Adam Hall discovered his passion at a young age. He's now blazing a trail unlike anyone in baseball history, determined to develop until he attains his ultimate goal.A middle infielder in the Orioles system, the 19-year-old Hall was born in Hamilton, Bermuda. He tried the country's two primary sports but
Adam Hall discovered his passion at a young age. He's now blazing a trail unlike anyone in baseball history, determined to develop until he attains his ultimate goal.
A middle infielder in the Orioles system, the 19-year-old Hall was born in Hamilton, Bermuda. He tried the country's two primary sports but was told he had a "baseball swing" when he played cricket and decided he'd had enough of soccer by the time he turned 10.
Unlike most Bermudians, Hall loved baseball. Even though his was a lonely pursuit, his focus centered on taking to the diamond as often as possible.
"Baseball isn't a big sport there," Hall said. "There were only three or four teams in the league I played in, and we played maybe 12 games a year. It was more doing stuff on my own and with my dad, who never played when he was a kid. He just picked it up along with me. I just started playing it and liked it. I could always go down to the field and take BP. I think that's one of the things that really made me swing toward it."
When Hall was 12, he and his family moved to London, Ontario, an area that has developed into a baseball hotbed north of the border. His years of work in Bermuda began to pay dividends when he earned a spot on the Canadian Junior National team. The opportunity to play with and against better players helped Hall hone his skills through his mid-teens.
"They do a really good job with development," Hall said. "The program really helped me by coming down to Florida to play teams in extended [spring training] and instructs."
Upon graduating from A.B. Lucas Secondary School, Hall had committed to play baseball at Texas A&M. Baltimore, meanwhile, selected the shortstop with the 60th overall pick in the 2017 Draft. When he signed with the Orioles for a $1.3 million bonus and reported to the Gulf Coast League, Hall became the first native of Bermuda ever to play professional baseball in the United States.
An oblique strain limited Hall to two games in the GCL in 2017. He spent last year at Aberdeen in the New York-Penn League and got off to a dismal start. The shortstop rebounded during the second half of the season to earn Player of the Month honors for August in the NYPL and the Orioles' Minor League system. His performance included a 19-game hitting streak, and he concluded the campaign hitting .293/.368/.374 while leading the IronBirds with 35 runs scored, three triples and 22 stolen bases.
"I think part of it was getting used to playing at night," Hall said of his early difficulties. "I had never really done that. I also made a couple of minor adjustments at the plate and altered my approach so that I was driving the ball rather than trying to pull everything and hit home runs."
Hall has continued to produce this spring for Delmarva, a team that's won 25 of its initial 30 games. The No. 14 prospect for the Orioles, he's ranked among the South Atlantic League's top 10 in batting average while hitting .317/.410/.404 through May 8. His biggest output to date came April 24 when he went 5-for-6 with four runs scored and two RBIs versus Asheville. Hall also had three straight two-hit games from April 30-May 2.
The shortstop says he had a "pretty good idea" of what life offered in the Minors thanks to playing on the Canadian Junior National team and having had several coaches who went through the process. Asked if he is living the dream he had as a youngster growing up in Bermuda, Hall grinned. "Almost."
In briefKnight with K's:
Delmarva right-hander Blaine Knight
did not allow a run in four straight starts, from April 11-May 2, while working at least five innings in every outing. The 2018 third-round Draft pick out of the University of Arkansas tossed 21 shutout innings and allowed only eight hits and three walks while striking out 30 batters. His 0.67 ERA led the SAL through May 8.Walker races toward Dash:
The White Sox decided outfielder Steele Walker
had nothing left to prove at Kannapolis. The second-round pick in 2018 out of Oklahoma hit safely in his last eight SAL games, going 14-for-32 (.438) with five doubles and a home run. Walker hit safely in 17 of his 20 games with the Intimidators, including nine multi-hit outings, and ranked second in the league in batting average at the time of his April 30 promotion to Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.Hope for Hagerstown:
The Maryland Stadium Authority presented conclusions from a market and site assessment to the Hagerstown City Council on May 7 that recommended a downtown location as the place for a new ballpark that would cost an estimated $35-45 million. The Suns currently play at outdated Municipal Stadium, and several attempts have been made over the past decade in hopes of moving forward with the project. One of the previous plans recommended the same site -- a 6.25-acre location at the corner of West Baltimore Street and Summit Avenue -- as the latest one by the Maryland Stadium Authority.
Bill Ballew is a contributor to MiLB.com.