== Pitching? Yes, now we’re talking … ==
If the Orioles are looking to pick up Nick Franklin to upgrade their options at second base, it seems that any prospect return would need to focus on pitching. The O’s are not exactly stocked with exciting minor-league hitters.
In fact, pretty much all the rankings have the O’s organizational top 10 filled with pitchers.
And our Spectometer “batch processing” scan of the O’s pitching crew confirms as much. There are several guys who showed up as producing very interesting results in 2013. And not just good results, but good results at a young age for their level:
|Year||Age||Lvl||HR%||BB%||XBH + BB%||ISO||K%||PSA+||Conv+||Comp|
|Age Arc||Goal < 1%||Goal < 6%||Goal < 14%||Goal < .100||Goal > 20%||Strong prospect > 100|
- Harvey was the O’s first-round pick in the 2013 draft, and he just pitched in eight games, but he blew folks away. The Mariners don’t really need teenage pitchers, but I thought I’d include him anyway.
- Gausman was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2012 draft out of LSU. He made the climb from AA to AAA to majors in 2013, and is said to be on the cusp of making the O’s rotation out of camp this spring, which may give the O’s some room to trade pitching even if Gausman is not the one traded. Probably a notch more valuable than James Paxton and a notch less than Taijuan Walker.
- Wright looks like a bit of a “sleeper” after a strong season at AA, but unlike the others he was on the older side of the age-arc.
- Davies is listed at 6-0, 150, and lasted until the 26th round of the 2011 draft. But the O’s have pushed him up the ladder and he’s responded.
- Rodriguez zipped up the ladder to AA at age-20 and delivered 8.9 K/9. He looks like the real deal.
Of course, the O’s also have one-time high school hotshot Dylan Bundy, who is out with Tommy John surgery and didn’t pitch at all in 2013, but was flat-out awesome before that. Bundy is supposed to be back in 2014. He’s not a trade possibility, but if he seems to be on the road to recovery, then one of the other guys might be more obtainable.
In terms of Franklin, clearly Gausman or Rodriguez would be the targets in any prospect-for-prospect trade. And if the Mariners are determined to get offense, then a three-way deal might be appropriate, since either of those guys would be attractive to any team looking for rising pitching talent.