Thank you for joining me again this week for Dynasty Directives Baltimore Orioles Prospects article!
I will take a look at the Baltimore organization and then provide some insights for Dynasty league purposes.
I also like to keep myself up to date with the Dynasty Market, and my favorite place to start is with Dave Eddy's Dynasty Baseball Rankings.
Dynasty Directives Baltimore Orioles Prospects
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This definitely has to be one of the top prospect pools in all of baseball. Especially when you factor in the replacement value of the MLB roster. There is an opportunity for some of these players to come up and claim everyday roster spots.
With Adley Rutschman in a Baltimore Orioles uniform perhaps it is time for the organization to finally turn a page from the previous era. Orioles fans haven't had much to root for in the last decade outside of Manny Machado when he was with the team. While Adley may not replace Machado he does fill an important role with the club.
Adley Rutschman, MLB Baltimore Orioles, C, 24 yrs 4 mo
Adley Rutchsman carries one of the highest floors in baseball outside of the fantasy realm with his defensive ability and plate skills at the catching position. The early return on his power and run production hasn't been too great just yet.
As you will see below, the run production potential will undoubtedly grow when a few more of the players join him in the lineup. There is also plenty of time to grow into his power, and it appears that might even be happening right now.
Adley Rutschman has really turned it around after the rocky start. Since 6/10:
110.0 Max Exit Velocity
Power is translating, the defense already has. Next: plate discipline. pic.twitter.com/NuFEDuhtu7
— MLB Nerds (@MLBNerds) June 26, 2022
Everyone always talks about the downside of the catching position because of injuries, lack of playing time, and just a general lack of offensive production translating at the MLB level. Adley truly has one of the best approaches at the plate on their team, so he is going to get more ABs than the average catcher, as he already has 23 games started at catcher and seven games started at DH on the season.
Health is an obviously tricky thing to predict. However, it would appear with the added starts at DH at the rate of 23.3% of his starts coming at DH, that it could hopefully afford him the ability to stay healthy moving forward.
Gunnar Henderson, AAA Norfolk Tides, SS, 21 yrs 0 mo
Off and running.
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 26, 2022
There are very few prospects I would rank ahead of Gunnar Henderson at this point. This year has gone a long way to cement his trajectory as a starting infielder for the Baltimore Orioles in the not-to-distant future.
After being promoted to AAA before his 21st birthday, there is little left for him to prove. Gunnar Henderson just needs to keep doing more of the same and he will most likely find himself playing SS for the Orioles either at the end of this season or early in 2023.
Grayson Rodriguez, AAA Norfolk Tides, SP, 22 yrs 7 mo
Investing heavily in young arms will more often than not lead to diminishing returns on your investment. After having thrown cold water on the fire of all pitching prospects let me say this is arguably the ONE pitching prospect to invest a heavy cost in. He throws four plus pitches with plus control and command.
Simply put: this is the type of pitcher that truly projects as an SP1. With Baltimore in desperate need of rotational help, Grayson Rodriguez is being groomed to become that for the Orioles.
— Eric_Birdland (@Eric_Birdland) April 15, 2022
DL Hall, AAA Norfolk Tides, SP, 23 yrs 9 mo
DL Hall is definitely one of the most exciting prospects in the Orioles system. He is a flame-throwing left-handed starting pitcher with nasty stuff and elite spin rates. DL Hall's ceiling can only be limited by his ability to refine the control and command of his impressive repertoire.
There is certainly a chance that Hall is a closer or an elite two-inning stopper in the Orioles bullpen if he is unable to progress the advancement of his command and control.
There are a lot of risks here but all signs point to him being a weapon in whatever role he ends up filling for the Orioles.
DL Hall, Filth.
100mph Fastballs and a Wicked Slider. pic.twitter.com/wd9vp5jOed
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 28, 2022
Jordan Westburg, AAA Norfolk Tides, 3B, 23 yrs 4 mo
Jordan Westburg has all the tools at his disposal 🛠
How the infielder's strong all-around game can help him reach the big leagues. pic.twitter.com/qeJpdcdMLl
— Orioles on MASN (@masnOrioles) June 22, 2022
Jordan Westburg gets a bit overshadowed in the Orioles system as some of his tools are not quite as loud as some of his fellow organization mates.
Do not let that keep you from rostering him. Westburg still projects to have a high probability of filling 2B, SS, or 3B long term. It might also be in a utility role that sees him playing mostly every day.
Kyle Stowers, AAA Norfolk Tides, OF, 24 yrs 6 mo
A bit of a slow riser in the Orioles organization, Kyle Stowers has our attention now. It would appear that Stowers is going to get an opportunity to prove what he can do at the MLB level, since he was recently called up.
As with any prospect, it is difficult to tell what he might do with that chance. If his recent track record is any indication of future performance, he might just be someone to add relatively cheap at the moment that could return some MLB production.
As of this date, he has two games played with Baltimore and one hit on his ledger.
Coby Mayo, AA Bowie Baysox, 3B, 20 yrs 6 mo
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 29, 2022
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 27, 2022
Coby Mayo is a legitimate 35-plus HR hitter in the making. Just how great Coby Mayo can be will depend on the advancement of his hit tool. He is making the necessary adjustments to be able to get to that power in games.
There is more risk here than, say, with Gunnar Henderson at the moment. However, I do believe that having faith in Coby Mayo will pay off in the end.
Coby Mayo also possesses well above average arm strength to play 3B. I can also see a scenario where Mayo end up at first base if everyone else in the system reaches their potential as well.
Acquire him now if you can. After being promoted to the AA Bowie Baysox all signs point towards this being an MLB regular with nearly double-plus power in time.
Colton Cowser, AA Bowie Baysox, OF, 22 yrs 3 mo
— MLB (@MLB) July 11, 2021
Colton Cowser is a very interesting prospect for fantasy, a truly well-rounded prospect that also plays above-average center field defense. This means it is very likely that he will have a pretty long leash as long as he can display even an average hit tool which seems like a near certainty at this point.
Just how great Cowser can be will likely be determined by just how much power he is able to tap into at the big league level. At the moment rates suggest he could maybe be a 12 HR and 25 SB type of outfielder. It appears that his plate discipline could also mean that he could bat at or near the top of the lineup with a 16.1% walk rate at High-A Delmarva as a 22-yr-old.
That leads us to a splendid .385 OBP to go along with that above-average stolen base output.
Connor Norby, AA Bowie Baysox, 2B, 22 yrs 0 mo
— Bob Phelan (@TheOrioleReport) June 26, 2022
Connor Norby has had a somewhat average debut season in the South Atlantic League for High-A Aberdeen Ironbirds. He was just recently promoted to the AA Bowie Baysox having still shown enough to inspire confidence. While his offensive numbers could be more impressive ,his overall performance has still inspired confidence in his path towards playing second base for Baltimore.
There are definitely things to like here, but I definitely am less likely to roster Norby in shallow formats. I feel like between Norby and Westburg they could end up fighting for that last infield starting spot.
Connor Norby does possess a respectable 8.6% walk rate and a palatable 23.9% strikeout rate. There could be some positive regression from Norby's .277 BABIP on the horizon as well. He is definitely someone to monitor going forward.
Heston Kjerstad, Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds, OF, 23 yrs 4 mo
'OK, I'm back.'
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 25, 2022
Unfortunately, due to complications as a result of health conditions, Heston Kjerstad's development has been stunted up until this point. The good news is he did possess some very good skills prior to being selected second overall by the Baltimore Orioles. It's ultimately on his shoulders to shore up the largely contact-related deficiencies in his game.
I want to believe, given his pedigree, that this is someone to still believe in. That, in time with some professional instruction, his offensive profile can and will still blossom. He is absolutely going to have to refine his hit tool to stick at the MLB level.
His average-at-best defensive corner OF profile means the value must come from him making enough contact to utilize what can be a 30 HR bat. I think this can be somewhat of a comeback story.
I honestly believe that all ten of these prospects have a good chance of contributing to the Orioles. In tiers of confidence, I would prioritize acquiring Adley first, followed by Gunnar Henderson and Grayson Rodriguez. The next tier for me is Coby Mayo and DL Hall given their immense ceilings alongside Colton Cowser who I perceive to be a very well-rounded OF with a high probability of making the MLB organization.
Next, I would say Connor Norby, Jordan Westburg, and Kyle Stowers would form a soft next tier. I like all of these prospects very much. I just think currently they fall down to this tier because they have a slightly lower ceiling than the aforementioned.
Finally, the last tier is comprised of one Heston Kjerstad, who profiles as a corner OF or DH. I think the lost development time, coupled with swing and miss concerns and finally being a non-elite OF all factor into him being a bit of a flier at this point albeit one with a lot of upside in his bat.
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