Pipeline Primer: Orioles Prospect Noah Denoyer


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Nov 04, 2023

Pipeline Primer: Orioles Prospect Noah Denoyer

The Orioles signed pitcher Noah Denoyer as an undrafted free agent out of San

The Orioles signed pitcher Noah Denoyer as an undrafted free agent out of San Joaquin Delta College (Calif.) following the 2019 MLB Draft. The 6-foot-5, 250-pound right-hander began the 2023 season at Triple-A Norfolk and entered the campaign having posted a 2.87 ERA with 185 strikeouts and 48 walks in 147.1 minor league innings (27 relief appearances, 17 starts).

In 13 games (four starts) with the Norfolk Tides this season, Denoyer is 1-0 with a 5.22 ERA and 33 strikeouts in 29.1 innings pitched, entering play June 8.

Double-A Bowie manager Kyle Moore and former San Joaquin Delta College pitching coach Mat Keplinger chatted with PressBox about the 25-year-old Denoyer.

PressBox: What makes Denoyer special? What sets him apart?

Kyle Moore: When we got him, he had mid- to upper-90s with this big curveball, just this big ole 12-6 hammer, and since then, with the help of all our pitching graders and metrics and everything else, he's added a slider that's basically just a straight sweeper that goes left. He's also developed a changeup. And so it's pretty remarkable that he could develop a slider that we think is elite [after being] a guy that really just backspins a fastball and throws a curveball that goes straight down and gets a ton of swing and miss. … The slider development was huge for him, but aside from his slider development all year last year, he's just got plus stuff — 95 mph with a breaking ball that's off the charts on spin rate.

PB: How did you see Denoyer get better under your watch?

Mat Keplinger: I had him [at San Joaquin Delta College from 2017-2019]. He actually had Tommy John in his second year in the program with us in junior college, and I think that was honestly what really catapulted his growth. It really enhanced his understanding of his body. From that point forward, his command took a huge jump. … Pre-Tommy John, he just wasn't quite physically in the greatest shape. He was always a big kid. He kind of had a bit of an injury history as a younger player as well, just going through big growth spurts. That year that he was rehabbing, he took a big jump with his body. His strength really developed. That was the turning point.

PB: What's your favorite Denoyer story?

MK: As he was coming back from surgery, we were very cautious with how we were bringing him back — low pitch counts. We were coming off of winning a state championship in hopes of repeating in 2019, and we were down a starter and we had just lost a tough game. As soon as that game ended, Noah came up to me and just kind of pointed to himself like, "I want the ball next." He was like, "That job's mine." I said, "You’re absolutely right. You’re ready for it." And he never let it go from there.

PB: Was there a moment when you realized Denoyer was going to be special?

KM: [In 2022, Altoona] had a third baseman named Jared Triolo who's a really big prospect and Triolo looked at me and he goes, "Man, his stuff is really good tonight, huh?" I said, "Yeah, what do you think about it? How good is it?" And he mentioned some names that I won't mention, but they’re giant prospects in baseball that were in the league. And I thought to myself, "Man, did he really just say those names with Denoyer?" And at the time, I think Denoyer had struck out like six in a row or something like that for Altoona. So that's when I started to say, "Man, let me dive in on this guy and see what it is that we’re doing with him and what he's throwing and why does he get so much swing and miss."

Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles

Issue 280: April/May 2023

Originally published April 19, 2023. Updated June 8.

PressBox: Kyle Moore: PB: Mat Keplinger: PB: MK: PB: KM: