2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Prep: Ranking the Fantasy assets for the Orioles with Andrew Cashner, Chris Tillman on board

Oof.

That was the thud of the Orioles slipping to last place after five years of relevance in the always-competitive AL East. And their inaction this offseason would suggest they're not looking to climb out of the cellar any time soon. In fact, the chatter surrounding them this offseason was what they might get in return for franchise player Manny Machado.

Scroll down to the bottom and check out their projected starting rotation for 2017. Go ahead, I'll still be here.

I know, right?

Granted, Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman still have some untapped potential and the offseason isn't over yet, but those last three spots are like you'd see on the Padres, a club with absolutely no investment in this year. And if the Orioles do end up trading Machado, unlikely though it may be, that's a big chunk out of the starting lineup as well.

Of course, there are plenty of big boppers beyond Machado, and the Orioles may be graduating another in Austin Hays, who hit .329 with a .958 OPS between two minor-league stops last year. But Jonathan Schoop, Trey Mancini and Tim Beckham probably maxed out their potential last year, and Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo are old enough that a disappointing 2017 may be a sign of something more ominous.

Orioles in Scott's Top 300
PlayerRoto RankH2H RankRoto Pos RankH2H Pos Rank
#15 #17 #3 #3
#58 #63 #6 #5
#116 #129 #29 #29
#133 #101 #36 #33
#180 #226 #25 #27
#197 #172 #55 #56
#211 #259 #53 #63
#212 #263 #54 (at OF) #64 (at OF)
#228 #251 #58 #57
#258 #272 #30 #34

Players in Scott's Top 100 Prospects

Orioles prospects
17 Austin Hays
Despite slipping to the third round, Hays was as productive as any hitter from the 2016 draft class, Nick Senzel included, but he still has some strides to make against secondary stuff. He also lacks patience but makes a ton of contact considering his power, and he already has a job open for him.
Scott's 2018 Fantasy impact: pencil him in
85 Chance Sisco
The possibility of Sisco starting for the Orioles would be more exciting if he hadn't stopped doing the one thing that made him special, which is hit for average. The career .311 hitter across five minor-league seasons obviously fell short of that mark last year, but it may have been a total fluke. We'll find out soon enough.
Scott's 2018 Fantasy impact: pencil him in

Things to Know

  • Notice who's missing from my top 300? Zach Britton, who we all regarded as an elite closer at this time a year ago, suffered through an injury-plagued 2017 and then, adding injury to injury, ruptured his Achilles tendon this offseason. It's something that can sideline a player for a full year, though he's hoping to return in May. I'd rather draft Brad Brach and take it from there.
  • There's no typo in the projected lineup below. Manny Machado will get a chance to play shortstop full-time, with Tim Beckham shifting over to third base, now that J.J. Hardy is out of the picture. It's his natural position, and he has performed up to the task in limited opportunities there. The impending eligibility makes him a borderline first-rounder in Fantasy.
  • Dylan Bundy became a different pitcher, recording the first three double-digit strikeout games of his career, when he began leaning on his hybrid slider/cutter again down the stretch after de-emphasizing it midseason. It's the pitch that made him a top prospect to begin with, but he has had to abandon it at times because of health or feel. There's still upside to be had here.
  • Chris Davis had a dreadful 2017, but his high strikeout rate and extreme fly-ball tendencies have always made him a high-variance performer. By now we should be used to his fickle production and happy to grab the 40-homer potential if it slips to the late rounds.
  • Trey Mancini hit for average and power as a rookie last year, but the average was built on a .352 BABIP, and the power came in spite of a 29.7 percent fly-ball rate. Be careful not to overpay for something that appears to be unsustainable.

Lineup & Rotation

Batting order    
                
1 Tim Beckham 3B
2 Manny Machado SS
3 Jonathan Schoop 2B
4 Adam Jones CF
5 Trey Mancini LF
6 Chris Davis 1B
7 Mark Trumbo DH
8 Chance Sisco C
9 Austin Hays RF
Pitchers                             
SP Dylan Bundy
SP Kevin Gausman
SP Andrew Cashner
SP Chris Tillman
SP Gabriel Ynoa
CL Brad Brach
RP Mychal Givens
RP Darren O'Day
Senior Fantasy Writer

Raised in Atlanta by a board game-loving family during the dawn of the '90s Braves dynasty, Scott White was easy prey for the Fantasy Sports, in particular Fantasy Baseball, and has devoted his adulthood... Full Bio

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