The Baltimore Orioles have long been unable to turn their top pitching prospects into major league stars. DL Hall could help them change the narrative
Hall has continually appeared on top-prospect lists this offseason, most recently when Fangraphs released their top-32 Orioles prospects list yesterday. Fangraphs has Hall as the number one prospect in the Orioles system ahead of outfielders Yusniel Diaz and Austin Hays, and third-baseman Ryan Mountcastle.
Hall has worked his way to the top of the Orioles system by using his three plus-pitches to generate weak contact (42.3% ground-ball rate, 27.4% infield fly-ball rate) and strikeouts (25.6% K-rate).
He still has issues finding the strike-zone consistently, as evidenced by his 10.7% walk rate, but he has enough raw talent to make it work. His fastball sits in the mid-90’s and tops out at 97 mph, and Fangraphs has it rated as a 60 future value on the 20-80 scale. They give his curveball the same 60 FV rating, and his change-up has a 55 FV.
We saw Hall succeed in Delmarva last year despite the control issues, as he pitched to a 2.10 ERA and a .198 batting average allowed in 94.1 innings for the Shorebirds. With the raw stuff and the results we’ve seen so far, it’s no wonder that Hall keeps jumping up on prospect boards.
In addition to the Fangraphs list, Baseball America released their top-100 prospect list ($) last Wednesday and Hall appeared at number 54, behind Yusniel Diaz (37), but ahead of Ryan Mountcastle (90). They have him as the 22nd ranked pitcher overall, and the 7th ranked lefty.
Baseball Prospectus released their top-101 list on Wednesday as well, and they had Hall at number 92, though they had Diaz (44) and Mountcastle (51) ranked higher.
More from Birds Watcher
- Which Current Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Have the Best Curveballs?
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
- Orioles News: Predicting the Opening Day Infield and More MLB News
- Last Chance O’s Fans: Bet $40, Win $700 if ONE POINT is Scored in ANY NFL Game This Week
MLB Pipeline released their top-100 list on Saturday and similar to Baseball Prospectus, they had Hall (90) ranked behind Diaz (64) and Mountcastle (71).
But even being ranked as the third-best prospect in this Orioles system is no small feat for Hall, who at 20-years-old is just two years removed from high school. Fangraphs had Hall as the Orioles’ fourth best prospect at the start of 2018, but he wasn’t seen as a stud outside of the Orioles organization.
That changed after Hall went out and ate up the South Atlantic League last year. He’ll likely head to High-A Frederick in 2019, and if he pitches well enough could get a look in Double-A Bowie by the end of the year.
Fangraphs projects Hall’s ETA as 2020 but considering the Orioles timeline it seems certain that the team won’t rush him. Whichever way you slice it, DL Hall is as good a pitching prospect as the Baltimore Orioles have had in a long time. Whether Hall can live up to the hype remains to be seen.