As the Orioles continue to add new players to an already highly ranked farm system through the MLB draft, the prospects among the ranks currently continue to perform. Baltimore has been in this position before, with its second first overall pick in four drafts under executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias.

In 2019, the Orioles chose catcher Adley Rutschman, and now he’s emerging at the major league level. 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 another cycle for the Orioles, rejuvenating a prospect corps in which several recent top 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 said. “Clearly, our player development coaches do a tremendous job on that side of the organization.”

Entering the All-Star break, it was another strong week for Baltimore minor leaguers. The fresh crop — with 12 selections between the first two days of the draft — will report to the Florida Complex League for rookie ball after signing their contracts.

Each week, The Baltimore Sun will break down five of the top performers in the Orioles’ prospect ranks and hand out some superlatives for those who didn’t make that cut.

1. Triple-A Norfolk left-hander DL Hall

As Baltimore’s first-round pick in 2017, Hall is hitting his stride with Triple-A Norfolk, and a promotion to the Orioles appears to be coming sooner rather than later. The 23-year-old southpaw dealt with pitch tipping in two starts in June, leading to nine earned runs against him in 7 2/3 innings. But with that behind him, Hall has gone on a tear.

In his last four starts, Hall has struck out 40 batters, walked eight, allowed eight hits and given up only one earned run. His two performances last week featured no earned runs on four hits, five walks and 18 strikeouts. There’s no denying his ability to cultivate swings and misses. Perhaps there’s still pause regarding the walk numbers, but he allowed just one free pass in five innings Sunday.

2. Triple-A Norfolk infielder Gunnar Henderson

On top of playing in the MLB Futures Game in Los Angeles, Henderson had a strong week for Norfolk. In the Futures Game, he batted leadoff and scored two …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Orioles minor league report: With DL Hall and Gunnar Henderson, Baltimore’s best prospects perform brightest

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