Left-handed pitcher D.L. Hall was the headliner among those added to the Orioles’ 40-man roster ahead of the Nov. 19 deadline to protect prospects from the Rule 5 Draft.
The Orioles also added pitchers Félix Bautista, Kyle Bradish, Logan Gillaspie and Kevin Smith and infielder Terrin Vavra. The club claimed infielder Lucius Fox from the Kansas City Royals earlier in the day as well. The series of moves leaves Baltimore’s 40-man roster at 39 players.
Hall, 23, was selected by the Orioles in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft and quickly developed into one of the most exciting left-handed pitching prospects in the game. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound starter has posted a 2.99 ERA in 217 minor-league innings since 2017, striking out 284 hitters along the way.
However, he hit a speed bump in 2021, when he threw just 31.2 innings for Double-A Bowie due to elbow issues. Hall shared Nov. 17 that he had begun throwing again in Sarasota, Fla.:
Hall is one of the centerpieces of the Orioles’ long-term pitching plan, so one of the club’s top priorities in 2022 will be finding a way to keep him healthy and on the mound. The other prospects added figure to make a big-league impact sooner than Hall …
– Bautista, 26, is a reliever who was originally signed by the Marlins but has been in the Orioles’ system since 2016. The right-hander had a 1.54 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 46.2 innings across three levels, including Triple-A Norfolk, in 2021.
– Bradish, 25, is a starting pitcher who was originally taken by the Angels in the fourth round of the 2018 MLB Draft. The right-hander was traded to Baltimore as part of the package for Dylan Bundy ahead of the 2020 season. Bradish posted a 4.04 ERA and 131 strikeouts in 100.1 innings (mostly with Norfolk) in 2021.
– Gillaspie, 24, is a reliever who was signed by the Orioles to a minor-league contract in June. He posted a 4.97 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 41.2 innings between High-A Aberdeen and Bowie to finish out the year. He is currently pitching in the Arizona Fall League.
– Smith, 24, is a starting pitcher who was originally chosen by the Mets in the seventh round of the 2018 draft. The left-hander was traded to the Orioles in 2020 as part of the package for Miguel Castro. Smith had a 4.59 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 82.1 innings between Bowie and Norfolk in 2021.
– Vavra, 24, is an infielder who was originally selected by the Rockies in the third round of the 2018 draft. He was traded to the Orioles in 2020 as part of the package for Mychal Givens. Vavra missed time with a back strain this year but hit .248/.388/.430 in 184 plate appearances for Bowie. He played mostly second base for the Baysox but also played some center field and shortstop.
Prospects left unprotected by the Orioles ahead of the Rule 5 Draft include Patrick Dorrian, Adam Hall, Blaine Knight, Robert Neustrom, Nick Vespi, Ofelky Peralta and Cody Sedlock. Prospects who did not have to be protected included Adley Rutschman and Grayson Rodriguez.
The Rule 5 Draft is currently scheduled for Dec. 9, but that is subject to change since the current collective bargaining agreement expires Dec. 2.
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