Orioles Baby Birds Weekly Prospects Recap (July 23-August 2)
Orioles prospects had some big performances this week.
Let’s go over the 2022 draftees, new prospects for the pipeline, and the best from Orioles affiliates. The first full MiLB week since the All-Star Break is now in the books.
MVP: SS/3B Gunnar Henderson (9-21, 2 HR, 2 2B, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 1.310 OPS)
It’s not a full game week in AAA because the last game against the Memphis Redbirds (STL affiliate) was postponed by rain. In five games, Norfolk won two of them. Gunnar Henderson is HIM! The best Tides’ hitter has good company like Kyle Stowers (7-17, 5 RBI) and newly promoted to Baltimore, Yusniel Diaz (5-16, 2 RBI). Jordan Westburg finished with only one hit in 14 at-bats.
On the mound, DL Hall played only 2/3 inning and allowed six earned runs. He would play on Sunday, but the extra day off could be beneficial for him. Bruce Zimmermann played pretty well (5.0, 4 H, 3 K). Do you prefer to see him back in Baltimore?
Veteran to watch: RHP Louis Head (2 G, 3.0 IP, 2 BB, 5 K)
He has not allowed a run in his last four appearances. Don’t be surprised if the Orioles call him, especially in the 17-game streak without a day off for Baltimore in August.
Next series: vs Nashville Sounds (MIL affiliate)
MVP: SS Joey Ortiz (he owns this section)
Five wins in a slugfest fashion! Nine players hit at least one home run. Six of them had a multi-HR week. For Ortiz, the Eastern League Player of the Week, he played like it was MLB The Show on beginner. Fourteen (!) hits (seven for XBH), 3 home runs, 9 runs and a 1.536 OPS! He’s not the only one with 10+ hits. Colton Cowser was brilliant, too (11-21, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 1.529 OPS).
With three homers and a triple (6-23 overall), Connor Norby had his best week at AA. Cesar Prieto didn’t hit over the fences, but he tied with Ortiz in hits (7). Altoona (PIT affiliate) won’t forget this series.
Unranked to watch: RHP Griffin McLarty (2 G, 4.0 IP, 6 K)
The pitching staff is headlined by unranked prospects. This week, McLarty deserves your attention. He has seven consecutive games with 0 ER.
Next series: at Harrisburg Senators (WSH affiliate)
MVP: OF John Rhodes (7-17, 4 2B, 4 RBI, 1.121 OPS)
Like Norfolk, one game did not occur because of rain. Other similarity: two wins in five games, on the road, against the Asheville Tourists (HOU affiliate). To one Baby Bird, it was special. John Rhodes, along with Shayne Fontana and Gregori Vazquez, were promoted to Bowie. Congratulations, guys! Another achievement goes to Heston Kjerstad: his #1 and #2 HRs for Aberdeen (8-game hitting streak).
On the mound, one intruder: OF Davis Tavarez. One inning with a K and no runs. Again, only three pitchers finished with no runs allowed.
Unranked to watch: TT Bowens (7-19, 2 HR, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 5 R, 1.297 OPS)
The undrafted player from 2020 was outstanding. He finished last month with good numbers (.263/.380/.474, 3 HR, 11 RBI, 15 BB).
Next series: at/vs Willington Blue Rocks (WSH affiliate)
MVP and unranked: SS Isaac De Leon (10-22, HR, 4 2B, 4 RBI, 7 R, SB, 1.273 OPS)
All MVPs are hitters! The 20-year-old player calls himself and put up a great week to help Delmarva in a 5-1 series against the Lynchburg Hillcats (CLE affiliate). Overall, the offense scored 42 runs. Mishael Deson and Frederick Bencosme also hit a home run. The speed demon Luis Valdez stole six bases and almost had a 1:1 H/SB ratio (7 hits). Trendon Craig had a .500 in batting average (8-16).
On the mound, Hector Perez punched out 10 in two games (5.0 IP), all of them from bullpen. Other reliever, Dylan Heid, finished with seven K’s. Deivi Cruz was the best starter (6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 2 K).
Next series: vs Augusta GreenJackets (ATL affiliate)
Orioles 2022 Draft
Last Monday was the deadline for the draftees to sign with the teams from the 2022 class. The Orioles didn’t have a perfect score. 18 of 22 have signed, included the #1, Jackson Holliday (introduced at OPACY last Wednesday). The prospects that did not signed: Nolan McLean (3rd), James Hicks Jr (15th), Andrew Walters (18th), and Alden Mathis (19th).
Per Jim Callis, McLean and the Orioles disagreed over results of his post-Draft physical. The team will have a compensation pick in the next draft (3.2). Walters and Mathis optioned to go back to school.
The Orioles break a record sign for a 17th-round pick in draft history. Carter Young signed over a $1 million ($1.350 M) and won’t play for LSU in 2023.
New Baby Birds
Well, the Orioles are involved in a three-team trade with the Rays and Astros. Mancini is going to Houston and Baltimore receives two pitching prospects, one from each team. On Tuesday, Jorge Lopez was traded to the Twins.
From Tampa Bay, the Orioles acquired RHP Seth Johnson (the best pitcher not named Shane Baz in the Rays system). The 40th overall pick from 2019 is going to have Tommy John surgery and will return next year or 2024. Before that, Johnson had 41 strikeouts in 27.0 innings (7 GS) this year.
From Houston, Baltimore received RHP Chayce McDermott. The new #12 prospect in Baltimore system per MLB Pipeline, he has similarities with Johnson: high K/9 rate. He’ll play for Aberdeen.
From Minnesota, they receive four pitching prospects, but one top 30: LHP Cade Povich. RHP Yennier Cano (MLB experience) goes to Norfolk. From FCL, LHP Juan Rojas and RHP Juan Nuñez are joining the other two prospects. BSL on the Verge has some notes below.
In mid-August, MLB will update all farm systems. Will Baltimore continue with the #1 Farm System in all baseball?