I was supposed to lead this post with D.L. Hall, the Orioles' first-round pick in 2017 and my No. 63 prospect coming into the the 2018 season (first in the O's system), but the home plate ump for Hall's start on Thursday night had other plans.
Hall got through 2 2/3 innings in his outing at Wilmington before he was ejected for allegedly arguing balls and strikes, although any dispute -- and he had real reason to be upset, as the ump missed at least two called strikes on breaking balls in that inning -- was so fast that I missed it while writing a note on the hard-hit single Nick Pratto had just hit off Hall. Before the umpshow hit, I did at least get to see Hall working 93-96 with a plus curveball at 79-83 that had real two-plane break, although he was wild and didn't show average command of either pitch. There's nothing in the delivery to say he can't get to average command or control in the future, but for the moment it's just a power approach -- he's trying to blow guys away with velocity and then changes speeds with a curveball that's very tough for A-ball hitters to see. Here's hoping the next time I see him the umpire will let him get through the order a second time.