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5 Young Orioles To Judge 2019 By

By Jon Meoli | The Baltimore Sun

 

Anything above last year’s 47 wins would amount to progress for the Orioles, who enter the 2019 season with much more modest ambitions than the club that fell short of its one last crack at contending with its old core

 

New executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias and the front office plan to use time and resources on the amateur draft (in which the Orioles select first overall), building up their analytics and international scouting departments, and revamping the player development system. Even if the major league results don’t get much better in the short term as they do that, one thing that can improve is the players themselves.

 

The Orioles had15 major league debuts last year alone, and eight the year before. Seventeen of those players are still on the 40-man roster, and many still have their rookie status intact. Those are the types of players who can accelerate the Orioles’ path back to consistent winning baseball, and the leadership team of Elias and manager Brandon Hyde understands that.

 

It’s why Hyde was hired, in part for his player development background, and it’s why he has a staff with vast experiences building philosophies for young players to embrace and improving them against the toughest competition in the world.

 

Seeing some of the team’s young players perform better than they have in their previous major league time might not do much to the Orioles’ overall win-loss record. That’ll be especially true if good performance by some of the more experienced or expensive players leads to them being traded and the late-season Orioles being as young as they were last year.

 

It will, however, be a sign that the coaching staff as well as the general practices and philosophies the Orioles have in place are taking the team in the right direction. If they can make the old regime’s players better, then they can certainly do the same when targeting a specific kind of player to fit their own beliefs.

 

So in lieu of counting major league wins, here are five players whose performance in the majors this year can go a long way toward judging the first year of the Elias-Hyde era of Orioles baseball.