Orioles observations on Hudson Haskins’ home run, Kyle Gibson’s strong start and more

One swing in a Grapefruit League game between two split-squad teams won’t change the organizational perception of a player, but Hudson Haskin took advantage of the opportunity presented to him Monday.

Baltimore’s second-round pick in 2020, Haskin was perhaps the most notable exclusion when it came to prospects the Orioles brought to major league spring training as nonroster invitees. An outfielder Baseball America ranks as the organization’s No. 26 prospect, Haskin got his first opportunity to play in a big league exhibition on the home side of Monday’s split-squad contest, homering as a pinch-hitter in his first at-bat.

“Anytime you can get out here, big league atmosphere, is something to try not to take for granted,” Haskin said. “I was glad I was able to go out there and do something positive, help the team.”

Haskin, 24, had an .821 OPS with 15 home runs last year with Double-A Bowie. The Orioles’ nonroster invitees included an outfielder who finished the year a level below him and another drafted a year after him, though both Heston Kjerstad and Colton Cowser were both first-round picks. They also homered Monday; Kjerstad’s improved his battling line to 11-for-23 this spring and came in the other half of Monday’s split-squad game at the Atlanta Braves, while Cowser’s was his second opposite-field shot at Ed Smith Stadium after he ended last year at Triple-A.

The club also has plenty of major league outfielders, with Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins and Anthony Santander entrenched as starters and several players with major league experience part of a deep competition for a bench spot.

Asked whether he was surprised to not receive an invite to big league camp, Haskin responded, “I can’t really speak on that. Just trying to get the most out of wherever I’m at and get ready for the season.”

As games begin …read more

Source:: The Denver Post

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