Up next on The Baltimore Battery Prospect Profiles Countdown is right-handed pitcher, Michael Baumann.
The 24-year-old was drafted in the third round (98th overall) by the Baltimore Orioles in 2017 out of Jacksonville University. The Orioles had previously tapped into the Jacksonville talent pool a year earlier in the third round taking Austin Hays.
After starring in football and baseball in high school, Baumann was drafted in the 34th round by the Minnesota Twins in 2014. Realizing that he could improve his draft stock immensely, the tall righty enrolled at Jacksonville University.
This proved to be the correct decision, as he was named the Atlantic Sun Conference Pitcher of the Year as a freshman and went on to have a very successful college career.
Baumann’s senior year was set back considerably, after he was diagnosed with mono, causing him to miss more than a month. Due to the fact he did not play baseball year-round in high school and missed a good portion of his senior year due to illness, Baumann does not have the wear and tear on his arm that we often see with four-year college pitchers.
After being drafted, Baumann spent most of the remainder of 2017 in Aberdeen, going 4-2 with a 1.31 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 41.1 innings.
After finding success in 2017, Baumann was promoted to Singe-A Delmarva in 2018 and split the season between the Shorebirds and the High-A Frederick Keys.
The 6’4 Baumann dominated at Delmarva, going 5-0 with a 1.42 ERA. The going got much tougher at Frederick, however, as Baumann went 8-5 with a 3.88 ERA for the Keys. Baumann finished 2018 with 106 strikeouts in 130.2 innings across the two clubs.
Baumann started 2019 at Frederick, before being promoted to Double-A Bowie. 2019 saw Baumann go 7-6 overall with a 2.98 ERA and 142 strikeouts in 124 innings.
Baumann was extremely impressive at the Double-A level, going 6-2 with a 2.31 ERA and allowing a minuscule .186 batting average against. In July, Baumann made history by pitching a no-hitter against the Harrisburg Senators. The two-walk gem was Bowie’s first no-hitter in 12 years.
Baumann is a tall, physical pitcher that can touch 97 mph on a fastball that shows life. He has a decent mix of pitches and can come at batters with an improved slider, a changeup that he is working on, or an effective curveball.
There are some concerns regarding Baumann’s control going forward due to his long delivery. It is also worth watching his strikeout rate, which has reduced as he has moved up in competition.
There is the assumption that Baumann should debut in Baltimore at some point in 2020, most likely in a setup role. His long-term future is a bit unclear.
Entering 2019, Baumann seemed to be destined for a spot in the bullpen for the Orioles. A breakout 2019, however, has changed that outlook. With the recent development of a plus slider, Baumann’s chances of being part of the back end of the rotation in the future have greatly improved.
His continued development gives the Orioles three starting pitching prospects that are nearing spots in a rotation that is in great need of some young, talented pitching.
What are your thoughts on Michael Baumann? What do you think 2020 holds for him? Let us know in the comments section, and make sure you follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!