5 Orioles land in MLB's top 100 players list entering 2024

Five Baltimore Orioles players were selected to the MLB top 100 list

Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game One
Division Series - Texas Rangers v Baltimore Orioles - Game One / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

Baseball season is officially underway with spring training games having begun. As is customary at the beginning of each season, player rankings and projections have dominated recent headlines. MLB has just finished announcing its list of the top 100 players in baseball and the Baltimore Orioles are well represented.

27 of the 30 MLB teams were represented on the list, led by the Atlanta Braves with nine. The Oakland A’s, Washington Nationals and Detroit Tigers did not have any players on the list. The Orioles tied with the Philadelphia Phillies, Arizona Diamondbacks, New York Mets, Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners with five representatives each.

Anthony Santander was the first Oriole to appear on the list at number 86. The switch-hitting right fielder has been a staple in the heart of the Orioles lineup for years and has provided the Birds with consistent power. Even after pacing the O’s in home runs and RBI’s for the second straight season, Santander was the subject of numerous trade rumors in the off-season. At the beginning of this season, Tony Taters is right back where he belongs, in right field for the Orioles.

The next Oriole on the list was 2023 breakout star Kyle Bradish who appeared at number 73. Bradish started the year as the O’s fourth starter but became the team's ace in the second half. He finished the season with baseball’s fourth-best ERA and third-best WHIP, leading to a fourth-place finish in AL Cy Young voting. Bradish was expected to lead a young and talented Orioles pitching staff into this season before it was learned he would start the season on the IL with a UCL injury. He’s expected to pitch this season, but a specific timetable has not been set.

Coming in at number 34 is the AL Rookie of the Year Gunnar Henderson. It took him a month to get going but once Henderson got hot, he didn’t cool off. He tied Santander for the team lead in homers (28) and led the O’s outright in runs (100), slugging percentage (.489), OPS (.814) and triples (9) en route to being named to the MLB All-Rookie first team. Gunnar is getting off to a slow start in spring training after arriving with an oblique injury, but he’s hopeful to be ready for opening day.

The Orioles finally made the big move fans have been asking for and traded for Corbin Burnes this off-season. Over the last three seasons, Burnes has averaged 188.0 innings and 226 strikeouts per season with a 2.94 ERA and won a Cy Young with two other top 10 finishes.

He steps into the number one spot in the rotation and will be the dominant ace the Orioles were missing in last year’s playoffs. Burnes has dropped from being ranked 24th by MLB in 2022 to 27th last year and he comes in at 29th this season. It is also a contract season for Burnes which should provide him with extra motivation as he aims to help the O’s end their World Series drought.

For the second year in a row, Adley Rutschman is the highest-ranked Oriole on the list, jumping from 41st to 19th. Entering his third major league season Rutschman has been discussed as a potential MVP candidate. Already recognized as the best catcher in baseball, Rutschman will look to take the next step in becoming one of the best players in baseball.

His defense has always been top-notch, his hitting continues to improve and we all saw his power from both sides of the plate in the home run derby. Entering his age 26 season Rutschman should continue to climb the list into the upper echelon of MLB talent.

The Orioles are expected to be one of baseball’s best teams. We know these players will continue to shine. Who else will step up for the Birds this year?