The Orioles announced a dozen minor leaguers who will begin spring training with the big league club. Many represent veteran depth options, but a few big-name prospects are mixed in.
Catcher Chance Sisco, the Orioles' only representative in several offseason top 100 prospect lists, headlines the group as one of three minor-league catchers who will serve as extra catchers alongside the major league trio of Welington Castillo, Francisco Pena, and Caleb Joseph.
Sisco, 21, hit .320 with an .868 OPS at Double-A Bowie last year and homered twice in four games upon his late-season promotion to Triple-A Norfolk. A career .323 minor league hitter, the team is regarding him as a bat who could help sooner rather than later.
Sisco was one of a handful of players whose inclusion was announced by manager Buck Showalter last month at minicamp, along with fellow catcher Audry Perez, outfielder David Washington, and outfielder Chris Dickerson.
The final catcher in the mix will be Yermin Mercedes, who turns 24 years old on the first day of camp and hit .345 at Class-A Delmarva and High-A Frederick last season, winning the South Atlantic League batting title in the process.
Washington, a slugging outfielder who was signed from the St. Louis Cardinals organization, will be part of a crowded major league outfield mix with Dickerson and Logan Schafer, the three non-roster invitees at that position. Dickerson, who spent time with the Orioles in 2013, was a late-season minor league free agent signing with the club last year after battling injuries for much of 2016. Schafer, a former third-round pick, spent time in the majors with the Minnesota Twins last year and is a career .214 big league hitter.
The infield is also heavy on outside free agents, with the team signing Johnny Giavotella and Robert Andino to minor-league deals with spring training invites in just the last week. Not included on this list but sure to be seen in the late innings of many spring training games is Garabez Rosa, a longtime Orioles farmhand who re-signed this offseason.
Nate Adcock, one of the four non-roster pitchers who earned an invite, signed with the organization last offseason while recovering from Tommy John surgery and did not pitch in 2016. The 28-year-old right-hander has pitched for three different major league clubs in his career, with a lifetime 4.17 ERA.
The team will also use major league camp to get a look at two pitchers who came in this offseason, left-hander Jed Bradley and right-hander Zach Stewart. Bradley was a waiver claim from the Atlanta Braves this fall, with a first-round pedigree but limited major league experience. Stewart spent last season pitching in Korea.
The only familiar name of the bunch is Richard Rodriguez, who had a strong year for Triple-A Norfolk a season ago, going 6-2 with a 2.53 ERA in 81 2/3 innings last year.
With everyone on their 40-man roster expected to be available, the Orioles will carry 52 players into spring training. Pitchers and catchers begin reporting this weekend, with the first official workout on Feb. 14.