The Orioles opened their second January minicamp yesterday, and the first for hitters, with a modest invite list that featured six of their top 11 prospects per MLBPipeline.com.
Four of the other prospects in the elite 11 are pitchers. The only position player who’s absent right now is infielder Connor Norby, a second-round pick in 2021 who will participate in the second hitting camp that opens Tuesday morning.
(Here’s a reminder from earlier this week.)
The current gathering is headlined by catcher Adley Rutschman, baseball’s No. 1 prospect in the newest Baseball America rankings. Shortstops Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Westburg, outfielders Colton Cowser, Heston Kjerstad and Kyle Stowers, and Cuban infielder César Prieto also reported to the Ed Smith Stadium complex.
Of particular interest to me are the other two players at minicamp – outfielder Robert Neustrom and infielder Patrick Dorrian.
They aren’t found among the top 30 prospects. They’re eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft.
They’re also expected to be invited to spring training if remaining in the organization.
Neustrom, 25, made significant strides last year, the kind a team hopes for in a fifth-round pick, where the Orioles found him in 2018 out of the University of Iowa.
The most impressive part of Neustrom’s game in 2019 was the .364 on-base percentage in 207 plate appearances with low Single-A Delmarva. He split last summer almost evenly between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk – 62 games…