First, Adam Hall contracted COVID-19, forcing him to the injured list at Double-A Bowie in early May. He was quarantined for 10 days in his Odenton, Md., apartment before being activated by the Baysox May 20.
Then, Hall’s beloved Toronto Maple Leafs lost in Game 7 of a first-round series against the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning. The Ontario native has been a diehard Leafs fan since he was a kid. Toronto has not won the Cup since 1967 or a first-round series since 2004.
But things have been looking up at the ballpark. The 5-foot-11, 165-pound Hall is hitting .288/.384/.342 with four doubles entering play May 24, up from .248/.335/.337 a year ago at High-A Aberdeen. He has also settled into a super utility role, playing some second base, center field and right field so far this year.
Hall, 23, knows his versatility will be vital to making the big leagues.
“I really like it. I’m big into knowing where to go on plays,” Hall said on Glenn Clark Radio May 18. “As a kid, that was always my thing. I would be thinking about it before the play. ‘Where am I going if this happens? Where am I going if this happens?’ So being able to do that from every position, I enjoy that and just being able to play a different position every day potentially, that also kind of keeps things fresh. It’s fun for me. I like it.”
Hall played mostly second base (47 games) for the IronBirds last year while sprinkling in some time in center field (13) and shortstop (12). He said he began playing the outfield a lot during spring training this year, and that has carried over to Bowie.
There was a time when Hall was considered a possible future shortstop for the Orioles. He was drafted by the Orioles out of A.B. Lucas Secondary School in London, Ontario, in the second round of the 2017 MLB Draft. He showed solid contact and on-base skills during his first two full pro seasons, setting himself up for a possible breakout in 2020.
But that season never transpired, robbing Hall of crucial developmental time.
“In terms of the most difficult thing that I’ve gone through, it’s definitely been the COVID year, kind of being stuck in Canada through that,” Hall said. “We were hit pretty heavy with the restrictions there. Just not seeing any live pitching for almost a year and a half, that was a big year for me that was supposed to happen that year. That was tough.”
The missed season came on the heels of losing his father, Tyler, to multiple myeloma at the age of 53 in March 2020.
Hall is continuing his journey to the big leagues with his dad in mind. He just hopes there are fewer obstacles thrown at him in the years to come, but there are never any guarantees.
“There’s always that adversity,” Hall said. “Maturing is how you’re able to deal with that.”