With this article, we kick off a new series: the S2S “STAT-Scan.” Each statistical analysis will cover 2012 minor-league results, and we’ll have two for each team (hitters and pitchers). We’ll start in the American League in alphabetical order, and that means we open with the Baltimore Orioles.
Keep in mind, these are just statistical scans, not scouting reports. They are designed to identify the prospects with the most impressive stats (as in: those whose stats indicate the most ability to go on to major-league success).
Each player is assigned a “Plate Skills Index,” which is based on the ability to “win plate appearances” (described in detail here), a “Production Index,” based on the ability to produce offense (described in detail here), and a “Composite Index,” which is a combination of the two. Additional detail on “the three numbers,” with some examples, can be found here.
And off we go …
Threat Level: Midnight
Manny Machado, SS/3b … Age: 19, Level: AA, MLB
Plate Skills: 113 Production: 106 Composite: 119
Of course, just being in AA in his age-19 season would be enough to put Machado high on any chart, but to play at AA, at shortstop, with great success, and then go on to excel in the majors in a playoff race, well, it doesn’t get much better than that (Machado turned 20 in the meantime, but still …).
To do what he’s done at the age that he’s done it indicates that he is virtually certain to be a long-term MLB success barring some sort of injury or other tragic occurrence. Since Machado has used up his rookie status, he is not on the lists of top prospects anymore. If he were, he would be right near the very top.
On the Radar
Michael Ohlman, C … Age: 21, Level: Low-A
Plate Skills: 138 Production: 113 Composite: 151
Ohlman had been creeping up the system since being drafted in 2009, and then was suspended for drug use. When he came back, he put up stats as good as anyone in the Oriole organization. It’s not clear where he’s headed, but the potential is there.
Brenden Webb, OF … Age: 22, Level: Low-A, High-A
Plate Skills: 144 Production: 113 Composite: 157
Webb drew 98 walks in 124 games, which is almost unheard of, and also showed the ability to deliver extra-base hits (29 doubles, 5 triples, 14 HR). But he was old for his levels and has been moved out of CF, so his prospects are iffy.
L.J. Hoes, OF … Age: 22, Level: AA, AAA
Plate Skills: 110 Production: 87 Composite: 96
Unlike Webb, Hoes was young-ish for his levels, so his numbers (though less impressive on their face) hold up better. He played 2b and CF at lower levels, but he was mostly at corner OF spots in 2012. The lack of power production will cost him if he’s limited to a corner spot.
Distant Early Warning
Nick Delmonico, 1b … Age: 19, Level: Low-A
Plate Skills: 114 Production: 99 Composite: 113
Strong all-around numbers for a teenager, but not jaw-dropping for a guy limited to 1b, especially the lack of power production.
Jonathan Schoop, 2b/SS … Age: 20, Level: AA
Plate Skills: 89 Production: 84 Composite: 72
Schoop’s numbers have to be considered as a middle infielder playing against much older competition. Taken in that light, they are very good, but comparing his numbers to Machado’s shows how wide the gap is.
On the Whole
The Oriole system, on offense, shows the signs of a lack of depth: A lot of older guys, and guys not putting up impressive numbers. But who needs depth if you have a budding star like Machado? (The Orioles also have a bunch of impressive pitchers, including perhaps the very best one in Dylan Bundy, but we’ll get to that down the road.)