The Orioles’ short-season entry in the Gulf Coast League is opening up a new season today in Florida.
Here is the GCL O’s opening day roster, with more players to be added from the draft as they sign and report. For the most part, almost every high school player the Orioles drafted will be sent to the GCL.
Players from the 2013 draft are listed with the round in which they were selected.
Augey Bill (round 39)
Garrett Cortright (round 40)
Eric Green (round 36)
Caleb Kellogg (round 17)
Alex Murphy (round 6)
Chance Sisco (round 2)
Randolph Gassaway (round 16)
Justin Viele (round 37)
Pitchers Zach Clark and Julio Rodriguez are listed as on rehab with the GCL squad.
The roster includes Pita Rona, the 18-year-old former softball player the Orioles signed out of New Zealand in January 2010.
Orlando Gomez, the former Single-A Frederick Keys skipper, is the GCL manager with former big leaguer Wilson Alvarez the pitching coach. Other coaches are Milt May and Eric Cormell.
The Orioles’ fourth-round pick, Jonah Heim, should also be joining the GCL team soon. At that point, the Orioles will have the three high school catchers they drafted this year in the first six rounds there in Sisco, Heim and Murphy.
Orioles director of player development Brian Graham said a plan is in place to get all three playing time, at-bats and experience.
“First of all, it is difficult playing in the Gulf Coast League,” Graham said. “It is hot, there is a lot of work and the learning curve is very steep. It’s not a bad situation. Each will catch two games a week and DH two games a week, so they’ll be in four of the six games each week. They’ll have a nice rotation and on their off-days, they’ll have a good work day.
“I think this plan will be very beneficial to all three. They’ll also be catching simulated games and bullpens every day, so their workload is going to be very heavy.”
As an added benefit, Gomez is a very solid catching instructor and O’s minor league catching instructor Don Werner will spend some time working with that group of catchers, as well.
O’s add another draft pick: The Orioles have come to terms with their 12th-round draft pick, junior college pitcher Jacob Bray. Bray was a two-way player as a third baseman and closer at Feather River (Calif.) Junior College, but the Orioles like him on the mound.
This season, the 20-year-old right-hander went 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA and had 19 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings. He has a low 90s fastball that has touched the mid-90s and a good slider. Baseball America ranked him as the draft’s 288th best player and he was taken with the 369th overall pick.
Bray was likely an overslot signing. Players can be signed for up to $100,000 when drafted after the 10th round. Any overage beyond that amount counts toward the team’s total draft pool allottment and Bray reportedly got more than $100,000, but the exact figure is not clear.
With the Bray agreement, the Orioles have come to terms with 14 of their first 15 selections.