Baltimore Orioles: Top Defensive Infielders

Inside The Warehouse ranks the top ten defensive infielders in the Baltimore Orioles' minor league system.

#10 Brandon Snyder- Although he has seen less than twenty games as a professional first baseman and is said to be returning to catcher in 2008, count me in the camp that believes his long-term home is likely to be at third base. Snyder was mostly a shortstop in high school and shows soft hands in the field. His range is limited and his arm strength no more than average, but he is a diligent worker who has shown the aptitude to make a successful transition.

#9 Miguel Abreu- A versatile defender, Abreu has been used at both third base and second base in his brief professional career. He saw most of his action at second base in spring training and thus far for the Shorebirds. He has good actions and a strong arm, but he sometimes has trouble turning the double play.

#8 Tyler Henson- A raw prep talent selected in the 5th round of the 2006 draft, Henson was also a pitcher and an accomplished quarterback in high school. It's no surprise, then, that his arm is a standout tool. He has seen time at third base and shortstop and should stick somewhere on the left side of the infield with more experience.

#7 Bryan Bass- The former first round pick has disappointed at the plate, but the 25 year old's athleticism shines through on defense. He is a plus defender at third base and has even seen time at shortstop when needed.

#6 Jedidiah Stephen- Jed-i-DI-uh, as he was better known to Ironbirds fans last season, is a defense-first shortstop. He is a good athlete and can make the acrobatic play. His arm is also a plus tool.

#5 Blake Davis- Aside from being one of the most pleasant surprises in the system at the plate in the early going, Davis is also a polished defender. His range and hands play well at shortstop but there is some concern about his arm strength. If he does move, it will be to second base, where he will be a plus defender.

#4 Eider Torres- Added to the 40 man roster this off-season, Torres has added athleticism and versatility to the Norfolk Tides. He's seen time at both middle infield positions and, in the past, has even played centerfield. His best defensive position is second base, where his good range and reliability will be a boon to the Tides' pitching staff.

#3 Pedro Florimon- He is still somewhat unrefined with 7 errors through his first 20 games, including 3 in a tough outing on Sunday. Yet, Florimon's raw defensive ability gets scouts excited. He has enough range for shortstop and a throwing arm that rivals Miguel Tejada's. With more experience, it's not hard to imagine him as a big league shortstop.

#2 Brandon Fahey- We're cheating a bit here because Fahey has clearly exhausted his prospect status, but he is an excellent defender at shortstop. He has above-average range to both sides and soft hands, even if they weren't on display in the great left-field experiment of 2006. His arm is solid and very accurate. Fahey has seen some time at second base with the Tides, but that is merely an indicator that the Orioles want to increase his versatility.

#1 Luis Hernandez- Although his bat has stagnated for the past two seasons, Hernandez's defensive prowess keeps him on the prospect map. He has above-average range for a middle infielder and his oft hands make even tough plays look easy. He also has a strong arm that plays well at shortstop.

Michael Hollman is the Senior Writer for Inside The Warehouse and can be reached via email at Publisher@InsideTheWarehouse.com


Inside The Os Top Stories