MLB Pipeline has started revealing their top 10 prospects at each position at this point in the offseason, with the crew over there having covered right and left-handed pitchers along with catcher. While the Orioles didn't make an appearance on the pitching side, they're on the board when it comes to catching.
19-year-old catcher and fast-rising prospect Samuel Basallo was tabbed as the second-best catching prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, adding further recognition to what has been a year to remember for Basallo.
Orioles prospect Samuel Basallo ranked second best catching prospect in baseball
Entering 2023, Basallo was an unknown in the Orioles system, starting the year with Delmarva after a solid but unspectacular year with the Orioles FCL team in 2022 after playing in the Dominican Summer League in 2021 as a 16-year-old.
Over 83 games with the Shorebirds, Basallo lit it up, slashing .299/.384/.503 with 12 home runs and 19 doubles before being promoted to High A Aberdeen. He lit up High A as well, posting a .333 average and 1.131 OPS with eight home runs, six doubles, and 24 RBI's in 27 games.
After that, he was on the move again, jumping up to Double A Bowie. He got in four games at the end of Bowie's season, picking up seven hits and drawing a walk in 16 plate appearances for the BaySox, where he'll likely begin the 2024 season.
The recognition continued over the offseason for the breakout year Basallo had. Despite only playing 83 games in Delmarva, he did enough to earn the Carolina League MVP and a spot on the league's postseason All-Star team. Baseball America also put him on their first team for MiLB All-Stars, with Jackson Holliday and Heston Kjerstad joining him on the first team.
Basallo does have a bit of in-division competition on the top 10 catching prospects list, as Boston Red Sox catching prospect Kyle Teel was ranked fifth by MLB Pipeline after jumping from the FCL all the way to Double A mere months after being drafted in the first round.
When the spring rolls around, you'll get the chance to see Basallo and the other Orioles top prospects in action as they play in MLB's inaugural Spring Breakout featuring top prospects from all 30 teams. They play on March 14 against the Pittsburgh Pirates.