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Adley Rutschman, Grayson Rodriguez, DL Hall represent Orioles on Baseball America top 100 prospects list

Baseball America released its top 100 prospects for the 2020 season Wednesday, with the Orioles’ previous three first-round draft picks all among the top half of the group.

Catcher Adley Rutschman, the first overall pick in the 2019 draft, was the No. 5 prospect in the rankings, behind Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco, Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Jo Adell and Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux.

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Rutschman, who swept every major college award as a junior at Oregon State after earning College World Series Most Outstanding Player honors the year before, hit .254/.351/.423 with four home runs and caught 64% percent of would-be base-stealers across three minor league levels after agreeing to a record-$8.1 million signing bonus.

Grayson Rodriguez, who the Orioles selected with the 11th overall pick in 2018, ranked as No. 35 prospect and No. 10 right-handed pitcher. Rodriguez shared the Orioles’ Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year award with Michael Baumann after dominating with Low-A Delmarva in his first full season. Rodriguez, 20, posted a 2.68 ERA with 129 strikeouts across 94 innings.

DL Hall, 21, appeared at No. 47, the ninth highest for a left-handed pitcher. Hall, a 2017 first-round pick, struggled with his command at times with High-A Frederick last year, and his season ended prematurely with an injury, but he managed to strike out 116 batters across 80 2/3 innings with 3.46 ERA.

Both Rodriguez and Hall pitched in 2019 Futures Game during All-Star week, with each pitching a scoreless, hitless frame.

Ryan Mountcastle, Austin Hays and Yusniel Diaz, the Orioles’ respective fourth, fifth and sixth prospects, were all listed as notable players who did not make the cut, with Mountcastle mentioned as being particularly close to making the top 100.

Mountcastle was named the Orioles’ Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year and International League MVP for 2019 after hitting .312/.344/.527 with 25 home runs in his age-22 season for Triple-A Norfolk. His lack of plate discipline (130 strikeouts to 24 walks) and a defensive position are perhaps what kept him out of the top 100.

After a second straight injury-filled season, Hays, 24, spent September with the Orioles showing the impact he can have when healthy, posting a .947 OPS while putting on a defensive highlight reel in center field.

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Diaz, the 23-year-old centerpiece of the Manny Machado trade with the Dodgers, hit .262/.335/.472 with 11 home runs for Double-A Bowie while repeatedly battling leg injuries.

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