Blog Entry

Homegrown Team: Baltimore Orioles

Posted on: December 11, 2011 6:35 am
Erik Bedard

By C. Trent Rosecrans

What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

The Orioles haven't had a winning season since 1997, and part of that has been the team's inability to draft, sign and cultivate its own players. Even the teams with the biggest payrolls, like the Yankees and Red Sox, have learned the lesson that you need to have a steady crop of homegrown players, not only to keep costs down, but also to have the commodities to trade if needed. The Orioles' Matt Wieters emerged as an All-Star in 2011 and Brian Roberts has had a solid career, but the team has still struggled to produce a consistent pipeline to the majors, and when those players have gotten there, they've often disappointed.


1. Brian Roberts, 2B
2. Mike Fontenot, SS
3. Nick Markakis, RF
4. Jayson Werth, 1B
5. Matt Wieters, C
6. Nolan Reimold, LF
7. Jerry Hairston Jr., 3B
8. Willie Harris, DH
9. Darnell McDonald, CF

Starting Rotation

1. Erik Bedard
2. Zach Britton
3. Jake Arrieta
4. Brad Bergesen
5. Brian Matusz


Closer - David Hernandez
Set up - Arthur Rhodes, Jim Johnson, Koji Uehara, Jason Berken, Pedro Beato, D.J. Carrasco

Notable Bench Players

Eli Whiteside is the backup catcher, and a pretty good one. But other than that, the Orioles' bench is thin. Brandon Snyder? Ryan Adams? That's about all the team has to offer.

What's Good?

The middle of the lineup -- Markakis, Werth and Wieters is solid and the bullpen is deep. Other than that? Not much.

What's Not?

Take your pick -- the rest of the team's lineup isn't up to snuff. The rotation, minus Bedard, is similar to the real team's rotation in 2011. And then there's not much depth, either in the rotation or the lineup.

Comparison to real 2011

Only the Astros, Twins and Mariners had a worse record than Baltimore's 67-95 mark in 2011, and this team could be even worse. The rotation is about the same and the offense isn't as good without J.J. Hardy, Adam Jones and Mark Reynolds. The Orioles once were known for throwing money at free agents and not developing their own players, now they just don't develop their own players. A team of homegrown Orioles could challenge the 100 loss mark and maybe even the worst record in baseball.

Next: Washington Nationals

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Since: Sep 26, 2006
Posted on: December 23, 2011 2:10 am

Homegrown Team: Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles, under the ownership of know-it-all lawyer Peter Angelos, have trimmed their minor league and scouting budget to a small fraction of what's needed.  Rochester, the Orioles triple-A affiliate for four decades, broke away from the Orioles several years ago and, for a while, the Orioles were content to roll along with NO AAA replacement!

When I was coaching the 3rd-ranked-in-state varsity fast-pitch softball team at Maryland's largest high school, our baseball coach had the state champions, coached pro ball in the summer, and was a scout for the Milwaukee Brewers.  Once, on a long team bus ride, I asked him why he was scouting for the Brewers and not the Orioles.  He went into a litany of why the Orioles were an awful organization that lasted most of the rest of the ride.

They began to turns things around when Andy McPhail came on board, but it's still not enough: you have to attract good minor league managers, instructors, etc. and that's hard to do when you've previously gotten rid of them.

Since: Dec 12, 2011
Posted on: December 12, 2011 12:16 pm
This comment has been removed.

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Since: Jan 12, 2007
Posted on: December 12, 2011 11:48 am

Homegrown Team: Baltimore Orioles

70 games?  Please.  This lineup wouldn't win 50.  40 would be pushing it.

There was a time when the Orioles annually had someone coming out of the minors who turned into a really good player or a star.  They had 20 game winners just about annually from the late 60's until 1984.  They made really smart trades like Frank Robinson and were the winningest team in baseball in the 30 year period 1957-1986.

Nowadays its almost like this team refuses to compete.  It won't spend money on quality free agents.  It won't invest in their player development infrastructure.  Its almost a game as to which items off the scrap heap of has-beens and never-will-bes that this team will pluck during the winter.  I know there's a saying that "one man's trash is another man's treasure" but mostly its just trash and that's why the team can't sniff .500.

Since: Feb 28, 2008
Posted on: December 12, 2011 10:15 am

Homegrown Team: Baltimore Orioles

Lists such as this are no more than offseason banter. Makes no sense to make comparisins like these. It does show concisely how pathetic the O's drafts have been however.

Bedard has been on the injured list for 2 other teams since leaving here. So who cares that they traded him. They got an excellent year from George Sherrill in return and Adam Jones. Definitely worked out for the best. Jayson Werth? Who cares. Overrated. A career .264 hitter with approximately 2 pretty good years in the majors. Signed a huge contract with the Nats and laid an egg. Mike Fontenot? Please. Willie Harris?? Another "who cares". Darnell Mcdonald is another one who never really lived up to expectations. A couple of solid years with Boston mainly as a backup does not make a team rue letting a player go.

There are still people who beat on the O's for letting Curt Schilling go. Completely overlooking the fact that Houston also gave up on him after just 1 season. After that, he had a solid 2 first seasons with Philly before spending the next 3 broken up and screwing off. So, in effect, it was 6 years after being shipped out of Baltimore that he truly blossomed.

Since: Aug 17, 2006
Posted on: December 12, 2011 8:29 am

Homegrown Team: Baltimore Orioles

This is the best synopsis of the pain to be an Orioles fan.   Every year the front office and the local media hype the prospects that never do seem to pan out.    Jason Werth tool 7 years after being an Oriole to become an everyday player, he is certainly a unique story.   One thing to mention is that there is not one hispanic name or Hispanic signed player on this list,  Jerry Hairston, Jr's father played in the majors and he grew up and was drafted out of high school in Illinois.    Please Peter Angelos, sell the team to someone with a clue how to run a club with medium revenues and turn it into a respectable team!  

Since: Oct 23, 2006
Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:24 pm

Homegrown Team: Baltimore Orioles

The Orioles must be the worst drafting team in the last 25 years.

It is one thing to be outspent, but there is no excuse for almost never ever producing a player from the minors.

Random dart boards at the draft lists could produce better results.

Even the Royals and Pirates produce good players that the Big Market guys end up taking away.

The Big Market teams don't even bother to raid the Orioles.  They can't develop anyone it seems.

Angelos has sucked all the life out of the old "Orioles Way".

Since: Apr 15, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2011 10:30 pm

Homegrown Team: Baltimore Orioles

Got to see the team last week of the season. They were playing Boston. 
THis team has some really good players. It was great to watch a buch of nonames, that can win.
Kind of funny though, these "no names" (though different than some of the players listed) knocked the Red Sox out of the playoffs... Beating them 5 out of possible 7 times. Orioles actually played better down the stretch and put up a good bit of offense. 

Wieters is going to be a star, Markakis is a really good player... besides that, not much hope for this homegrown team. Bedard is a bum. 

Since: Apr 3, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2011 10:19 pm

Homegrown Team: Baltimore Orioles

I think it would be better if they traded every player.  I think they should trade Peter Angelos to any team for an owner to be named later.  The Orioles have been rebuilding since 1998.  I think their 20 year plan will work.  Beware of the bird in 2018!

Since: Jun 17, 2008
Posted on: December 11, 2011 9:56 pm

Homegrown Team: Baltimore Orioles

Hard to disagree with the majority here. That lineup really is pathetic. Most of the starting lineup are backups somewhere... and some are fighting for a backup job. Mike Fontenot, for example, might be non-tendered tomorrow by one of the weakest offenses (my Giants) in baseball. And he's your fantasy Orioles team #2 hitter. That team team would not have a chance at breaking .500. The Orioles have to invest some $$ in their minor league system. And a few scouts that can see.

Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: December 11, 2011 9:47 pm

Homegrown Team: Baltimore Orioles

this lineup sucks. the rotation is garbage. should be more like "this is the shit team that the orioles would have had"

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