Reporting Vinny Cerrato
The Major League Baseball Draft is a crapshoot most years. A majority of these talented young men enter professional baseball with aspirations of a Major League Career, but the reality is very few of them do. Several “can’t miss” Orioles prospects have gone through the minor league system in the past years that have turned out as disappointments. But is this the young man’s fault or perhaps the organization’s fault? According to other organization’s scouts and baseball experts, the Birds have drafted talented pitchers and hitters in the past few years. But why do they end up never panning out? Why does work horse lefty Adam Loewen blow out his arm? Why does Brian Matusz lose velocity on his fastball? Why does Brandon Erbe never reach his potential? Why are pitchers failing and hitter’s batting averages going in the tank?
Before this year’s first rounder Dylan Bundy goes into the system, the Orioles organization needs to do a little detective work. They need to appraise their minor league system and find out why guys they are high on never make it to the show. Does it really have to do with a prospect’s work ethic or strength and condition? Or is it more of a problem within the minor league system? Are players given access to weight rooms and technology that can better their game? Are they really given top notch instruction? Do pitchers really learn how to use all of their pitchers? Are minor league batters in this system taught how to properly work a count or how to hit with two strikes?
Insanity is when someone repeats the same behavior and expects different results. This is where the Orioles are at this point. If they continue to develop prospects the way this organization has for the past few decades, the problems will continue. The team needs to do a self evaluation and find out where things have gone wrong. They should look at a prospect like Brian Matusz, study film on how he was performing when he was first drafted. Look at every step along the way, both on and off the field, including the offseason. Only a totally comprehensive and brutally honest assessment of the system this organization uses to develop its talent will result in future winning seasons here in Baltimore.