Orioles' system stocked with exciting talent
Recent Draftees highlight deep prospect pool in organization
SARASOTA, Fla. -- As the Orioles kick off the 2012 campaign, a slew of the organization's up-and-comers have dispersed to their Minor League assignments looking to make an impression and improve their standing.
There will be plenty to watch for this season in top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy's professional debut, the continued progression of young infielders Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop, and the performance of several notable 2011 Draftees, including infielders Nick Delmonico and Jason Esposito.
With the Minor League season getting under way, fans can keep track of the Orioles' top prospects throughout the year on Prospect Watch. And get scores, stats, news, schedules, tickets and more for all of the Orioles' Minor League teams on the Orioles' affiliates page.
where to watch
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Outfielders Xavier Avery and L.J. Hoes are coming off impressive stints in their first big league camp. Avery begins the season at Triple-A, while Hoes is at Double-A but could advance to Norfolk quickly. Right-hander Bobby Bundy, the older brother of Dylan, will look to build on a breakout 2011 season, while pitcher Dan Klein is targeting a midseason return from right shoulder surgery.
The Class A Delmarva Shorebirds have what is probably the Orioles' most talent-heavy roster. The pitching staff is led by Dylan Bundy and Park Bridwell, with an infield that includes Esposito, Delmonico and Connor Narron. Catcher Gabriel Lino is highly thought of in the organization and also starts in Delmarva, with an outfield including Glynn Davis and Johnny Reuttiger, both prospects who spent some time filling in during Majors camp this spring. Davis was not taken in the June Draft but signed out of Catonsville Community College in August.
Debuts and Draftees
The Orioles' first-round pick in last year's Draft, Bundy turned heads in Major League camp this spring, and the 19-year-old's progress will be carefully monitored by the organization. The preference is to ease him in with Delmarva, although his power arm could launch Bundy as high as Double-A before the season ends.
Esposito and Delmonico were both late signees, and and they're starting their pro careers at Delmarva.
Teams on TV
The Norfolk Tides and Aberdeen IronBirds are among a growing number of teams whose games are available on MiLB.TV. The 2012 MiLB.TV package will include more than 2,500 Minor League games streamed live, as well as games archived for on-demand streaming soon after completion.
The Tides are the last stop before the big leagues, and you can catch all the action live in Ron Johnson's first year managing at Norfolk. With plans for pitchers Jason Berken and Brad Bergesen to be in the rotation, and prospect Ryan Adams in the lineup, the Orioles' will have a lot of players they like at Norfolk this year, according to Orioles manager Buck Showalter. The Tides faced the Orioles on Wednesday at Harbor Park, while their first regular-season home game will be April 9 versus the Gwinnett Braves.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.