Orioles Prospect Over/Unders

As we prepare for the start of the 2012 season, it's time to have a little fun. We will play the over/under game. Here are some statistical predictions for several different players and categories. We have given our predictions, and will now take the discussion to our subscriber-only forums. How many stolen bases with Xavier Avery have? What will be L.J. Hoes' BA in 2012? All that and more inside

Stolen Base Total For Xavier Avery - 37: Avery swiped 38 bases in 2010 between his time in Frederick and Bowie, and 36 in 2011 where he spent the entire season with Bowie. He has a career on-base-percentage of .324 in 4 minor league season, so he figures to get his share of opportunities in 2012. What hurts Avery the most are his strikeout numbers (130 in 2010 and 156 in 2011). He is coming off being named a Rising Star this offseason in the Arizona Fall League and it looks like he could be gaining some discipline at the plate. I believe all of these add up to Avery setting a career high on the base paths. OVER

Earned Run Average For Bobby Bundy - 3.50: The 22-year old right-hander has a career ERA of 3.88. In 2011 however, Bundy had a career year. He spent most of the season in Single-A Frederick in which he went 11-5 with a 2.75 ERA. He struggled once he got called up to Bowie, going 1-3 with a 9.60 ERA in 4 starts. While with Frederick, Bundy's SO/BB ratio was nearly a point higher than his first two seasons as a pro. When he was promoted to Bowie, that SO:BB ratio dropped over two points, from 3.23 to 1.18. He appears set to start 2012 with Bowie. I think what we saw at Frederick was more representative of Bundy's abilities then what we saw in his brief stint with Bowie. He has another offseason under his belt and will build off of the success he had in 2011. UNDER

Batting Average For L.J. Hoes - .290: In 2011, Hoes split time between Single-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie. He started off slow offensively in Frederick, but once promoted he exploded offensively. He ended up hitting .305 (105-for-344) with 6 homers and 54 RBI in Bowie. Hoes has a short compact stroke and has no problem making consistent contact. He possesses the ability to hit for power and also has decent speed (20 stolen bases in 2011). He has some Double-A experience under his belt in which he performed very well. With that confidence and another offseason, I think we see Hoes have another successful campaign. OVER

K/9 Rate For Steve Johnson - 8.5: Johnson split time in 2011 between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. He was much more effective in his 10 starts at Bowie (5-1) than he was in Norfolk (2-7). Johnson's fastball is fairly straight, but he does counter that with a nice curveball. He gave up four more hits a game in Norfolk than he did in Bowie, his walk numbers were also down per nine innings, and his K/9 went from 3.93 to 1.34. Johnson figures to spend much of 2012 with Norfolk and needs to improve his ratios. I think Johnson has a better go at Triple-A this year than he did in 2011, however, I believe that his K/9 rate will be closer to 8.0. As long as he is walking fewer hitters, the Orioles will take a lower K/9 rate. UNDER

On Base Percentage For Alexander Mercedes - .390: The 19-year old spent the 2011 season playing for in the Dominican Summer League for the Orioles. In his second year as a professional, he saw a huge increase in his offensive production. His OBP last season was .405. He set career highs in every statistical category. He hit .317 with five triples and 22 RBI. He has great awareness at the plate, walking 26 times as opposed to striking out 18 and he also has speed on the base paths. Mercedes is listed as a shortstop but played the entire season at second base. He appears ready for a promotion to the Gulf Coast League. Who knows how he will do coming to the US to play, but with his discipline at the plate and speed, he should find himself on base plenty in 2012. OVER

Batting Average For Jonathan Schoop - .290: Schoop had a pretty good third year in the Orioles farm system. He belted 13 homers and plated 71 RBI splitting the season in Delmarva and Frederick. He was also selected to play in the 2011 MLB Futures Game during All-Star Weekend. Schoop's compact swing and ability to hit for power has risen him to the upper rankings of the Orioles prospect charts. He appears set to start the season in Single-A Frederick where he hit .271 last season. Depending on how he starts the season, he could see some action in Double-A Bowie, which could lead to a lower BA while getting adjusted the pitching. I think he starts 2012 strong in Frederick, makes the move up to Bowie midway through the season and takes a bit of time making the adjustment. Under

Homeruns for Manny Machado - 15: Machado had a tremendous first full season in the Orioles organization. He spent time in Delmarva and Frederick where he totaled 11 homers and 50 RBI. He has extremely quick hands and great bat speed that helps produce his above average power. He is an incredible athlete with a swing that looks smooth and effortless. With the experience he is getting in big league camp and assuming he begins the year in Frederick, I think Machado hovers closer to 20 homers in 2012. OVER

Number of Levels For Dylan Bundy - 1.5: Bundy is a freakish athlete who posses a fastball in the 97-98 mph range, a plus curve, a change-up and his out pitch which is a nasty cutter that comes in between 86-88 mph. Coming out of high school, it will be interesting to see how he adjusts to the extended season and shorter rest time. It will be interesting to see if the Orioles have him on an innings limit for the season as he makes the jump to pro ball. It is believed that Bundy will begin the season in Delmarva and most expect him to make the jump to Frederick at some point in the season. OVER

Number of Strikeouts for Jacob Martin - 115: The 42nd round pick in the 2010 draft made a pretty impressive five full season campaign. He went 12-4 with 106 strikeouts to only 45 walks. He started off the season in Delmarva going 5-4 before being promoted to Frederick where he went 7-0 with a 1.62 ERA. The left-hander isn't overpowering with a fastball that hovers around 88-91mph but he does mix his pitches well. This will be his second full season in the Orioles organization and the extra experience will yield another successful season. OVER

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