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Orioles Fans Need To Be Patient For Only A Little Longer

Patience is a virtue...for a reason.

Not many people have it, and for those that do, they often can’t hold onto it for very long. Most, in fact, can only put up with something for so long before they’re ready for things to get better. 

For Baltimore Orioles fans, however, it's looking like you need to be patient for only a little while longer. The Orioles' cavalry is en route.

Baltimore fans have plenty of reasons to eschew their patience — the team hasn’t made the playoffs since 2016 and since 2018, when the club won an abysmal 47 games, the O’s have been one of the worst clubs in baseball. The poor hitting, revolving door in the starting rotation and consistent losing has grown tiresome.

The constant losing has led some to question the rebuild stewarded by Mike Elias. Grumblings about the future of Brandon Hyde’s managerial tenure in Baltimore are growing louder. But rather than talk about whether or not Hyde should keep his job — frankly, it doesn’t matter all that much as everyone knows Hyde won’t be the manager during this club’s potential competitive window — let me direct your attention to the Orioles’ minor league system, specifically Double-A Bowie.

Bowie is a gold mine of Orioles’ talent at the moment. Six of the O’s top 30 prospects are assigned to Bowie. The most notable among them being Adley Rutschman and Grayson Rodriguez.

It’s hard to not imagine them leading a stretch of winning baseball. Rutschman is justifying the hype this season, slashing .293/.430/.531 with 10 homers in just 40 games. Despite missing almost an entire season of minor league ball, Rutschman looks to be on track in his development.

Rodriguez is proving his worth too. The 21-year-old first rounder from 2018 has pitched in nine games this season to a 1.88 ERA and over his last four games, all of which are at Bowie, Rodriguez’s ERA is 2.29 and his WHIP is a stellar 0.915.

These two prospects represent the Orioles’ rebuild as a whole — their development will ultimately help determine whether or not Elias’ regime gets the job done.

There’s reason to believe. Rutschman is the sport’s No. 2 prospect and now that Wander Franco is in Tampa Bay, Rutschman could become Major League Baseball’s top prospect later this summer. For Rodriguez, he’s rated as the No. 19 prospect in baseball. The pitchers above him — McKenzie Gore, Nate Pearson, Sixto Sanchez and Matt Manning — have either already debuted in the majors or will be in the majors soon, meaning Rodriguez could become the top pitching prospect in the minors in the near future.

This time next season, the Orioles could sport MLB’s top position player prospect and top pitching prospect. Both could be making their debut around the same time.

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Sunday, 29 January 2023

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