The Orioles have invited 31 players who aren’t on their 40-man roster to spring training, and it’s possible they could have more by the time pitchers and catchers report to the Ed Smith Stadium complex in Sarasota on February 15th.
Many of the Orioles’ brightest prospects will be on hand later this month, including the past three No. 1 draft picks — outfielders Heston Kjerstad (2020) and Colton Cowser (2021), and shortstop Jackson Holliday (2022).
Kjerstad, who didn’t begin his professional career until last June, wasn’t in major league spring training last year because of a hamstring injury. He wasn’t able to play in 2021 because of myocarditis, an inflammation of muscles around the heart.
Cowser wasn’t invited to the lockout-delayed major league spring training last year but did play in some Grapefruit League games. The 19-year-old Holliday, who was the first overall pick in last July’s draft, gets an invite after just 20 professional games.
Some of the other top prospects to receive their first invitations to spring training are infielders Coby Mayo, Connor Norby, César Prieto and Jordan Westburg, all of whom played in some Grapefruit League games last year.
Left-hander Cade Povich, who the Orioles received from the Minnesota Twins in the trade for closer Jorge López and was recently named baseball’s 54th top prospect by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel, also has been invited.
Others on the list are: right-handers Eduard Bazardo, Wandisson Charles, Kyle Dowdy, Reed Garrett, Ofreidy Gómez, Morgan McSweeney, Kade Strowd, Cole Uvila, Chris Vallimont and Ryan Watson, who was named the Orioles’ minor league pitcher of the year; catchers Anthony Bemboom, Maverick Handley, Mark Koozsvary and Ramon Rodriguez; infielders Franchy Cordero, Lewin Díaz, Josh Lester, Ryan O’Hearn and Curtis Terry; and outfielders Daz Cameron, Nomar Mazara and Robert Neustrom.
Left-handed pitcher Darwinzon Hernandez cleared waivers on Thursday after the original list was announced, and has been added to the spring training invitee list.