Baby Birdland's 2017 Mid-Season Top 15 Baltimore Orioles' Prospects: #6 LHP Tanner Scott

By Contributing Writer: Nick Stevens

Just as we did after the conclusion of the 2016 season, the writers here at Baby Birdland, as well as our primary photo supplier Patrick Cavey, all submitted a Top 15 list and we averaged those lists together to get our all encompassing Baltimore Orioles Top 15 Prospects list. Continuing on with our in-depth look at each of the Top 15 Orioles’ prospects, we have reached #6, left-handed pitcher Tanner Scott.

Photo: Patrick Cavey

Climbing up to number six on our Mid-Season Top 15 Prospects’ list is Bowie Baysox LHP Tanner Scott.

Back in January, I wrote a piece about Tanner Scott’s need for a bounce-back year in the Orioles’ farm system after three subpar seasons to begin his minor league career. I am ecstatic to report that Scott has bounced back and then some, to say the least.

Tanner has been working as a starting pitcher for the Bowie Baysox this season, but do not expect him to continue in that role as he moves up the organizational ladder. Instead, Tanner Scott should fit in as either a closer or set-up man for the Orioles. He could possibly replace Brad Brach or Zach Britton, should the Orioles make any moves here at the trading deadline.

In 19 starts for the Baysox, Scott has pitched a career-high 55.2 innings and posted a 1.94 ERA, his lowest since pitching to a 3.38 ERA in 2015 with the Aberdeen Ironbirds. His 2017 record stands at 0-1, but it is a very misleading stat. The Orioles are keeping Tanner on a three inning per outing limit, leaving him unable to qualify for any wins.

Why place Tanner Scott at #6 on our list? The lefty fireballer who is well-known for hitting triple digits on the radar gun is having a career season, highlighted by appearing for Team USA in the MLB Futures Game (1 IP, 1 ER, 2 K) and being named to the Eastern League All-Star Game (1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB)

Because of his dramatic improvements, Scott has climbed to the #6 prospect on our list. First, his 6.14 BB/9 (38 BB/55.2 IP) is more than two walks per nine innings lower than last season. The biggest issue with Scott has been the extremely high number of walks allowed. Lowering that number has come from slight mechanical adjustments acquired from watching one of the game’s best, Zach Britton.

Last season with Bowie, Scott’s BABIP was an astronomical .429. This year, his BABIP has fallen to a respectable .283, while stranding a career-high 85% of runners who have reached base. Still at a very young age, 23, all signs are pointing towards a bright future for the 2014 sixth round pick.

One note of caution with Scott. His groundball percentage is the lowest, by far, of his career at 48%. Despite the groundball rate, Tanner has given up just one home run this year. Scott’s career home-runs-allowed has ballooned to a total of two (yes, just two) over 185 innings.

While many fans are demanding a call-up for Scott, I’m not sold on the idea. I have no doubt Tanner Scott can be a solid bullpen guy for many years in Baltimore, but he needs to prove he can be consistent. I would like to see him finish the year with Norfolk if the Orioles’ front office is going to make a move with Scott. Though, should we see a few big league relievers depart at the trade deadline, fans may get their wish and see Tanner at Camden Yards come September.

If you are not already, stay up-to-date with everything Orioles’ minor league baseball by following @BabyBirdland, @CoachNick_14, and @CABoemmelJR on Twitter for all the latest news and analysis.

Of the five lists submitted by Baby Birdland writers, Scott appeared on all five of them and was ranked as high as 3rd.

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