The Orioles minor league season is now over, but there is much to celebrate.
That’s it, the 2022 Minor League Season is over for each Orioles affiliate. Let’s recap everything that happened.
2022 Affiliates Standings
- Norfolk Tides: 74-76 (12.0 GB)
- Bowie Baysox: 68-70 (didn’t qualify in second half)
- Aberdeen IronBirds: 78-54 (runner-up in South Atlantic League)
- Delmarva Shorebirds: 49-81 (26.0 GB)
- FCL: 16-39
- DSL Orange: 26-34
- DSL Black: 23-34
- Overall: 334-388 (.433)
For ‘win-loss’ proposes, their season couldn’t be described as attractive. In the end, we’ll look back and see how the prospects performed all year. We have a lot of excitement for 2023 and beyond.
Firstly: the 2022 Minor League Player of the Year by Baseball America and 2022 Ideal Team DH from MLB Pipeline (and our 2022 MVP – 2022 Most Valuable Prospect) is Gunnar Henderson. The SS had a breakout year, rising from Bowie to MLB (or Aberdeen to Baltimore in one year) and one question surrounded Birdland: who’ll be the next ‘Gunnar’? On the field, he finished .297/.416/.531, 19 home runs, 76 RBI, 101 runs and 22 stolen bases across AA and AAA. He’s very good at baseball and MLB notes that. Bold prediction: He’ll be frontrunner for AL ROY next year.
Secondly: Colton Cowser and Connor Norby are rising. They started in Aberdeen and went to Bowie with uninspiring numbers to justify it. Since then, they blossomed and showed why they’re the two first Orioles selections in 2021 draft. Cowser finished with a combined .278/.406/.469, 19 home runs, 66 RBI, 114 runs and 18 stolen bases. Norby, with 29 home runs, finished the season leading in round trippers among Orioles affiliates.
Thirdly: the surprising pitching staff. Since Mike Elias’s regime took over, the Orioles haven’t prioritized arms in the draft or international signings. They selected mostly late draft picks, traded for them, or developed their arms within the organization. Drew Rom is an example. The 22-year-old lefty leads Orioles’ prospects in strikeouts (144) and he’ll be on radar for 2023. Unfortunately, Grayson Rodriguez, the Orioles most valuable pitching prospect, suffered a lat injury in early June and spent almost three months recovering. He played in the final AAA games and could have an opportunity to start an MLB game before season ends.
Fourthly: the promotions and the future. Adley Rutschman. Gunnar Henderson. Kyle Bradish. Terrin Vavra. Kyle Stowers. Felix Bautista. DL Hall. Nick Vespi. They got the call and are contributing to a good Orioles season. For 2023, the list goes on: Cowser, Norby, Grayson, Jordan Westburg, Joey Ortiz, etc. We don’t know if all those players (especially middle infielders) will wear an Orioles uniform in MLB or they’ll be traded this coming offseason. Baltimore is the #1 farm system in all of baseball and they’ll have several ways to improve their MLB roster to build a real contender (10-year window, right?).
The future is bright, and we’ll have a fantastic future with these new Baby Birds.