The Orioles are promoting right-hander Mike Baumann to the big leagues, The Baltimore Sun’s Nathan Ruiz reports (Twitter link). Baumann turns 26 later this week, and his first appearance with the Orioles will mark his Major League debut.
A third-round pick out of Jacksonville University in the 2017 draft, Baumann pitched at the Triple-A level for the first time this season, posting a 2.00 ERA over 27 innings with a 24.1% strikeout rate and 12% walk rate. Baumann started all six of his Triple-A games and has worked almost exclusively as a starter during his pro career, so it seems likely that he’ll be given a look in Baltimore’s rotation given how the Orioles have been increasingly desperate for extra arms.
Baumann’s work in Triple-A salvaged what had been a bit of a troubling season, as the righty missed some time with an elbow injury that also led to a shutdown last September and then posted a 4.89 ERA over 38 2/3 innings of Double-A ball. He allowed six homers during that brief time in Double-A, which was more or less the first time the long ball has really been an issue for Baumann in the minors. Subtracting this year’s Double-A numbers and Baumann had given up only 16 home runs over his other 329 innings in Baltimore’s farm system.
Baseball America and MLB Pipeline each rank Baumann within the top ten Orioles prospects, with BA placing him ninth and Pipeline putting him right at the #10 spot. Baumann’s slider and fastball each receive 60-grades from Pipeline’s scouting report, with the heater able to hit the 98-99mph threshold but usually sitting around 94 or 95mph. These two pitches would seem to make “his floor that of an impact reliever,” according to Pipeline, and if Baumann can get something out of his more average curveball or changeup, he can develop as a Major League starter.