Sparks wasn't a big name in scouting circles leading up to the 2017 Draft, but he still intrigued enough with this tools and remaining projection to earn a selection in the fifth round by the Orioles. A two-way player at Seven Lakes (Texas) High, he signed for slot value, passing on a commitment to McLennan Community College, and then impressed club officials during his pro debut in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League and fall instructional league. A torn right labrum suffered during the following spring wiped out Sparks' 2018 campaign.
Sparks shows a quick right-handed bat with present raw power from the right side of the plate, though there is some length to his swing that leads evaluators to question the future utility of his hit tool. He showed both swing-and-miss tendencies as well as on-base skills during his debut. Sparks has the speed and range needed to stick in center field, and the well-above-average arm he showcased on the mound as a prep would also make him a clean fit in right.
Sparks' ceiling is tied to his potential at the plate, but his speed, defense and strong arm also give him a solid floor. He will need time to refine his game in the Minors, especially after losing a year to injury, but the Orioles have liked what they've seem so far from the toolsy outfielder.
GCL Orioles activated CF Lamar Sparks from the 60-day injured list.
GCL Orioles placed CF Lamar Sparks on the 60-day disabled list.