C- Matt Wieters
This is a tough one because the Orioles are going to need to cough up a lot of money in order to keep Wieters in Baltimore. He will become a free agent right before the 2016 season and the Orioles likely have to agree to a long-term deal with Wieters before he hits free agency in order to keep him in town.
Wieters is dominant defensively and finally showed the offensive production the team was waiting to see earlier this season before he got hurt. He’ll need to prove that he can come back fully healthy in order for the Orioles to hand him big money.
I think the O’s will give him the long-term deal though, as there’s no one in the farm system that seems capable of being the future starting catcher in Baltimore as of right now. Buster Posey got $167 million from the Giants and the Orioles will have to pay around that range in order to keep Wieters.
1B- Christian Walker
Christian Walker is tearing the cover off the ball down in the minors and has the ability to become the future starting first baseman. The South Carolina product has hit .319 in Double-A, with 15 homeruns and 47 RBI’s.
Walker is a very patient hitter, which is the reason he has been so successful in the minors. Don’t be surprised if he makes his way onto the Orioles by the end of the season. He could be the future at first base, especially if Baltimore can’t keep Chris Davis. (As you can see from this; I don’t think they will keep Davis).
2B- Jonathan Schoop
Schoop has had an up-and-down rookie season so far, but he is definitely the future second baseman for the team. His average is lacking at .226, but he shows off surprising power and is a future 20-25 home run type of hitter.
Schoop also started off the year playing third base for injured Manny Machado, but is now back at second base and is finally settling in. Look for Schoop to be at second base for a while.
SS- J.J. Hardy
J.J. Hardy will be here in 2016; I’m pretty sure of that one. The fan favorite has been one of the best overall shortstops in the AL since coming to Baltimore and I don’t see the team letting him test free agency after this season. The power hasn’t shown up yet this season, but he’s batting .306 so far.
Contract talks seemed to have broken off for now, but I see Dan Duquette finding a way to pick them back up soon and will keep the Gold Glover as an Oriole.
3B- Manny Machado
No surprise with this one, so there’s not much to write about it. Manny might move to shortstop though if Hardy isn’t kept in Baltimore.
OF- Adam Jones
Jones is one of the top outfielders in the game and even though he has a frustrating plate approach, there’s no arguing with his numbers. We all know he’ll be here because of the big contract he signed, so let’s enjoy Adam Jones for as long as we can.
OF- Nick Markakis
Markakis is another player that I’m positive the Orioles will keep in Baltimore. He has been Mr. Consistency, and while the power has been down the last couple of seasons, Markakis owns a career .292 average.
He is also one of the better right fielders in the AL, and just like Hardy, I see Mr. Duquette making sure Markakis stays in an Orioles uniform.
OF- Dariel Alvarez
Dariel Alvarez signed with the Orioles out of Cuba and has put up incredible numbers this season in Double-A, with 10 homeruns, 44 RBI’s and is batting .326. He should move up to Triple-A pretty soon and seems to be the future.
The O’s don’t have a clear-cut left field option and Alvarez could end up filling that void very soon for the team.
DH- Henry Urrutia
I’m sorry to disappoint you if you were hoping to see Nelson Cruz’s name here. However, he’s going to make big money after the season and the Orioles won’t be able to afford him.
I’m taking a guess with Urrutia being the future here, as the Orioles could sign someone to take over this spot. However, I do expect Urrutia to be a part of the team in the 2016, whether it’s at DH or a fourth outfielder, so I’ll put him here.
SP- Dylan Bundy
We’ve been waiting a long time to see Dylan Bundy enter the Orioles’ rotation and the wait should be over pretty soon.
Bundy is just about ready to start his rehab assignment and could join the Orioles toward the end of July.
He’s a future ace for Baltimore if he can prove to come back healthy and ready to go.
SP- Kevin Gausman
Gausman is one of those pitchers that could be a star if he can just find a way to put it together in the majors. His minor league stats are incredible and he shows off great locating skills with his pitches.
Gausman needs to find a way to put it all together, and if he does, and should prove to be the O’s No. 2 starter.
SP- Hunter Harvey
Harvey looks to be another special piece that will be added to the Orioles rotation, as he’s been blowing away hitters in Single-A.
He’s managed to strike out 64 batters in 53.2 innings and owns an impressive 1.68 ERA. Harvey should move through the minors quickly and could give the O’s a powerful trio with Bundy and Gausman.
SP- Chris Tillman
Tillman is the ace of the O’s staff for now, but will likely slide down when all the young arms come up.
He’s been solid, but is having trouble in the first inning in his starts this season. However, he offers a strong arsenal and should still be in the rotation by 2016.
SP- Wei-Yin Chen
Chen has been one of the better pitchers in the rotation for Baltimore, as he been pretty consistent in the last three years for the Orioles. He’d be great to keep as a back-end starter the time the 2016 season roles around.