Baby Birds Weekly Prospect Recap (July 4-10)
The first ever weekly prospect recap from our Baltimore Orioles in minor leagues on Birds Watcher!
Every Tuesday, we’re talking about the Baby Bird who rakes (the Most Valuable Prospect, or ‘MVP’) and the non-ranked prospect to watch in Norfolk, Bowie, Aberdeen and Delmarva.
Important: Orioles prospect rankings are based in most recent update on MLB Pipeline
Norfolk Tides (AAA) Prospect of the Week: LHP DL Hall – 6.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 BB, 14 K
All MiLB teams played on Monday in celebration of Independence Day, with Tuesday being the scheduled day off. Norfolk played against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp (Marlins affiliate) and split the six-game series. On Wendnesday, one of the best prospects in Orioles system gave us a stellar performance. Check the highlights from #3 Orioles prospect. I think he’s ready:
Gunnar Henderson (#2 org. rank), the new #5 prospect in baseball, had a unusual series (3-20, three walks and ten strikeouts). He’s the lone O’s prospect on Futures Game and we’ll hope to see him in the majors this year. Jordan Westburg (#5), who appears on top 100 right now, hits another Home Run and leads the organization (#16). The best hitter was Rylan Bannon (unranked) with an 1.100 OPS. Not forgotten is Terrin Vavra (#12, 7-20, two doubles and .908 OPS).
Non-ranked prospect to watch: OF Robert Neustrom (.333/.333/.583, HR, 3 RBI, SB)
Originally, it was Cody Sedlock. But the Orioles traded him to Detroit for cash considerations last Sunday. However, Neustrom played well too. With intriguing prospects in the same position like Kyle Stowers (#7) and Yusniel Diaz (#23, stay health, please?), we don’t want to see a new chapter of ‘Mike Yastrzemski’ series. Am I right?
Next series: vs Worcester Red Sox (Boston affiliate)
Last Week In Birdland (7/3-7/10): the Orioles went streaking!
The Baltimore Orioles are one game under .500 and within reach of the final American League Wild Card spot. Is Orioles Magic back?
Bowie Baysox (AA) Prospect of the Week: OF Colton Cowser – 860 OPS, HR, 2 doubles, 3 RBI
Six games. Five decided by one or two runs. Four losses. Against the Somerset Patriots (Yankees affiliate), the Bowie Baysox had some frustrations not only on the scoreboard: Coby Mayo (#6) headed to 7-day IL with back spasms. On the field, Cowser (#3) leads the team in hits (6), Home Runs, RBI, doubles and second in walks. Hudson Haskin (#14) leads in batting average (.333). The rest of the offense… Yikes.
On pitching side, Kyle Bradish made his first rehab start after landing on the IL with right shoulder inflammation. The former prospect threw three innings with five strikeouts. Another ranked prospect that took the mound last week was Drew Rom (#15), who allowed seven hits, three earned runs and four strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
Non-ranked prospect to watch: RHP Garrett Stallings
Since the transition to ‘pen this month, he’s playing better. On July, the 24-year-old had a 0.90 ERA in 10.0 IP (two games) with 17 strikeouts! In his relief appearence against the Patriots, the righty threw six innings with seven K’s and allowed only four hits.
Next series: vs Akron RubberDucks (Guardians affiliate)
Aberdeen IronBirds (A+) Prospect of the Week: SS Darell Hernaiz – 6-20, 3 2B, SB in six games
Aberdeen is still rolling in 2022. Even the promotions of Cowser, Mayo, Connor Norby (#9) and Cesar Prieto (#10) haven’t let gotten in the way of the IronBirds’ success. They are 9-6 in the second half (1.0 GB) and won four games against the Brooklyn Cyclones (Mets affiliate). Hernaiz (#27) played well all series. Ramon Rodriguez (unranked) played three games (1.084 OPS) and hit the ball over the fence alongside Billy Cook (unranked, .897 OPS) and TT Bowens (unranked, .864 OPS), the only three roundtrippers from IronBirds bats.
Jean Pinto (#28) was brilliant with 8 K’s (team leader alongside Connor Gillispie) in five relief innings. His batting average against in July is exceptional (.133).
Non-ranked prospect to watch: RHP Dan Hammer (5.0 IP, H, 2 BB, 7 K)
Hammer bounced back from his last start and put together a great performance. Since the promotion from Delmarva, he’s thrown five innings in two of four outings.
Next series: vs Jersey Shore BlueClaws (Phillies affiliate)
Delmarva Shorebirds (A-) Prospect of the Week: OF Heston Kjerstad – he hits everything
Delmarva won a series! Believe me, it’s a rarity in this 2022 Shorebirds season. They beat the Salem Red Sox (Boston affiliate) and Kjerstad (#8 org. rank) does it again. He had a hit in each of the last four games (nine in total) with a 1.701 OPS, three doubles, five RBI, three runs, five walks and only two strikeouts. His torrid streak finally resulted in Aberdeen announcing his promotion to High-A. Keep rolling, Heston!
Keep an eye on Luis Valdez (unranked), because he’s a swipe machine: 5 SB in 6 six games and 41 steals in 71 games this season. On the other hand, Anthony Servideo (#29) finished with 0 walks. Another rarity.
Non-ranked prospect to watch: IF Frederick Bencosme (rising star?)
Another under-the-radar guy. The former FCL player was promoted one month ago and quickly made an impression. The 19-year-old slash line last week: .308/.400/.485, double, RBI, three runs and two stolen bases. On Delmarva, he mantains a good strikeout-to-walk ratio (10:9). Is he another hidden gem?
Next series: at Carolina MudCats (Brewers affiliate)