Following up on a successful 2016 season, the Orioles first pick didn’t come up until #21 overall. That meant that all of the big, hyped names like Hunter Greene were going to be long gone before the Orioles got a chance to make a selection. Maybe in Hall, they have found a future All-Star talent to help them in the years to come.
Depending on which of the draft and prospect commentators you asked, the Orioles were either focused in on fast-moving college starting pitchers, polished college bats, or prep outfielders or shortstops.
In short, there wasn’t much consensus about what the O’s were looking to do with the pick, and as it ended up, they went with none of the above in grabbing the high school lefty, Hall. By taking Hall, they surely think they were taking the best player available. Let’s hope they’re right.
The O’s aren’t out on a limb in picking Hall in that spot. ESPN’s Keith Law was a big fan of Hall, rating him as the 8th best prospect in the draft:
Hall is an athletic lefty with a super-fast arm who will sit 93-94 mph with a plus curveball and average changeup, and he even has some tailing life on the heater.
MLB Pipeline rated Hall as the 14th best prospect in the draft and described him like so:
Hall usually operates at 90-93 mph and can touch 95 with his heater, which has some running action but is more notable for his command than his life. His hard curve is often his best offering and features a high spin rate, though it can get slurvy at times. While his changeup is still in its nascent stages, it's showing improvement as he commits to throwing it more often.
That same scouting report gave one possible comparison to Hall as being Scott Kazmir.
Whether the pick ends up working out is something to be determined in the years to come, but at least superficially they look like they got some great value in getting to pick a player with this talent at #21 overall. MLB analyst Jim Callis went so far as to call it a steal for the O’s on MLB’s draft broadcast.
Orioles scouting director Gary Rajsich had this to say about Hall:
Hall is a polished, young LHP, with a good fastball, curve, change-up & good control. We project seeing him in our starting rotation in the near future.
Every scouting director will be giving glowing quotes about his picks tonight, so it’s not exactly news that the O’s like their first pick. Sounds nice for sure, though.
Our friends over at SB Nation’s Minor League Ball see Hall as a possible #3 starter, or even a #2 if things go well for him.
The slot value for the #21 overall pick is $2,892,400. The Orioles will pick twice more again tonight, at #60 and then again at #74.