Orioles re-sign six players to minor league deals

The Orioles are bringing back six players on minor league deals who were members of the organization this summer.

The re-signing of super-utility player Stevie Wilkerson was finalized on Saturday and announced this afternoon.

Joining Wilkerson are infielder Ryan Ripken, the son of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., catcher Taylor Davis, and right-handers Marcos Diplán, Mickey Jannis and Ofelky Peralta.

Wilkerson missed the 2020 season due to a fractured left ring finger, an injury sustained in a July exhibition game in Philadelphia. He was discharged from physical therapy last Thursday and is set to compete for a job in spring training.

Davis, who turns 31 in November, signed a minor league deal on Jan. 28 to provide catching depth, but was kept at the alternate camp site in Bowie. He appeared in 20 games with the Cubs over the previous three seasons and batted .222/.256/.333 with one double and one home run.

The Orioles evaluated Davis at first base in exhibition and intrasquad games to gauge whether he could back up at the position and increase his value.

Ripken, 27, signed with the Orioles prior to the 2017 minor league season and is a career .242/.281/.331 hitter in 380 games. He concluded the 2019 season at Double-A Bowie, batting .282/.315/.379 in 30 games.

The Nationals drafted Ripken in the 15th round in 2014 out of Indian River (Fla.) Community College. The Orioles chose him in the 20th round two years earlier out of Gilman School.

Jannis, 32, is a knuckleballer who was brought over from minor league camp on occasion this spring to throw in the bullpen. He drew crowds based on his signature pitch, but didn’t get into a game.

The Orioles signed Jannis in January, but the cancellation of the minor league season denied him the chance to pitch at Triple-A Norfolk. He was stuck in independent ball from 2012-2015.

Jannis was in the Mets organization prior to joining the Orioles.

Diplan-Pitch-Orange-ST-sidebar.jpgDiplán was eligible for the Rule 5 draft. The Orioles claimed him off waivers from the Tigers on the first day of the Winter Meetings on Dec. 9. The Tigers claimed him from the Twins three months earlier.

Diplán was an international signing for the Rangers, who landed him as an amateur from Santiago, Dominican Republic, on July 2, 2013 and gave him a $1.3 million bonus. He was considered one of the top arms in that class, with Baseball America rating him as the No. 6 prospect.

The Orioles reassigned Diplán to minor league camp on March 6, but more attention was given to Adley Rutschman and Rule 5 picks Brandon Bailey and Michael Rucker among the camp cuts.

Peralta, 23, is 22-32 with a 4.60 ERA and 1.571 WHIP in six minor league seasons. He’s made 105 starts in 108 games.

The 2019 season included stops at Single-A Delmarva and Frederick, where Peralta went a combined 9-5 with a 4.03 ERA and a 1.388 WHIP in 116 innings. He averaged 4.6 walks and 9.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

Peralta also was Rule 5 eligible, though unlikely to be drafted. He was impressive in fall instructional camp.

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