Orioles get four on the MLBPipeline.com top 100 list

Another major outlet released its national top 100 prospects list on Saturday afternoon. During a live telecast on MLB Network, MLBPipeline.com unveiled its new top 100, and the Orioles have placed four young players on the list.

Catcher Adley Rutschman, taken with the No. 1 overall draft pick last June, ranks No. 4 on this list. The only players ranked higher were Tampa Bay shortstop Wander Franco at No. 1, Los Angeles Dodgers infielder Gavin Lux at No. 2 and Chicago White Sox outfielder Luis Robert at No. 3.

Joining Rutschman on the MLBPipeline.com list are pitchers Grayson Rodriguez (No. 36) and DL Hall (No. 69) along with infielder and sometimes outfielder Ryan Mountcastle (No. 94).

Here is how MLBPipeline.com rated the Orioles as the 2019 season ended: Rutschman (No. 6), Rodriguez (No. 44), Hall (No. 60) and Mountcastle (No. 64).

Nine teams had five or more players on this list. The Tampa Bay Rays, though, were the only club to put six on the list. The list included 47 pitchers (36 right-handers) and 21 outfielders. Rutschman was one of 10 catchers and one of 11 players on the list from the 2019 draft. He was highest-ranked among 2019 draftees.

Rutschman, 21, hit .143 in five games with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Orioles last summer and then moved to short-season Single-A Aberdeen. He excelled in 20 games there, batting .325/.413/.481 with seven doubles, a triple, a homer and 15 RBIs. He moved to Single-A Delmarva and hit .154 in 12 games with the Shorebirds and played with the team in the South Atlantic League playoffs.

In 37 games combined on the year for those three clubs, Rutschman hit .254/.351/.423 with eight doubles, a triple, four homers, 26 RBIs and a .774 OPS.

The co-Minor League Pitcher of the Year on the O’s farm (with right-hander Michael Baumann) in 2019, Rodriguez, 20, had quite a season for a Delmarva team that won 90 games and led the league in team ERA, WHIP and strikeouts. He went 10-4 with a 2.68 ERA. Over 94 innings, he allowed 57 hits and just four homers, with 36 walks, 129 strikeouts, a .171 average against and a 0.99 WHIP. He was named the South Atlantic League’s Most Outstanding Prospect.

DL-Hall-Delivers-Futures-Game-Sidebar.jpgAfter pitching to a 2.10 ERA for Delmarva in 2018, the 21-year-old Hall went 4-5 with a 3.46 ERA for the Single-A Frederick Keys in 2019. He ended the year missing his last few starts due to an oblique injury. Over 80 2/3 innings, he allowed only 53 hits and just three home runs. He walked 54, fanned 116, had a .189 average against and a 1.33 WHIP. For two years in a row, Baseball America rated Hall as the top prospect in his league.

Mountcastle makes the back end of this list after a season when he was named both International League Most Valuable Player and the Orioles’ Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year. The 36th overall pick in the 2015 draft out of a Florida high school hit .312/.344/.527 with an .871 OPS in 2019, his first season at Triple-A Norfolk. He added 35 doubles, one triple, 25 homers, 81 runs and 83 RBIs.

On Wednesday, Baseball America released its new top 100, and Rutschman was ranked No. 5 with Rodriguez at No. 35 and Hall at No. 47. It was the first time since 2009 that the Orioles placed three players in Baseball America’s top 50. Then it was Matt Wieters (1), Chris Tillman (22) and Brian Matusz (25).

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