Oh, the off-season! Some dread the thought of the doldrums when the World Series is in the books, and have already circled that date in February when pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training. Marc and I adore this time and our post-season work has already been pushed over the apex and will be racing toward 2017 Opening Day. Marc started our annual Organizational All-Star lists last week, highlighting his Under the Radar hitting prospects in the A.L. East. This week, the focus moves toward those who will be named as a 2016 UTR-OAS for their work on the mound. I’ll be shaking up the format this year. I’ll be posting the overall Top 5 starters and will place a mention toward the Top 3 relief pitchers. I wanted to narrow the focus toward the best using my overall formulas. I would also like to alert our followers of those outside my radar, and will review those from previous lists over the last two years. A blurb may appear that’ll include a review of those pitchers I tagged last season; to see how they fared in 2016 and whether they remained on the radar or floated off into space. Lastly, we will take a peek into the International Leagues to see who made some noise within my system. This could be the first peek of those arms that may hit the States in 2017. So let’s get started with the Orioles……..
As a Redditt reader recently commented when Marc’s hitters list was posted…”junk, junk, and maybe something.” This sums up the pitchers, as a whole, on my Orioles spreadsheet. I actually had this eerie feeling that most of my 2016 lists may emulate what you’re about to read. Last year at this time, excitement was building in that my draft work was producing a decent crop of UTR pitchers, which may prove to be the best since taking on this endeavor. Looking back at the 2015 Orioles OAS, David Hess was tagged as a “Legit UTR” in topping the list after making the 2014 edition. He took his lumps in 2016 as the Bowie Baysox staff ranked near the bottom of the Eastern League. Other 2016 Legit UTR’s Mitch Horacek became hittable in repeating at Hi-A Frederick, while Joe Gunkel was one of the bright spots this season, spending most the season with Triple-A Norfolk.
At the International level, Jhon Peluffo was my 2016 “One to Watch” and made his U.S. debut with the GCL Orioles, which was very successful, but was promoted to LoA Delmarva where he was over-matched in his 3 starts. I expected my 2015 International OTW Tomas Leoncio to make his debut in the states this past season, but the 21 year-old ended up spending his 4th season in the DSL where he took a step back.
Top 5 Starting Pitchers – Factor Score/TPS
1. RHP Cristian Alvarado – 20/.093 “Legit UTR” / Solid Stash
Alvarado legitimized his pre-season “One to Watch” honors by having a very successful full season with LoA Delmarva. The righty made 27 starts (148 IP) and bolstered his K/9 rate to 9.0, compared to 6.9 in 2015. He repeats as a UTR-OAS and earns the “Legit UTR” tag. He should make a few Oriole top prospect lists this spring.
Long’s outlier stat of 17 home runs allowed in 146.2 inning (1.0 HR9) is scary, but the TPS liked his performance this season with HiA Frederick. He just recently turned 24, so his 2017 season could be make-or-break time.
Peralta made the jump from the Gulf Coast League (2015) into his first full season at LoA Delmarva. His numbers were respectable despite having issues with his control. He walked 60 batters in 103.1 innings, uncorked 14 wild pitches and plunked 7 batters. Still…a lot to like in the lanky righthander (6’5″ – 195 lbs.) who won’t turn 20 until the 2017 season begins.