Baltimore Orioles: Going Down on the Farm for Some Top Prospects
The Baltimore Orioles are the second-worst team in baseball with a 38-73 record. Baltimore is going through a rebuilding stage. Mike Elias is in his first season as general manager and Brandon Hyde is managing in his first season with the ball club. A lot of players enjoy playing for him and it will be interesting to see what happens in the long run.
The Orioles will probably be bad once again in 2020 and 2021, but 2022 could be the year they turn the corner. Baltimore will expect to be contenders once the 2023 or 2024 season rolls around.
Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds have been on an absolute tear this season down in the minor leagues. Who are some of the top prospects in the Baltimore Orioles farm system?
The top prospect in Baltimore’s farm system is catcher, Adley Rutschman. He is already a top-five prospect in baseball even though Rutschman was the number one overall pick in the MLB Draft in 2019. He is 21 years old and is projected to reach the majors in 2021. Adley Rutschman has all of the tools to be a star in the majors. He is mentally sharp, very good defensively, and disciplined at the plate. Rutschman is currently in Short Season-A with the Aberdeen Ironbirds. He started the year with the GCL Orioles and played five games down there. In 12 overall minor league games so far this season, his batting average is .195 with one home run and four RBI’s, along with one stolen base. Adley Rutschman‘s on-base percentage is .313.
The second-best prospect in the Orioles farm system is right-handed pitcher, Grayson Rodriguez. He was the 11th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft. Rodriguez is currently playing in Single-A with the Delmarva Shorebirds. He throws in the high 90s with his fastball and Grayson Rodriguez also has a strong selection of secondary pitches. He has the potential to be a number two or three starter in the big leagues. Rodriguez is 19 years old and is projected to reach the majors in 2022. His record so far this season is 8-3 with a 2.87 ERA. In 75.1 innings pitched, he has given up 51 hits and 25 runs. Grayson Rodriguez has walked 31 batters and has struck out 101 batters. He has pitched in 16 games so far this season.
The third-best prospect in the Baltimore Orioles farm system is left-handed pitcher, DL Hall. He was a first-round pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. Hall is currently pitching in High-A with the Frederick Keys. He is 20 years old and is projected to reach the majors in 2021. DL Hall will most likely be a mid-rotation starter. His fastball reaches the 90s, but how will his other pitches pan out? Hall’s record so far this season is 4-4 with a 3.36 ERA. In 75 innings pitched, he has given up 50 hits and 30 runs. DL Hall has walked 51 batters and has struck out 111, in 18 games pitched.
The fourth-best prospect in their farm system is first baseman, Ryan Mountcastle. He is a tremendous hitter, but his fielding needs some work. Mountcastle was playing third base last season down in the minors, but this was probably the right move for the franchise. Ryan Mountcastle is most likely in Baltimore’s future plans but it is just a matter of at what position. He is currently playing in Triple-A with the Norfolk Tides. Mountcastle was the 36th overall pick in the 2015 MLB Draft. In 102 games played in so far this season, his batting average is .314 with 19 home runs and 65 RBI’s, along with two stolen bases. Ryan Mountcastle’s on-base percentage is .338.
The fifth-best prospect in Baltimore’s farm system is outfielder, Yusniel Diaz. He was acquired in a trade at the trade deadline last season that sent third baseman/shortstop Manny Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Diaz was signed as an international free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers on November 21, 2015. He has not been the prospect that the Orioles have hoped for at the moment, but Yusniel Diaz still has time to develop. He is 22 years old and Diaz was projected to reach the majors this season. However, he is currently on the seven-day injury list and Yusniel Diaz will most likely have to wait until next season to get to the big leagues. He is currently in Double-A with the Bowie Baysox. His batting average in 75 games played so far this season is .259 with 10 home runs and 53 RBI’s. Diaz’s on-base percentage is .333.
The sixth-best prospect in the Orioles farm system is outfielder, Austin Hays. This is another player that is very good with the bat but just average in the field. Hays could be a September call up, but it most likely not happen. He is currently playing in Triple-A with the Norfolk Tides. Austin Hays has jumped around a lot in the minors so far this season. He is projected to reach the majors in 2019, but it will most likely be 2020. Hays is 24 years old. In 61 games played in the minors so far this season, his batting average is .229 with 12 home runs and 37 RBI’s, along with four stolen bases. Austin Hays’s on-base percentage is .277.
The seventh-best prospect in the Baltimore Orioles farm system is shortstop, Gunnar Henderson. He was drafted with the 42nd overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. Henderson will most likely be the starting shortstop in the near future. He is 18 years old and Gunnar Henderson isn’t projected to reach the majors until 2023. He is currently playing with the GCL Orioles. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him move up before the end of the minor league season. In 14 games played so far this season, his batting average is .240 with four RBI’s, along with one stolen base. Henderson’s on-base percentage is .339.
The eighth-best prospect in their farm system is right-handed pitcher, Dean Kremer. He is currently in Double-A with the Bowie Baysox. Kremer was drafted in the 14th round of the 2016 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He was also one of five players that the Los Angeles Dodgers decided to trade in the Manny Machado deal. Dean Kremer can have an issue with his command at times, but he can adjust on the fly. His potential is a low-end starter. Kremer is 23 years old and is projected to reach the majors sometime this season, but it will most likely have to wait until next season. In 16 games pitches so far this season, his record is 8-4 with a 2.82 ERA. In 89.1 innings pitched, he has given up 78 hits and 29 runs. Dean Kremer has walked 30 batters and struck out 91.
For more information on these prospects, visit MLB.com and search top prospects.
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