The pitching depth the Orioles have bubbling in the low minors will be put on display as part of next month’s All-Star festivities.
Left-hander DL Hall and right-hander Grayson Rodriguez, the Orioles’ first-round picks from the 2017 and 2018 drafts, will represent the organization and the American League in the All-Star Futures Game on July 7 at Cleveland’s Progressive Field.
Hall, 20, was the Orioles’ No. 21 overall pick in 2017. He’s made 13 appearances for High-A Frederick with 12 starts and one piggyback outing in which he threw four scoreless innings to earn a save, posting a 4.25 ERA. Hall has struggled with his command throughout the season, issuing 38 walks in 48 2/3 innings, but he has 73 strikeouts and held opponents to a .218 average.
Rodriguez, 19, has been part of a dominant team with Low-A Delmarva. A South Atlantic League All-Star, the 2017 11th overall pick has a 2.21 ERA in 11 starts for the Shorebirds, with half of the earned runs he has allowed coming in one start in early June. Otherwise, he has given up more than one earned run only once. Rodriguez has allowed a .169 average while striking out 78 batters in 57 innings.
“I think that there's a lot of good things happening in the minor leagues right now,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “Especially at the lower levels. We're pitching really well, striking a bunch of guys out. I think there's excitement about that. It's not right around the corner. I think any time we have guys in our organization that are performing well and being recognized, Futures Game, that's a big deal. It's going to be awesome on national TV.
“Those kinds of things are great. We want to see a healthy organization. [Executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias] has talked about getting more talent in the organization. We've talked about getting waves of talent to come through, and it sounds like the pitching in our levels has really developed. It's doing fantastic, so it's great news for us.”
The Futures Game will be broadcast on MLB Network and MLB.com at 7 p.m. on July 7.
Around the horn
Frederick native Sara Hinesley, 10, born without hands, threw out the ceremonial first pitch. She recently won the Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest for her cursive handwriting. Hinesley’s first pitch was caught by Orioles pitcher and fellow Frederick native Branden Kline.