Baltimore Orioles: Grayson Rodriguez/DL Hall Show Up On Big Stage
The Baltimore Orioles sent two top pitching prospects to Sunday’s Futures Game. Both represented the Orioles in fine fashion.
Did you miss last night’s MLB Futures Game? If so, you missed quite the show, featuring two elite pitching prospects in Grayson Rodriguez and DL Hall represent the Baltimore Orioles and an exciting future in Birdland.
Hall and Rodriguez seemed overshadowed in last night’s broadcast, with much of the attention focusing on many of the game’s more well-known prospects, however, the teenage prospects refused to let the big stage throw them off their game as both threw scoreless frames in their one-inning stints.
I realize this was just an exhibition game and I can’t imagine trying to focus on baseball when legends such as Ken Griffey Jr.and Jim Thome are in the same dugout trying to give you advice and talk game. Sunday night was just a tease of what the future of Major League Baseball holds for fans, but what Hall and Rodriguez did last night cannot be overlooked, especially if you are a fan of the Baltimore Orioles.
We tend to look at athletes as these superhero-like figures, but many who participated in last night’s game are just teenagers. DL Hall doesn’t turn 21 until the end of the season and Grayson Rodriguez is only 19 (turns 20 in November). Both young men took the mound at Progressive Field in Cleveland and went toe-to-toe with the game’s top hitting prospects and both came out on top in their performance.
DL Hall represents the Baltimore Orioles in Futures Game.
Hall needed just 12 pitches to work through a scoreless third inning, getting Daulton Varsho (Diamondbacks) to pop up, Miguel Amaya (Cubs) to ground out, and Cristian Pache (Braves) to flyout, all producing weak contact.
There was a scary moment during Hall’s outing which saw the barrel of a shattered bat hit Hall on his follow-through. He was ok and finished his outing. Phew. Check out his highlights, including the flying bat incident, below.
As noted in our tweet from last night, Statcast had Hall’s fastest pitch at a tick under 98 mph, from the left side! My friends, that is elite velocity from a very young arm. His command hasn’t quite been there this season in High-A with the Frederick Keys, but his repertoire is disgusting and he put it on display last night for all to see.
Grayson Rodriguez listened, adjusted, and learned in his one inning of work.
Grayson Rodriguez wasn’t going to pitch in Sunday night’s game. Because Major League Baseball has no clue most of the time, they decided to limit the exhibition game to seven innings. With the National League squad up 2-0 heading into the bottom of the 7th, it appeared that Rodriguez would be left in the bullpen.
Luckily, Texas Rangers prospect Sam Huff launched a two-out, two-run home run, forcing an extra-inning of excitement and allowing Rodriguez to enter the game.
Because of a stupid rule that puts a runner on second base in extra-innings of minor league baseball games, Gray-Rod entered the 8th inning with a man in scoring position. Rodriguez not only pitched a clean 8th inning, but he left Pache stranded at second base, leading to an eventual final score of 2-2.
Rodriguez needed just 11 pitches, getting Joey Bart (Giants) to ground out weakly to third base, Isan Diaz (Marlins) to fly out, and finally producing a groundball out from Alec Bohm (Phillies) to end the frame.
It was the battle against Bohm which was most impressive. Falling behind 0-2, pitching coach Juan Nieves came out to calm down Rodriguez, who worked himself back into the at-bat with a beautiful changeup, eventually getting the ground ball he wanted to end the inning.
Seven innings wasn’t enough time to showcase all of the extraordinary talents that graced Progressive Field Sunday night at the MLB Futures Game in Cleveland. I don’t know why the Futures Game was limited to seven innings this year, but hopefully, baseball realizes how ludicrous that decision was and gives us the full nine innings in years to come. #LetTheKidsPlay, right?
Get excited, Birdland. The Baltimore Orioles have themselves a few legitimate pitching prospects and while they may be far away from making their major league debut, the wait should be well worth it.