Brault was an 11th round draft choice by the Orioles in the 2013 draft. They selected him from Regis University in Colorado. Since entering the O's system, he has a 2.61 ERA in 37 games, 36 of which were starts. That's across three levels: Aberdeen, Delmarva, and Frederick. He pitched most of last season at Delmarva, with a respectable 3.05 ERA in 130 innings. Even better, he had 115 strikeouts against only 28 walks.
When the Snider trade took place, Brault's name was one floated by Orioles beat writer Dan Connolly at the Baltimore Sun. Various comments from the beat crew indicated that the PTBNL would be "similar" to the already-named Stephen Tarpley, and indeed, Stephen and Steven are similar names. What they probably actually meant by that is that Tarpley is a left-handed pitcher who is far away from the big leagues and so is Brault, who probably would have started the season at Frederick and is soon to be 23.
It's a bit curious that Brault was the PTBNL in the trade. The fact that they didn't name the player right away seemed to hint that maybe the player could be someone who was not eligible to be named - a recent 2014 draftee or signee. That does not prove to be the case. Maybe they needed Brault to report and take his physical before they could make the trade official.
In the recent Fangraphs rankings of the Orioles system, Kiley McDaniel rated Brault as the Orioles' #21 prospect in their system. Tarpley was #9 in those same rankings. That makes the Snider trade seem like something of a steep price, but the reality is that any given moment, even a franchise with a deep farm system is not likely to get something out of either their #9 or #21 prospects. It's a long way down from the top.
McDaniel noted that Brault was new to full-time pitching, causing a varying velocity, and that "the elements are here for a back-end starter if he can find more consistent arm speed." That sounds like a little thing but is actually quite a big if. Dan Duquette thought the Orioles could use Snider more now and next year than they might get out of Tarpley and Brault in the future.
He might be right, although he sure seems to love trading lefties out of the minor league system. Josh Hader, Eduardo Rodriguez, now Tarpley and Brault. The O's got value out of those first two names. Hopefully this latest trade brings the same, even if it may be that they gave up future big leaguers in the process.