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Baseball America honors four Orioles prospects

Four Orioles were listed in Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list, which was revealed earlier today.

Left-hander Brian Matusz leads the Orioles on the list at No. 5, followed by third baseman Josh Bell (No. 37), left-handed pitcher Zach Britton (No. 63) and right-handed pitcher Jake Arrieta (No. 99).

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The same four players were also included in the rankings by ESPN.com's Keith Law last month, and Matusz was the only Orioles prospect chosen by MLB.com.

Atlanta Braves outfield prospect Jason Heyward earned the top spot in Baseball America's rankings, while Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was No. 2.

Last season, Orioles catcher Matt Wieters was the No. 1 prospect, according to the publication. Orioles right-handed pitcher Chris Tillman was listed at No. 22 in 2009 by Baseball America, while Matusz (No. 25) and Arrieta (No. 67) also made the rankings.

Personally, I think Arrieta is ranked much lower than he should be. His decline in the list should be attributed more to the quality of other players eligible this season than any personal struggles in 2009, in my opinion.

Players are eligible for the list, according to Baseball America, if they have not exceeded 130 at-bats, 50 innings or 30 pitching appearances in the major leagues. They rate the players on long-term contributions in the major leagues, not necessarily expectations for 2010.

For additional analysis, check out Baseball America's breakdown.

What are your thoughts on the list? Do you agree with the rankings of the Orioles players?

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