The Orioles announced their list of 20 spring training non-roster invitees on Tuesday, summoning to Sarasota a group of prospects, minor league depth pieces and veterans signed to minor league deals.
Jackson Holliday, Samuel Basallo, Coby Mayo, Connor Norby, Chayce McDermott and Cade Povich will all be in attendance. Though most face uphill battles to break camp with the team, leaving strong impressions with the front office and coaching staff could lead to big league playing time later in the season. For example, Heston Kjerstad mashed .381 last spring, then brought his hot bat to Double-A Bowie and was in Baltimore by September.
With many of the team’s top prospects already on the Orioles’ 40-man roster, this list is significantly shorter than last year’s group of 31.
Here is the full list of roster hopefuls:
RHP Justin Armbruester
RHP Wandisson Charles
LHP Tucker Davidson
LHP Luis González
LHP Ronald Guzmán
RHP Chayce McDermott
LHP Cade Povich
RHP Garrett Stallings
RHP Albert Suárez
LHP Andrew Suárez
RHP Nathan Webb
Pitchers on the 40-man: 21
Analysis: It’s difficult to see one of these invitees beating out a 40-man roster resident this spring, but an injury or two could open the door.
The list contains a few of the team’s top prospects. McDermott won the Orioles’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year award in 2023, compiling a 3.10 ERA and finishing the season with Triple-A Norfolk. Like McDermott, Povich joined the organization via trade in 2022, but was less successful in 2023, registering a 5.04 ERA while striking out 12.2 batters per nine innings. Armbruester put up a solid 3.56 ERA between two levels, but may lack the ceiling of McDermott and Povich.
In terms of offseason additions, Davidson is a seasoned lefty who might find his way up to Baltimore at some point during the season. Guzmán is a former big league first baseman who moved to the mound in 2023. Webb, who hasn’t pitched professionally since 2022, should not be confused with Jacob Webb, who has a spot on the 40-man.
Catchers on the 40-man: 2
Analysis: The Orioles rarely have three catchers on the active roster at any given time, and with Adley Rutschman and James McCann solidified in their roles, these players will be looking more to improve their minor league assignment than expecting to make the Opening Day roster.
This will be the first big league spring training for Basallo, a 19-year-old phenom who was named a Top 10 prospect by Baseball America this offseason. Ardoin and Handley are a pair of Mike Elias draft picks, while Bañuelos and Pérez were brought in on minor league deals this winter.
Infielders on the 40-man: 7
Analysis: All eyes will be on Holliday this spring, as baseball’s top prospect looks to head north with the big league club in late March. But don’t discount the possibility of Mayo mashing his way to Baltimore. The 22-year-old boasts a powerful right-handed swing and rocket arm at third base. Norby, who posted an .842 on-base-plus slugging in Norfolk in 2023, might be boxed out of a spot.
Outfielders on the 40-man: 8
Analysis: Johnson would need a historic spring to force his way onto the roster, and even then it probably wouldn’t be enough (see: Cordero, Franchy). The Orioles are set with their current group of starters in the outfield, while Kjerstad, Ryan McKenna, Colton Cowser, Kyle Stowers and Sam Hilliard will duke it out for the final spot(s).