The Manny Machado trade saga is finally over in Baltimore, as he is now a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Machado, in essence, left arguably the worst team in the MLB to join the best team in the NL West. Trades of this magnitude are never easy on the teams, as fans involved adore their own homegrown talent. This move was necessary for the Orioles, but a calculated risk for the Dodgers, considering Machado will most likely test the free agent market at the end of the season.
The Baltimore Orioles received five prospects, but only three of them were ranked in the top-30 of the Dodgers organization. Fans shouldn’t get too up or down on these new additions as they are just prospects, and we’ll have to see how the Orioles organization moves these players along over time.
2018 Double-A Stats: .314 Batting Average, 6 Home Runs, 30 RBI
Dodgers Prospect Ranking: #4
There is no question that Yusniel Diaz is the best prospect of this bunch and has the most upside. He normally plays center field, and with Adam Jones possibly on the move before the trade deadline, will be his de-facto replacement. However, scouts have stated that he doesn’t have the arm to make certain throws from center field and is better suited for right field instead. Diaz impressed the Orioles scouts this past week by hitting two home runs in the All-Star Futures Game, but is only expected to peak at 15 home runs per season. However, that’s what they said about Manny Machado’s power a few years ago.
Orioles player comparison: Nick Markakis
2018 Single-A Stats: .296, 20 Home Runs, 61 RBI
Dodgers Prospect Ranking: #27
Rylan Bannonwas a former eighth overall draft pick for the Dodgers. He is a solid third baseman in the minors and should translate well for the Orioles. He isn’t Manny Machado on the hot corner, but many in the league aren’t. The only problem with Bannon is that he also compares to Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis in that he strikes out too often.
The Orioles will need to find better hitting coaches to get the whole team out of their hitting funk, and if they can do that, Rylan could be a solid everyday starter. It all starts with Baltimore changing their philosophy from hitting the long ball to start playing small ball.
Orioles player comparison: Melvin Mora
2018 Single-A/ Double-A Stats: 6-3, 3.03 ERA
Dodgers Prospect Ranking: #28
The Orioles may have found their next potential closer in Dean Kremer. He has over 125+ strikeouts in 86 innings, but doesn’t have the stamina to give the team 6+ innings. The bullpen has been pitching around a 4.00 ERA this season, and is a far cry from their 2014 bullpen that managed a 3.10 ERA with Zach Britton. Speaking of Britton, he has been linked to the Cubs in recent weeks, so plugging in Kremer from time-to-time may be best for the organization.
Orioles player comparison: Pedro Strop
2018 Single-A Stats: 1-2, 1.04 ERA
Dodgers Prospect Ranking: N/A
Zach Pop has only pitched Single-A ball since being drafted in in round seven of 2017, but has posted around a 1.21 ERA so far. He is the one prospect the Orioles received that is likely to stay in the minors for the next few years until he proves he can handle better quality talent. Hopefully Pop turns into another solid bullpen arm as a middle reliever that can replace Brad Brach, once he’s moved.
Orioles player comparison: Brad Brach
Position: 2B, 3B
2018 Triple-A Stats: .284, 6 Home Runs, 25 RBI
Dodgers Prospect Ranking: N/A
The final prospect is the only one that actually has major league experience, but it hasn’t been much. Breyvic Valera is a patient hitter that doesn’t swing at the first thing he sees, meaning he actually draw walks; which is something the Orioles desperately need. Baltimore already has Jonathan Schoop at second base, and Rylan Bannon will most likely be the third Baseman for the near future. Valera will most likely be a player that will fill in for infielders on their off-days, but should be a capable utility man.
Orioles player comparison: Ryan Flaherty
We will have to wait and see how these prospects turn out, but most of their arrows are pointing upwards. The move added some arms to go into the farm system, which was a major need for Baltimore. Fans also have to remember that the Orioles are still looking to move Adam Jones, Zach Britton and Brad Brach, and that could bring in even more bats and arms into their currently-depleted farm system.