Dynasty Baseball Triple-A Update (4/8)

by Mike Schneider
Dynasty Baseball Triple-A Update

Throughout the season I will be updating you on the minor leagues, specifically AA and AAA. In this first update, I will be diving into the Dynasty Baseball Triple-A Update (4/8).

The AAA minor league season began on March 29th so there have been just over one week's worth of games. But we have seen a lot of great action so far, especially from the Baltimore Orioles Triple-A affiliate, the Norfolk Tide. Just look at this box score from April 3rd.

Yes, you see that right, that is 26 runs and Heston Kjerstad put up 10 RBI. Just incredible.

We'll get into more of that below, but as always make sure you check out my Prospect Rankings and our staff Dynasty Baseball Rankings.

Dynasty Baseball Triple-A Update (4/8)

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*The results that are discussed are through April 6th.

Norfolk Tides' Offensive Explosion

The biggest story so far in the AAA season has been the offensive production from the Norfolk Tides, Five players from the Tides have been dominant to begin the year.

NameAgeABPAHHRRRBIBBAVGOBPSLGISOwRC+
Kyle Stowers263942136111810.3330.3810.8720.538210
Heston Kjerstad253642186132540.5000.5481.1110.611306
Coby Mayo2237421529640.4050.4760.6760.270201
Connor Norby243944154121330.3850.4320.7950.410207
Jackson Holliday20354612218990.3430.4780.6290.286187

I think it is interesting to look at their potential major league outlook for 2024. For position players, the Orioles have begun the year completely healthy. There will eventually be injuries that will provide more opportunities.

To start the year Ryan Mountcastle and Jordan Westburg are playing every day.  Mountcastle is a strong defensive first baseman who has gotten off to a nice start. Ramón Urías, who will be 30 in June and hit only four homers in 2023 is playing a lot at third base where he is a strong defender. Gunnar Henderson, who switched back and forth between shortstop and third base in 2023 is solely playing short in 2024.

The No. 1 prospect in baseball, Jackson Holliday is likely to be called up sooner rather than later and get regular playing time at second base. However, for the other four Norfolk Tides, the path toward major league playing time in 2024 barring a trade is much more uncertain.

Orioles Position Breakdown

Left field in Camden Yards is huge and the Orioles prioritize an outfielder with a lot of range playing left field. Austin Hays is a very good defensive outfielder in left field in Camden Yards. The Orioles will play Colton Cowser in left but seem to prefer Hays' defense.

In center field, despite slumping at the end of 2023, Cedric Mullins is locked in due to his defense. Hays and Cowser appear to only be emergency options in center and there are not any other centerfielders in the organization who are candidates to play center regularly in the majors in 2024. The Orioles 2023 first-round pick, Enrique Bradfield Jr is a top centerfield prospect for the future.

Kyle Stowers and Heston Kjerstad do not have the range to play left field at least at home. Connor Norby was primarily a second baseman prior to this year when he moved to the outfield.  He is likely not good enough defensively to play the infield in the majors.  Norby has a bit more speed than Stowers or Kjerstad but he is new to the outfield and his defensive skills are unknown.

Switch-hitting Anthony Santander is going to play regularly either at right field, DH, or first base. The Orioles want to keep Adley Rutschman fresh and his bat in the lineup so he is likely going to DH at least once a week primarily against left-handed pitching.

Ryan O'Hearn, who had a nice year last year, is currently playing regularly against right-handed pitching at DH. Like O'Hearn, Stowers and Kjerstand are lefthanded and could fill O'Hearn's role if he falters. If Hays is playing leftfield, Cowser would be in this mix as well. Barring injury there may not be other opportunities for Stowers and Kjerstad with the Orioles in 2024.

Coby Mayo is a very large third baseman.  He is listed at 6'5" and 230 pounds. Mayo will likely eventually outgrow third base and move to either first base or right field. He has made three errors in the first six games that he has played third base in 2024. It is unclear if the Orioles view Mayo as a third baseman at the major league level for this year. If so he could figure in the plans if Westburg struggles.  If not, the righthanded-hitting Mayo goes in the crowded rightfield, first base, and DH bucket with Santander, Mountcastle, O'Hearn, Stowers, and Kjerstad.

In summary, even if Stowers, Kjerstad, Mayo, and Norby continue to put up prodigious offensive numbers at AAA they may not get an opportunity in the majors with the Orioles in 2024.

Hot Hitters

Excluding Norfolk Tides, these hitting prospects started the season strong.

NameTeamAgeABPAHHRRRBIBBAVGOBPSLGISOwRC+
Marco LucianoSF2227361102390.4070.5560.4810.074186
Owen CaissieCHC212531903550.3600.4840.4800.120166
Joey LoperfidoHOU2527317561120.2590.2900.8150.556144
Caleb DurbinNYY24263311151060.4230.5450.6920.269225
Cesar PrietoSTL252628926610.3460.3700.5770.231146
Jordan BeckCOL232532825860.3200.4380.7200.400179

Hot Pitchers

These pitch prospects have gotten off to strong starts.

NameTeamAgeIPK%BB%AVGWHIPBABIPERAxFIP
Landon KnackLAD261026%5%0.2221.000.2803.604.48
Cade PovichBAL24626%0%0.05300.0710.003.80
Christian ScottNYM25453%0%0.2941.250.5006.750.10
Jack LeiterTEX248.145%9%0.1670.960.2863.242.94
Paul SkenesPIT22655%5%0.0530.330.1250.001.43
Michael PlassmeyerPIT27940%3%0.1520.670.2222.003.02
Quinn PriesterPIT239.231%13%0.1471.030.2272.793.70

Cold Hitters

These hitting prospects have struggled coming out of the gate.

NameTeamAgeABPAHHRRRBIBBAVGOBPSLGISOwRC+
Jordyn AdamsLAA243032701220.2330.2810.3000.06752
Rece HindsCIN233035422650.1330.2570.3670.23363
Luisangel AcunaNYM223032415120.1330.1880.2330.1008
Ryan BlissSEA242533402460.1600.3330.2000.04059
Damiano PalmegianiTOR
241923304040.1580.3040.1580.00043
Yunior SeverinoMIN242126002050.0000.1920.0000.000-24
Jace JungDET233137612450.1940.2970.3230.12967

Cold Pitchers

It has been a couple of games but these pitching prospects have struggled to get going.

NameTeamAgeIPK%BB%AVGWHIPBABIPERAxFIP
Owen WhiteTEX248.117.50%10.00%0.3431.9200.4078.646.21
Prelander BerroaCHW244.119.23%11.54%0.4353.0000.42922.857.10
Joey EstesOAK229.125.58%6.98%0.3001.6070.2619.644.82
Gordon GraceffoSTL247.217.50%5.00%0.3682.0870.4149.395.63
Mason MontgomeryTBR24512.12%9.09%0.5173.6000.56518.007.65
Chad DallasTOR24910.87%8.70%0.3331.8890.3829.006.69

Young Hitters

These are the AAA hitters under the age of 23.

NameTeamAgeGABPAHHRRRBIBB%K%SBAVGOBPSLGISOwRC+
Marco LucianoSFG22727361102325.00%27.78%10.4070.5560.4810.074186
Tyler SoderstromOAK227273043456.67%26.67%00.1480.2330.5190.37077
Pete Crow-ArmstrongCHC228323491845.88%17.65%40.2810.3240.5630.281124
Jhonkensy NoelCLE227282960403.45%24.14%00.2140.2410.3570.14352
Luisangel AcunaNYM227303241516.25%21.88%00.1330.1880.2330.1008
Juan BritoCLE2272430512316.67%23.33%00.2080.3670.3750.167106
Orelvis MartinezTOR226222450418.33%20.83%00.2270.2920.3180.09164
Owen CaissieCHC2182531903516.13%32.26%00.3600.4840.4800.120166
Coby MayoBAL2283742152969.52%30.95%10.4050.4760.6760.270201
Thomas SaggeseSTL226242640237.69%42.31%00.1670.2310.2080.04220
James WoodWSN2141419503126.32%26.32%00.3570.5260.5000.143184
Colson MontgomeryCHW227293470628.82%32.35%00.2410.3330.2760.03473
Max MuncyOAK216212360230.00%17.39%20.2860.3480.3330.04885
Jackson HollidayBAL208354612218919.57%17.39%10.3430.4780.6290.286187

Young Pitchers

These are the AAA pitchers under the age of 23.

NameTeamAgeIPK%BB%AVGWHIPBABIPERAxFIP
Justin MartinezARI223.241.18%11.76%0.2141.3640.4290.0002.42
Joey EstesOAK229.125.58%6.98%0.3001.6070.2619.6434.82
AJ Smith-ShawverATL210.214.29%42.86%0.5007.5000.66740.50014.23
Yorlin CalderonNYY226.216.00%8.00%0.1300.7500.1111.3504.44
Sem RobberseSTL22522.22%11.11%0.1250.8000.0911.8005.06
Cristian MenaARI211119.51%9.76%0.1891.0000.2410.8184.85
Ricky TiedemannTOR214.112.50%25.00%0.2352.3080.2316.2318.79
Carlos F. RodriguezMIL22728.95%21.05%0.2672.2860.4216.4295.50
Mason FluhartyTOR22333.33%0.00%0.0000.0000.0000.0004.04
Paul SkenesPIT22655.00%5.00%0.0530.3330.1250.0001.43

Notable AAA Prospect Injuries

These prospects are on the injured list.

ProspectTeamDateILComment
Junior CamineroTB4/1/20247 dayQuadricep strain. Should be back soon.
Jordan LawlarARI3/28/202460 dayThumb surgery. Full return to baseball activity in 8-to-10 weeks.
Robert GasserMIL3/29/20247 dayElbow. Tageting a mid to late April return.
Jorbit VivasNYY3/29/20247 dayLeft orbital fracture. No timetable.
George ValeraCLE3/29/20247 dayHamstring. Should be back soon.
River RyanLAD3/29/202460 dayShoulder fatigue. No timetable.
Jereson QueroMIL3/30/20247 dayRight shoulder subluxation. No timetable.

Barrels

These players have had at least five barrels in the early season.

PlayerTeamAge Barrels
Kyle StowersBAL266
Jordan BeckCOL226
Joey LoperfidoHOU246
Coby MayoBAL225
Heston KjerstadBAL255
Klye GarlickARI325
Peyton BurdickBAL275
Romy GonzalezBOS275
Billy McKinneyPIT275

Average Exit Velocity

These players have had the highest exit velocity with a minimum of 50 pitches.

PlayerTeamAgeAverage Exit Velocity
Will RobertsonTOR26101.2
Jared YoungSTL2897.4
Brett HarrisOAK2597.3
Dom NuñezCLE2997.1
Griffin ConineMIA2696.5
Michael TrautweinCIN2496.1
Lorgan PorterKC2895.7
Marty CostesMIA2895.7
Moisés GómezSTL2595.5

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