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Baltimore Orioles Top Minor League Tools
With the minor league season officially wrapped up, it’s time to look back at the each organization’s top tools. Note: only everyday players with 250+ plate appearances, starting pitchers with 80+ innings, and relievers with 40+ innings were considered. For more Top MiLB Tools click here.
Hit Tool: Christian Walker, 1B
Power: Michael Ohlman, C
Eye: Michael Ohlman, C
Runner: Johnny Ruettiger, CF
K-Ability: Kevin Gausman, RHP
Control: Kevin Gausman, RHP
[/pullquote] Best Hit Tool: A fourth rounder out of the University of South Carolina last season, Christian Walker has shown an above-average hit tool, but the questions about the extent of his power will ultimately determine his ceiling. Through 125 professional games, he owns a .297/.365/.447 career line.
Best Power: A member of the Prospect Digest All Minor League Team, Michael Ohlman has shown above-average power potential over the last two seasons, slugging 60 extra-base hits (including 15 homeruns) in what amounts to a full major league season. He could peak as a 20- to 25-homerun bat in the big leagues.
Best Plate Discipline: Along with the aforementioned power potential, Michael Ohlman has also shown an above-average to plus-eye at the plate. The 22-year-old backstop walked in 15.8% of his plate appearances – albeit in a shortened season – in 2012 and more than 13% this season.
Best Base Stealer: Johnny Ruettiger, who’s going to peter out in the mid levels of the minors, paced the farm system in stolen bases this season, swiping 44 bags in 51 attempts.
Best Ability to Miss Bats: As well as throwing nearly 50 big league innings this season, Kevin Gausman spent time at both upper levels of minors where he punched out exactly one batter per inning.
Best Control: To go along with a potential elite ability to miss bats, Kevin Gausman also showed above-average or better control in the minor leagues this season, issuing 14 free passes in 82 innings. His walk percentage was just 4.2%.
Photo of Christian Walker Courtesy of MiLB.com.