Forgotten First Rounder, OF Josh Hart Hitting Well Since Coming off Disabled List

In my years of watching and following the Baltimore Orioles, I can't recall a first round draft choice ever being "forgotten" about like outfielder Josh Hart has. Since coming off the disabled list a couple of weeks ago, Hart has been swinging a hot bat.

Harry Grove Stadium - Home of the Frederick Keys
Photo: Baby Birdland




We constantly get questions about how certain prospects are performing, and most of them are among those selected in the top five rounds of their respective draft, and rightfully so. Those guys are the most well known names among casual Orioles' fans, and normally receive the biggest signing bonuses.

Hart, 22, was selected in the first round (competitive balance portion) of the 2013 MLB Draft out of Parkview HS (GA). The O's top selection in the draft came courtesy of RHP Hunter Harvey, and we all know how that's going right now.

Hart played two games at the beginning of this season for the High-A Frederick Keys before having to be placed on the disabled list due to a left ankle injury. Unfortunately for Hart, it marked the fifth time in four years he had been placed on the disabled list, thus injuries have been an issue for him thus far in his professional career.

Since being activated on April 26, Hart has been on fire.

He has played nine games since his activation and has picked up a hit in each of those games giving him a nine-game hitting streak entering today's action.

Over that stretch, Hart is hitting .429 (12-28) with five doubles, five RBI, eight runs scored and has also drawn four walks as well. Perhaps most importantly for him, he has only struck out four times over his last nine games.

Hart is in dire need of a good year. Over his four previous seasons in the organization, Hart has never hit higher than .255 and has only posted an OBP over .300 once over a full year.

He is not a power hitter (six career home runs in 339 games), but does bring speed. He has 63 career stolen bases and has a success rate of 68%.

Hopefully for Hart, he can remain healthy for the remainder of the season and his hot start since coming off the DL is a sign of good things to come as opposed to just a hot streak at the plate.

                                                                                                                                                       
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