The Orioles opened up early minor league camp for a select group of minor league players on February 18th. They are brought in by the Orioles to give them some early work and allow them to be used be the major league camp for things like simulation games, intraqaud games or split squad spring training games.
For these players, it gives the major league coaching staff and early look at them and it’s great way to leave a good impression. For the starters it gives them a chance to stretch out a bit and could mean they could be on a high pitch count when the season starts for them.
The following 37 players were invited to early camp.
Pitchers: Keegan Akin, Garrett Cleavinger, Stefan Crichton, Brian Gonzalez, Luis Gonzalez, Trey Haley, Jefri Hernandez, David Hess, Branden Kline, Lazaro Leyva, John Means, Brian Moran, Tomo Ohka, Cody Satterwhite, Tanner Scott, Cody Sedlock, Alex Wells, Jimmy Yacabonis
Thoughts: It’s good to see Lazaro Leyva and Branden Kline invited. Both missed all of last season with injuries so it’s good to see they are full go going into the 2017 season. Kline is recovering from TJ surgery and Leyva from multiple injuries. both have fastball that can reach the upper 90s. LHP Alex Wells (#6 prospect) won’t be here long because he will pitch for Team Australia in the WBC despite being just 20-years old. Orioles will take a look at former big leaguer Tomo Ohka who is trying to make a comeback as a knuckleball pitcher. The only slight surprise is that Ofelky Peralta (#9 prospect)didn’t get an invite. At just 20-years old the Orioles may just want him to focus on getting ready for his minor league season and not trying to impress the brass.
Thoughts: Good to see Austin Wynns show up. He sprained his ankle in a winter league game so this could mean it’s coming around quicker then they thought originally.
Thoughts: Most though Juan Francisco was given an official spring training invite but if this is true he’ll have to earn his playing time coming over from the minor league camp. Aderlin Rodriguez had an interesting season last year at Frederick and he’ll get an opportunity to impress the major league brass.
Thoughts: The bigger news is who was invited over who. Cedric Mullens and Randolph Gassaway got invites over former first round pick Josh Hart who has mostly been a bust so far in his career.