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. I have broken down these players myself, thus number five may surprise you if you read other ranking sources, but trust me, Mike Belfiore is going to make a difference for the Baltimore Orioles one day, and perhaps very soon.
Belfiore was a first round selection in the 2009 MLB draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and remained in the Arizona organization till early in 2012 where he was sent to Baltimore to complete the Josh Bell trade. The 24 year old left handed pitcher has a great frame (6'2'' 220lbs) and has four solid pitches with a fastball, slider, curve ball and change-up. His fastball ranges in the low 90's (from a 3/4 arm slot) and his slider has a nice sweeping action to it that lefties struggle to hit and righties tend to watch enter the back door.
Mike originally began his professional career as a starter, but made the transition in 2011 to the bullpen and has really flourished in that roll. 2012 was his first full season as a reliever and Mike had one impressive year. In 12 appearances with Visalia (advanced class A in Arizona organization) he had a miniscule 2.37 ERA with 28 strikeouts in just 19 innings pitched and only gave up five walks. That is a nice just under 6:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Once Belfiore arrived in the Orioles organization, he did not miss a beat as he appeared in 28 games for the AA Bowie Baysox compiling a 2.85 ERA in 47 1/3 innings while striking out 50.
Belfiore also took part in the Arizona Fall League this year that concluded not long ago and represented the Orioles very well earning a spot in the Arizona Fall League Rising Stars game, their equivalent of an All-Star game. Orioles101 recapped the AFL season and how the Orioles organizational players performed earlier in November.
Mike was kind enough to sit down with us for an interview and respond to some questions for Orioles101 and our readers.
Orioles101: First, let me thank you for taking the time to respond to a few questions for our readers and congratulations on being placed on the 40-man roster. Does that give you any additional motivation for this offseason?
Thank you, it was very exciting news. Being placed on the 40-man roster brings me a step closer to where I want to be. The offseason has always been a time where I work my hardest to improve as a player, which will help me reach my goals.
Orioles101: After being in the Arizona organization your entire professional career, what went through your mind when you got the news you were coming to Baltimore?
It was a huge shock to me. It was strange having to say goodbye to my teammates of such a long time, but I was really excited to start a new chapter in my career.
Orioles101: You had a good showing in the Arizona Fall Leauge this year, what was that experience like?
It was an incredible experience that really helped me grow as a pitcher in terms of skill and mindset. I was facing some of the best competition out there, so I really had to learn how to adapt and improve.
Orioles101: Orioles fans are just now learning who Mike Belfiore is, how would you describe your pitching style? And if you need one pitch, what do you throw?
My mindset when pitching is focused and aggressive. You can't play this game being timid, especially when you're on the mound. Each situation calls for a different pitch, but it helps that I have confidence in locating my fastball.
Orioles101: What are you looking forward to most in playing in the Baltimore Orioles organization?
So far, I've really enjoyed getting to know some of the players and coaches within the organization. I'm excited to continue to be a part of the same winning atmosphere as the Orioles had last year.
Orioles101: Last one for you, who wins this year's Super Bowl?
The hardest question you've asked yet! I'm a diehard Jets fan, but that's not looking too promising. I'm going to have to go with the Broncos – Peyton Manning is a genius and they have a great defense. They'll be a tough team to beat.
Orioles101: I just want to thank you for taking the time for this interview, Orioles fans hope to see you at the Yard soon and good luck this season!
No problem and thanks for the interview!
Mike is the pure definition of an ace up the sleeve as he is a very good left handed reliever who left handed hitters have trouble hitting, and I believe Baltimore will see Belfiore this season at some point.
Orioles101's top ten Orioles prospects list:
- #10 Clay Schrader
- # 9 Branden Kline
- #8 L.J. Hoes
- #7 Jason Esposito
- #6 Glynn Davis
- #5 Mike Belfiore
- Stay tuned for the rest of our list!
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