MLB Pipeline released their new prospect rankings, with Orioles star prospect Jackson Holliday coming in at the top spot. Alongside Holliday, the Orioles featured 5 additional top 100 prospects, tying them with the Pittsburgh Pirates for the most in baseball. Out of the 6 Orioles that made the list, 4 of them are ranked in the top 30, more then any other team in baseball. Here are the 6 players who made the list.
Six Orioles prospects made MLB Pipeline's top 100 prospects list
Jackson Holliday (SS) : #1 Overall
As previously mentioned, Jackson Holliday was ranked as the best prospect in baseball. After being selected with the 1st overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, Holliday has skyrocketed through the Orioles minor league system. He started the season at Single-A Delmarva but has already made his way to Double-A Bowie since then.
He's hit the cover off the baseball, resulting in a .333 average across three minor league levels this season. Fans have already began clamoring for Holliday's promotion to Triple-A thanks to his absurd .344/.417/.547 slash line in Double-A.
Holliday has all of the makings of a 5-tool, superstar player. On MLB Pipeline's 80 grade scale Holliday has a 70 grade hit tool, 55 power, arm, and fielding tool, and 60 grade speed. Holliday's production and maturity so far in his career are extremely promising. I think it's very possible that we see Holliday make his major league debut sometime later this season or early 2024.
Colton Cowser (OF): #14 Overall
Similarly to Holliday, Colton Cowser is another high draft pick who has quickly risen through the Orioles system. Cowser was drafted 5th overall in 2021 and is already with the major league club. He was lighting up Triple-A Norfolk which led to his promotion in early July but he has struggled to make the adjustment to major league pitching. In 25 games with the Orioles, Cowser has a slash line of just .117/.270/.150 with just 2 doubles and no homeruns.
Even with his struggles at the major league level, Cowser looks to be yet another promising building block for the Orioles young core. He has a very well-rounded game thanks to his solid defense and speed, while also flashing major power to all fields. Cowser has gotten off to a similar start as Adley Rutschman in 2022 and Gunnar Henderson this season.
Just like them, Cowser is establishing good plate recognition and patience but has struggled with getting the barrel to the ball. I expect Cowser to break through sometime in the near future, and hopefully he'll be a big part of the Orioles playoff run.
Heston Kjerstad (OF): #25 Overall
Kjerstad looks like he could be the next Orioles prospect to get the call to the majors. Kjerstad started the season with Double-A Bowie, but after just 46 games was promoted to Triple-A Norfolk. Since his promotion, Kjerstad has hit everything in sight.
He's slashing .339/.410/.586 with 8 homeruns, 3 triples, and 16 doubles in just 49 games. If it wasn't for the Orioles crowded outfield, Kjerstad would most likely be in the majors already. We'll have to see if the O's can find room for him during the final stretch of the season.
Coby Mayo (3B/1B): #28 Overall
Coby Mayo is one of the biggest risers for the Orioles this season. Coming into the year, Mayo was ranked towards the backend of the Orioles top 10 prospects and was left off of many top 100 lists. But after torching Double-A Bowie with a slash line of .307/.424/.603 and 17 homeruns, Mayo began to get some recognition.
After 78 games in Bowie, Mayo got promoted to Triple-A Norfolk where he has had some struggles. Mayo is still only 21 years old and has a very limited sample size in triple-A. His best tools are his cannon for an arm (70 grade arm talent) and his great power at the plate (60 grade power). I think there's a good chance we see Mayo in the majors early next season.
Samuel Basallo (C/1B): #50 Overall
Similarly to Mayo, Basallo has quickly risen up the Orioles prospect rankings. The 18 year old has spent most of the season at Single-A Delmarva but was recently promoted to High-A Aberdeen. With Delmarva this season, Basallo was an offensive machine slashing .299/.384/.503 with 12 homeruns in 83 games.
He's struggled since being promoted to Aberdeen, but he's only played in 9 games so far. MLB Pipeline points out that he's very raw at catcher and he may not stay there due to his 6'3 frame at just 18 years old. But he does have a very strong arm (60 grade arm talent) which could lead to a transition to first base or a corner outfield spot.
Joey Ortiz (INF): #55 Overall
Ortiz has had a couple stints with the Orioles this season but has struggled to stick on the major league roster due to the Orioles loaded infield and some personal struggles at the plate. Ortiz has certainly played well enough in Triple-A thanks to an incredible slash line of .346/.396/.554 with 93 hits in just 63 games this season.
Along with his great contact ability, Ortiz may be the best defender in the Orioles system. He is a gold-glove caliber fielder that can play third base, second base, and shortstop at an extremely high level. Similarly to Kjerstad, I think it's possible we see Ortiz later this season if the Orioles can find a spot on their roster.
With these new rankings being released, it's even more obvious then before that the Orioles have the best farm system in baseball. It'll be exciting to see how these guys play and progress in the future.