Every once in a while ESPN.com comes out with their updated rankings of each organization and the minor leagues as a whole. Because players are constantly moving in and out of the minors to the majors it is a very superfluous situation and therefore the rankings are always changing. Keith Law is the head of these rankings for ESPN and he has been doing this for years so I trust his rankings as much as anybodys but in his most updated version he has the Orioles phenom SP Dylan Bundy ranked 1st and SS Manny Machado ranked 3rd out of the entire minor league system.
Here were his words on Bundy and Machado:
“1. Dylan Bundy, RHP, Baltimore Orioles (age 19) Current level: High Class A (Frederick) Preseason ranking: 11
The Orioles’ bizarre, ultraconservative handling of Bundy aside, he didn’t just dominate inferior competition in low Class A, he did it with the stuff and polish that could, in another organization, have had him in the big leagues this year or at the start of 2013. (The club finally promoted him to Frederick on Wednesday after he threw 30 scoreless innings for Delmarva to open the year, with 40 strikeouts and just five hits allowed.)
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that a redraft of 2011′s tremendous class would have Bundy on top, which would have made him the first prep right-hander to go first overall.
3. Manny Machado, SS, Baltimore Orioles (age 19) Current level: Double-A (Bowie) Preseason ranking: 4
He still has more offensive upside than Profar given his power potential, but it’s not a lock that Machado stays at short (I like his chances to do so), whereas Profar is a no-doubt shortstop. And Machado has been gradually heating up as the season has gone on, if we slice the small sample into tiny ones.”
As an Orioles fan it is really cool to have two of your guys in the top 3 rankings out of every team in the minors. Not only is it really cool but it also bodes well for our future. Really in my opinion these two are exactly what we need; an ace who can anchor the staff and a potential 3rd basemen who is actually capable of playing the position at a high level. I would doubt that either of these guys will be up at the major league level this year to help the team, but it certainly is possible. I do find it kind of funny how ESPN/Law is now lauding the Orioles system, even claiming on there MLB page that the O’s farm system is “loaded” when in February we were ranked 17th in the league in that category. I actually tend to agree with that original assessment but its funny to me how we go from being a below average farm system to a “loaded” one in a matter of a few months. Obviously Bundy has performed very well and above expectations but I can’t imagine one guy moving from the 11th spot to 1st changes a team from below average to “loaded” but what do I know. Actually what I do know is that while it is becoming more exciting every day to be an O’s fan, almost so much so that I am just waiting for something to go terribly wrong…. But I don’t want to jinx it.