Orioles minor league report: With DL Hall and Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore’s greatest prospects carry out brightest


As the Orioles proceed so as to add new gamers to an already extremely ranked farm system by way of the MLB draft, the prospects among the many ranks at the moment proceed to carry out. Baltimore has been on this place earlier than, with its second first total decide in 4 drafts beneath government vp and basic supervisor Mike Elias.

In 2019, the Orioles selected catcher Adley Rutschman, and now he’s rising on the main league degree. On Sunday, Baltimore drafted shortstop Jackson Holliday, the son of seven-time MLB All-Star Matt Holliday, out of Stillwater High School in Oklahoma. It begins one other cycle for the Orioles, rejuvenating a prospect corps wherein a number of current prime draft picks are nearing the majors.

“A combination of having all the data available to us, communication, effective logistics and resource planning has kind of allowed us to ultimately get to this point,” Orioles director of draft operations Brad Ciolek mentioned. “Clearly, our player development coaches do a tremendous job on that side of the organization.”

Entering the All-Star break, it was one other sturdy week for Baltimore minor leaguers. The recent crop — with 12 alternatives between the primary two days of the draft — will report back to the Florida Complex League for rookie ball after signing their contracts.

Each week, The Baltimore Sun will break down 5 of the highest performers within the Orioles’ prospect ranks and hand out some superlatives for many who didn’t make that minimize.

1. Triple-A Norfolk left-hander DL Hall

As Baltimore’s first-round decide in 2017, Hall is hitting his stride with Triple-A Norfolk, and a promotion to the Orioles seems to be coming sooner moderately than later. The 23-year-old southpaw handled pitch tipping in two begins in June, resulting in 9 earned runs towards him in 7 2/3 innings. But with that behind him, Hall has gone on a tear.

In his final 4 begins, Hall has struck out 40 batters, walked eight, allowed eight hits and given up just one earned run. His two performances final week featured no earned runs on 4 hits, 5 walks and 18 strikeouts. There’s no denying his capacity to domesticate swings and misses. Perhaps there’s nonetheless pause relating to the stroll numbers, however he allowed only one free go in 5 innings Sunday.

2. Triple-A Norfolk infielder Gunnar Henderson

On prime of taking part in within the MLB Futures Game in Los Angeles, Henderson had a powerful week for Norfolk. In the Futures Game, he batted leadoff and scored two runs. He confirmed off his pace when he ran from dwelling to first in 4.19 seconds, in keeping with Statcast. Henderson, who ranks because the Orioles’ second-best prospect, in keeping with Baseball America, additionally knocked two triples as a part of his three hits in three video games for the Tides, bringing his season OPS to .889 since being promoted to Triple-A.

3. Double-A Bowie infielder Joey Ortiz

Since the promotions of Jordan Westburg and Henderson to Norfolk, Ortiz has discovered himself extra common taking part in time at shortstop for Bowie. And past what he’s accomplished within the discipline, Ortiz’s manufacturing on the plate has been particularly spectacular. The former fourth-round decide in 2019 out of New Mexico State recorded seven hits final week, together with two dwelling runs, to put up a 1.283 OPS.

4. Double-A Bowie outfielder Colton Cowser

For the second straight week, Cowser finds himself within the minor league report, constructing on a powerful July since his call-up from High-A Aberdeen to Bowie on the finish of June. In 5 video games final week, Cowser clubbed three dwelling runs as a part of 5 hits, and whereas his strikeout price has been a priority, he struck out simply twice in 19 at-bats. Cowser was Baltimore’s first-round decide in 2021, and he ranks because the sixth-best prospect within the group. He’s beginning to climb nearer to the head.

5. High-A Aberdeen right-hander Ignacio Feliz

Feliz began the yr as a reliever for Aberdeen, however the 22-year-old from the Dominican Republic has extra routinely been used as a starter for the reason that finish of May. He produced the perfect outing of his season final week, finishing six innings for the primary time whereas permitting only one hit with two walks and 7 strikeouts. Feliz has bounced round, from the Cleveland Guardians to the San Diego Padres earlier than the Orioles grabbed him off waivers. His growth has been sluggish, however he appeared sturdy final week.

Top prospect not featured thus far

With Rutschman graduating from the prospect rankings and right-hander Grayson Rodriguez rehabbing his proper lat muscle harm in Florida, the top-ranked prospect but to be mentioned at size is Westburg, the infielder from Mississippi State who performs for Triple-A Norfolk. By his requirements, the No. 4 prospect had a quiet week: Westburg hit .211, with 4 singles and one stroll with 5 strikeouts. But his total efficiency has been higher — he has a 0.903 OPS in 32 video games with Norfolk.

International acquisition of the week

With a capability to play throughout the infield, Roberto Martinez has discovered extra of a house at first base for Low-A Delmarva, and that’s the place the 20-year-old from the Dominican Republic did most of his injury this week. He recorded eight hits with 5 doubles whereas driving in three runs. Martinez struck out 5 occasions in 5 video games, which is a knock on his recreation — in his 25 video games for the Shorebirds, he has 27 strikeouts and 6 walks.

The greatest former top-30 prospect of the week

After Baseball America up to date its midseason prospect rankings, outfielders Yusniel Diaz and Robert Neustrom dropped from the top-30 listing. But each batters struggled this week with Norfolk, leaving outfielder Zach Watson as the previous top-30 prospect of the week. In 9 at-bats with Double-A Bowie, he hit a house run and a single, driving in two runs within the course of. Overall, Watson’s work on the plate has been missing, with a .190 common regardless of six homers exhibiting some pop from the previous third-round decide in 2019 out of LSU.

Time to offer some shine to …

Featuring primarily as a starter for Low-A Delmarva, right-hander Ryan Long compiled the perfect begin of his season Friday. He accomplished six innings for the primary time, permitting three hits and one stroll with out giving up a run. He fanned 5 batters, too. A Seventeenth-round decide in 2021, Long is taking part in his first season with an affiliate.

Short-season snippets

There can be a brand new crop of gamers in short-season ball later this summer season following the draft, however just a few standouts this week embrace 18-year-old outfielder Wilmer Feliciano within the Dominican Summer League. In 4 video games, he had a homer and a double as a part of 4 hits. Angel Tejada, a shortstop within the Florida Complex League, added 4 hits in three video games. And third baseman Toby Welk, within the FCL on a rehab task, recorded two hits in two video games.

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