Down on the farm, Orioles prospects are putting the league on notice. Young talent is distributed across all levels of the No. 1 system in baseball. To get a glimpse of future MLB players, fans should look no further than the Delmarva Shorebirds. Three Orioles’ Top 30 Prospects will start their 2023 campaigns in Delmarva. The must-watch player on the Low-A Orioles affiliate is last year’s No. 1 pick in the MLB Draft, Jackson Holliday, and he may not be in Delmarva very long. Below you can find everything there is to know about this year’s Shorebirds team.
Host of exciting Baltimore Orioles prospects playing for Low-A Delmarva in 2023
Deivy Cruz brings excitement to this year’s Shorebirds pitching staff. The Dominican Republic native jumped from the Florida Complex League (FCL) to Delmarva in June last year and put up impressive numbers. Across 66.2 IP, the left hander pitched to a 3.78 ERA and recorded 69 K. At 19 years old, Cruz will be part of Delmarva’s rotation again to start 2023.
Right handed pitcher Moises Chace is also a player worth following this season. The 19 year old drew 64 strikeouts across 59.2 innings with Delmarva last year. After battling multiple injuries last season, it will be fun to see what Chace can do as part of the Shorebirds’ rotation again this year.
Starter Juan De Los Santos also returns to the Shorebirds rotation. Last season De Los Santos fired nearly 80 innings at the Low-A level pitching to a 4.29 ERA. Standing at 6’3”, the 2019 international signee tallied 84 strikeouts.
Some other pitchers on the Shorebirds with intrigue include 2022 draft picks Wyatt Cheney (10th rd), Jared Beck (13th rd) and Reese Sharp (20th rd). All saw limited action last summer as Beck pitched the most of the trio going 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA across 10 innings.
In Jackson Holliday’s small sample size of professional games to this point, the No. 12 prospect across the entire minor leagues looks to be playing to the level of his high selection. Signed last summer to a record bonus of $8.19 million for a high schooler, scouts have praised the 19 year old shortstop’s advanced approach at the plate. Last season, the left handed batter drew 25 walks compared to just 12 strikeouts. In the FCL and Delmarva last season he also produced 19 hits across 20 games and had a .911 OPS.
This spring at big league camp, the son of MLB veteran Matt Holliday had an on-base percentage of .556 across 16 games. The shortstop is ranked No. 3 in the Orioles system and has the potential to rise through the Orioles system very quickly. His elite skill set and high baseball IQ could allow him to make his way to Bowie by the end of 2023.
Samuel Basallo is another highly touted prospect playing in Delmarva this season. Baseball America named Basallo the best catcher from the Dominican Republic in the 2021 International signing class. That January, Mike Elias and the scouting department signed Basallo to a $1.3 million bonus, the most the Orioles have ever given to an international prospect. Now ranked as the 12th Orioles prospect, 18 year old Basallo will look to build on a season in which he slashed .278 with 6 home runs in the FCL last year.
No. 30 ranked Orioles’ prospect Carter Young is also worth keeping an eye on. The shortstop is a former member of the U.S. National team and competed at the 18-and-under World Cup in 2017. A 17th round pick out of Vanderbilt last year, the Orioles went overslot inking him to a $1.3 million bonus. In 18 games last year, he hit .253 with 5 doubles and a home run.
You may also want to keep tabs on 2020 3rd round pick Anthony Servideo and outfielder Trendon Craig. Servideo has barely played professionally due to injuries but has a lot to prove about why he was so highly scouted at Ole Miss. Craig hit .261 and swiped 15 bases last season with Aberdeen and Delmarva.
Players that could arrive in Delmarva later
No. 23 ranked Orioles’ prospect Carter Baumler is a pitcher I expect to see in Delmarva soon. The right-hander was drafted in the 5th round during the 2020 pandemic draft and has dealt with nagging injuries during his pro career. In limited action with Delmarva last season, the 21 year old flashed dominance pitching to a 1.54 ERA with 20 K over 11.2 IP. Baumler was not given a team assignment to begin 2023.
Outfielder Braylin Tavera is another O’s prospect who could make his way to Delmarva shortly. At just 18 years old, Tavera is ranked the 25th prospect in the system. Scouts say Tavera has good bat-to-ball-skills and projects as a center fielder down the road. Last season Tavera had a .411 OBP in the Dominican Summer League.
Other prospects on the way are shortstops Maikol Hernandez (Ranked No. 27) and Leandro Arias (Ranked No. 28). Hernandez, 19 years old, has strong base running instincts and was given $1.2 million in 2021. Arias, 18 years old, has a knack for getting on base and is a switch hitter. Perhaps, the Orioles are waiting to promote fellow shortstops Carter Young or Jackson Holliday to make room for Hernandez and Arias later this season.
Felipe Rojas Jr. will manage this 2023 Shorebirds team. Rojas enters his second season in Delmarva and has been in the Orioles organization for 16 years. Formerly, Rojas was the assistant to the Dominican Baseball Commissioner in 2007, working closely with the MLB Commissioner's office.
The Shorebirds kick off their season by traveling to the Salem Red Sox (Boston Red Sox affiliate) on Thursday, April 6. Delmarva’s first home game will be Tuesday, April 11 against the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (Chicago White Sox affiliate).
It will be fun to follow all the young Birds as they climb the ladder towards the big leagues this season. For more in-depth analysis on the other Orioles farm teams make sure to check out the recently published Bowie Preview and Norfolk Preview. The Aberdeen IronBirds Preview will also be released later this week. Let’s play ball!