Michael Baumann

Position: RHSP
Level: Class A
Affiliate: Delmarva Shorebirds
League: South Atlantic League
Born: 09/10/1995 (Age: 22)
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 225
B/T: Right / Right
Acquired: 3rd Rd., 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft (BAL)

Prospect Spotlight

At 6’4’’ and a broad, well-proportioned 225 pounds, Baumann looks the part of a big league workhorse. He pitches at 93-to-94 mph with the fastball, frequently reaching back for 95-to-96 mph when he’s ahead in the count. It’s a heavy ball with firm life from his hand, though the fastball is otherwise fairly straight. I’ve seen two starts this year, and while he has shown sequences of low strikes to both sides of the plate, the in-zone command tends to wane as he turns lineups over.

His best off-speed is an inconsistent 80-to-84 mph curveball that flashes average, but also backs up on him with more frequency than you’d like to see from a college draftee. While Baumann is working hard to develop his changeup, it’s a present 30-grade pitch that’s a long way from being a workable big league offering. It’s overthrown in the 87-to-89 range, often falling out of the zone and speeding up bats the times it doesn’t. There’s intriguing feel for a high-80s cutter/slider pitch that might wind up being better than the changeup. Though he uses it sparingly and only back through the lineup, Baumann’s strong (but rigid) arm-stroke and mechanical operation seem best-suited to let it rip—making a slider more of a natural third pitch than the touch and grip needed for a change.

The ceiling is a #5 starter, able to eat innings while limiting walks with above-average velocity. I don’t see the secondary pitch for more than a back-rotation type guy, and there are some similarities to current O’s swingman Mike Wright (RHP): a physical, hard-throwing starter with velocity that plays down because of trouble keeping hitters off the fastball. Despite a lower ceiling, Baumann has the ingredients of a high floor as well—his imposing frame and arm strength will give him chances to establish himself in a bullpen role if he doesn’t figure it out in the rotation.