2014 South Atlantic League Northern Division Preview

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Organization: Baltimore Orioles

Pitchers 

First off, RHP Hunter Harvey makes his full-season Single-A debut this year. Baltimore’s 1st round pick in the 2013 draft out of Bandys High School in Catawba, North Carolina, Hunter is the son of former All-Star closer Bryan Harvey. Even at 19 years old, he has shown the makeup, poise, and arm of a future star in his own right. Sitting in the mid-90′s with his fastball and backing that up with a strong curve gives him a great foundation on which to build, but add to that a great deal of projectability (6’3”, 175) and you have a pitcher who could top out as a rock-solid #1 starter.

Righty Dylan Rheault is a giant of a man at 6’9”, 245, and is most certainly a work-in-progress. His low-90′s sinking fastball and ability to create leverage make him intriguing, but he’ll have to overcome significant inconsistencies in his mechanics in order to make it up the ladder. His numbers with the Low-A Aberdeen Shorebirds (3.57 ERA, 40 1/3 IP, 16 BB, 26 K) were a good sign. 

RHP Sebastian Vader was an 18th round pick out of San Marcos HS (California), but is slowly growing into a consistent performer. Vader posted a 7-3 record in Aberdeen last year over 85 1/3 innings, striking out 64 and walking only eighteen. A smooth delivery and developing feel for his change-up could carry him above expectations. 

Hitters 

CF Josh Hart is a toolsy first-rounder from 2013′s draft who is making his full-season debut as a 19 year-old after only 33 games in the Gulf Coast League and three games at Aberdeen. Hart shows enough arm for center, a smooth swing from the left side, and ran a 6.49 in the 60 last year. He profiles as a lead-off hitter and center fielder but will need to work on his routes and reads in the field. Fortunately, Hart will not be judged on his knowledge of baseball history.

First baseman Trey Mancini tore up the diamond in 2013 with Notre Dame and subsequently brought his tools to Aberdeen, where he was named Topps NY-Penn League Player of The Year. The 8th round pick batted .328 with 18 doubles and 35 RBI in 68 games last year, and will likely be counted on as a core run-producer in the Shorebirds lineup for 2014. 

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