With the 2022 minor league season officially in the books, itís time to roll out Camden Chatís annual prospect review series to take stock of some of the most notable young talents in the Oriolesí farm system.
infielder Adam Hall, another Duquette-era holdover, has stagnated in the lower minors, five years after the Orioles made him their second-round pick out of A B Lucas Secondary School in London, Ontario.
The Athleticís Keith Law has always been the high man on Hall, ranking him as the Oriolesí #6 prospect prior to the 2021 season. Hall flashed his speed and on-base skills in his first two years in the Oriolesí system, swiping 55 bases in 69 attempts while registering an OBP of .368 for then short-season Aberdeen in 2018 and .385 at Low-A Delmarva in 2019. His defense also was considered MLB worthy, with Law writing that Hall had ďthe arm and actions to be an average shortstop or above-average-to-plus second baseman.Ē
The canceled 2020 minor league season, though, impacted Hall more than most. Due to Canadaís travel restrictions, he wasnít able to join his fellow Oís prospects at the clubís alternate camp in Bowie during the summer. Hall hasnít recovered since his lost year of development. Spending all of 2021 at High-A, Hallís OBP dropped to .335 and he struck out 100 times in 81 games. Law, who dropped Hall to #18 in his 2022 Oís prospect rankings in February, wrote, ďIf he doesnít start making more contact with some more doubles power, heís going to be hard-pressed to even hit a utility ceiling.Ē
Unfortunately, 2022 turned into another mostly lost year for Hall. While playing for Double-A Bowie, he missed a couple of weeks after contracting COVID-19 in May. He then spent two months away from the team from late June to mid-August for reasons that donít seem to have been publicly disclosed, playing nine games at sporadic intervals for the rookie-league FCL Orioles during that span. Ultimately Hall played just 50 games for the Baysox, posting a career-worst .330 SLG with only 12 extra-base hits. He didnít tap into the doubles power Law was looking for. More concerningly, Hall ó once considered to be a capable defender up the middle ó didnít play a single game at shortstop, and only four at second base, in 2022. He started 21 games in the outfield but got the majority of his starts (23) as a designated hitter.
Whatever the reason for Hallís limited appearances on the diamond ó injuries, or being pushed aside by better prospects ó there simply isnít much of a major league future for a now 23-year-old outfielder/DH who slugs .330 at Double-A. Hall was Rule 5 eligible for the first time after the 2021 season, and while the Oís decided not to place him on their 40-man roster to protect him, the decision at least required a little bit of debate. This winter, thereís no such debate.