Orioles infield prospect Gunnar Henderson has broken into Baseball America’s top 100 prospect rankings just as Ryan Mountcastle accrued enough MLB plate appearances to graduate from the list. The magazine released its first midseason update of 2021 on Tuesday, including five players from the Orioles’ farm system.
Catcher Adley Rutschman remained in the No. 2 overall spot behind Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco. Baseball America saw enough from the rest of the group to push them all up a few spots. Right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez moved from 22nd to 18th, southpaw DL Hall jumped seven spots up to 52nd and outfielder Heston Kjerstad rose from 62nd to 55th. Henderson made his debut at 94th.
Mountcastle, 24, began the season as Baseball America’s No. 63 overall prospect after hitting .333 with five home runs and an .878 OPS in 140 plate appearances last season. He has yet to reach such heights so far in 2021, however, posting a .232/.258/.360 slash line with three homers and 41 strikeouts in 132 plate appearances while splitting time between first base, left field and designated hitter.
The Orioles selected Henderson with the first pick of the second round in the 2019 MLB Draft. After spending the 2020 season at the alternate site, Henderson was optioned to Low-A Delmarva to begin the 2021 campaign. The shortstop and third baseman has started the year 4-for-18 (.222) with two home runs and two stolen bases in five games.
Down the beltway, the Nationals also received some representation in Baseball America’s latest update. After beginning the season without any prospects on the Top 100 list, the Nationals landed right-handed pitcher Cade Cavalli at 87th. Cavalli, 22, was Washington’s first round pick in 2020. He began the 2021 campaign at High-A Wilmington.