After watching the Arizona Fall league closely I will give you a few names to look out for as Spring Training starts and the Orioles start evolving into a different team then Baltimore is used to.
Biggest Offensive Names
Austin Hays (OF)- Ever since Nick Markakis left Baltimore, the Orioles have had a struggle of replacing him in the outfield. Austin Hays may be the answer, after being named Orioles’ minor league player of the year Hayes has plenty to build on.
Hays went quickly through the farm system, being drafted in 2016, it took him a short 16-month span until Baltimore got to see the kid play. Hitting .329/ .365/ .593 with thirty-two doubles, five triples, thirty-two homers and ninety-five RBIs while playing in High-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie. Orioles will hope to duplicate these numbers at the major league level and have Hays take over everyday outfield duties.
Position on 2018 Orioles- In the Outfield rotation (Mancini, Rickard, Trumbo, & Hays) of course with Adam Jones in center
Chance Sisco (C)- With Wellington Castillo using his player option and opting out of his $7 million player option it looks like Sisco will have every chance to be an impactful player. Sharing the catching duties with Caleb Joseph will be a great way to ease the learning curve while working on some of his bigger issues such as arm strength and overall catcher IQ.
Sisco’s offense is strong and didn’t see many issues as he went through the farm, receiving the highest of honors going to the 2016 All-Star Future Game. Not stopping there, Sisco followed up his great 2016 year with another impressive year, during his time in Triple-A Norfolk Sisco hit .267/.340/.395 with seven home runs. The Orioles will hope to duplicate his short stint in the MLB. In just ten games Sisco batted .333/.455/.788 and hit two home runs.
Position on 2018 Orioles- Split time behind the plate with Caleb Joseph
Steve Wilkerson (INF/OF)- The Orioles have enjoyed the versatility of Ryan Flaherty and with him becoming a free agent looking to Wilkerson to take on these duties. Drafted in the eighth round in 2014 Wilkerson has had some similar comparison to none other but Trey Mancini. Hitting .294/.361/ .704 Wilkerson was not much until he came on seen in the Arizona Fall League and now he has a great opportunity to present himself as a candidate to take over as the Orioles utility guy coming off the bench.
Position on 2018 Orioles- Buck’s Utility Guy (taking over for Ryan Flaherty)