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The Orioles host their annual, three-day mini-camp in Sarasota starting today, allowing the club’s major league staff to take a look at the organization’s pitching depth.
It’s an extensive list of invitees that includes lefties Keegan Akin, Richard Bleier, Nestor Cortes Jr., Andrew Faulkner, Luis Gonzalez, Chris Lee, Joely Rodriguez and Tanner Scott and right-handers Dariel Alvarez, Miguel Castro, Mychal Givens, Hunter Harvey, David Hess, Lucas Long, Yefry Ramirez, and Jimmy Yacabonis.
It’s a good time for young pitchers to make an impression before spring training begins in February, and several of them — such as Cortes, Castro, Hess and Lee – will be getting revved up for a potential 2018 rotation spot.
Hess, who was added to the 40-man roster earlier this offseason, talked with BaltimoreBaseball.com recently about what he needs to do in 2018 to make it to the majors.
It’s not just young pitchers that are hoping to impress the Orioles’ brass and get a shot at the big leagues in 2018, however.
Another recent addition to the 40-man roster – and a player who has rocketed up the organization’s depth chart after gradual moves in his pro career – is 27-year-old catcher Austin Wynns, a 10th-round selection in 2013.
Wynns hit .281 with a .377 on-base percentage and 10 homers in 105 games with Double-A Bowie in 2017. What’s really gotten him noticed, however, is his defensive abilities. That’s what could get Wynns to the majors this season, especially if it is determined that top catching prospect Chance Sisco, who is only 22, needs a little more time to develop defensively.
Adam Pohl, the voice of the Bowie Baysox, recently chatted with Wynns about his career, his emergence in 2017 and what can be expected from him this year. Like Hess, it’s hard not to be impressed by Wynn’s maturity and enthusiasm for the game.
If you want to know more about Wynns before he competes for a job with the Orioles, this episode of Minor League Podcast is definitely worth a listen.