In Dan Connolly's second-half preview, Orioles executive vice president Dan Duquette makes it pretty clear that he won't move Dylan Bundy or Manny Machado for a rental player before the trading deadline.
But there's no question teams will be asking the O's executive vice president about the organization's top two prospects.
In his new Top 50 Prospects rankings published Thursday, ESPN's Keith Law ranks Bundy the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball and Machado No. 3.
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They're the only Orioles prospects in the Top 50, and they rank only behind Texas Rangers shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar.
Law ranked the shortstop Machado No. 4 in the preseason and the right-handed pitcher Bundy 11th. The top three players in those preseason rankings -- Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Matt Moore -- are all in the majors now, thus no longer being considered prospects.
Here's Law's breakdown of Bundy:
Without his cutter, he is not quite the same animal he was in high school, although there is some logic in asking a pitching prospect to shelve his best off-speed pitch temporarily so he can develop his others -- a curveball and a changeup in this case, both projecting as grade 55 or 60 pitches -- and work on fastball command. Give Bundy back his primary out pitch and he could pitch in Double-A or higher right now.
And here's what he writes on Machado:
Fans disappointed in Machado's performance earlier this year weren't considering how young and inexperienced he was as an everyday player in Double-A. After an adjustment period when he was never struggling, just failing to meet expectations, he is having results more commensurate with his high ranking. He is not as close to ready as Profar is on offense or defense, although I think he'll stay at shortstop and has more potential power.
For more on the top 10 prospects in the Orioles organization, check out this week's Prospect Watch.