With Spring Training right around the corner, it is time to examine the non-roster invitees to major league camp. This year, the Orioles will have at least 15 invitees on minor league contracts hoping to make a big enough impression to stick with the big club. The majority of the list is composed of veterans looking for one last shot at making a big league roster, but there are two notable youngsters on the list – Hunter Harvey and Dariel Alvarez.
With Harvey in camp, Orioles fans can start getting an idea of what the rotation may look in the future. Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy, the first round picks who preceded Harvey are already on the 40 man roster. Harvey is likely right on their heels. The lanky right-hander dealt with a flexor mass strain that ended his season in July last summer, so Orioles fans should not expect to see him any higher than Double-A to start the season. The invite to major league camp is nothing more than a chance for Harvey to get some extra instruction from the major league coaches before returning to the back fields with the rest of the minor leaguers.
Dariel Alvarez is another interesting prospect with whom Orioles fans will become familiar with in the coming years. The Orioles plucked Alvarez out of Cuba in 2012, around the same time they picked up Henry Urrutia. Alvarez was a second tier Cuban prospect, but still capable of reaching the majors. Last season was his first full season in America and the results were positive. Alvarez’s defense was never in question, but his ability to handle major league pitching was a bit cloudier.
Alvarez’s .306 batting average, 15 home runs and low strikeout rate helped to answer many of the questions about his ability to handle the bat. Ultimately, Alvarez may find his path to the Orioles blocked due to the great depth the Orioles have in the outfield right now. Alvarez projects as a corner outfielder, and with the addition of Travis Snider, there simply may not be enough spots on the bench for the 26-year-old. Look for Alvarez to start the season in Triple-A and be the first call up should the Orioles suffer any injuries in the outfield.
The remainder of the Orioles non-roster invitees include several interesting names, most notably, Nolan Reimold and J.P. Arencibia. Reimold was never quite able to stay healthy enough to live up to his top prospect billing during his initial stint with the Orioles. Arencibia is another former top prospect who never quite panned out at the big league level. He could compete with Caleb Joseph for the backup role to Matt Wieters.
The full list of Orioles non-roster spring training invitees is listed below:
Outfielders: Dariel Alvarez, Nolan Reimold, Matt Tuiasosopo.