Potential Backup Catcher
Based on the types of catchers the Orioles have claimed recently and then outrighted, it looks like the front office wants a glove-first backstop. That makes sense when the starter is a great hitter, but that should not narrow their searches in the bargain bin. Robinson Chirinos served as a mentor for Adley Rutschman this year, but given how mature Rutschman is, he could capably mentor a rookie backup.
Moving up from High-A to the Majors is a lot to ask of a catcher, but Ronaiker Palma might be able to do it. He hit .300 in 65 games for Spokane with moderate power, but a walk rate under 5% could spell doom. Once more, from Eric:
"Palma’s lack of physicality might be a barrier between him and being drafted, but he has fantastic catch-and-throw skills and could be a 40–60 game backup in 2023, with more long-term upside because of his contact skills."
Prospects need as many reps as possible, but the Orioles would be betting on Palma developing in a Major League environment and spending lots of time in the cage.
A more defensive-minded pick with far less upside would be Drew Millas of the Nationals system. The main return from the A’s for Josh Harrison and Yan Gomes, Millas’s output immediately declined after the swap. His numbers greatly improved in A+ this year, but he struggled in 45 AA games. His surface-level stats in the AFL look good, so it is up to team evaluators to determine what they think of Millas going forward.
Josh Breaux is pretty similar to Millas but has played in AAA. In 94 games split between AA and AAA, Breaux showed good power with 19 home runs and an isolated power over .200, which is well above average. His low batting average caps his production, but I would imagine his MLB stat line would only be a little worse than his .699 AAA OPS.
Longshot pick: Stephen Scott (Red Sox), Antonio Gomez (Yankees), Blake Hunt (Rays)