Since 2000, Baseball America has come out with their annual Prospect Handbook. For each team, readers get a chance to see: the top 30 prospects from the previous year, a projected lineup for a future season, the top draft picks of the decade, a list of who has the best tools in the organization and an overview of the organization (records for each team in the organization).

Most fans, however, focus their attention on the current year's top 30 prospects. A fun thing to do with old handbooks is to look back at those highly rated prospects and do a "where are they now" session.

Today, we will go back to the 2009 prospect handbook and take a look at how the top 5 Baltimore Oriole prospects have fared since that time.

1. Matt Weiters, C, Baltimore Orioles

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays

Weiters has more than proven that he was the best player in the Orioles' farm system at that time. Two of the book's editors even had Weiters as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball.

He is coming off of his third straight 20-homer season (he led all major league catchers in home runs last season with 22). He has also made two  AL All-Star teams (2011-2012) and won two  Gold Gloves (also from 2011-2012). Before being put on the DL with a right elbow injury, Weiters was hitting .308 with five home runs and 18 RBI's.

2. Chris Tillman, SP, Baltimore Orioles

chris tillman orioles 2014

Tillman was acquired in a 2008 trade with the Seattle Mariners that also included All-Star OF Adam Jones. He made his ML debut in 2009 and finished the season 2-5 with a 5.40 ERA.

After a rough 2010 and 2011 with the O's (he went a combined 5-10 with a 5.69 ERA), Tillman began to find his stride. 2012 saw Tillman improve mightily as he sported a 9-3 record with 2.93 ERA and 66 K's (in 15 starts).In 2013, Tillman led all Orioles starters in wins (16), ERA (3.71) and K's (179).

Tillman is considered by many to be the ace of the O's staff.

3. Brian Matusz, RP/SP, Baltimore Orioles

Brian Matusz orioles 2014

Drafted fourth overall by the O's in 2008, Matuz's short career has been marked by inconsistency.

Matusz blazed through Single-A Frederick  and AA Bowie with a combined 11-2 record, 1.91 ERA and 121 K's in 19 starts. Skipping AAA, Matusz won his Orioles debut on Aug. 4, 2009 against the Detroit Tigers. After his solid rookie campaign (5-2, 4.63 ERA), Matusz became a full time member of the starting rotation 2010.

He struggled all April through July and limped into August going 3-11 with a 5.46 ERA. From August to the end of the season, Matusz rebounded lowering his ERA to 4.30 and going 7-1 in his last 12 starts.

After an injury-plauged 2011 (1-9 in 12 starts) and an unspectacular start to 2012 (5-10, 5.42 ERA in 16 starts), Matusz was moved to his current role in the bullpen.

4. Jake Arrieta, SP, Chicago Cubs

jake arrieta cubs 2014

Arrieta was selected by the Orioles out of TCU in the fifth round of the 2007 MLB Draft. In his Orioles debut, he defeated the defending champion New York Yankees, 4-3. Arrieta went six innings, struck out six, gave up three earned runs and threw 106 pitches (six innings) in the win. He would finish his rookie season 6-6 with a 4.66 ERA.

Arrieta followed that up in 2011 by leading the O's with 10 wins. After being pulled in a Aug. 2 start versus the Yankees, Arrieta was shut down for the remainder of the year with an elbow injury. He got surgery on that elbow and returned to start on Opening Day in 2012.

After winning that first start, Arrieta struggled, winning only one game in May and June. On July 6, sporting a  3-9 record with a 6.13 ERA, the Orioles demoted him to AAA Norfilk until they called him back up in September to work out of the bullpen.

On July 2 of 2013, Arrieta was traded with Pedro Strop to the Chicago Cubs. This season, Arrieta is 1-1 with a 3.20 ERA through five starts.

5. Nolan Reimold, OF, Baltimore Orioles

nolan reimold orioles 2014

Reimold was selected in the second round of the 2005 draft by the O's. From 2005-2008, Reimold showed the potential to be a major middle of the order threat. In 2008, he finished second in home runs in the Eastern League (24) and driving in 84 runs.

After 31 games and nine more home runs, the Orioles called Reimold up to the bigs. That year, Reimold finished with a .279 average 14 home runs, 45 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 358 at-bats.

However, Reimold struggled in the early portion of the 2010 season Because of this, he was sent back down to AAA Norfolk where he played in 94 games (he it 10 home runs and drove in 37 runs there). He was brought back up to Baltimore for 10 games in September and October.

Reimold began his 2012 season  in Norfolk. On May 20, the Orioles promoted him back to the major league squad where he played the rest of the year. In his return, Reimold hit 13 home runs, 45 RBIs and 10 doubles in 267 ABs.

Due to neck/spine surgery, Reimold was only able to play in 56 games from 2012-2013. He is currently rehabbing, though it is uncertain when he will return.


Other notable players in this top 30 included: P Troy Patton (#8), Zach Britton (#12), L.J. Hoes (#14) and Caleb Joseph (#30).


Low price, available in multiple styles and colors!