With the MLB Trade Deadline approaching, the Orioles will certainly be looking to add talent to the major league roster for their potential playoff run. While I expect the Orioles to be aggressive at the deadline, I also expect them to hold on to many of their top prospects. These 5 prospects should be considered "off limits" in any potential trades.
Five Orioles prospects who shouldn't be traded at the trade deadline
Jackson Holliday, SS
This one's pretty obvious. Holliday was the first overall pick in last years draft and is already the top prospect in all of baseball. He's an unbelievably well-rounded player with legitimate 5-tool talent. Holliday continues to soar through the O's farm system, already reaching the High-A level. He's slashing .317/.458/.512 across two levels this season while walking nearly as many times as he's struck out. To go along with his elite plate discipline, Holliday has slugged 7 homeruns this season, including a walk off homerun just a few days ago.
Holliday is seemingly on his way to super stardom and should be in the majors sometime in the next couple of seasons if things continue to go as planned. I can't think of a single deal proposed to the Orioles that would lead them to dealing away Holliday at the deadline.
Colton Cowser, OF
Cowser is yet another elite prospect who should be making his MLB debut soon for the Orioles. Cowser is the number 2 prospect in the Orioles farm system, coming in at 14th overall according to MLB.com's top 100. He's having a monster season, slashing .330/.459/.537 in Triple-A with 10 homeruns. He has a very well-rounded game that features great plate discipline and power to all fields. He also has above average speed and has played a solid center field for the Tides this season.
With Cedric Mullins roaming center field for the foreseeable future in Baltimore, Cowser would most likely shift to a corner outfield spot which might actually fit his skill set even better then center field does. I think it would take a lot for another team to pry Cowser away from Baltimore, and I can't picture a scenario where the O's should allow that to happen.
Jordan Westburg, INF
Westburg recently made his long awaited MLB debut last week against the Reds after having a huge season with the Norfolk Tides in Triple-A. Westburg had already slugged 18 homeruns in just 67 games before getting the promotion to the majors. He also continued to rise through the O's prospect rankings, coming in as the third best Oriole prospect and 32nd best prospect overall in MLB.com's top 100.
Westburg looks to be a fixture of the Orioles infield for years to come after an impressive debut where he registered his first career hit and RBI. He has the versatility to play 2nd base, shortstop, and third base at a high level, while supplying legitimate power and speed as well. Similarly to Cowser, I don't think the Orioles should package Westburg in any potential trades.
Heston Kjerstad, OF
This one could be debatable due to the vast outfield talent for the O's but I believe the O's need to hold onto Kjerstad. After being drafted 2nd overall in 2020, Kjerstad was diagnosed with myocarditis and was kept off the field until 2022. Ever since returning, he's been fantastic and showed off his potential as a middle of the order bat with legitimate 30 homerun power. He currently ranks as the 38th overall prospect and 4th best Orioles prospect according to MLB.com.
He has a sweet lefty swing, featuring power to all fields (similarly to Cowser). Kjerstad started the year in Double-A but was quickly promoted to Triple-A where he has an OPS over .900 and 4 homeruns in just 22 games. If the O's can find a position for him going forward, we could be seeing a whole lot of Eutaw Street home runs with Kjerstad at Camden Yards.
Coby Mayo, 3B/1B
Mayo is my last prospect who I believe the Orioles need to hold on to. After a decent season last year, Mayo has taken off slugging 17 homeruns in just 72 games in Double-A. He's slashing an unreal .313/.428/.626, good for an OPS of 1.054. He's also jumped up the prospect rankings, becoming the 78th overall prospect and 7th best Orioles prospect according to MLB.com. Mayo presents a unique skill set, featuring 60 grade power and a 70 grade arm.
My main reasoning for why the Orioles should hold onto Mayo stems from the play of Ryan Mountcastle. Although Mountcastle is hurt right now, he really was struggling so far this year. Also, ever since his tremendous rookie year, Mountcastle's production has regressed over the past couple of seasons. I still have hope for Mountcastle and I believe he can be a middle of the order bat when going well, but Mayo could be an elite replacement for Mountcastle if he doesn't turn it around.
These 5 players should all be apart of the Orioles future and will hopefully be left out of trade talks over the next month.