Orioles

Orioles

The Orioles have four Top 100 prospects in baseball, according to MLB.com’s new prospect rankings released this week.

To no one’s surprise, catcher Adley Rutschman leads the way as the fourth-ranked prospect in all of baseball. The former Oregon State Beaver and No. 1 pick from a year ago is currently at the team’s alternate site at Double-A Bowie. He’s played just 37 games in the Orioles farm system at no level higher than Single-A.

Pitcher Grayson Rodriguez followed at 40th, as a standout 2019 in Single-A Delmarva boosted him up the rankings. 

He threw 94 innings, allowed 57 hits and 36 walks with 129 strikeouts. His ERA was 2.68 and his WHIP was 0.99. With a fastball that tops out at 97 mph and a good slider to go with it, Rodriguez is currently on-track to make the major leagues in 2022.

The Orioles’ newest addition to the list, outfielder Heston Kjerstad, was the second-overall pick from June. A surprise selection in the draft, Kjerstad came in at 68th on the list.

Kjerstad was a power hitter who Orioles general manager Mike Elias the best left-handed hitter in the draft. In just six games in 2020 at Arkansas, he hit six home runs and slashed .448/.513/.791. He was one of 13 first-round selections from this year that made their debut on the list.

The final member of the list was pitcher DL Hall at 77th overall. Last year in Frederick, Hall threw 80 ⅔ innings with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. He’s expected to reach the major leagues in 2021, though that timeline can be changed as the effects of COVID-19 reverberate for years. 

 

Before the season, the Orioles also had four prospects on the list, but first baseman/outfielder Ryan Mountcastle was on the list at 94th overall. Mountcastle wasn’t on the latest edition of prospects. Instead, the Orioles just basically replaced Kjerstad for Mountcastle on the list.

In terms of prospect points, which assigns a 100-point value to the No. 1 prospect, 99 points to second and so on, the Orioles ranked 10th on the list with 215 prospect points. 

The Tigers led the way with 380 points, followed by the Padres, Mariners, White Sox and Braves.

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