A Thorough Evaluate of The Orioles Farm System

Pictured is Grayson Rodriguez pitching for the Bowie Baysox, AA affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles. CC by 2.0.

We’re amid playoff baseball and the Orioles brass are watching from residence for the sixth consecutive yr. It’s been a irritating stretch for the Baltimore devoted because the Orioles have simply not been capable of subject a extremely aggressive staff. In 2022, the group started to indicate some indicators of life, posting a really respectable 83-79 solely to complete 4th among the many ridiculously gifted American League East. Whereas they missed the playoffs by a slim margin, we may be approaching an Orioles dynasty that may fully change the rhetoric relating to the whole group. The foremost league expertise is beginning to lookup and the minor league expertise is immense. We’re on the precipice of one thing actually particular in Baltimore.

I’m going to take a fast have a look at the Orioles’ high 10 prospects to familiarize readers with among the gamers which are going to be key to the Orioles’ future success. Right here are some things to remember…

  • Gamers are now not thought-about prospects after 130 main league at-bats, 50 innings pitched, or 45 days on the lively roster.

  • I take advantage of Fangraphs “Future Worth” system which is absolutely defined right here.

1. Gunnar Henderson, INF, 65 FV

Gunnar is already well-known by all baseball followers and can possible open 2023 because the Vegas favourite to win the AL Rookie of the Yr Award. Henderson’s fast ascent to the very high of nationwide prospect rankings was not shocking within the least. Earlier than the 2022 season, he had flashes of brilliance however wasn’t established sufficient to be thought-about among the many sport’s elite prospects. After terrorizing each AA and AAA pitching, Gunnar obtained the decision to the present in September. The foremost league stage didn’t appear to pose an excessive amount of of a problem both, as Gunnar hit for a 125 wRC+ by means of his first 130 plate appearances. His glove is completely ample at third base and he has demonstrated a superb plate method. The Orioles reaching the degrees of success they need is absolutely depending on Gunnar’s capability to be the MVP-caliber participant they count on him to be. Regardless of the lofty expectations, I absolutely count on him to dwell as much as the hype.

2. Grayson Rodriguez, RHP, 60 FV

Grayson is a beast. I want there was a extra elegant strategy to put that, however there merely isn’t. There are only a few prospects in current reminiscence who might throw three plus-plus pitches. The fastball, changeup, and slider are all standout pitches that might already play fairly nicely on the large league stage. From a pure talent standpoint, I feel Rodriguez is essentially the most gifted participant in all of baseball. Sadly, pitchers are so risky that it drops him not solely out of first within the league, however out of first on his staff. If GRod manages to remain wholesome, he’s going to be a bona fide ace and tempo the Orioles’ rotation for years to return. I’d count on to see him within the bigs pretty early subsequent season.

3. Jackson Holliday, SS, 55+ FV

Holliday, the primary choose of the 2022 draft, was a little bit of a shock choose however definitely not a foul one. He was comparatively nameless heading into the ‘22 draft cycle however shortly separated himself attributable to his wonderful really feel for his barrel, distinctive contact expertise, and good swing selections. In his first style of professional ball, Holliday was as promised. The phenom tore up pitching in a league the place the typical participant was about 3 years older than him. He’s nonetheless 4 or 5 years away from the MLB which drops him into the 55 FV tier, but when Jackson continues to play as much as his competitors, he’ll be scraping the highest 10 total prospects shortly. There’s nonetheless some debate over whether or not he’ll stick at shortstop, however within the worst-case state of affairs Holliday will find yourself an above-average fielder at third base.

4. Colton Cowser, OF, 55 FV

Cowser was the Orioles’ first-round choose within the 2021 draft. Typically, school outfielders are the best flooring draft demographic and are seen as an extremely secure choose. Whereas Cowser has proven that he’s a high-floor participant, he’s additionally proven that he may need an upside greater than anybody anticipated. In most farm methods Cowser can be both the very best or second-best participant, however the Orioles are simply extremely deep. Cowser’s a bit large for a middle fielder, however strikes nicely and might stick there. If the O’s have an elite defender in heart, Cowser might simply be pushed to the suitable. The strikeout charge was somewhat greater than most scouts like to see, however the hitting capability makes up for the slight hole. Cowser obtained as much as AAA in his first full yr of professional ball and shall be knocking on the door of Camden Yards with a sizzling streak subsequent yr.

5. Jordan Westburg, INF, 50 FV

Westburg is kind of truthfully a boring participant to judge. He doesn’t have any instruments that hit you over the top as elite, however there’s additionally nothing you may choose aside about his sport. Jordan checks nearly each field you have a look at whereas evaluating gamers. He’s a reliable fielder, makes stable contact, doesn’t have an inflated strikeout charge, and he hits for first rate energy. He screams large league common and sort of jogs my memory of Chris Taylor. Regardless, he’s a stable participant that may see big-league taking part in time very quickly.

6. Connor Norby, 2B, 50 Fv

Norby is among the most underrated gamers within the Orioles’ farm system. Norby is just 5’10”, however he posted a .247 ISO, which screams nicely above-average energy. Equally to Westburg, there isn’t a lot to select aside. Defensively, he’s nothing particular, however nothing to complain about. He’s a superbly viable choice to play second base on the subsequent stage. All of the movie I’ve watched has confirmed that the stats are correct, Norby makes pitchers battle and hunts the fastball extremely nicely. I view him a lot greater than the vast majority of the trade, however I feel he’ll begin to climb up lists this offseason.

7. Coby Mayo, 3B, 45+

Mayo is an enormous presence and leverages his peak into above-average energy each on the plate and with the arm. Consistency goes to be the largest factor for Mayo to work out earlier than the Orioles are able to name him as much as the present. The ability goes to play at any stage, I’ve completely little doubt about that. His capability to make contact is a captivating debate. The strikeout charges haven’t been astronomical so far, it’s principally attributable to him obliterating hanging curveballs and flat fastballs. Because the stuff will get higher, he’ll possible battle extra. Defensively, the arm performs in addition to Arenado’s, however his defensive actions are nothing to be enthusiastic about. If he reaches his Ninetieth-percentile final result, Mayo shall be a drive to be reckoned with.

8. Heston Kjerstad, OF, 45+

After being drafted second total, Kjerstad has by no means been capable of keep on the sector persistently. This led to a fairly dramatic downfall in rankings. At any time when Kjerstad has performed, he’s been actually good. Presently, Heston is raking within the Arizona Fall League and is exhibiting off the above-average participant all of us knew he might. For Kjerstad, the largest factor for him to do is keep wholesome. If he stays wholesome and stays constant, he might blossom right into a full-time big-league participant.

9. Jud Fabian, OF, 45+

Fabian was one of the well-known school gamers and after being drafted in 2021 and returning to Florida, he fell proper into the Orioles’ lap in the latest draft. In each school and the professionals, he has proven a powerful capability to barrel the ball. There’s not an excessive amount of to judge at this level, however I’m trying ahead to getting extra knowledge on Fabian subsequent yr.

10. Dylan Beavers, OF, 45

Beavers, one other 2022 draft choose, hit nicely. He’s an honest outfielder however the above-average energy and make contact with enhance his profile considerably. His swing is kind of odd, but when he continues to supply on the stage he has it isn’t an issue. He’s been a cold and hot participant at each stage thus far and ironing out the strikeouts that occur throughout the chilly streaks is vital to his long-term improvement. Equally to Fabian, as we get extra knowledge, I’ll be capable to type a firmer opinion.

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