The Baltimore Orioles are perhaps the worst team in the American League.
However, they do have some future stars in the minor leagues ready to start helping in 2022.
Here are some of them.
3. D.L. Hall
D.L. Hall’s 2021 outlook has been marred by an elbow injury that he suffered in June.
The injury was deemed as a stress reaction in his left elbow.
For now, he has been ordered to rest his ailing arm: no surgery has been recommended, so we can still dream about Hall helping the Orioles in 2022.
The lefty has a power arsenal that results in lots of strikeouts.
The 22-year-old has a 3.13 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and 56/16 K/BB ratio over 31.2 innings at Double-A Bowie this season.
That equals out to an impressive 15.92 strikeouts per nine innings, which is awfully impressive.
The thing with Hall is that he lacks elite command: those 16 walks in 31.2 innings can be translated at 4.55 per nine.
Still, his stuff took a step forward in 2021 and he could find himself helping the Orioles in the second half of 2022.
2. Grayson Rodriguez
Orioles hurler Grayson Rodriguez is perhaps the best pitching prospect currently in the minor leagues.
The 21-year-old right-hander was the No. 11 selection of the 2018 MLB Draft, but has developed very quickly and is now in to open the season in the O’s rotation should they decide that.
He has a plus-plus fastball with nice velocity and command, and he complements that with three above-average secondaries in his curveball, slider, and changeup.
Grayson Rodriguez's night is done.
5 IP, 2 H, ER, BB, 6 K
76 P, 48 K
FB: 95-97, T99, great life
SL: 83-86, late sharp break
CB: 78-81, solid depth
CH: 80-85, good fade & sink
CMD was spotty at times but solid enough tonight.
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) August 18, 2021
Results-wise, the 2021 season has been marvelous for the young righty.
He has a 2.33 ERA in 13 Double-A starts, covering 58 frames.
He has a healthy 13.66 strikeouts per nine innings in those 13 starts.
Before dominating Double-A, he manhandled High-A hitters for 23.1 frames, finishing his stint there with a 1.54 ERA that earned him the promotion to Double-A.
He is currently considered the eighth-best prospect in the league by MLB Pipeline, and should be throwing big league innings in an Orioles uniform by May or June 2022.
1. Adley Rutschman
The number one pick of the 2019 MLB Draft, catcher Adley Rutschman is almost the perfect prospect.
Hitting is often not a required tool for catchers as long as they are good behind the plate, have a good arm, and call a good game.
Likewise, teams are often open to overlooking defense deficiencies behind the plate if the catcher is a great offensive performer.
In Rutschman, the Orioles have the best of both worlds: a top offensive catcher capable of hitting for power and getting on base nearly 40 percent of the time, and a good defensive backstop with elite instincts and feel for the game.
In 80 Double-A games this season, Rutschman hit .271/.392/.508 with 18 home runs, earning him a promotion to Triple-A.
There, he has only played six games, but is slashing .440/.462/.640 with one dinger.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) August 18, 2021
It’s clear that Rutschman is ready: Baltimore is the one not ready to start his service time clock.
He is shaping up to be a huge contributor for the 2022 O’s, though, and there is a chance he is a September call-up this year.