Bruce has become one of the top prospects in the game, while Snyder, after a solid rookie season in the minors, suffered a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. He has rehabilitated the injury, and Stockstill said he expects him to be ready for the start of Single-A Delmarva's season. However, in an effort to ease his recovery, Snyder, who was drafted as a catcher, will move to first base.
"Snyder may still turn out, but if you would have had Bruce following Markakis and then Rowell following Bruce, that would have been pretty good," said Callis, who praised the job Jordan has done. "The baseball draft is so different from the other drafts. ... In baseball, you are projecting guys like two or three years ahead. When it all comes down to it, about 90 percent or more of guys you draft don't even make it to the big leagues. ... Why is it that their pitchers are doing well and not their hitters? I am not sure. I think it is just cyclical."
Reimold, club officials say, is the closest to being big league-ready, but he struggled with injuries last year and hit just .255 with 19 home runs and 75 RBIs at Single-A Frederick. Orioles officials said they are still pleased with his progress, though he'll start this season at Double-A Bowie and the consensus is that he won't be ready to be an everyday major leaguer until 2009.
"We're not going to move them up too fast just to make them get here quicker," Stockstill said. "That's when you do more damage than good. So we have to do it through free agency, through the waiver wire, things like that to beef up until those younger kids are ready."
There is also the draft, and the Orioles will have the fifth overall selection this year. Jordan said it might be tempting to draft a college offensive player, rather than a high school prospect whose development may take longer.
"I'd really like an older guy that can get right in our system and get going," he said. "But at this point, I am still going to take the best guy available."
The Orioles' farm system is significantly short on impact position prospects, specifically at the upper levels. Here's a look at some of the top minor league position players with their position, level they are expected to play at this year, a prediction on when they'll be ready for the big leagues and a comment.
Player Pos. Level Big league arrival Comment
Ryan Adams 2B Low Single-A 2010 Has a lot of tools, but he's 20 and has history of hamstring problems.
Pedro Florimon SS Low Single-A 2010 Slick shortstop made tremendous strides offensively last season.
Kieron Pope OF Low Single-A 2011 May have the most power in the organization, though still extremely raw.
Nolan Reimold OF Double-A 2009 Is the closest to the majors among O's field prospects, but poor 2006 season casts doubts.
Bill Rowell 3B Low Single-A 2009 First-round pick last year could move quickly through system, but he's 18 years old.
Brandon Snyder C-1B Low Single-A 2010 Lost a year of development with shoulder surgery and will move from catcher to 1B.