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Maybe They’ll Fly Elsewhere…

photo: Eric Garfield
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Time to say farewell to a few prospects who won’t be among their way up the Orioles esteemed organizational ladder. Good luck to them as well as the farmhands traded away in an effort to improve the entire roster.

Robert Martinez got called up to Delmarva the last time I was here so we celebrated together with KFC. It stings that he’s cut from the org while I’m here now. He’s a quick twitch athlete who can make and finish plays. Due to his appearances both on the transaction wire and the lineups at a couple of affiliates he’s now a minor league veteran. I strongly believe that he can help a team’s plans to improve youngsters defensively as well as on the mound, Martinez makes the kind of catches and smart plays that save runs. First base is actually where I’ve seen him be best with the glove but he is a more natural 2B. Running catches come with a much better arm than you’d think in the OF, he’s a fine LF that keeps runners honest. In terms of personality he’s a quiet guy but not shy or lacking in confidence.

Speaking of runners, another release was the burst-blessed OF Junior Lara. It’s too bad that he won’t get his shot with the O’s as he had just worked his way back from rehab. He’s a focused player with some serious gifts, it would be a surprise if he didn’t land elsewhere. Scouts know he can run and throw while there’s room for growth in his offensive skill set. Lara is creative and introspective, there’s a lot that he’s interested in as far as creativity and off field interests. I hope he can shelve them for a decade or so while he gets rich stealing bases and hitting triples.

Another great runner who the Orioles have moved on from is OF Carlos Vicioso. Like Lara, it can be a few strides or a 60-75 foot pursuit of a fly ball but you can always see that Vicioso has speed to spare. Yet where Lara has a better throwing foundation skill wise, Vici is so smooth when it comes to range/catching. He’s truly one of those defenders who has an ‘I can get to anything’ mentality. Watching a few reps of him honing that skill left me really impressed. He knows it too.

Eruviel Castillo is a corner/DH type. He’d thrive with more ABs where prioritizing a potentially elite hand-eye coordination based skill set could lay the foundation for a good player. Watching at this level there have been several players who the same thing could be said about, the separator for Castillo being his barrel consistency. He usually has a noticeably level cut and contact occurs on the big part of the bat right at his hip. Lots of up the middle line drives.

Over the last few seasons we’ve seen C Michel Mantecon play quite a few roles on various affiliates. Quick pop times as well as sturdy throwing fundamentals mean he should get a shot to catch pens or games somewhere soon. Being good at defense means catchers can find gigs so there’s a good chance he finds a home soon.

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