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Which O's pitching prospect makes the biggest impact?

With Orioles pitchers and catchers participating in their first workout today in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., I started thinking about the potential impact of the prospects in the future.

There are several pitchers in the Orioles' spring training camp who aren't likely to make the Opening Day roster. These prospects are participating in workouts primarily to show the organization what they're able to do to help the team down the road. Of course, some of these players have a better chance at making the team to start the 2009 season than others, and they're all at different spots in their development.

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It's always possible that unforeseen circumstances could cause these players to never make a contribution in the major leagues. Injuries are the biggest culprit to derail an organization's long-term plans, but the Orioles have numerous options in their minor league system. So, it's likely that at least a few pitching prospects will make some contributions -- large or small -- at the major league level.

Measuring potential impact in the major leagues can be done in several ways. We can talk about which players will be the first to begin playing for the Orioles, or we can discuss which pitchers will have the longest career in Baltimore. We can even rank the players based on short-term success that helps the team win more games in a few seasons -- and maybe a World Series championship.

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I want to hear what everyone thinks about this topic.

First, in your opinion, tell me what's more important to a pitcher's impact for the Orioles -- personal dominance or team success. Is it more important for you as an Orioles fan to see a pitcher win 20 games or lead your team to the playoffs?

Next, I want to know which player you believe will fulfill your requirements. If you think it's more important to meet individual goals, like winning a Cy Young Award, tell me which pitcher is most likely to do that. Will Jake Arrieta (pictured), Brad Bergesen, David Hernandez, Brian Matusz, Chris Tillman or another pitching prospect play a bigger role in leading the Orioles back to contention in the American League East?

I've thrown out some names above, but didn't include other prospects on purpose to see how many people would mention them. Personally, I've talked about how impressed I am with Arrieta in the past and that hasn't changed. He is still the one prospect that I think will make the biggest impact in the major leagues in the future.

Oh, and if you're wondering, I'm including individual and team success in that prediction.

What are your thoughts?

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Feel free to publish your comments below, but also vote for your choices in a poll here.

Photo credit: Getty Images

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