Today 50 Orioles Minor Leaguers – including 17 members of the 2021 draft class and 19 of the club’s top 30 prospects after MLB pipeline – Reported to the Ed Smith Stadium complex for the team’s Fall Instructional League camp. The program, which focuses on specific individual development to accelerate a player’s progress through the minor league system, runs through Saturday November 20th.
A total of 17 pitchers, 17 infielders, 13 outfielders and three catchers made their way to the southwest coast of Florida. These include some of the top perspectives in baseball, as well as members of the 2020 and 2021 draft classes, players who dropped out due to injury during the 2021 minor league campaign, international perspectives, and several fascinating players acquired in recent trades.
THE TOP PERSPECTIVES
According to Orioles’ Instructional League Camp case, three of the top 100 contenders in baseball are in attendance MLB pipeline.
Left-handed pitcher DL Hall, number 72 in baseball and number 3 in the Orioles system, with an ERA of 3.13 (11 ER / 31.2 IP) and a WHIP of 1.01, with 56 strikeouts on 16 walks, in seven starts for Double-A Bowie before closing out with an elbow injury. The 2017 first round pick will rehabilitate after his injury in preparation for spring training 2022.
Number 74 in baseball and the club’s number 4, Gunnar Henderson beat .258 / .350 / .476 with 17 homers, 28 doubles, four triples, 68 runs scored, 56 walks and 74 RBI in 105 double-A games Bowie, High-A Aberdeen and Low-A Delmarva in his first full season in professional baseball.
Number 5 of the overall selection of the first year 2021 draft player, outfielder Colton Cowser, will also be in attendance. Sam Houston State’s product is rated # 76 overall and the fifth best product in the O’s system. He made his professional debut with the Florida Complex League Orioles Orange before being promoted to Low-A Delmarva in August. In his first professional season, he scored well in 25 of 32 games between the FCL Orioles and the Shorebirds, hitting .375 / .490 / .492 for a .982 OPS with two homers, eight doubles, 30 runs scored, 25 walks, and 34 RBI.
2021 DESIGN CLASS
Cowser is accompanied by 16 other members of the O’s 2021 design class: right-handed jugs Justin Armbruester, Keagan Gillies, Dylan Heid, Carlos Tavera and Peter Van Loon; Catchers Connor Pavolony and Creed Willems; Infielder Collin Burns, Connor Norby, and Jacob Teter; and outfielder Billy Cook, Trendon Craig, Ryan Higgins, John Rhodes, Reed Trimble and Donta ‘Williams.
Norby, who led the nation on hits as a junior at East Carolina University (NC), is joined by. classified as No. 9 of the Orioles prospectuses MLB pipeline. Other 2021 draftsmen who are among O’s top 30 candidates include outfielder Reed Trimble (# 21) and John Rhodes (# 30). After moving a dozen of the 2021 draft picks to Delmarva on Aug. 17, the Shorebirds finished the season with a 20-10 record in their last 30 games.
2020 DESIGN CLASS
All six members of Baltimore’s 2020 drafting class will take part in this year’s Fall Instructional League Camp: outfielder Heston Kjerstad and Hudson Haskin, infielder Jordan Westburg, Anthony Servideo and Coby Mayo, and right-handed pitcher Carter Baumler.
Infielder Coby Mayo, the club’s 2020 four-round pick, was also among the promotions to Delmarva on Aug. 17, 14 doubles, one triple, 46 runs scored, 29 walks, 11 stolen bases and 41 RBI in 53 games between the FCL Orioles and the Shorebirds in its first professional season.
In his 2020 debut season, No. 30 overall pick Jordan Westburg scored a 0.868 OPS with 47 extra base hits (15 HR, 5-3B, 27-2B) in 112 games between Low-A Delmarva, High-A Aberdeen, and Double A Bowie. He made 69 starts at the shortstop, 36 at third base and seven as a designated hitter. He owned 1,075 OPS in 20 games with the Shorebirds before being promoted to Aberdeen.
In addition to left-handed DL Hall, several other top Orioles contenders return to the Diamonds after an injury during the Instructional League Fall.
Outfielder Heston Kjerstad, number 2 overall in the 2020 first year draft, is returning to baseball activities after being diagnosed with myocarditis last year.
Right-handed Carter Baumler, who was Baltimore’s sixth and final choice in the 2020 first-year player draft, will attend camp on rehab after Tommy John’s surgery.
Infielder Joey Ortiz owned a .801 OPS in 35 games between the IronBirds and Baysox before a torn left labrum ended his campaign, while Anthony Servideo owned a .801 OPS for the Shorebirds in 20 games before being closed for sports hernia surgery.
Baltimore’s 2020 second-round pick, Hudson Haskin, finished with a .786 OPS, 59 runs scored and 22 stolen bases in 83 games between the Shorebirds and IronBirds after a broken thumb cut his season short in August.
Since Mike Elias was named Executive Vice President and General Manager in November 2018, the Orioles have invested heavily in their international presence. Highlights include the club’s first seven-digit international signings, C Samuel Basallo and SS Maikol Hernández, during the 2020-21 international signings period and the groundbreaking ceremony for a new state-of-the-art training academy in Guerra, Dominican Republic earlier this month.
Basallo, in 24th place in the Orioles brochures, and Hernández, in 19th place in Orioles brochures, are both participants in this year’s autumn teaching league. The two will be joined by Luis González, headliner of the 2019-20 international contract signing, No. 28 in the Orioles system. Other local international prospects attending the camp include Infielder Anderson De Los Santos and Outfielder Stiven Acevedo.
ABround the list
Other top 30 Orioles prospects present are the infield players Adam Hall (No. 15) and Darell Hernaiz (No. 23) as well as the left-handed pitcher Drew Rom (No. 25).
The 2021 Instructional League roster is rounded off by several fascinating players who were acquired through retailers. Of particular note are the right-handers Kyle Brnovich and Zach Peek, who were acquired by the Angels in 2019 in exchange for Dylan Bundy; Right-handed Jean Pinto and Garrett Stallings, acquired by the Angels in exchange for José Iglesias in 2020; and infielder Noelberth Romero and outfielder Elio Prado, who were taken over by the Red Sox in 2019 in exchange for Andrew Cashner.
The Instructional League is also about developing the coaches as they continue to build relationships with the players. Almost 30 Orioles players in player development and baseball operations will run the camp, including 2021 Cal Ripken, Sr. Player Development Award winner and Double-A Bowie manager Buck Britton, Baysox putt coach Ryan Fuller, FCL putt coach Anthony Villa, coordinator of Florida and Latin American Pitching Dave Schmidt, Minor League Strength and Conditioning Coordinator Nick White, and Mental Skills Coordinator Kathryn Rowe.
While 50 Orioles Minor Leaguers prepare for Spring Training 2022 at Ed Smith Stadium, eight more are being spiced up in the Arizona Fall League. 2021 Orioles Brooks Robinson Minor League Co-Player of the Year and No. 11 contender, outfielder Kyle Stowers, will be won by No. 12-contender outfielder Yusniel Diaz, left-handed pitchers Cameron Bishop and Nick Vespi, right, added to the squad of the Mesa Solar Sox -handed pitcher Logan Gillaspie and Conner Loeprich, infielder Greg Cullen and catcher Ramon Rodriguez. Tim Gibbons of Triple-A Norfolk serves as the punch coach for the Solar Sox.
Orioles pitchers and catchers are expected to arrive on February 15 for spring training 2022 and the first training session for the entire roster is scheduled for February 20. The 2022 season marks the Orioles’ 13th consecutive spring training season in Sarasota and the 12th Smith Stadium. Visit Orioles.com/Spring for more information.