As I mentioned in part 1, the roster of the Shorebird of the Week Hall of Fame is now a 40-man roster, much like those the actual teams hold this time of year as they tweak their squads for spring training.
By rule, any player on a team’s 40-man roster gets an automatic invitation to the major league squad’s spring training – so, in theory, a “spring training” for this squad is set insofar as invitees. They would just have a hard time with having intrasquad games due to shortages at some positions and no “minor league camp.” That fact inspired me to do a little research from my SotW Tracker as to how many guys would be at each minor league level if I had such a camp comprised of squads made up of the highest level each played after being selected. (We know 40 made the Show, but how many got to AAA, AA, and so forth?)
So I broke this down by season of first selection, meaning the first squad of 22 from 2006 would be assigned as follows, with subsequent seasons afterward:
- 2006 (22 players) 4 MLB, 4 AAA, 3 AA, 7 A+, 4 A
- 2007 (19 players) 2 MLB, 3 AAA, 7 AA, 5 A+, 2 A
- 2008 (22 players) 5 MLB, 3 AAA, 6 AA, 5 A+, 3 A
- 2009 (18 players) 5 MLB, 3 AAA, 3 AA, 4 A+, 3 A
- 2010 (16 players) 1 MLB, 2 AAA, 4 AA, 6 A+, 3 A
- 2011 (18 players) 4 MLB, 5 AAA, 5 AA, 3 A+, 1 A
- 2012 (18 players) 5 MLB, 6 AAA, 3 AA, 4 A+
- 2013 (18 players) 3 MLB, 2 AAA, 6 AA, 5 A+, 2 A
- 2014 (21 players) 6 MLB, 7 AAA, 5 AA, 3 A+
- 2015 (19 players) 3 MLB, 1 AAA, 4 AA, 9 A+, 2 A
- 2016 (20 players) 2 MLB, 3 AAA, 6 AA, 7 A+, 2 A
- 2017 (7 players) 1 AAA, 1 AA, 4 A+, 1 A
- 2018 (9 players) 2 A+, 7 A
So out of the entire group of 227 players there would be 40 in the major league camp and 187 in the minor league camp – ironically, 40 have made AAA as well, with 53 advancing to AA, 64 to advanced-A, and 30 not progressing past Delmarva’s level. Suffice to say there are enough guys in camp, and several have a shot at cracking the real Oriole roster in 2019.
As for my top 40, let’s break them down by general position:
Pitchers (20): Pedro Beato (R), Brad Bergesen (R), Steven Brault (L), Parker Bridwell (R), Zach Britton (L), Dylan Bundy (R), Zach Clark (R), Scott Copeland (R), Stefan Crichton (R), Zach Davies (R), Oliver Drake (R), Eddie Gamboa (R), Mychal Givens (R), Josh Hader (L), Donnie Hart (L), David Hernandez (R), John Means (L), Ryan Meisinger (R), Eduardo Rodriguez (L), Jimmy Yacabonis (R)
Catchers (3): Michael Ohlman (R), Chance Sisco (L), Austin Wynns (R)
Infielders (9): Ryan Adams (R), Blake Davis (L), Pedro Florimon (S), Manny Machado (R), Joe Mahoney (L), Jonathan Schoop (R), Brandon Snyder (R), Christian Walker (R), Steve Wilkerson (S)
Outfielders (8): Matt Angle (L), Xavier Avery (L), Nicky Delmonico (L), LJ Hoes (R), Kyle Hudson (L), Ty Kelly (S), Trey Mancini (R), Cedric Mullins (S)
Breaking the squad down further, we have several pitchers who would vie for the starting rotation and a number destined for the bullpen. Looking for a starting role would be Brad Bergesen, Parker Bridwell, Dylan Bundy, Scott Copeland, Zach Davies, and Eduardo Rodriguez – maybe not the greatest starting rotation, but on this fantasy team all they would have to do is get to a loaded bullpen (in real life) with the likes of Zach Britton, Mychal Givens, Josh Hader, and David Hernandez as the back end.
Around the infield, you have guys who can chip in at multiple positions based on their big league experience, with Manny Machado an obvious candidate as he’s played both third base and shortstop. Brandon Snyder has played both corner positions, and Steve Wilkerson split time between second and third. Meanwhile Ty Kelly and Trey Mancini provide flexibility as well – listed as outfielders, Kelly also has time at second and third while Mancini came up as a first baseman and still played enough there to qualify: my criteria was having at least 10% of appearances at a position.
Based on the track records, the 25-man roster, starting lineup, rotation, and bullpen could begin to take shape. The team I would likely “take north” would end up as follows:
Starting rotation: Eduardo Rodriguez, Zach Davies, Dylan Bundy, Steven Brault (listed as a reliever, but pitched much of his career as a starter), and Parker Bridwell. Scott Copeland is optioned to AAA.
Bullpen: Closer is Zach Britton, 8th inning is Josh Hader, 7th inning belongs to Mychal Givens, and David Hernandez is the additional arm for these situations. Eddie Gamboa and Jimmy Yacabonis can provide length, and Donnie Hart is the designated LOOGY. Oliver Drake is first man up at AAA for the bullpen, with Ryan Meisinger next up. The JIC guys shipped to AAA would be Pedro Beato and Stefan Crichton (as 7th/8th inning guys), John Means (as a AAA starter and potential long man), and Brad Bergesen and Zach Clark (as flex pitchers).
Catchers: Austin Wynns would be the starter, but Chance Sisco would get his share of appearances as well. Michael Ohlman would be waiting in the AAA wings.
Infielders: The six I take north – some are no-brainers, but there is also fill needed. Trey Mancini (originally listed as an outfielder based on his predominant position) is going to be my first baseman on this team, and Brandon Snyder will be the backup corner infielder (who can also play in the outfield.) Jonathan Schoop takes second base, but that leaves me a dilemma: should I play Manny Machado at short or third? Seeing no good third base prospects at the moment, Manny gets the hot corner and Pedro Florimon takes short. It leaves me Steve Wilkerson as another utility guy who, if he were good enough at third, could move Machado to where he wants to be. It also helps that Florimon and Wilkerson are switch-hitters as there are no left-handed hitters around the infield. And while Christian Walker is nominally a first baseman, the intention of putting him on the roster is more to be a full-time designated hitter.
It’s odd to platoon at second base, but on this fantasy team Ryan Adams and Blake Davis would do so at AAA. Joe Mahoney could hold down first base at AAA, waiting for his chance.
Outfielders: With Mancini shifted to the infield, it leaves an opportunity for someone else to make the 25-man roster. I need four out of the remaining eight outfielders to fill the squad. Starting from right field around to left would be L.J. Hoes, Cedric Mullins, and Nicky Delmonico, and I would take Ty Kelly (another utility player) as another left-handed bat for backup. Xavier Avery is first up from AAA, while Matt Angle and Kyle Hudson would be the other AAA guys in waiting.
So this could be the batting order on Opening Day. We’ll assume this is an American League team with a designated hitter. They’ll send out Eduardo Rodriguez as their Opening Day starter. Behind him would be:
- Cedric Mullins, cf
- Trey Mancini, 1b
- Manny Machado, 3b
- Jonathan Schoop, 2b
- Nicky Delmonico, lf
- Christian Walker, dh
- L.J. Hoes, rf
- Austin Wynns, c
- Pedro Florimon, ss
The bench would be Chance Sisco (L) as my backup catcher and Brandon Snyder (R), Ty Kelly (S), and Steve Wilkerson (S) as utility players who can cover pretty much anything but shortstop – but Manny Machado could slide over in a pinch and he pretty much plays every game.
In the last installment, I “play out” the season.