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TRACK RECORD: A celebrated recruit who won Oregon high school state player of the year in 2016, Rutschman accomplished everything there was to do in college at Oregon State. He led the Beavers to the College World Series title and won CWS Most Outstanding Player in 2018, led USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team in nearly every offensive category the following summer and entered 2019 as the consensus top draft prospect in the class. He lived up to it by hitting .411 with a nation-leading .575 on-base percentage and won the BA College Player of the Year Award. The Orioles drafted him No. 1 overall and signed him for a draft-record $8.1 million. A case of mononucleosis after he signed delayed Rutschman's pro debut nearly a month, but he still climbed three levels after signing and wowed teammates and coaches at each stop, finishing with low Class A Delmarva for its playoff run. SCOUTING REPORT: Despite Rutschman's reputation as a tireless worker, there are no apparent holes in his game. Defensively, he's a pitcher's dream in terms of his advanced framing and above-average pop times on throws to second base. He called some of his own games as an amateur and took well to game-calling once he signed. At the plate, the switch-hitting Rutschman shows a swing tooled for both average and power, with a consistent path from both sides geared towards line drives and hard contact. His future outlook as a plus hitter with plus in-game power will be aided by his standout approach, one honed as opposing teams pitched around him his last year in college. Rutschman showed a similarly sharp eye in his pro debut, to the point his coaches began using his at-bats as an example to his new teammates. That's not to say Rutschman often singles himself out. Instead, he's touted as a tremendous teammate who will put his own goals behind the team's, and he has spoken about how the turnaround in the Orioles' minors suits him in terms of his pursuit of winning. THE FUTURE: A potential perennial all-star catcher with a middle-of-the-order bat landed on the Orioles' doorstep thanks to their dreadful 115-loss season in 2018. Already, Rutschman has become the face of the club's rebuild. The Orioles figure to start him at high Class A Frederick with an eye toward Double-A Bowie at midseason, which could put him on track for a 2021 debut in Baltimore.
TRACK RECORD: A pop-up prospect who signed for $4.3 million after remaking his body and delivery before his senior spring, Rodriguez became the latest Orioles pitching prospect to dominate his full-season debut at low Class A Delmarva. Just nine minor league pitchers with at least 90 innings struck out more batters per nine innings than Rodriguez's 12.4, and people took notice. Rodriguez was a South Atlantic League all-star, pitched in the Futures Game and shared Orioles minor league pitcher of the year honors. SCOUTING REPORT: The specialized training of his high school days allowed Rodriguez to grow significantly in 2019. His fastball sat 93-96 mph and got up to 98 late in the season. It projects as a potential plus-plus pitch with downhill plane and armside life. His curveball and slider alternate as his better breaking pitch depending on the day, but at their best his mid-70s curveball flashes plus and his low-tomid- 80s slider shows above-average. His changeup made great progress throughout the year and began flashing plus, giving him four pitches that miss bats to go with plus command. THE FUTURE: Rodriguez's first full season made him the clear top pitching prospect in the organization and one of the best in baseball. He will begin 2019 at high Class A Frederick.
TRACK RECORD: Hall's brief slide in the 2017 draft ended when the Orioles selected him 21st overall and signed him to a $3 million bonus. A dominant first full season in 2018 backed up the assessment that he was the top prep lefthander in his class. Hall spent too much time out of the strike zone in the first half of 2019 before a trip to the Futures Game set him straight. He logged a 2.67 ERA over his final five starts at high Class A Frederick before an oblique injury ended his season three weeks early. SCOUTING REPORT: Hall's electric arsenal is highlighted by a fastball that comfortably sits 93-96 mph deep into outings and touches 97. The easy life on his fastball gives it plus-plus potential. Hall's upper-70s curveball has lived up to its pre-draft reputation as a future plus pitch he can drop in for strikes, and he's had additional success with an average short slider he's developed as a pro. His low-80s changeup has also flashed plus potential with late fade. Hall struggled to throw strikes in 2019, but his athletic delivery is repeatable. He should develop average control as he more consistently attacks hitters. THE FUTURE: Hall has the raw stuff and pitch mix to be a mid-rotation starter or better. He'll open 2020 at Double-A.
TRACK RECORD: Hays put together one of the more impressive full-season debuts of any player in 2017. He hit .332 with 32 home runs between high Class A Frederick and Double-A Bowie and made his big league debut in September, becoming the first player from the 2016 draft to reach the majors. But Hays struggled through an ankle injury in 2018, missed the beginning of 2019 with a thumb injury and also dealt with a midseason hamstring injury before finally making his way back to the majors in September. SCOUTING REPORT: A highly aggressive hitter, Hays regained some of his opposite-field approach in 2019 after becoming too pull-heavy. His bat speed allows him to stay back on spin without sacrificing the ability to catch up to fastballs. He has above-average power and the raw tools to be an average hitter, though plate discipline has been a problem in the past. The Orioles looked at Hays' strikeout-to-walk ratio in September in the majors and deemed his year a success. He continues to show a plus arm with average range with good instincts in the outfield, earning him his first significant look in center field. THE FUTURE: Hays will compete for an Opening Day roster spot for the third straight year in 2020. He showed enough in September to be considered an immediate center field solution.
TRACK RECORD: A pure hitter who grew into power with a career-high 25 home runs in 2019, Mountcastle's bat has played at every level. He's been an all-star in each of the last three seasons, and his standout 2019 earned him the Triple-A International League's MVP award. But seemingly every promotion has come with a position change. Originally a shortstop and then moved to third base, Mountcastle played first base and left field in 2019. SCOUTING REPORT: Mountcastle's swing has always been his premier asset. His loose but quick hands allow him to adjust to whatever he's seeing and make him a potentially plus hitter. Offseason work to improve his swing path and add strength only boosted that outlook. While he's more of an above-average power threat than an on-base threat, Mountcastle showed an improved situational approach in 2019 to show he's not just a masher. The Orioles believe Mountcastle's well-below average arm will play better with the different arm swing required from left field, but the farther he moves down the defensive spectrum—being average anywhere is a stretch—the more pressure is put on his bat. THE FUTURE: Mountcastle is on the cusp of his major league debut in 2020. His bat is that of a firstdivision regular, but he has to find somewhere to play.
TRACK RECORD: Signed out of Cuba by the Dodgers for $15.5 million after the 2015 season, Diaz has spent three seasons in the U.S. trying to translate his considerable tools into consistent production. After being acquired in the Manny Machado trade in July 2018, Diaz impressed in his first big league camp with the Orioles, but a hamstring injury early and a quadriceps injury late limited him to 76 games in a stop-and-start year at Double-A Bowie. SCOUTING REPORT: Diaz has been trying to find a swing path that best utilizes his plus bat speed since turning pro. He's found success closing his stance and standing closer to home plate to cover more of the plate, but he's still prone to selling out for pull power. He produces with runners in scoring position and will take a walk. Overall, he projects as an above-average hitter with 20-home run power. Diaz is capable of filling in at center field but is best in right field, where his average speed and plus arm profile. His in-game habits and overall instincts are inconsistent, but his pregame work draws praise from coaches. THE FUTURE: Diaz has the tools to be an above-average everyday player, but hasn't consistently shown the production for it. He'll start 2020 at Triple-A Norfolk and will be in position to make his big league debut.
TRACK RECORD: Alabama's reigning Mr. Baseball also averaged a doubledouble on the basketball court as a senior. The Orioles made him the first pick of the second round and signed him away from an Auburn commitment for $2.3 million. Henderson debuted slowly in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League while adjusting to professional velocity on a daily basis, but he settled in to the Orioles' liking in August. SCOUTING REPORT: The Orioles have taken three prep shortstops on the first day of the draft in the last five years—Ryan Mountcastle, Adam Hall and Henderson—and it's the prolific offensive profile of Mountcastle that Henderson most closely resembles, albeit from the left side of the plate. Henderson has the bat speed and swing control to be an above-average hitter, and the Orioles saw plus raw power during his senior spring they believe he can eventually tap into. Henderson has a plus arm and the defensive actions to stay on the left side of the infield. If he outgrows shortstop with his projectable frame, he has the range, quickness and hands for third base. THE FUTURE: Henderson's offensive abilities alone give him a chance to become an above-average everyday player. He is set to begin 2020 at low Class A Delmarva.
TRACK RECORD: When the Orioles drafted Dylan Bundy, Kevin Gausman, and Hunter Harvey in the first round in three consecutive years, the trio was meant to be the foundation of their rotation. Harvey was spectacular in 2014, but he had Tommy John surgery in 2016 after two years of elbow soreness and made just nine starts in 2018 due to a shoulder injury. Fully healthy in 2019, he started in the Double-A rotation before moving to the pen and shooting to Baltimore. SCOUTING REPORT: Armed with a fastball that sat 97-99 mph and bumped 100 in his new relief role, Harvey increasingly looks the part of a closer, like his all-star father Bryan. Harvey backs up his four-seamer with an aboveaverage splitter like his father used, and he also has an above-average power curveball at 84-85 mph with good shape. Harvey's cross-body delivery still gives some observers pause and limits his control to average, at best. He has significantly filled out his frame, but his injury history affects his durability and likelihood of him ever starting. He has yet to show he can work back-to-back days regularly (he only did it once last year). THE FUTURE: Harvey's major league cameo made it clear he can be a late-inning reliever and possible closer for the Orioles. He'll be back in 2021 pitching in late relief as long as his health allows.
TRACK RECORD: Rare are the instances when one shares his organization's minor league pitcher of the year award, as Akin did in 2018, and follows it up with a purely developmental year in Triple-A. But that's what Akin did in 2019, when he was named an International League all-star and worked on the Orioles' mandate to get away from his fastball and feature his slider and changeup more heavily. He ended up with a career high strikeout rate (10.5), but also set a career high with 4.9 walks per nine innings. SCOUTING REPORT: The owner of an “invisi-ball” 90-94 mph fastball that jumps on hitters to draw late swings, Akin spent most of the season working on his low-80s slider and changeup. Both have the potential to be average to slightly above-average pitches that will play off his deceptive fastball. Akin works quickly with a simple, low-effort delivery, giving the impression his pitches may play up in the bullpen. His control regressed in 2019 as he worked on his secondaries, but he has shown average control in the past. Of greater concern is Akin's husky body, which he will have to watch carefully to maintain balance and durability. THE FUTURE: Akin will be in major league camp for the first time in 2020. He figures to be a rotation piece for the Orioles through their rebuild as a back-of-the-rotation starter.
TRACK RECORD: Each of Baumann's first two full seasons have included swift promotions, but the difference in 2019 was how things improved for him at his new level. Baumann pitched well at high Class A Frederick upon his promotion in 2018 and to start 2019, but he found another gear at Double-A Bowie in the second half. He threw a no-hitter on July 16 and anchored Bowie's playoff rotation on its playoff run, sharing the Orioles' minor league pitcher of the year award with Grayson Rodriguez. SCOUTING REPORT: While consistency has at times eluded Baumann, he is a good strike-thrower who was one of the primary beneficiaries of the team's new pitching development program and saw strides with all four pitches. His four-seam fastball has good spin and explodes on hitters, sitting 93-96 mph and reaching 99. His above-average slider at 88-89 mph has cutter action and sharp bite, while his highspin curveball and split-changeup each flash average potential. Baumann goes deep in his delivery, which impacts the consistent shape of his pitches and limits his control to average. THE FUTURE: Baumann might have the biggest arm of any potential starter in the organization, but has to improve his control and find a consistent third pitch to reach his mid-rotation ceiling. He should see Triple-A Norfolk at some point in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Kremer wasn't highly touted out of either high school or college, but work with the Dodgers' analytics staff made him a breakout player in 2018 and helped him lead the minors in strikeouts that year. Los Angeles traded him to the Orioles at the 2018 trade deadline as part of the return for Manny Machado. An oblique strain made his spring training invite moot, and forced him to miss the start of the season, but wasn't ultimately a hindrance. SCOUTING REPORT: Kremer is a fearless pitcher who uses all four pitches and has an idea of when to use them to his advantage, He misses bats with a high-spin four-seam fastball that sits 91-95 mph and a plus curveball in the mid-70s. His slider and changeup lag behind that, but he saw progress on the former as the season progressed. Both could be average pitches that play up based on his intelligent usage. Kremer uses solid-average command to attack all parts of the plate, especially inside. THE FUTURE: Kremer will return to Triple-A Norfolk to continue his fine-tuning for a possible future as a mid-rotation starter for the Orioles. He could be one of the first starters in their first wave of young pitching to join the rotation in 2019.
TRACK RECORD: All Lowther did to follow up the Orioles' minor league pitcher of the year award he earned in his first full season in 2018 was nearly repeat in 2019, leading the organization and Eastern League with 13 wins and 154 strikeouts while earning an all-star nod. SCOUTING REPORT: With elite extension out of a simple delivery, Lowther's fastball plays up from its 88-91 mph velocity and is difficult for hitters to square up in the zone. Without a plus secondary pitch—though his changeup flashes that more than his future-average, high-spin curveball—a pitcher like Lowther requires pitchability, deception and an ability to pitch to all quadrants with his fastball. Lowther has that, though he's liable to lose his command for spells. THE FUTURE: Whether Lowther can remain in the rotation in the major leagues will depend on his ability to develop consistency with his command and secondary pitches. But even for this style of pitcher who needs to prove it all the way, Lowther has. He'll get his first crack at Triple-A Norfolk in 2020 to further prove that.
TRACK RECORD: It wasn't even a given that Hall, signed for an above-slot $1.3 million after impressing in the Canadian National Team program, would break extended spring training with an affiliate in 2018. But he really came on at short-season Aberdeen, and was the most consistent hitter on a 90-win low Class A Delmarva club in 2019, when he was a South Atlantic League all-star. SCOUTING REPORT: While the only true plus tool Hall features is his speed, he spent 2019 showing he can do almost everything well for his age. He has a line-drive swing with gap power and the ability to create extra bases with his legs, with average hit potential and fringy power if he fills out. While his defensive actions at shortstop were considered a little raw, Hall can handle the position, and has a chance to be at least an average defender up the middle. Some even see some outfield potential in his future. THE FUTURE: Players with Hall's skill set and makeup always have a place on a major league roster, and there's nothing stopping him in the Orioles' system from being an average everyday infielder. A trip to high Class A Frederick in 2020 awaits.
TRACK RECORD: For the fourth season of his four professional seasons, Wells made his league's all-star game in 2019, this time in the Double-A Eastern League. He did so by posting a walk rate of 1.6 per nine innings and limiting hard contact. SCOUTING REPORT: Wells' velocity has remained consistent, living in the 88-91 mph range. He has an aptitude for pitching in on the hands to both lefthanded and righthanded batters. He also was back to showing the plus command that evaded him a season ago. Hitters have no choice but to swing when Wells lives in the strike zone, and often look bad doing it. Still, there's not much projection left, and while he's flashed an above-average changeup and curveball, neither pitch has taken a major step forward. Wells is looking to further diversify with a slider. His flyball rate could portend issues should the lively ball live on, but he's avoided home runs at an astonishing rate in his career. THE FUTURE: Wells has always had to prove it at every stop, and his likely assignment to Triple-A Norfolk in 2020 will be all that's left before he gets a shot to be a back-end starter or swingman in the majors.
TRACK RECORD: Kentucky's Mr. Baseball in 2018 signed for an above-slot bonus of $650,000 and made a sparkling debut at age 19 in the low Class A South Atlantic League. He was a midseason all-star and one of five teenage pitchers in full-season ball to strike out more than 11 batters per nine innings with 11.5. SCOUTING REPORT: The projectable but slight lefthander pitches with a fastball that ranges 88-92 mph, depending on the day. His changeup, curveball and slider aren't putaway pitches, but along with futureaverage command of his entire arsenal, there's hope within the Orioles' pitching system that one can emerge as a plus pitch in a group of offerings that currently has average potential. His ability to minimize hard contact and manipulate the ball, plus the fact he has a low-effort delivery with room to grow, allows plenty of room to dream. THE FUTURE: Rom's growth into a back-end starter will hinge on the continued development of his secondary pitches and consistent command. That process will continue at high Class A Frederick in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Zimmermann left his deep local roots as a Baltimore native who went to Towson University when that school threatened to cut baseball, but he signed as a senior for $10,000 with the Braves. He was already in Double-A in his first full season when he ended up back home as part of the July 2018 trade that sent Kevin Gausman and Darren O'Day to Atlanta. SCOUTING REPORT: In a loaded Double-A Bowie rotation in 2019, Zimmermann was regarded by teammates as the toughest of the bunch. With a fastball that sits 90-93 mph but still misses bats, he is able to get hitters off balance with a solid-average changeup in the mid-80s and a curveball in the mid-70s. He has a slider that he'll throw to either side and get swinging strikes at 84-86 mph from a clean, repeatable delivery. THE FUTURE: Zimmermann will be 25 when he begins 2020 at Triple-A Norfolk, but will get another chance to prove he has a No. 5 starter ceiling, even if there's some thought his stuff could tick up in a relief role.
TRACK RECORD: What was always meant to be a slow and steady development for the New Hampshire native, as he competed with players who got in far more baseball than he could in New England, was jolted forward when he broke out in an all-star campaign at high Class A Frederick in 2018. A season at Double-A Bowie, however, has knocked some of that shine off. SCOUTING REPORT: As far as carrying tools, the book on McKenna remains the same: he's a plus runner with at least an above-average arm who can steal a base and play center field. He also has an eye, but he got away from the all-fields, line-drive approach that best suits him in favor of a fly ball happy swing in 2019. This left a larger gap than previously existed between his average-hit ceiling with fringe power and the current reality. THE FUTURE: McKenna's floor, given his defense and speed, was always as a bench outfielder. His 2019 season brought questions as to whether his ceiling would be as a part-time player as well. He might be asked to start the season at Double-A Bowie again before moving to Triple-A Norfolk in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Stowers signed for $884,200 on the strength of a few powerful seasons at Stanford. His professional debut at short-season Aberdeen earned him an all-star nod. SCOUTING REPORT: Premium lefthanded power potential drew the Orioles to Stowers, though it's accompanied by the inevitable swing-and-miss concerns and questions about the hit tool that often come with such raw power. The way he slashed his strikeout rate as a junior gives the team hope there's more of that to come. When he puts the ball in play, it's consistent hard contact that rated in the top 5 percent of college hitters in terms of exit velocity. Even an average hit tool, with that kind of power, will make for a premium corner bat, with the ability to fill in with average center field defense. THE FUTURE: Stowers has the type of bat and draft pedigree to grow into one of the top-flight bats in the organization and push for an everyday spot as an average regular, should the strikeouts stay down. A full-season assignment to low Class A Delmarva should begin his journey in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: A Freshman All-American and three-year starter at Louisiana State, Watson was a popular draft-eligible sophomore in 2018, but he stayed an extra year and signed for slot at $780,400 as the first pick of the 2019 draft's second day. He jumped from short-season Aberdeen to low Class A Delmarva after a few weeks, but a mid-August wrist injury ended his season early. SCOUTING REPORT: The game's current emphasis on power hasn't left much room for players like Watson, who despite some pop this summer projects to be a contact hitter who can run his way to extra bases. The Orioles were sold on an ability to play at least above-average defense in center field thanks to a quick first step and his reads off the bat. As a high-effort player who can cause havoc atop the lineup with at least plus speed, the production will be a result of his motor as much as his tools. THE FUTURE: Watson's defense and speed give him an easy bench outfielder floor, but if his bat comes around, he will provide a fringe everyday package. A return to Delmarva will allow for a chance to begin that process in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Plenty has changed since the Orioles made Sedlock their top pick in 2016 and touted him as a future four-pitch horse in the rotation, but at least he's back on the mound. Sedlock struggled with a forearm issue in 2017 and a shoulder issue related to thoracic outlet syndrome in 2018 before a return to health meant a return to form and a high Class A Carolina League all-star appearance in 2019. SCOUTING REPORT: A change in approach from a two-seam heavy plan to using a four-seam fastball and mixing his pitches more helped Sedlock get back on track. He missed bats in the zone with his 90-93 mph fastball. His 81-83 mph changeup showed consistent fade and flashed plus, and his slider ticked up as well. Sedlock's delivery has never been smooth, but the Orioles are letting him work with what feels best for him and have overall unlocked a pitcher much closer to his draft pedigree. THE FUTURE: A healthy 2019 got Sedlock to Double-A Bowie, where he'll likely continue to build his innings en route to a No. 5 starter or middle relief role in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: A $1 million signee whose progress was stunted in 2016 when he had Tommy John surgery, Fenter's return to low Class A Delmarva in 2019 went far better than the previous year. He saw his strikeout rate climb to 11.7 per nine innings during the successful campaign. SCOUTING REPORT: Fenter attracted attention in high school for his 96-97 mph fastball, but two years back from surgery, he was sitting 90-94 mph with significant rising action up in the zone. His primary pitch was always a 77-80 mph curveball that had above-average traits, but he added a slider in 2019 that flashed plus. Fenter has a maxed-out frame that doesn't lend itself to much projection, but he repeated his delivery well during the season. THE FUTURE: The Orioles wanted Fenter to get a full season finished before moving him up. He'll be old (24) for the level at high Class A Frederick in 2020, where he'll begin in the rotation. But if the Orioles take him off the back-end starter track, he could quickly work into a major league middle relief role.
TRACK RECORD: Knight was an All-American atop the Arkansas rotation who outdueled every top pitcher in the country as a junior and helped the Razorbacks to the College World Series before signing for an above-slot $1.1 million. He pitched like the experienced college arm he was at low Class A Delmarva to start the year before he lost his command and struggled to put hitters away later in the season. SCOUTING REPORT: Knight came to the Orioles with elite spin rate on his slider and curveball, but the utility of those pitches came into question in 2019. Below-average command of those pitches undercut what could be above-average shape and movement on them, and while there's some life on his 91-94 mph fastball, he got into fastball counts and couldn't get it past hitters. Knight had no such problems in college and showed he was durable despite his slight frame. He came through a difficult year with quiet confidence. THE FUTURE: Despite his struggles, Knight's potential for three above-average pitches if he irons out his command makes him a candidate to be at least a No. 5 starter and potentially better, though he may return to high Class A Frederick in 2020 to check that level off.
TRACK RECORD: If Hanifee's first full season at low Class A Delmarva in 2018 was evocative of a past generation's mantra of sinkers at the knees and efficiency over all else, his follow-up at high Class A Frederick showed how the new Orioles' regime doesn't think that's enough. SCOUTING REPORT: Routinely 90-93 mph at the knees with sinking action, Hanifee's fastball is still his best pitch. He relied on it too much in 2018, so the Orioles' new pitching model emphasized his offspeed pitches more. He still got weak contact and ground balls, but the new mandates easily explain the jump in walk rate from 1.5 per nine innings to nearly four. He threw his 80-82 mph slider and 85-86 mph changeup more often, with his slider showing above-average potential, though it wasn't consistent. His changeup is coming along. THE FUTURE: Hanifee's overall profile isn't one that fits well with the Orioles' spin-centric pitching philosophy, but he has plenty of fans around the game. His sinker and relative youth will keep him on a starter's path toward the back-end of a major league rotation. A Double-A Bowie assignment in 2020 would show they like the progress he's made.
TRACK RECORD: A fixture up the middle on Oregon State's College World Series winner with fellow Orioles draftee Adley Rutschman and a host of other stars, Grenier was the Brooks Wallace Award winner as the best shortstop in the country in 2018 before signing with the Orioles and going right to low Class A Delmarva. He spent most of 2019 back there before an August promotion, but he struck out an alarming 30.3 percent of the time over the two levels. SCOUTING REPORT: No one questions Grenier's defensive abilities. He has the hands, range and arm to be an average shortstop and an even better second baseman. Even with that defensive aptitude as a backdrop and a lower offensive profile required for that, Grenier may struggle to hit enough for it to play in the majors. His swing can be long and susceptible to spin, though he has a good understanding of the strike zone and shows the ability to work a walk. THE FUTURE: Grenier's capabilities to impact a baseball will be what dictates whether he gets the chance to play defense off a major league bench, and his quest to improve that will continue at high Class A Frederick.
TRACK RECORD: Hernaiz was still 17 years old when the Orioles drafted and signed him for $400,000 to make him the highest drafted player from El Paso's Americas High and keep him from a longstanding Texas Tech commitment. SCOUTING REPORT: Plenty of refinement is required for the slight Hernaiz, but there could be an interesting player to grow from his current package. Hernaiz is a great athlete in the middle of the field with the arm for third base if he outgrows shortstop. He displays great energy and zeal for the game. Hernaiz possesses plus bat speed with average raw power, though a flyball rate above 50 percent in his pro debut creates an interesting profile, especially if he grows into game power and those turn into extra-base hits. THE FUTURE: A young, up-the-middle prep talent at this stage in the draft is irresistible, though it hasn't exactly panned out for the Orioles before. They see at least average, everyday potential in Hernaiz, and more if his power develops. A full-season assignment would be a challenge in 2020 but a worthwhile one.
TRACK RECORD: Pop was a fast riser after the Dodgers drafted the Canadian righthander in 2017. He climbed three levels in a 2018 season defined by his inclusion in the Manny Machado trade. The Orioles invited him to big league camp in 2019, but he dealt with forearm soreness that limited him to eight appearances and led to Tommy John surgery in May. SCOUTING REPORT: When healthy, the tall, lanky Pop featured one of the most electric fastballs in the organization at 96-98 mph while topping out at 100 with sinking life from a low arm slot. That, combined with a mid-80s slider, has opponents batting just .173 off him in his career, with two-thirds of pro hitters he's faced either hitting the ball on the ground or striking out. THE FUTURE: Pop likely won't be back on a mound in game action until midseason 2020 due to the timing of his surgery, but if he finds his form quickly, he could quickly find his way to Baltimore as a medium-leverage reliever.
TRACK RECORD: Two trades and four years after he was selected fourth overall in 2015, Tate made his major league debut with the Orioles in a bullpen role that he had expressed interest in returning to in spring training. As a starter since he signed, Tate struggled to stay healthy and limit big innings. In the bullpen, he found the role less cluttered and was able to just go out and pitch. SCOUTING REPORT: It helps that those pitches played up significantly when he was able to crank them out of the bullpen. His fastball sat 94-97 mph with sink. His slider got up to 88 mph and his changeup registered in the mid-80s. While the action on all the pitches means they can be above-average, he has struggled to command them consistently. THE FUTURE: Considering he asked and the Orioles acquiesced to a role change, it's safe to say that's where his future lies. He might not have the putaway pitch to close, but consistency could see him rise to a set-up role with a middle relief floor.
TRACK RECORD: The Rangers signed Urias as a 16-year-old in 2010 but relinquished his rights to the Mexican League before the 2013 season. Urias grew into one of the league's top hitters over the next five seasons, batting a combined .323, and signed with the Cardinals as a free agent in 2018. The Cardinals designated Urias for assignment in early February and he was claimed by the Orioles.SCOUTING REPORT: The older brother of Padres second baseman Luis Urias, Ramon resembles his little brother as an undersized middle infielder with natural hitting instincts. He recognizes pitches, works himself into favorable counts and has the hand-eye coordination to consistently put the barrel on the ball. He is an average hitter with enough power to keep pitchers honest, reaching double-digit home runs each of the last two seasons. Urias is an average defender at both second and third base and is playable at shortstop in short spurts. He is an average runner who covers the requisite ground in the infield. THE FUTURE: Urias is on the 40-man roster and in position to make his big league debut as a utilityman.
TRACK RECORD: A senior signing in 2017 after winning MVP honors of the summer wood bat Northwoods League the previous summer, McCoy earned Eastern League all-star honors with 118 hits by the break —the most in all of minor league ball. SCOUTING REPORT: Most of McCoy's success was attributable to an opposite-field approach in which he shortened up and hit the ball through the right side against the shift with great success. That mindset, with a low swinging-strike rate, could help him maximize his swing to be a fringe-average hitter with gap power, though there's not much by way of power projection in his future. He's a heady player both at the plate and at shortstop, where he maximizes his range and arm to play average defense. Because he is an average runner, it will be his glove that will carry him closer to the major leagues. THE FUTURE: McCoy represents the Orioles' closest-to-the-majors shortstop option, even if he would be more of a bench option on a first-division club. Offseason activity may push him back to Double-A Bowie in 2020.
TRACK RECORD: Bannon's full-season debut in 2018 was so impressive that he was named California League MVP for his time at high Class A Rancho Cucamonga despite being traded for Manny Machado in mid-July. He spent most of 2019 at Double-A Bowie, where he was an Eastern League all-star and took advantage of his August promotion to Triple-A Norfolk with 13 extra-base hits in 20 games. SCOUTING REPORT: After coming to the Orioles with a wide-open stance, Bannon closed it off some but didn't sacrifice much of his power thanks to his strong hands, sturdy lower half and aggressive swing. His 47 extra-base hits were second most in the organization, and he cut down his strikeouts significantly in 2019. Bannon is an above-average runner, and he has the range to play second base and third base, with enough arm for the latter. THE FUTURE: The lack of shortstop in his profile leaves a gap in Bannon's utility profile, but the possibility of some pop off the bench and defense all over the rest of the field gives him a solid chance at a major league bench role. He'll work toward that at Triple-A Norfolk in 2020.
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