Baltimore Orioles: Top Defensive Outfielders

Fio worked hard to be a versatile defender

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

#10 Nolan Reimold- Scouts are actually split about the virtues of Reimold's defense. He's a good athlete with a strong arm, but his routes can get adventurous in right field. There are people in the organization that believe it is just a matter of experience before he becomes a plus defender, but Reimold has his detractors as well.

#9 Val Majewski- Although he saw some time in centerfield in the lower minors, Majewski was being groomed as a right fielder before he tore the labrum on his throwing shoulder in 2004. He's been moved to left field in Bowie to protect his arm, but Majewski is a good athlete and a tireless worker who is an asset in an outfield corner.

#8 Luis Montanez - The third overall selection in the 2000 draft moved from the middle infield to the outfield in 2004 in an effort to jumpstart his bat. Despite only three seasons of experience, Montanez's impressive athleticism has allowed him to become comfortable at all three outfield positions.

#7 Bobby Andrews- All three primary outfielders rank in the top seven on this list and all three are capable of playing centerfield. Andrews has moved to left field in deference to Danny Figueroa, but his speed and range more than make up for his merely average arm strength.

#6 Luis Lopez- No, not that Luis Lopez. This Luis Lopez was the O's 21st round selection in the 2006 draft. Still more raw tools and projection than production, Lopez has the makings of a true centerfielder. Moreover, although he is still just 18 years old, his frame is such that he doesn't figure to lose a step as he matures.

#5 Jeff Fiorentino - Drafted as a catcher, Fiorentino's athleticism allowed him to immediately acclimate to being a professional outfielder. Before 2006, few would have though of him as someone who could handle centerfield (despite his primary position during his ill-advised cup-of-coffee in 2005), but Fiorentino worked hard to improve his routes to the ball. He has a chance to emerge as more than a fourth outfielder, but he has proven that he has the defensive versatility to handle such a role if needed.

#4 Arturo Rivas- Gifted with the best arm in the Orioles' minor league system, Rivas is an ideal right fielder defensively. However, he is also quite an athlete and has enough range to handle center when needed.

#3 Brandon Tripp- Tripp's offensive outburst so far in 2007 isn't so surprising if you consider his amateur background. He was actually a coveted prep product, but he slid to the 21st round in the draft in 2003 due to signability issues. Joe Jordan, then of the Florida Marlins, took a crack at him anyways, but even six figures couldn't deter him from his commitment to Cal. State- Fullerton. Jordan was finally able to get his man in 2006 with a 12th round selection, banking on his athleticism over an up and down collegiate career. Tripp is a very capable centerfielder, but has moved to right field for the Shorebirds because of his strong arm.

#2 Danny Figueroa- Ultra-athletic, but always injured, Figueroa has the most range of the Shorebirds' talented trio of outfielders. He's a plus-plus runner who can get good reads on flyballs. If his bat comes around, he still has potential as a legitimate prospect, even at 24 years old.

#1 Adam Stern- After ranking at #1 on this list and ITW's list of Top Speed Prospects, Stern's value as a future reserve outfielder becomes clear. Stern is a plus centerfielder with excellent range and a strong arm. If he can ever fulfill the potential he showed with the bat during the World Baseball Classic, the Orioles might have more than they bargained for when they traded away Javy Lopez to the Boston Red Sox.

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

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