Another team to watch in 2023 in minor leagues. With a lot of 2022 draftees on the roster and four top 30 prospects, the High-A Aberdeen IronBirds will start the season with a lot of hype.
The Aberdeen IronBirds will have exciting players to keep an eye on in 2023
The Birds almost won the South Atlantic League last year (lost in The Finals). To this year, the roster have similarities with 2022, with most players from the last draft started on Opening Day roster. Manager Roberto Mercado will have another promising youngsters to command.
We'll start with the pitchers. The best prospect is RHP Jean Pinto, mainstay from last year. Sometimes on top 30 on MLB Pipeline (#36 on Fangraphs), Pinto have a ceiling to be a mid-reliever. This guy strikeouts a lot, with 103 in 2022 (24 games, 19 starts). We'll hope to be a short stint and a call up to Bowie ASAP.
Another pitchers to watch: RHP Trace Bright (2022 5th round pick), RHP Ignacio Feliz and RHP Kyle Virbitsky (Darnell Hernaiz trade).
The headline is the OF Dylan Beavers (#11 prospect). The 33rd pick raked in his pro debut with Delmarva. He was promoted to Aberdeen to play down the stretch. His .322/.438/.460 slash line across three levels plus 10 extra-base hits (0 Home Runs), 15 RBI and 6 stolen bases. He's only 21 years old.
Alongside him, the Florida product: OF Jud Fabian (#17 prospect). He was a pick from Boston Red Sox in 2021 (one spot ahead Baltimore, who took Connor Norby) and didn't sign with them. One year later and Baltimore picked him in 67th overall. Another player with power (3 Home Runs in 2022) and great OPS (1.070) in his pro debut.
On infield, a underrated prospect who quietly climbs the rankings in 2022: INF Frederick Bencosme (#22 prospect). A classic leadoff with a great OBP (.381) and don't often strikeout (40 in 267 at-bats). He's a 20-year old diamond.
Another 2022 draftee in Aberdeen is the 3B Max Wagner (#14 prospect). The Clemson product didn't have the same pro debut like his peers, but he had power (Clemson's Home Run record in a single season) and he'll play better.
Other hitters to watch: C Silas Ardoin (2022 4th round pick) and IF Luis Valdez (71 stolen bases last year with Delmarva and Aberdeen).