Baltimore Orioles: Three prospects that can make an impact this year

The Baltimore Orioles find themselves two games above .500 as we head towards the end of May, 2.5 games behind the AL East leading Toronto Blue Jays, who are winners of 6 games in a row. While the Orioles already have the talent to push for a division title in 2014, a roster move like calling up one of these three players (for longer than just a week or two) could jumpstart the team and lead to a winning streak.

Kevin Gausman, RHP 

The 23-year-old Gausman is one of the elite pitching prospects in the minor leagues today. The Orioles are a team that always seems to need an upgrade in the starting rotation.Kevin Gausman (labeled for reuse) If Gausman were placed in the rotation, he would immediately have the best raw stuff in the entire staff.

Gausman throws a four-seam fastball that can sometimes touch triple digits, a mid-80s split-fingered fastball, mid-80s slider, and an upper-80s changeup.

Gausman has seen a limited amount of MLB action the last two seasons, but has yet to find the success many scouts believe is almost inevitable. He has had one spot start this season, against the Detroit Tigers. He went 4 innings with 5 ER and 2 Ks, taking the loss.

Should Gausman get another call to the majors, it would likely push Miguel Gonzalez back to the bullpen, just like it did when Gausman got his spot start against the Tigers. Gonzalez has pitched to 3-3 record with a 4.35 ERA so far this season.

Dylan Bundy, RHP

Still working his way back from elbow surgery, Bundy, 23, should take the mound in the minor leagues in June. Bundy is a second starting pitcher that could make a substantial impact later in the season.

Bundy has a live arm just like Kevin Gausman. He possesses a fastball that can touch double digits, while he can also throw a fastball with a cut or with a two-seam sink. Other than fastballs, Bundy throws a curveball with a sharp break and a solid changeup.

Bundy and Gausman will more than likely end up at the top of the Orioles rotation for years once they are able to solidify their roster spots in the major leagues.  Gausman and Bundy will add a new kind of element to the Baltimore rotation. While the starters have been better this season than they have in the recent past, they never really put up dominant performances that Gausman and Bundy are capable of. These two can completely shut down an offense, while the current O’s pitchers are usually working in and out of trouble, rarely pitching deep into games.

Francisco Peguero, OF

With David Lough struggling to get his bat going this season, the Orioles could be looking to add another outfielder to the active roster in the foreseeable future. Peguero, who should return soon from the disabled list, was a top prospect in the San Francisco Giants organization before the knee injuries struck. He never quite held down a role in the Giants outfield, and was picked up by the Orioles after the 2013 season after being non-tendered by the Giants.

Peguero is known for having a great power and speed combination. While he won’t draw many walks, he has the ability to make solid contact, and has a great arm which is always a plus for any outfielder.  With Nick Markakis and Adam Jones entrenched in the RF and CF roles respectively, the 24-year old Peguero could be a great fit for an occasional start in LF when the O’s want to slide Nelson Cruz into the DH role.

 

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