The Baltimore Orioles have not played well to close out the season, and they no longer have hopes for the playoffs. As the last few weeks of the 2017 season unwind, the Orioles will have a 40-man roster, which allows them to select young talent from their farm system and give them Major League experience.
This opportunity will be important for many young players as they try to gain some experience before possibly being promoted to the big leagues at the start of 2018. In particular, three guys have a chance to start on Baltimore’s squad next year. Here is a brief bio and assessment of the three prospects:
Chance Sisco, C
Sisco has the chance to be the starting catcher next season over Caleb Joseph and Welington Castillo (if he exercises his player option). Sisco is considered the top prospect in the Orioles farm system, and at age 22, he could have a long career in Baltimore. The Orioles selected Sisco in the second round of the 2013 MLB Draft, and he has quickly worked his way through the minors. Most catchers are talented defensively and struggle offensively, but Sisco is a solid hitter. He will likely be a productive bat in the lineup for the rest of the 2017 season and hopefully next year as well.
Anthony Santander, OF/1B
Santander has not played much this season due to a forearm strain. The injury occurred near the beginning of this year and he remained on the disabled list for most of the season. A former selection by the Orioles in the Rule 5 draft, Santander must be on the 25-man roster for the rest of the season if Baltimore still wants to own his rights. Though he is talented, Santander only made a few appearances in the minors before joining Baltimore late in the season due to the Rule 5 draft requirements. At only 22 years old, Santander is a young prospect that is a solid power hitter and could be competing for a starting spot if the Orioles let Seth Smith go this offseason.
Austin Hays, OF
Hays is another young outfielder that will get some opportunities late this season with the Orioles. At 22, he is considered the second-best prospect in the Orioles farm system. He was selected in the third round of the 2016 MLB Draft, and he will compete with Santander and others for the starting spot in right field next season.
Experts have said the Orioles farm system is relatively weak in comparison to other organizations around the league. The Orioles could definitely use improved pitching in their farm system, but the positional players are highly skilled. Sisco, Santander, and Hays all could be starting for the Orioles in 2018, and one of them may be able to replicate the success that Trey Mancini had in his rookie season in Baltimore.
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