Baltimore Orioles promote prospect Heston Kjerstad to High-A
We all know how good the Baltimore Orioles farm system is, with a lot of top prospects that are almost major league ready. In fact, five of the team’s top 10 prospects according to MLB Pipeline are on the Triple A Norfolk Tides roster.
But, there’s also some talent lower down the minor league ladder.In the 2020 MLB Draft, the Orioles surprised people by drafting outfielder Heston Kjerstad with the second overall pick. He was considered a top level draft pick, but many thought he was taken too high by the Orioles. After not playing at all in 2021, he resurfaced in 2022, making his professional debut with the Low A Delmarva Shorebirds.
All it took for Kjerstad was just 22 games at Delmarva. On Monday, he got the call that he was being promoted to the High-A Aberdeen IronBirds. Now, you might be wondering why he’s getting promoted after just 22 games. Shouldn’t they be careful with a top prospect who didn’t play last year because of Myocarditis?
Simply put, Kjerstad is getting promoted because he’s absolutely raking. Since his June 10 debut with Delmarva, Kjerstad was hitting .463 with a .551 on base percentage and a .650 slugging percentage, which is good for a combined 1.201 OPS.
It’s not just the slash line. Kjerstad had two home runs in his 22 games, with 11 total extra base hits, and almost drew as many walks as strikeouts, taking 13 walks and striking out 17 times. In his 22 games, he hit safely in 20 of those games, and had multi hit games in 10 of his last 13 games with the Shorebirds.
So, while most of the top 10 Orioles prospects are in Double A Bowie or Triple A Norfolk, it is nonetheless encouraging to see one of the Orioles top 10 prospects being promoted. It’s a good sign for the future of the Baltimore Orioles, even though the present has been treating us pretty good too.