As the Baltimore Orioles continue their push towards their first postseason spot since 2016 and first AL East title since 2014, another top prospect is getting the call to the show. Orioles prospect Heston Kjerstad is getting the call to the major leagues.
Orioles top 5 prospect Heston Kjerstad to get promoted to major leagues
Kjerstad is ranked as the third overall prospect in the Orioles farm system, and now he's getting the call to the show. It comes as the Orioles open up a crucial four game series against the Tampa Bay Rays at home.
The news also comes on the heels of Ryan Mountcastle set to have imaging done on his shoulder after leaving Wednesday night's game with an injury. If Mountcastle has to miss any time, it will be a loss, but it does open up a spot for Kjerstad on the major league roster. A corresponding move to get him on the 40 man roster will also have to be made.
Kjerstad started the season with Double A Bowie, slashing .310/.384/.576 with 11 home runs, 10 doubles, and 23 RBIs in 46 games before getting a promotion to Triple A Norfolk. With the Tides, he has slashed .298/.371/.498 with 10 home runs, 19 doubles, and 32 RBIs in 76 games.
During the last offseason, Kjerstad was part of the Orioles contingent in the Arizona Fall League, winning the MVP with a stellar showing. He also represented the Orioles alongside Jackson Holliday in this year's futures game.
With Kjerstad's promotion, he becomes the latest high end Orioles prospect to make his debut this season. Colton Cowser, Jordan Westburg, Joey Ortiz, and Grayson Rodriguez have all made their big league debuts this season, with Kjerstad becoming the sixth.
Another important thing to note regarding Kjerstad is his eligibility for the playoffs. Since he was not in the majors before September 1, Kjerstad cannot be placed on an initial postseason roster. However, since he was in the Orioles system, he can be added to a playoff roster to replace an injured player.
Kjerstad is definitely deserving of every day at bats, and it seems like that's what he'll get if they're calling him up instead of someone like a Josh Lester. Ryan O'Hearn is set to take over first base if Mountcastle requires an IL stint, which would open up a spot in the outfield. Anthony Santander getting more reps at DH would also open up a spot for Kjerstad.
No matter the circumstance, the promotion of Kjerstad is certainly big news for the Orioles as they begin the final sprint of the regular season as they look to formally secure a playoff spot. The shift to a new era continues.