Orioles101 has received several requests to go through the Baltimore Orioles prospects and formulate a list of how these prospects rank. We strive to provide readers with information and articles that they want to read and we have compiled a top ten Baltimore Orioles prospect list, and we are now at number seven, Jason Esposito.
The O's drafted the now 22 year old Esposito in the 2011 First Year player draft with their second round draft pick (64th overall) out of Vanderbilt University. The Kansas City Royals originally drafted Jason in 2008 out of high school in the seventh round, but he did not sign and went to Vanderbilt. Esposito was the everyday third baseman at a stout Vanderbilt program, and brings with him a solid frame (6'2'' 200 lbs), a great baseball mind, solid glove and some extra base power. His arm is strong enough for the hot corner, and his hands are smooth defensively. While in the minors, he will need to work on his consistency at the plate in order to hit for a higher average as his somewhat choppy swing can screw with his timing at the dish.
Esposito made his professional baseball debut in 2012 with the low class-A Delmarva Shorebirds where he spent the entire season. He struggled somewhat in his first season in the pro's hitting just .209 in 473 at bats, but did drive in 51 and had a surprising eight stolen bases. Perhaps the most alarming aspect of his game that he struggled with was his glove as he committed 26 errors in 322 chances at third base. He did show some extra base power as 20 of his 99 hits went for extra bases, 13 doubles, 2 triples and 5 homers.
Jason will benefit greatly from the experience he gained in his first professional season, and the Orioles organization has a great deal of confidence in the player he can become as is evident by giving him a $600,000 signing bonus and starting him in Delmarva, rather than with the short season class-A Aberdeen Ironbirds. With third base still a question mark in the future once Manny Machado makes the move to shortstop for the Orioles, Esposito will have plenty of motivation to improve his skill set for a shot with the big league club. Fans should not expect to see Jason with the big league club for a few years as he has some fine tuning to do with his swing and glove, but could arrive as soon as late 2014 if he can improve. His potential and consistency at Vanderbilt is what brings him so high on our list.
Orioles101 Top Ten Baltimore Orioles Prospects List:
- #10 Clay Schrader
- #9 Branden Cline
- #8 L.J. Hoes
- #7 Jason Esposito
- Stay tuned for the rest of Orioles101's top ten Orioles prospects countdown.
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