Over at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron has begun a new feature: ranking each of the organizations. How is that a new feature? Well, instead of a power ranking of the current Major League squads or the farm systems, he's taking a holistic approach. Since I love his idea, I'm going to steal it for the Orioles.
Front Office: B+
Two years ago, this would have been a much, much lower rating and this paragraph would have talked about how the front office needed to overcome the meddlesome influence of Peter Angelos. Today? Andy MacPhail has proven he knows what he's doing, and Peter Angelos trusts him to execute. If the organization shows more of the analysis-based decision making they exhibited this offseason, this rating could become an A.
Major League Talent: B-
Nick Markakis, Brian Roberts, Adam Jones and Felix Pie are all reasons to be excited. The pitching staff, after Jeremy Guthrie, tempers that excitement quickly. Progress is definitely being made, but the club is still in search of long-term options for the left side of the infield, first base, and with starters two through five.
Minor League Talent: B+
The great: Matt Wieters. The good: Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman, Jake Arrieta. The solid: a host of other arms nearing contribution in Baltimore. The bad: a near total lack of position prospects behind Wieters.
If the positional talent in the organization can make the same strides the pitching talent did during the last 18 months, the Orioles will have all the makings of sustainable competitiveness in AL East.
UPDATE: Cameron has posted the Orioles, ranked # 16. Similar rankings to my own, but he breaks out Angelos and MacPhail. I gave a higher grade to the front office, a bit lower grade to the minor league talent, and a slightly higher overall grade. Still, the results are similar.