By Jacob Troxell
The Baltimore Orioles finished last in starting pitching ERA and WHIP in MLB last season, and while 19-year-old DL Hall may not be able to help in 2018, scouts expect the left-hander to start at the big league level in a few years.
Here are five facts about Hall, the Orioles’ first-round draft pick last year:
1. He is the organization’s fourth-ranked prospect.
Hall’s fastball can reach 95 mph, but he is better known for his sweeping curveball. Hall’s changeup has reportedly improved as he has thrown it more often.
Hall only pitched five games in the Gulf Coast League in 2017, finishing with a 6.97 ERA in 10.1 innings. The 6-foot, 180-pounder could play most of his 2018 campaign for short-season Aberdeen.
2. He is the first high school pitcher the Orioles drafted in the first-round since Hunter Harvey in 2013.
Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich had high praise for Hall after selecting him last season.
“Hall is a polished, young left-handed pitcher with a good fastball, curve, changeup and good control,” he said. “We project seeing him in our starting rotation in the near future.”
3. He played on a high school state baseball championship team with Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm.
Hall said the two were pretty close friends in high school. Hall finished his high school career at Valdosta (Ga.), but he spent the two previous seasons at Houston County (Ga.), where he was baseball teammates with Fromm, who played third base.
Fromm led the Georgia Bulldogs to a Rose Bowl victory against Oklahoma on New Year’s Day.
4. MLB Pipeline.com compares him to Scott Kazmir.
Because of Hall’s build and live arm, some may see veteran starter Kazmir in him.
Baltimore would have gladly taken a Kazmir-type year from a starter last season. Kazmir, who pitched with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017, has a career 4.01 ERA and is a three-time All-Star.
MLB Pipeline also said Hall’s arm slot can wander and he still has some room to grow.
5. Hall chose the Orioles over Florida State and can dunk a basketball.
Despite growing up a Seminoles fan, Hall didn’t turn down the offer to jump right into the professional ranks out of high school and was rewarded a $3 million signing bonus for doing so, slightly above the average bonus for the 21st pick in the draft.
Hall had a 1.36 ERA with 105 strikeouts while allowing 24 hits in 51.1 innings in his final high school season, per the Valdosta Daily Times.
“I think my biggest thing is power fastball and a hard curveball, those are my two best pitches,” Hall told Glenn Clark Radio last year. “And this spring I’ve really developed a changeup that has been working out really well for me.”
He also confirmed he can dunk a basketball flat-footed.
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox