FanGraphs is going through their annual organizational rankings, and the Orioles have come in at #15:
"Present Talent – 75.00 (T-20th)
Future Talent – 85.00 (T-5th)
Financial Resources – 76.67 (17th)
Baseball Operations – 76.82 (T-20th)
Overall Rating – 77.45 (15th)
There are many factors that go into why the Orioles ended up 15th, much higher than anyone (including most of our writers) expected. Before we get into those specific reasons, it is important to note just how bunched up the teams in the middle really are. Baltimore finished with an Overall Rating of 77.45, but the teams that finished in the 15-19 slots were separated by less than a single point. This means that the rankings were extremely tight, and there’s no real difference between the placements of the teams in this grouping. If you wouldn’t have been upset with Baltimore at #19, then treat this accordingly, as a small change in voting could have knocked them down several pegs"
When the 20 through 16 spots came and went, I was very surprised to see the O's not mentioned. I figured they had a middle of the road major league team, a middle of the road front office, a middle of the road financial situation, and a below average farm system. That lends itself to an organization that's a little below average. As the comment shows, 15th is not much different from 19th, which is about right. I don't understand the future talent rating being that high, since outside of Britton and Machado there isn't much to be excited about.
Interestingly, there hasn't been much progress with the team, as far as these rankings are concerned (though I imagine comparing in this way isn't exactly right). The O's were 17th last year, and 16th the year before.