’s also have the top pitching prospect in Grayson Rodriguez (No. 8). Rounding out its top 100 prospects are left-handed pitcher D.L. Hall (No. 78), shortstop Gunnar Henderson (No. 80), and outfielder Colton Cowser (No. 83) www.mlb.com/news/pipeline-farm-system-rankings. The O’s also have the inside track on the top pick in the 2022 draft where uber outfield prospect, Elijah Greene, is the consensus choice.
The O’s not only have several top prospects but continue to build significant prospect depth in its minor league system. The O’s can now use the talent and depth in its system for sustained success. They can use it to significantly upgrade the talent on the major league roster. Or make trades to acquire talent from outside the organization, as needed. The Orioles rebuild is right on track.
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