Baltimore Orioles Prospect Profile: Heston Kjerstad

Here’s a deeper look at the Baltimore Orioles’ best outfield prospect, Heston Kjerstad

Pos: Outfield

Bats: Left

Throws: Right

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 205 lbs

Born: 02/12/1999 Amarillo, TX

Drafted: Baltimore Orioles 1st round, 2nd overall in 2020 MLB Amateur Draft

College/HS: University of Arkansas

The Major League Baseball midseason farm system rankings have just arrived and the Baltimore Orioles find themselves in the top spot in FanGraphs’ live rankings and number two in Baseball America’s rankings. The team’s 2020 first-round draft pick out of the University of Arkansas is another major piece in the evergrowing farm system of the Baltimore Orioles.

The left-handed-hitting outfielder is known for his power and was ultimately seen as the best power bat coming into the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft. He is one of five hitters to be taken from the University of Arkansas in the first round of the draft and currently ranks as the number three overall Orioles’ prospect by MLB Pipeline.

Since the Baltimore Orioles drafted the 22-year-old former Razorback, there have been high hopes for his development as an impact bat at the Major League level for years to come.

Unfortunately, Kjerstad has been dealing with effects from an infection called myocarditis, which is a viral infection that causes inflammation of the heart and reduces its ability to pump rapidly.

In June, Baltimore Orioles’ GM Mike Elias announced that the franchise is planning to hold Kjerstad out of play this season due to the infection. The O’s expected the young man from Amarillo, Texas to report to Spring Training in Sarasota, Florida, and play for the Bowie Baysox (AA) this Summer. He will most likely play for the Orioles’ Low-A affiliate Delmarva Shorebirds when he becomes healthy enough to be cleared for baseball activities.

Kjerstad’s build is the kind of an impact Major League ballplayer. He has size, strength, dependable defense as a corner outfielder, and hits the ball out of the park. If the first-round draft pick can get healthy and perform at a high level, expect him to arrive at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in the 2023 or 2024 Major League Baseball season.