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Breaking down the O's top prospect list heading into 2014

Kevin Gausman vaults to the top of the O's prospect list thanks to Dylan Bundy's elbow injury.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It was an active 2013 season down on the farm, with the big news being Kevin Gausman's promotion to Baltimore and Dylan Bundy's Tommy John surgery. The O's also traded away arguably their second-best hitting prospect in Nick Delmonico, along with Josh Hader and L.J. Hoes. The club also dealt Xavier Avery, though it's doubtful his ceiling is anything out than a fourth outfielder.

1. Kevin Gausman - After two short stints with the Orioles, it was clear that Gausman was not ready to pitch at the major league level. He went back down to Triple-A, where he finished strong before a call back up to Baltimore in late August. He inherits the top spot from Bundy because of his injury, though some may argue he no longer belongs on a prospect list after two trips to Baltimore.

2. Dylan Bundy - Bundy is recovering from Tommy John surgery and the beginning of the season, which will drop him down many top prospects lists. The good news is that Bundy is still very young and Tommy John surgery has a very high success rate these days, but it's still very disappointing for the pitcher and the organization.

3. Jonathan Schoop - A back injury really took the wind out of his sails. Schoop had crazy splits, hitting much better on the road than at home in the spacious Tides' ballpark. He has a shot at earning the starting second base job in Baltimore with an impressive spring training, but the O's will probably want to see more experience and better stats in the minors before he gets the call.

4. Eduardo Rodriguez - If he wasn't on the prospect radar before this season, he certainly is now. Rodriguez earned a mid-season promotion to Double-A Bowie and could threaten to see time with the Orioles when rosters expand in September of 2014. In fact, the argument could be made that Rodriguez deserves to be right up there with Gausman on the prospect list given how quickly he has advanced through the system.

5. Hunter Harvey - The team's 2013 first round pick, Harvey pitched well in the Gulf Coast League before earning a promotion to Aberdeen. He didn't disappoint in Aberdeen, and he is looking every bit the top-of-the-rotation arm the O's felt they got when they drafted him. It looks like Harvey could very well begin the year with low-A Delmarva.

6. Mike Wright - He is about as consistent as it gets. Wright pitched well at Double-A and profiles as a back-end starter or maybe a long reliever at the big league level. It would be hard to find a minor league starter anywhere in baseball that pitched better over the final two months of 2013 than Wright. He should get a look in spring training but is likely to move to Norfolk to start 2014.

7. Christian Walker - After smashing the ball at Delmarva, the O's promoted Walker to Single-A Frederick, where he found things a bit more difficult but still did well enough to earn yet another promotion, this time to Bowie. They say the biggest jump in minor league baseball is from Single-A to Double-A, and Walker certainly experienced that. His power numbers disappeared and his average plummeted, but it was still a good season for him. He will most certainly start this year back at Bowie.

8. Josh Hart - He didn't put up great numbers in a short stint in the minors this year, but the Orioles really like his tools. He reminds me a lot of Xavier Avery, who is no longer in the O's system after being traded, for better or worse. You just never know what you will exactly get from toolsy players. Sometimes they become a star, but most usually don't pan out.

9. Zach Davies - After an impressive year at Frederick, Davies is firmly on the O's prospect radar. His strikeout-to-walk ratio is particularly impressive and leads you to believe that he can continue to improve. He will probably start the year back at Frederick with the opportunity to move to Bowie rather quickly if he can dominate Single-A hitters.

10. Michael Ohlman - After a big year at the plate, Ohlman's stock is soaring. Could he be Wieters' backup, or possibly even successor should he hit free agency and head elsewhere after two more seasons? There are a lot of doubts about his ability behind the plate, so first base or DH might be the more logical landing spot for him.

11. Henry Urrutia - After breezing through the minors, Urrutia joined the Orioles and had brief success before cooling off and being sent back down to the minors. His lack of power remains a concern, as is the fact that he is well below average in the field and on the base paths. He gained weight in the offseason and looks like he could be ready to contribute at the major league level.

12. Parker Bridwell - I was hesitant to throw the ultra-talented Bridwell into the top 15 now after he wrapped up his third tour of duty with Delmarva, but the light bulb may have finally gone on for him in the second half of the season. Bridwell was fantastic late in the year, showing better command and striking out a lot of batters. He will likely start the year at Frederick, and it could be a make or break season for his professional career.

13. Tim Berry - Coming off a strong 2013 season, Berry is a left-handed hurler who is highly regarded but struggled with injuries in the past. The O's hope he is past that after pitching around 150 innings for Frederick in 2013. The club will likely have him start next year at Frederick with the hopes that he will dominate and quickly force a promotion to Bowie.

14. Branden Kline - A disappointing season was disrupted by an ankle injury. He will look to stay healthy heading into 2014 and prove why he was a high draft pick.

15. Adrian Marin - The shortstop is considered a potential five-tool player and had a solid season. He is still very young, so the O's are happy with his development at this point in time.

Other prospects considered: Chance Sisco, Mike Yastrzemzski, Matt Hobgood, Dariel Alvarez, Tyler Wilson, Clay Schrader, Johnny Ruettiger, Torsten Boss, Bobby Bundy, Devin Jones, Matt Price, Glynn Davis, Oliver Drake, Gregory Lorenzo, Brady Wager

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