Baltimore Orioles Prospects Make Big Jumps On MLB Pipeline’s Top 100
By Nick Stevens
Four Baltimore Orioles prospects were named to MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list.
We’re still a few weeks away from the start of the 2020 baseball season, but a bit of excitement was injected into the Baltimore Orioles fan base with the reveal of MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospect list.
The Orioles landed four prospects among the Top 100, more than every other team in the American League East, except for the Tampa Bay Rays who led all Major League Baseball teams with six. Eight teams featured five prospects.
Last year’s top overall draft pick, catcher Adley Rutschman, is the highest-ranked Orioles prospect on the list, coming in at number four behind Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco (#1), Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux (#2), and Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert (#3).
Rutschman will be at spring training with the Orioles in a few weeks (pitchers and catchers report on February 11th), but where he will begin the year in the minor leagues is still up in the air. I imagine he spends at least a few weeks in High-A with the Frederick Keys, to continue his tour around Birdland.
Rutschman is also the top-ranked catching prospect in the game and was given both the highest floor and highest ceiling, along with the highest hit tool grade among all catching prospects.
RHP Grayson Rodriguez, who was unranked in last season’s preseason list, enters 2020 at #36. The 20-year-old pitcher went 10-4 with a 2.68 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, and .171 average against in 20 starts. He struck out 129 hitters in 94 innings using his powerful fastball and advanced feel of his four-pitch mix. Rodriguez was earlier named the #10 right-handed pitching prospect.
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LHP DL Hall slots in at #69 (#10 on the top LHP prospect list) after a big year with the Frederick Keys, striking out 116 in 80 innings and limiting opponents to a .189 average. Hall, a 2017 first-round pick of the Orioles in 2017, should begin the year in Double-A with the Bowie Baysox.
After not appearing in Baseball America’s Top 100 list last week, first baseman/outfielder Ryan Mountcastle (the 4th-ranked first base prospect according to MLB Pipeline) comes in at #94 on Pipeline’s overall Top 100. Mountcastle is coming off a big 2019 campaign that saw him take home International League MVP honors.
He probably won’t start the season with the Baltimore Orioles, but it won’t be long before the 22-year-old is sporting an Orioles uniform, turning Camden Yards into his playground.
You can view the full Top 100 list with full scouting reports and videos here. Team specific lists will roll out in the coming days.