In discussing why the Orioles haven't made any splashy offseason moves, executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette has said numerous times that future success is going to hinge on what the club already has, with an emphasis on improving through drafting and developing young talent.
And while Baltimore's farm system isn't as plentiful as that of some of its divisional foes, it does boast Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman, two of baseball's top pitching prospects, who could arrive in the Major Leagues in 2013. The young right-handers -- Bundy is 20 and Gausman is 22 -- were ranked second and 37th, respectively, when MLB.com released its Top 100 Prospects list Tuesday night, further solidifying their up-and-coming status.
The annual ranking of baseball's biggest and brightest young talent is assembled by MLB.com's Draft and prospect expert Jonathan Mayo, who compiles input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, closeness to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. The list, which is one of several prospect rankings on MLB.com's Prospect Watch, only includes players with rookie status in 2013.
Bundy was ranked the top pitching prospect and was second overall behind Rangers shortstop Jurickson Profar when the list was unveiled live on MLB Network. Bundy made his big league debut last year but was only used a handful of times in relief. While he will be in Major League camp, he is expected to get some more seasoning and at least start the year in the Minor Leagues.
The fourth overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Bundy pitched to a 9-3 record and a 2.08 ERA in 23 Minor League starts in his first full professional season last year. He pitched for three affiliates, compiling 119 strikeouts in 103 2/3 innings and went 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in three starts for Double-A Bowie before being promoted to the O's.
Gausman pitched in five games in his first pro season, spending time at short-season Aberdeen and with advanced Class A Frederick. The Orioles' top pick -- fourth overall -- last year, Gausman was selected as a Draft-eligible sophomore out of LSU. He ranks No. 15 among right-handed pitching prospects, who were the most common of the Top 100 with 37 spots.
Gausman and Bundy were the O's only representatives on Tuesday's list, joining six other clubs with two Top 100 Prospects, including American League East rival Toronto. The Red Sox and four other clubs topped the list with six selections, while the Rays had five prospects named and the Yankees three.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, and follow her on Twitter @britt_ghiroli.