In need of pitching throughout the organization, the Orioles made it a priority to find high-ceiling arms in the amateur draft this month.
The biggest prize signed Friday, with the club and Georgia high school left-hander DL Hall agreeing to a contract with a $3 million bonus – slightly above suggested slot of $2,892,400.
Hall, selected 21st overall, decided to pass on his college scholarship to Florida State University and become a pro.
“Florida State, they’ve been my favorite team since I was a little kid, so it was a tough decision,” said Hall, who, at 18, immediately becomes one of the organization’s top-rated pitchers. “Because I was looking forward to college, but I think Baltimore had a lot to offer and I’m excited about it.”
Hall is represented by agent Scott Boras, who attended the conference along with several of Hall’s friends and family members.
“It’s been really exciting. It’s an awesome experience for me and my family as far as getting to know the place in Baltimore and overall a fun experience,” said Hall, on his first trip to Baltimore. “It’s an awesome facility, everything that I’ve seen so far is amazing to me. I enjoy any baseball park, but this is definitely one that has a lot to offer.”
It’s impossible to know how these picks will play out, but the Orioles landed a guy who was projected higher in many mock drafts, and someone with a major upside.
“We didn’t think he would be there. We’re very excited he was,” said scouting director Gary Rajsich. “For us, evaluating DL, he has a fast, loose and free power arm. He has a very good, athletic delivery. He has a good fastball, it has running life to it. He has a good power, downward curveball, a good circle change, with late fade and sink and also he throws a slider. What we like about DL, he has a feel to pitch and he throws strikes with all his pitches.”
Rajsich said Hall will go to Sarasota to work out, and begin his pro career. From there, there’s no set timetable for his progression. At this point, Hall just wants to get on a mound – he hasn’t pitched since the Georgia state high school tournament about two months ago.
“I’ve been throwing since then, but I’m excited to get back on the mound and compete,” Hall said.
The Orioles have now signed all but one of their Top 10 picks – fourth-rounder Jack Conlon.
MASNsports.com first reported the value of Hall’s contract.