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Three Orioles prospects ranked in top 100 by Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

A pair of national top prospect lists came out Wednesday at Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus, and each featured three Orioles prospects among the game's best.

Outfielder Yusniel Díaz, who was the centerpiece in last year's trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers that sent Manny Machado the other way, led the trio on each list, followed by a pair of homegrown talents in third baseman Ryan Mountcastle and left-hander DL Hall.

On Baseball America's list, Díaz rated No. 37, Hall came in at No. 54 and Mountcastle came in at No. 90. At Baseball Prospectus, Díaz was No. 44, with Mountcastle No. 51 and Hall No. 92.

While among the notable lists, FanGraphs' Orioles rankings are imminent and the ESPN hasn't put its list out yet, either. But those three players have led the organization's lists this offseason after their strong 2018 performances.

Díaz, who homered twice in the MLB All-Star Futures Game while he was with the Dodgers and was traded days later, hit .285/392/.449 with 11 home runs and 15 doubles between Double-A Tulsa and Bowie, though his .239/.329/.403 line with the Baysox wasn't all that impressive as the Orioles got to work tinkering with his swing shortly after he arrived.

At 22, Díaz helms a promising young group of outfielders in the organization including Austin Hays and Ryan McKenna, with Cedric Mullins and DJ Stewart already at the major league level.

Mountcastle, who turns 22 next month, came to the Orioles as a first-round pick in 2015 and has done nothing but hit since. At Double-A Bowie last year, Mountcastle hit .297/.341/.464 with 13 home runs and 19 doubles in 102 games, showing a loose, easy right-handed swing with room to grow into more power.

It will be on the Orioles' new regime to help settle his defensive future, as Mountcastle was moved from shortstop to third base in 2017 and has shown issues with his hands and throwing arm on the infield — though none of that really outweighs his offensive promise.

Hall, 20, grew into a dominant young arm in 2017 at Low-A Delmarva. The Orioles' 2017 first-round pick had a 2.10 ERA in 22 games last year, allowing either zero or one earned run in his last 13 games. Hall could be one of the breakout pitchers in the minors with a repeat performance this year, and deliver on the promise of the Orioles' first-round pitchers that's rarely come to fruition.

jmeoli@baltsun.com

twitter.com/JonMeoli

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