The top Orioles prospects for 2022 (midseason update)

The top Orioles prospects for 2022 (midseason update)

Tampa Bay Rays v Baltimore Orioles
Mike Elias has seen a number of prospects look like they’ve made big strides this season. | Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Between the draft, trades, big league promotions, and surprise improvements, there’s been some movement.

At the beginning of this season, it seemed like the Orioles were heading for another hopeless year, one where at most you could hope for some prospects to arrive in the second half and stave off a total disaster. As we sit here months later in August, the picture is much different, with hopes for aggressive prospect promotions to potentially push the Orioles over the top into a wild card spot.

There is still a lot of hope pinned on Orioles prospects, because they’re going to be needed, either by playing for the O’s or being traded for more established big leaguers, to take the team to the next level.

Before the season, we published a composite top Orioles prospect list based on several mainstream publications rankings of the Orioles farm system. Things have changed a lot in the farm since then, including at the top thanks to Adley Rutschman arriving in MLB and doing just about everything we hoped he could do. There have been draft picks, trades added in, and changes based on players who’ve looked good this season and ones who haven’t.

Things have also stayed the same: According to Baseball America, the Orioles farm system remains the best in baseball. There is still plenty to be excited about coming in the not-too-distant future.

This new, updated composite ranking includes three publications who published before the season and have since published a new version. Those are Baseball America, FanGraphs, and MLB Pipeline. The Athletic’s Keith Law does not do midseason updates, so that spot from the preseason ranking has been replaced by one put together by local fan media, the folks who host the On The Verge podcast. Verge’s ranking goes 50 deep while FG’s is a top 52; I’ve only counted the top 30 for this composite.

Gunnar Henderson, Grayson Rodriguez, and Jackson Holliday are unanimous 1-2-3 across these four rankings. Eight prospects are the same across the top ten of all four lists. Each has its own little quirks; FG thinks Jud Fabian is the #9 prospect in the system, BA is maybe a little too into last year’s international signing Maikol Hernandez at #13, Pipeline is fond of current year draft picks, including Silas Ardoin (#27) and Carter Young (#29), not ranked in the top 30 of any of these other lists.

As a group, it’s interesting to me to see what they think. There’s a lot of agreement about who is worth putting on an Orioles top 30 list. 29 prospects are in the top 30 of three out of these four lists. A total of ten prospects appeared on only one list. The below composite rankings includes all 29 who were listed in multiple separate top 30s.

#1 – Gunnar Henderson

  • Current level: Triple-A Norfolk
  • How he got here: 2019 draft, second round (#42 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: T-3rd
  • His year in brief: Meteoric ascent, more awesome than expected, may upgrade MLB lineup right now

#2 – Grayson Rodriguez

  • Current level: Triple-A Norfolk (injured list)
  • How he got here: 2018 draft, first round (#11 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: 2nd
  • His year in brief: Suffered lat strain when it seemed like he was on the cusp of MLB promotion, seems to be close to rehab assignment

#3 – Jackson Holliday

  • Current level: Florida Complex League
  • How he got here: 2022 draft, first round (#1 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: n/a
  • His year in brief: Set a new record for a high school player getting hits, then Mike Elias came calling

#4 – DL Hall

  • Current level: Triple-A Norfolk
  • How he got here: 2017 draft, first round (#21 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: T-3rd
  • His year in brief: Struck out a lot of dudes, walked too many dudes, bullpen conversion for Sept. MLB action in progress

#5 – Colton Cowser

  • Current level: Double-A Bowie
  • How he got here: 2021 draft, first round (#5 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: T-3rd
  • His year in brief: A switch flipped after a midseason promotion, hitting .326/.467/.575 in 40 games with Bowie

#6 (tied) – Coby Mayo

  • Current level: Double-A Bowie
  • How he got here: 2020 draft, fourth round (#103 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: 7th
  • His year in brief: Promoted to Bowie at age 20, then got hurt; 14 homers in 68 games for Aberdeen

#6 (tied) – Jordan Westburg

  • Current level: Triple-A Norfolk
  • How he got here: 2020 draft, CB A round (#30 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: 6th
  • His year in brief: .817 OPS at Bowie, promoted to Norfolk, .819 OPS in 54 games, may upgrade MLB lineup right now

#8 – Kyle Stowers

  • Current level: Triple-A Norfolk
  • How he got here: 2019 draft, CB B round (#71 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: T-8th
  • His year in brief: Leads all Orioles minor leaguers with 19 homers, may upgrade MLB lineup right now

#9 – Heston Kjerstad

  • Current level: High-A Aberdeen
  • How he got here: 2020 draft, first round (#2 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: 10th
  • His year in brief: Missed early months with hamstring strain, debuted strong for Delmarva, still finding footing at Aberdeen

#10 – Dylan Beavers

  • Current level: Low-A Delmarva
  • How he got here: 2022 draft, CB A round (#33 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: n/a
  • His year in brief: 17 home runs in 56 games for California got him on the Elias radar

#11 – Seth Johnson

  • Current level: High-A Aberdeen (injured list)
  • How he got here: From Rays in Trey Mancini three-team trade, 2022
  • Preseason composite rank in system: n/a
  • His year in brief: Built top 100 prospect stock but was known to need Tommy John surgery at time of trade

#12 – Connor Norby

  • Current level: Double-A Bowie
  • How he got here: 2021 draft, second round (#41 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: 11th
  • His year in brief: 9 homers in 39 games since joining Baysox, has cut down strikeout rate

#13 – Terrin Vavra

  • Current level: MLB
  • How he got here: From Rockies in Mychal Givens trade, 2020
  • Preseason composite rank in system: 12th
  • His year in brief: On-base machine in minors, earned MLB promotion, on-base machine here so far (.375 OBP)

#14 – César Prieto

  • Current level: Double-A Bowie
  • How he got here: International free agent signing, 2022
  • Preseason composite rank in system: T-16th
  • His year in brief: 1.000 OPS for Aberdeen got him promoted; .702 OPS with minimal power for Bowie

#15 – Drew Rom

  • Current level: Triple-A Norfolk
  • How he got here: 2018 draft, fourth round (#115 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: 15th
  • His year in brief: Solid rate stats for Bowie (11.0 K/9, 3.2 BB/9) earned him late-season promotion

#16 – Cade Povich

  • Current level: Double-A Bowie
  • How he got here: From Twins in Jorge López trade, 2022
  • Preseason composite rank in system: n/a
  • His year in brief: Good rate stats at time of trade (12.2 K/9, 3.0 BB/9), dominant in two Aberdeen outings, promoted

#17 (tied) – Samuel Basallo

  • Current level: Florida Complex League
  • How he got here: International amateur free agent signing, 2020
  • Preseason composite rank in system: 25th
  • His year in brief: .286/.360/.450 as a 17-year-old in FCL

#17 (tied) – Jud Fabian

  • Current level: Low-A Delmarva
  • How he got here: 2022 draft, CB B round (#67 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: n/a
  • His year in brief: 24 home runs in 66 games for Florida, signed with Orioles, good very early results for Delmarva

#19 – Chayce McDermott

  • Current level: Double-A Bowie
  • How he got here: From Astros in Trey Mancini three-team trade, 2022
  • Preseason composite rank in system: n/a
  • His year in brief: Big strikeouts (14.3 K/9) but walking too many dudes (5.4 BB/9) before trade; walked too many dudes in Bowie debut

#20 (tied) – Mike Baumann

  • Current level: Triple-A Norfolk
  • How he got here: 2017 draft, third round (#98 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: 13th
  • His year in brief: Last appeared in MLB June 19th, 5.32 ERA in 17 games for Tides, will lose prospect status with next call-up

#20 (tied) – Max Wagner

  • Current level: Low-A Delmarva
  • How he got here: 2022 draft, second round (#42 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: n/a
  • His year in brief: 27 homers in 58 games for Clemson to get on Elias’s radar

#22 – Hudson Haskin

  • Current level: Double-A Bowie
  • How he got here: 2020 draft, second round (#39 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: T-18th
  • His year in brief: .275/.369/.481 in 88 games for the Baysox, has been hit by pitch 18 times

#23 – John Rhodes

  • Current level: Double-A Bowie
  • How he got here: 2021 draft, third round (#76 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: 23rd
  • His year in brief: Missed some time with injury, earned Bowie promotion with .817 OPS in 55 games

#24 (tied) – Darell Hernaiz

  • Current level: High-A Aberdeen
  • How he got here: 2019 draft, fifth round (#138 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: T-29th
  • His year in brief: Sleeper prospect waking up a bit, .852 OPS for Delmarva, earned promotion, .797 OPS in Aberdeen since; still in his age 20 season

#24 (tied) – Joey Ortiz

  • Current level: Double-A Bowie
  • How he got here: 2019 draft, fourth round (#108 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: 14th
  • His year in brief: Poor hitting through June, over 1.110 OPS since start of July

#26 (tied) – Carter Baumler

  • Current level: Low-A Delmarva (injured list)
  • How he got here: 2020 draft, fifth round (#133 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank in system: 20th
  • His year in brief: Returned from Tommy John surgery, pitched a few games, back on the IL with shoulder inflammation

#26 (tied) – Maikol Hernández

  • Current level: Florida Complex League
  • How he got here: International amateur free agent signing, 2020
  • Preseason composite rank in system: T-16th
  • His year in brief: Still just 18 years old but is not hitting yet, .162/.286/.206 batting line in 38 FCL games

#28 (tied) – Jean Pinto

  • Current level: High-A Aberdeen
  • How he got here: From Angels in José Iglesias trade, 2020
  • Preseason composite rank in system: Unranked
  • His year in brief: Strong strikeouts (10.9 K/9), elevated walk rate (4.5 BB/9), remains an interesting guy to keep an eye on

#28 (tied) – Reed Trimble

  • Current level: Low-A Delmarva
  • How he got here: 2021 draft, CB B round (#65 overall)
  • Preseason composite rank: T-18th
  • His year in brief: Did not play until July due to offseason surgery, .627 OPS in 17 games since joining Delmarva

Changes to the list

  • Graduated to MLB: Adley Rutschman, Kyle Bradish
  • New to organization: Jackson Holliday, Dylan Beavers, Seth Johnson, Cade Povich, Jud Fabian, Chayce McDermott, Max Wagner
  • Released from organization: Jahmai Jones
  • Dropped off preseason top 30: Kyle Brnovich, Kevin Smith, Leandro Arias, Adam Hall, Yusniel Díaz, Logan Gillaspie
  • Honorable mention (only on one top 30 list): Arias, Braylin Tavera, Mishael Deson, Chris Vallimont, Silas Ardoin, Donta’ Williams, Frederick Bencosme, Carter Young, Brnovich, Gillaspie

Full Story / Source: https://www.camdenchat.com/2022/8/19/23311904/orioles-top-prospects-2022

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