Orioles Think Tank

Orioles Coverage for the Information Age

Markakis Makes OD Roster

Posted by Mike on April 2, 2006

Lots of goings ons since I posted on Friday, so let's get to it…

  • As Eddie told us in the comments section of my last post, Nick Markakis will be coming north with the big league club for opening day.

I've been pretty clear about my disapproval of this move.  As if that means nothing to Flanaquette, Markakis will be starting the year in Baltimore.  I will still be rooting for him as hard as anybody.  If forced to shine a positive light on this, I'd point out a few snippets from this article.

"Every organization, at one time or another, brings somebody out of the Minor Leagues that hasn't played a whole lot. They're special people, and I think Nick's a special person," said Perlozzo.

Although Markakis has clearly been the Orioles' number one prospect for two years running, no one outside of Baltimore is expecting him to be David Wright.  But when the competition is the likes of Corey Patterson and Luis Matos, you don't have to be a perennial all-star to be a boon to the offense. 

So what impressed the O's the most?

Perlozzo said his knowledge of the strike zone is as good as anyone on the roster.

Well, at least they're looking at the right indicators.  I think Markakis has made a strong case this spring that he is capable of contributing a ~.350 OBP immediately.  There are, however, lingering questions about the extent of his power.  If he can handle CF effectively, those questions will go away faster.

The manager also said that Markakis isn't coming to the big leagues to sit on the bench

Which leads me to my next point…  There are few things short of Markakis immediately posting a .900 OPS and leading the Orioles to contention that will make this look like a particularly good move, but here are two things that could make it look like a disaster:

  1. Markakis plays less than 140 games, despite being on the active roster the entire year.
  2. Markakis struggles and has to spend any time in the minors.

Keep an eye out for #1, but don't step in #2.

  • The O's claimed 33 year old catcher Raul Chavez off of waivers from the Houston Astros.  

The company line has been that Chavez is a defensive upgrade on Gil, but I'd wager that the most significant part of this shit swap is that I will have to upgrade my 40-man roster page; both in the coming days and again when the O's release him in the next few weeks. 

  • The Orioles are looking at Cleveland Indians infielder Brandon Phillips, who is out of options and likely to be traded in the coming days.

Phillips was a former top prospect who is now better known as a perennial disappointment.  I guess it makes sense that the club who went after Corey Patterson would also go after Phillips, but I'm lost as to what his role would be on the team.  Chris Gomez is nothing special, but he can at least hit lefties and pretend to play a solid middle infield.  It would be tough to squeeze Phillips on the roster unless one of Matos, Patterson or Newhan got moved.  Assuming the O's got some value for one of them, I could see them sneaking a 2nd backup infielder onto the squad.

He's probably going to get around $9 million per.  Remember, though, anything over two years is probably a bad contract.

  • I participated in two fantasy drafts today. 

The first one was a deep AL-only league with six teams.  I managed to snag Chris Ray in the 10th round (59th overall) and Daniel Cabrera in the 17th round (98th).

The second draft was for a mixed league with seven teams.  I drafted B.J. Ryan (in case you're interested) in the 9th round (62nd overall) and Chris Ray in the 14th round (93rd).

My first set of player write-ups are due at 9am tomorrow, so it should be as good of a day as any to sign up for their excellent service (insert winking emoticon).  It comes with wonderful things like this, written by Paul Sauberer:

1. The 2006 model of Daniel Cabrera is pretty much the same as the 2005 and 2004 models. Flashes of awesome power pitching surrounded by times when he needs a GPS to have any idea where the plate is located. A breakout season does not appear in the offing if this was representative of what he will do.

This is only one of four parts of a contribution made after Paul attended an Orioles-Marlins spring training game, but you'll have to subscribe to read the rest. 

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3 Responses to “Markakis Makes OD Roster”

  1. Eddie said

    …I think Markakis actually has posted better strikezone recognition numbers than Wright…but that being said, I think as hot as Markakis got during his AA call-up, Wright was even hotter…but, in the end how hot is not really the question…in the end, the real question is how their numbers deteriorate as they get promoted…Wright’s numbers deteriorated marginally and still projected a high level of ML production, esp. when graded up for his young age…Markakis benefits from the same grading scale as far as his age (maybe even more because he is younger now that he’s getting a shot at a full ML season at 22)…but Markakis probably has much less hype than Wright did because Markakis doesn’t look like he’ll get the opportunity to build up that hype with a good AA-to-AAA-to-MLB campaign that Wright did in ’04….

    …that being said, I think if Markakis does post a OBP in the range of .350 that is a fantastic sign for a 22 yr old kid…

  2. Eddie said

    ..but in this conversation, you also have to say that Wright’s ’04 campaign was a truly spectacular display…he hit 32 HRs between AA to MLB, 14 of them were ML HRs. Also, if you like your projectable doubles-power, he hit 52 doubles, 17 of them in ML ballparks. That is A LOT of doubles. (Brian Roberts 2 years ago set the Os club record at 50 a couple of seasons ago as a point of reference). All of this at the ripe old age of 21. It is hard to believe anyone keeping all those doubles stay “doubles” as Wright fills out….

    …that being said, not all minor league ballparks are made equal…some are notoriously good for doubles and bad for HRs so we really don’t know….I wonder if anyone here knows about the parks that Nick has played in in the minors…a part of me feels like it’s a shame to see Nick not having a shot at posting a real big year in the minors…but, I guess being in the majors is a nice “consololation” prize…:)

  3. […] A week ago, I made a prediction: The company line has been that Chavez is a defensive upgrade on Gil, but I’d wager that the most significant part of this shit swap is that I will have to upgrade my 40-man roster page; both in the coming days and again when the O’s release him in the next few weeks.  […]

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