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Orioles announce 30 non-roster players who are invited to spring training

#1 overall pick Jackson Holliday has snagged an invite to major league camp

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Less than a year ago, the Orioles used the #1 overall draft pick on high school shortstop Jackson Holliday. When major league spring training opens in a couple of weeks, Holliday will be right there with everyone else, at least to start out. The team announced a set of 30 non-roster players invited to camp on Thursday morning, headlined by last year’s top pick.

Along with Holliday, the two previous Orioles first round draft picks are invited to the big league camp as well, Heston Kjerstad and Colton Cowser. It’s going to be a welcome sign to see Kjerstad in this camp at last, and hopefully he will be able to make a good impression. Other notable prospects on the invite list are infielders Coby Mayo, Connor Norby, and Jordan Westburg, as well as pitcher Cade Povich, who is fresh off being named as one of the top 100 prospects in the game by ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel.

All players on the 40-man roster are automatically invited to the MLB spring training camp, so the top prospects who were added early this offseason - Joey Ortiz and Grayson Rodriguez being the most interesting ones - will also be part of the mix. The early spring training games might be worth watching with a lot of these players getting a little playing time, so maybe MASN will actually bother to televise some of them, in contrast to its effort in recent seasons.

30 invites to camp is a lot. Last year, the team invited 22 non-roster players. Of those 22 players, half eventually appeared in at least one game for the team, some much more than others. We can hope the roster is a bit more stable now, but most likely we’ll be seeing a bunch of these guys for at least a short bit as the 2023 season plays out. If there are injuries or short-term needs and the team doesn’t want to rush a prospect into that gap just yet, the afterthoughts of this list will be the guys asked to step up.

The full list of invited players includes some names you probably don’t recognize even if you have very thoroughly been following each and every single reported minor league signing this offseason. Here’s the whole group:

Pitchers (11)

  • RHP Eduardo Bazardo
  • RHP Wandisson Charles
  • RHP Kyle Dowdy
  • RHP Reed Garrett
  • RHP Ofreidy Gómez
  • RHP Morgan McSweeney
  • LHP Cade Povich
  • RHP Kade Strowd
  • RHP Cole Uvila
  • RHP Chris Vallimont
  • RHP Ryan Watson

Catchers (4)

  • Anthony Bemboom
  • Maverick Handley
  • Mark Kolozsvary
  • Ramon Rodriguez

Infielders (10)

  • Franchy Cordero
  • Lewin Díaz
  • Jackson Holliday
  • Josh Lester
  • Coby Mayo
  • Connor Norby
  • Ryan O’Hearn
  • César Prieto
  • Curtis Terry
  • Jordan Westburg

Outfielders (5)

  • Daz Cameron
  • Colton Cowser
  • Heston Kjerstad
  • Nomar Mazara
  • Robert Neustrom

With 70 players total in camp, there will be a lot of cuts to be made over the six weeks it’s running and many of them will be reassigned in short order. In contrast to last year, when Orioles fans were all hoping (until he got hurt) that then-non-roster invite Adley Rutschman would make the Opening Day roster, there aren’t really any guys in this group who you absolutely, definitely want to see on the team on March 30.

That’s as much a reflection of the level of talent that has showed up on the big league roster as it is for the readiness level of some of the prospects. Almost everybody who projects as a regular at least has some big league success under their belt. For the prospects, at least, it’ll be nice to get a chance to see what they have to offer for as long as the team wants to keep them around in camp.