These American League team-by-team recaps focus on the first five rounds of this week's MLB Rule 4 draft, although I'll mention lower picks as appropriate if it's a player of note or someone I thought was worthy of a higher pick. The National League version will appear on Friday.
Baltimore Orioles | Boston Red Sox | Chicago White Sox | Cleveland Indians | Detroit Tigers | Houston Astros | Kansas City Royals | Los Angeles Angels | Minnesota Twins | New York Yankees | Oakland A's | Seattle Mariners | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Toronto Blue Jays
The Orioles scored big with their first pick, Georgia prep lefty D.L. Hall (first round), who ranked eighth on my board. He's an athletic kid with a plus fastball and curveball already, average changeup, and a good delivery. The O's have had trouble developing pitchers, notably because they've changed a lot of kids' mechanics, but if they just let Hall be he should dominate the low minors. The O's also took Canadian shortstop Adam Hall (second round), no relation to D.L., who wasn't on my top 100; he's an average runner with some bat speed but a wrap and a linear approach that doesn't look as if it'll produce power, and I think he's maybe 50/50 to stay at short.
Zac Lowther was taken in competitive balance round B after the second round (2B), which made him the highest-drafted player ever from Xavier University. He's a big, thickset lefty who'll pitch at 89-90 mph as a starter to go with a plus breaking ball, probably in a back-end starter, but he might be more valuable in a relief role. Jacksonville University right-hander Mike Baumann (3) has touched 97 mph with his fastball and sits mid-90s as a starter with an assortment of not-average secondary pitches, although his slider might get there in time. Given his delivery and below-average command, the consensus on Baumann had him as a two-pitch power reliever in pro ball. Right-hander Jack Conlon (4) has a big arm, throws 92-95 mph with some sink, and shows an above-average breaking ball, but he has a violent delivery with a head-whack and he'll need a lot of cleaning up to start. Lamar Sparks (5) is an upside play, a high school outfielder who can run and has a 70 arm with average present power and a swing that works but the usual questions about how advanced the bat is right now.