The Baltimore Orioles selected Heston Kjerstad as the second overall pick in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft. Will the Oriole be the odd man out of all the prospects on the brink of making the big league roster?
The second overall pick in 2020 out of the University of Arkansas Heston Kjerstad has yet to play in any professional game for the Baltimore Orioles. Kjerstad was diagnosed with myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart muscle. That diagnosis has delayed him from getting his start as an Oriole and making an impact and gaining valuable development time.
Kjerstad isn’t the only professional athlete to have issues with myocarditis. Former Boston Red Sox pitcher and current Detroit Tiger Eduardo Rodriguez was diagnosed with myocarditis due to Covid. Rodriguez missed the shortened 2020 Season but was able to pitch again in 2021. That’s good news for Kjerstad who should see playing time when the 2022 Spring Training season starts.
The next question is, will Heston Kjerstad be the odd man out in the Baltimore Orioles organization after missing roughly two seasons of minor league development time? Since being drafted in 2020, the Orioles drafted another outfield prospect in Colton Cowser as the fifth overall pick in the 2021 Major League Baseball draft.
When General Manager Mike Elias took over, he had to do a complete overhaul of the roster from the top down. The Baltimore Orioles farm system is now ranked as one of the tops in all of baseball and the talent is top-notch. With Kjerstad missing valuable time to develop in the minors, the Orioles have a few players that could leave Kjerstad as the odd man out.
The Orioles have players like Yusniel Diaz and Kyle Stowers that could potentially make their debuts in 2022, but let’s not forget about Cowser either. It looks like Kjerstad will need to make a strong impact in his minor league career if he wants to have any shot of being a Baltimore Oriole instead of being a top prospect that is the odd man out of the group.