Which names on the Baltimore Orioles non-roster spring invite list could make the major league roster in March?
The Baltimore Orioles have finally released their list of non-roster invitees to spring training in Sarasota and if you love Top 30 prospects, you will love this list.
A total of 23 non-roster players will open camp with the big league squad once spring training begins on February 11th, six of them finished the 2019 season as a Top 30 prospect. It’s highly unlikely we see any of the top prospects make the Opening Day roster, but there are a few names on this list who have a shot at cracking the roster.
Below is the complete list of non-roster invitees by position:
Will any of these guys make the major league roster out of spring? The odds are long, but I think four names have a shot.
Starting with the pitching, we know Lowther and Wells will spend the year in Triple-A. Bruce Zimmermann will as well, but he could find his way into the Orioles bullpen at some point in 2020, probably early on, if he has some early success with the Norfolk Tides. The same goes for Cristian Alvarado, a starter turned reliever who had tremendous success down the stretch last season with the Bowie Baysox.
The two guys who I believe have the best shot at a bullpen job out of spring are Rodgers and Zastryzny. We recently explained why we like both of these arms here, but the recent addition of Wade LeBlanc and with the Orioles actively searching for another veteran arm, the odds of non-roster pitchers making the 26-man roster appear lower and lower.
What about the bats? Again, those guys on the Top 30 list will begin the season at various levels of the minors, but two names could be serious contenders for a 26-man spot. Watch for outfielder Mason Williams. The Orioles wanted to give Williams a longer look last September, but an injury ended his big league run right after his call-up.
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The former top prospect brings speed and a solid glove in center field and could slot in as the backup to Austin Hays. He can also play both corner spots to provide depth. With DJ Stewart out to start the year, Williams will be in competition with Dwight Smith Jr. Cedric Mullins, and Stevie Wilkerson for a reserve outfield spot. If you want defense, Williams could be the guy.
I also like the idea of giving Dilson Herrera an opportunity. The Orioles want another middle infielder after the loss of Pat Valaika on waivers and could either re-claim Valaika (recently DFA’d by the Diamondbacks and we know what happens to guys claimed off waivers multiple times by the Orioles) or sign a low-cost veteran. Either way, Herrera will have an opportunity to earn a spot in camp.
The 25-year-old recorded an .832 OPS with 24 home runs in Triple-A last season and has major league experience with the New York Mets and Cincinnati Reds.
One thing is for certain, this group is going to provide for plenty of exciting moments in spring training and it won’t be long before we start seeing more and more of them in the major leagues.
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Pitchers and catchers report to Sarasota on February 11th with the first full-squad workouts taking place on February 17th. The Orioles open up their Grapefruit League schedule on February 22nd with a contest against the Atlanta Braves.