BA Newsletter: Get Analysis, Rankings Delivered To Your Inbox!

Baltimore Orioles

Prospects Overview

Top 30 Prospects

Click prospect for player report

Prospect Lists

Best Tools

Top Prospects of the Decade
(Listed with 2023 organization)

Top Draft Picks of the Decade
(Listed with 2023 organization)

Player Reports

  1. 1. Adley Rutschman | C
    Adley Rutschman
    Born: Feb 6, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 216
    Drafted/Signed: Oregon State, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Brandon Verley
    Minors: .285/.397/.502 | 23 HR | 3 SB | 452 AB

    BA Grade: 70/Medium

    Track Record: The Orioles were made to wait longer than expected to see the No. 1 overall pick in 2019, who they signed to a record $8.1 million bonus, tear through the minors the way a generational amateur talent is expected to. A College World Series champion and Most Outstanding Player for Oregon State in 2018 and the BA College Player of the Year in 2019, Rutschman got a late start to his 2019 pro debut due to illness, then spent the summer of 2020 at the Orioles’ alternate training site refining his swing and beginning to build rapport with some of the top pitching prospects in the organization. His delayed first full season, however, could not have gone better. Beginning at Double-A Bowie, Rutschman was the top prospect in Double-A Northeast and appeared in the Futures Game before ending his season with Triple-A Norfolk. He hit .285/.397/.502 with 23 home runs and a 79-to-90 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 123 games. He led all minor league catchers with 543 plate appearances. Rutschman shared the Orioles’ Brooks Robinson minor league player of the year award with fellow 2019 draftee Kyle Stowers at the end of the season.

    Scouting Report: Rutschman’s calling card at the plate is his elite plate discipline, with his 14.5% walk rate the best in the organization and in the top 10% of all qualified hitters in the high minors. He paced the Orioles’ internal swing decision metrics and rarely swings and misses, with a 6.7% whiff rate. His uncanny understanding of the strike zone means his already-modest strikeout numbers could fall as he advances to the majors and higher quality umpires. When pitchers do come into his zone, Rutschman can do damage. In the midst of his one rough stretch of the season, he and the Orioles identified an issue with his load and landed on a change that allows him to let the ball travel deeper. In doing so, he was able to drive the ball more consistently by staying on plane with the pitch, all without sacrificing power or contact to do so. His line drive rate was 17.2% at Bowie, but with the changes taking hold, that rate jumped to 26.6% the last two months at Triple-A. The adjustment helps Rutschman better tap into his potentially elite power while elevating his average when he’s staying in the ballpark. Defensively, Rutschman made strides calling games and built on his strength of developing relationships with pitchers, who raved about working with him. He’s already an advanced receiver and his strong arm helped him cut down 27% of basestealers. While his skill set is major league ready, coaches and teammates appreciate how tirelessly Rutschman works to improve and shows genuine efforts for helping them do the same.

    The Future: The composite of all of Rutschman’s skills makes for a player who looks like he can be an above-average major leaguer in 2022. A forecast of multiple all-star appearances and consideration for MVP honors isn’t far fetched. Rutschman will be the cornerstone of the Orioles’ planned turnaround, and his success in Triple-A means there’s not much left for him to accomplish there. If he’s not on the Opening Day roster, it won’t be long before he’s at Camden Yards.

    Scouting Grades
    Batting: 70. Power: 70. Speed: 40. Defense: 60. Arm: 70

  2. 2. Grayson Rodriguez | RHP
    Grayson Rodriguez
    Born: Nov 16, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 220
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Nacogdoches, Texas, 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: Thom Dreier
    Minors: 9-1 | 2.36 ERA | 161 SO | 27 BB | 103 IP

    BA Grade: 70/High

    Track Record: Only one pitcher in the 30-plus years of the Orioles’ Jim Palmer minor league pitcher of the year award had ever repeated before Rodriguez shared the honor in 2019 then took it on his own in 2021. Signed for $4.3 million as the 11th overall pick in 2018, Rodriguez spent the year leading up to his selection remaking his body and delivery. He has thrived in the Orioles’ progressive new pitching system and become baseball’s top pitching prospect. He led all minor league pitchers with 100 innings in strikeout rate: 14.1 per nine innings.

    Scouting Report: Rodriguez’s dominance over his two full seasons took on different forms. He overpowered batters with his fastball in 2019, but used an advanced pitch mix to carve through Double-A Northeast lineups in 2021. Rodriguez’s fastball averaged 97 mph for the season and frequently hit 100 early in the year before settling in the mid-to-high 90s late. It’s an elite pitch with above-average spin and hop, and he locates it to all four quadrants of the strike zone. Rodriguez’s slider, a plus pitch in the 79-85 mph range, has late bite and can be manipulated a variety of different ways. His screwball-like changeup is a swing-and-miss weapon against both righties and lefties. Rodriguez also has the potential for an above-average curveball, a pitch that he started to throw harder this year, and he occasionally mixes in a low-90s cutter. Physically, Rodriguez has a prototypical starter’s frame with a durable and repeatable delivery that allows him to exhibit plus command.

    The Future: Rodriguez’s attributes give him the chance to be a mid-rotation starter at worst, with No. 2 starter potential at best. He’ll start 2022 at Triple-A Norfolk, with the 22-year-old’s major league debut not far off.

    Scouting Grades
    Fastball: 70. Curveball: 55. Slider: 70. Changeup: 65. Control: 60

  3. 3. D.L. Hall | LHP
    D.L. Hall
    Born: Sep 19, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Valdosta, Ga., 2017 (1st round).
    Signed By: Arthur McConnehead
    Minors: 2-0 | 3.13 ERA | 56 SO | 16 BB | 32 IP

    BA Grade: 60/Very High

    Track Record: The Orioles got a premium talent when Hall fell to them as the 21st pick in the 2017 draft and signed for $3 million, considering he was considered the best prep lefty in that class. Hall has been impressive when healthy, and in each of his first two full seasons—the second featuring a trip to the Futures Game in 2019—he got better as the season went on. But after thriving at the team’s alternate training site in 2020 and coming into 2021 with high expectations, Hall made just seven starts for Double-A Bowie, albeit dominant ones, before a stress reaction in his elbow ended his 2021 early.

    Scouting Report: Hall honed his electric arsenal at the alternate site and hit 100 mph for the first time there. He carried that into 2021 in a significant way, with his fastball sitting in the high 90s and averaging 97 mph with above-average hop. The efforts of 2020 to distinguish his breaking balls paid off, with a plus slider in the mid 80s the best of his secondaries, followed by a slower curveball and a changeup. Hall’s command, however, will be what determines his big league fate. It improved since his last game-action in 2019, and while his walk rate of 4.6 per nine innings was still high, the Orioles believe he was more consistently around the strike zone without sacrificing the chase his dynamic arsenal creates.

    The Future: Hall’s stuff and control create the possibility of a high-leverage, late-inning reliever, but despite his injuries, he has a ceiling of a No. 3 starter. He’ll be added to the 40-man roster this winter but could be back at Double-A Bowie in 2022.

    Scouting Grades
    Fastball: 70. Curveball: 55. Slider: 60. Changeup: 55. Control: 45.

  4. 4. Gunnar Henderson | SS/3B
    Gunnar Henderson
    Born: Jun 29, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Selma, Ala., 2019 (2nd round).
    Signed By: David Jennings
    Minors: .258/.350/.476 | 17 HR | 16 SB | 399 AB

    BA Grade: 55/ High

    Track Record: Signed for an above-slot $2.3 million to keep him away from an Auburn commitment, Henderson has grown to be a darling of Orioles staff and scouts alike as a precociously talented hitter and relentless competitor. He quickly learned what it would take to face older pitchers at the alternate training site and used what he learned there to move quickly in. Henderson was the Low-A East player of the month in May to begin 2021 and eventually was promoted twice, finishing at Double-A Bowie.

    Scouting Report: Henderson has all the makings of a modern-day, bat-first shortstop and took strides toward that in 2021 as he embraced the challenges of playing above his level for most of the year. He’s a potentially average hitter with plus power who has improved along with his competition, and while he struck out more often as he climbed the minors, his swing decisions and contact rates were better in High-A than Low-A. Henderson has a quiet setup but quick hands that allow him to get his barrel into the zone quickly and keep it there, and as he continues to connect his upper and lower body in his load, he’ll tap into more pull power. While there’s a risk he can outgrow shortstop for third base, Henderson is athletic for his size with a plus arm and above-average speed. His intelligent aggression on the bases shows how locked-in he is on a daily basis.

    The Future: The Orioles haven’t drafted and developed an all-star shortstop since Manny Machado, but Henderson has the talent to be the next one. He’ll be back at Double-A Bowie to start 2022, with an MLB role in 2023 in play.

    Scouting Grades
    Hitting: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 55. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60.

  5. 5. Colton Cowser | OF
    Colton Cowser
    Born: Mar 20, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: Thom Dreier
    Minors: .375/.490/.492 | 2 HR | 7 SB | 120 AB

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: Even selecting fifth overall in 2021, the Orioles feel they picked a premium college bat in Cowser, who signed for a below-slot $4.9 million. Cowser embodied the team’s focus on hitters who make hard contact and don’t strike out, which he demonstrated with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team in 2019. He hit .374/.490/.680 with 16 homers and 17 steals in 55 games this spring to take Southland Conference player of the year honors in 2021. He spent a month at Low-A Delmarva to end his pro debut and walked more than he struck out.

    Scouting Report: Cowser has always found the barrel, a skill that results in few whiffs and is aided by impressive swing decisions. He’s the type to spray line drives to all fields, but his swing path is presently more geared toward contact versus power. The Orioles believe he’s the rare college draftee who can add more strength and allow him to perhaps grow into 20-home run power to go along with his plus hit tool, and that any added power won’t take away from his strengths of controlling the zone. Cowser is an above-average runner with good instincts in center field, giving him solid-average potential there with the arm to allow him to play either corner.

    The Future: Part of the allure of selecting Cowser was how quickly he might climb to the majors, where his table-setting ability would fit right in. Developing more power could allow him to be more, but Cowser has the makings of a first-division regular at present. He could begin at High-A Aberdeen in 2022 and ride a fast track to Baltimore by 2023.

    Scouting Grades
    Hitting: 60. Power: 50. Speed:55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55.

  6. 6. Jordan Westburg | SS/3B
    Jordan Westburg
    Born: Feb 18, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 203
    Drafted/Signed: Mississippi State, 2020 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: David Jennings
    Minors: .285/.389/.479 | 15 HR | 17 SB | 424 AB

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: In signing Westburg for $2.37 million as the 30th overall pick in 2020, the Orioles bet he was going to continue the improvements from his strong summer in 2019 in Cape Cod League and the first few weeks of the shortened college season. He did just that at instructional league in 2020. He began his pro career at Low-A Delmarva before beginning a three-level ascent to Double-A Bowie.

    Scouting Report: While climbing the minors, Westburg showed an aptitude to adjust and rise to the competition level each time. An above-average hitter who made consistent contact with good swing decisions, Westburg abandoned a toe-tap late in the season and moved to a leg lift that caused his hard-contact rate to spike down the stretch at Bowie. As he moves forward with that and doesn’t give up his ability to drive the ball late in counts, Westburg could have 20-home run power, especially if he pulls the ball more often. His strikeout concerns have been quieted by a year where his strikeout rates fell as he climbed levels, and he chased fewer than 20% of the time. He’s a plus runner with the instincts and athleticism to play shortstop in the big leagues and the arm for third base, making him an asset anywhere on the infield.

    The Future: Westburg’s quiet competitiveness and confidence fit in well on an ascendant Orioles farm, and he projects to be an everyday big leaguer whose versatility may make him worth more than that in the major leagues. He should finish off Double-A Bowie to begin 2022 but has a chance to push for the majors by the end of the summer.

    Scouting Grades
    Hitting: 55. Power: 50. Speed: 60. Fielding: 55. Arm: 60.

  7. 7. Kyle Stowers | OF
    Kyle Stowers
    Born: Jan 2, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Stanford, 2019 (2nd round supplemental).
    Signed By: Scott Walter
    Minors: .278/.383/.514 | 27 HR | 8 SB | 449 AB

    BA Grade: 50/Medium

    Track Record: Signed for $884,200 thanks to his power potential and high average exit velocities at Stanford, Stowers was a short-season New York-Penn League all-star after debuting in 2019 but was left out of the team’s alternate training site in 2020. He spent the year getting stronger and in 2021 led Orioles minor leaugers with 27 home runs over three levels. He shared the Brooks Robinson player of the year award with top prospect Adley Rutschman as he climbed from High-A Aberdeen to Triple-A Norfolk in his first full year.

    Scouting Report: Stowers is a picture of controlled violence in his swing. He takes big hacks but rarely seems to overswing. He has natural loft in his swing, which allows him to display his plus-plus raw power on balls down. He’s working on more consistently closing holes up in the zone, but has the ability to drive elevated pitches as well. Even with that development point, his 2021 season was defined by elite hard contact and barrel rates. Stowers has the typical swing-and-miss concerns of a big swinger, but it’s less to do with chase than whiffing in the zone and missing mistakes. Correcting that would make him an even tougher out. Drafted as a center fielder, Stowers could still play there in a pinch, but his bat will play in right field, where he boasts a plus arm and above-average speed as well.

    The Future: Even after a successful full-season debut, Stowers’ assignment to the Arizona Fall League shows how quickly the Orioles want to get him to the majors. He has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order hitter because of his power potential. He could be in the majors in 2022 after finishing his development at Triple-A Norfolk.

    Scouting Grades
    Hitting: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.

  8. 8. Heston Kjerstad | OF
    Heston Kjerstad
    Born: Feb 12, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: Arkansas, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Ken Guthrie

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: The Orioles feel Kjerstad would have been college baseball’s best player had the 2020 season finished. Thus they believe they got a bargain when he signed for a below-slot $5.2 million as the No. 2 overall pick. They haven’t gotten to see much of his promise on the field. Kjerstad has yet to appear in a game due to the effects of myocarditis—inflammation of the heart muscle—that was detected ahead of 2020 instructional league. He began working back to health in the spring, but was shut down again in June before resuming activities in August. He was swinging a bat again in September.

    Scouting Report: Coming out of college, Kjerstad was touted as a potential middle-of-the-order bat with plus-plus raw power and the ability to utilize it in games. The moving parts of his swing introduced strikeouts risk, but the Orioles saw the type of improvement over his college career to believe that could be managed. While Kjerstad has an above-average arm, his corner outfield profile puts pressure on his bat to produce at that level. The loss of muscle that can come from spending more than a year without physical activity raises concerns about whether he’ll be able to hit for the power his position will require. The Orioles feel his swing is natural enough to him that he’ll be able to regain it.

    The Future: A positive outlook on Kjerstad’s health at the end of 2021 has the Orioles hopeful he’ll be able to begin his professional career in 2022, potentially at Low-A Delmarva. The uncertainty his health struggles created makes it unclear how easily Kjerstad will be able to reach his ceiling as an everyday bat-first outfielder.

    Scouting Grades
    Hitting: 50. Power: 70. Speed: 40. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.

  9. 9. Kyle Bradish | RHP
    Kyle Bradish
    Born: Sep 12, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: New Mexico State, 2018 (4th round).
    Signed By: Chad Hermansen (Angels)
    Minors: 6-5 | 3.68 ERA | 131 SO | 44 BB | 101 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Bradish came to the Orioles as one of four pitchers acquired for Dylan Bundy in a December 2019 trade with the Angels. He quickly distinguished himself as the top piece in that deal. Bradish had struggled with the Angels, but he regained his mid-90s velocity upon reporting to his first spring with the Orioles. He impressed at the alternate training site in 2020, and needed just three scoreless outings at Double-A Bowie to end up at Triple-A Norfolk.

    Scouting Report: A tall righthander with a unique, over-the-top delivery, Bradish comes at hitters from an uncomfortable angle with lively stuff. His fastball, a four-seamer with hop and cut, sits comfortably in the mid 90s and tops out at 97 mph. It can explode on hitters. A plus slider that averaged 86 mph is his top weapon against righthanded hitters, and a low-80s curveball is his go-to against lefthanders. Both the curveball and his firm changeup are under-utilized at times and aren’t finished products. Bradish’s walk rate jumped at Triple-A Norfolk, but he finished strong when he stopped trying to make perfect pitches and attacked with his best stuff in the strike zone. Further honing his delivery and getting to his best release point and timing more consistently, a challenge with his unique mechanics, will help that.

    The Future: Bradish largely lived up to the internal buzz he generated during the 2020 shutdown. A No. 4 starter’s role could be in play for Bradish should he grow more consistent and develop confidence in his entire arsenal. He could compete for a rotation spot in the majors in 2022.

    Scouting Grades
    Fastball: 60. Curveball: 50. Slider: 60. Changeup: 45. Control: 45

  10. 10. Coby Mayo | 3B
    Coby Mayo
    Born: Dec 10, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Parkland, Fla, 2020 (4th round).
    Signed By: Brandon Verley
    Minors: .315/.424/.568 | 6 HR | 5 SB | 111 AB

    BA Grade: 50/Very High

    Track Record: Prolific raw power as an amateur was the principal reason the Orioles signed Mayo for $1.75 million—more than $1 million above slot—in the five-round 2020 draft. Still, it would take work to translate that power into games, and Mayo ultimately did that after a spring training knee injury kept him back from a full-season affiliate. Once games began in the Florida Complex League, Mayo dominated and continued his rise with a month at Low-A Delmarva to end the year.

    Scouting Report: Mayo used his time in extended spring training to improve his movement patterns and rotation to better allow him to get to his plus power in games and hit the ball in the air more consistently. His base is presently more stable than when he was an amateur. While tall, Mayo is athletic, allowing him to have a clean swing and catch the ball out front often. By combining the newfound loft in his swing with his natural strength, Mayo is hitting fewer ground balls and thus finding more hits when he stays in the park. He could be an average hitter as he continues to hone his approach, and his ability to control the strike zone and cut down on chase rate while still hitting for power in his debut season impressed the Orioles. Mayo could easily outgrow third base, but has a chance to be average there, with his plus arm an asset at the position.

    The Future: Mayo doesn’t have much pro experience, but has the makings of a middle-of-the-lineup, everyday third baseman after how he finished 2021. He could be back at Delmarva for 2022, and is a few years away from the majors, but he features some of the system’s best offensive upside.

    Scouting Grades
    Hitting: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 45. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.

  11. 11. Michael Baumann | RHP
    Michael Baumann
    Born: Sep 10, 1995
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 225
    Drafted/Signed: Jacksonville, 2017 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Arthur McConnehead.
    Minors: 4-3 | 3.44 ERA | 71 SO | 34 BB | 71 IP

    Track Record: An imposing righthander signed for $500,000 in 2017, Baumann moved quickly and shared the Orioles’ Jim Palmer minor league pitcher of the year award in a 2019 season where he struck out 10.3 batters per nine and pitched a nine-inning no-hitter. A flexor mass strain in his elbow at the alternate site in 2020, and a recurrence the following spring, meant Baumann wasn’t himself for much of 2021, even as he made his major league debut.
    Scouting Report: Baumann spent most of the year trying to sync up his delivery and establish that foundation for his season. Without it, he didn’t consistently get into the upper 90s with his plus fastball, instead often pitching in the 93-94 mph range with it. His plus slider didn’t always have the bite it did in 2019, and he didn’t throw his curveball or changeup enough for anyone’s liking. The fastball and slider give Baumann a high floor as a reliever, but the Orioles hope a healthy offseason will have Baumann comfortable with his delivery in spring training so they can keep developing him as a starter.
    The Future: Should Baumann come into 2022 healthy, he has the stuff to be in the rotation mix for the Orioles in spring training. He can be a back-end starter if his whole arsenal is in play.

  12. 12. Connor Norby | 2B
    Connor Norby
    Born: Jun 8, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 187
    Signed By: Quincy Boyd
    Minors: .264/.380/.405 | 3 HR | 6 SB | 121 AB

    Track Record: A near-consensus All-American who led the NCAA with 102 hits and was the American Athletic Conference player of the year in 2021, Norby particularly impressed the Orioles with his plate appearances against Vanderbilt aces Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker in the NCAA super regional. Norby signed for slightly below slot at $1.7 million, and showed a patient, opposite-field approach in the final month of the season at Low-A Delmarva.
    Scouting Report: Like many of the Orioles’ 2021 draftees, Norby has a knack for making contact and barreling the ball in the strike zone. At this point, he can be an above-average hitter, albeit with an opposite-field approach at the moment that can limit his power. His ability to control the strike zone and recognize pitches mean he could grow to better recognize which pitches he can drive and increase his power potential. Norby has average speed and a fringe-average arm, but the Orioles believe he’s more athletic than the second base-only tag might indicate.
    The Future: Norby could be a solid-average regular who sets the table at the top of a lineup or helps turn it over at the bottom. It’s possible he starts at High-A Aberdeen in 2022, putting him on track to potentially reach the majors in 2023 if he performs.

  13. 13. Maikol Hernandez | SS
    Maikol Hernandez
    Born: Oct 4, 2003
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 175
    Drafted/Signed: Venezuela, 2021.
    Signed By: Adel Granadillo/Geraldo Cabrera

    Track Record: The Orioles’ return to the Latin American market in 2019 produced their largest ever signing class, then in January 2021 brought about their first two seven-figure signing bonuses. Hernandez’s $1.2 million bonus was one of them. The projectable shortstop got better as his summer in the Dominican Republic went on, and came stateside for instructional camp in October.
    Scouting Report: Hernandez came to the Orioles with a smooth athleticism that they believe will maintain as he grows into his tall frame, and he already boasts a clean swing with a good path through the zone. He has a good understanding of the strike zone, and improved as the summer went on at better getting to his high-end exit velocities and hitting line drives during games. He could grow into average power as an average hitter, in addition to being a plus runner with the potential to be an average shortstop and enough arm to move to third base if he outgrows his current position.
    The Future: The Orioles haven’t produced a homegrown, everyday major league infielder from Latin America since Jonathan Schoop, but Hernandez could be the next one. He should be in the Florida Complex League after extended spring training camp in 2022.

  14. 14. Terrin Vavra | 2B/OF
    Terrin Vavra
    Born: May 12, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 185
    Drafted/Signed: Minnesota, 2018 (3rd round).
    Signed By: Brett Baldwin (Rockies).
    Minors: .278/.404/.455 | 5 HR | 7 SB | 176 AB

    Track Record: The latest in a talented baseball family to try and climb to the big leagues, Vavra began his career with the Rockies and was the 2019 South Atlantic League MVP for Asheville. He filled a high-minors infield void with the Orioles after being part of the 2020 trade for Mychal Givens, and was among their most productive minor league hitters before a back injury cost him nearly two months in 2021.
    Scouting Report: On either side of his injury, Vavra showed an advanced eye at the plate and an ability to hit line drives with a smooth swing from the left side. He can have fringe-average power and be an above-average hitter thanks to his swing decisions and contact profile. Vavra’s best fit is at second base, where he made just one error this season, and he projects long term as an average defender at the position. Additionally, he spent time in center field in 2021, a position that he has the athleticism for, even if his running is just average. His fringe-average arm will limit him to second base on the infield and could impact his ability to make an impact in the outfield.
    The Future: Vavra’s on-base ability and defensive versatility could make him an everyday fixture at the bottom of a lineup, or alternatively a table-setter up top. He could begin 2022 in Triple-A Norfolk.

  15. 15. Samuel Basallo | C
    Samuel Basallo
    Born: Aug 13, 2004
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Dominican Republic, 2021.
    Signed By: Micheal Cruz/Geraldo Cabrera

    Track Record: Basallo received the largest bonus for a Latin American amateur player in Orioles history when he signed for $1.3 million in January 2021, one of two seven-figure bonuses the club handed out in that signing period. Before signing with the Orioles, he was connected to the Yankees. Basallo marked his pro debut with five home runs in the Dominican Summer League, most by an Orioles prospect there.
    Scouting Report: Basallo’s power is one of several promising tools, as it could be plus-plus power as he continues to grow into it and refine both his approach and his swing. As he learns how his body moves and reduces his chase rate, the Orioles see potential for him to improve on what was the best hard-hit rate in their Dominican group. While already big for his age, Basallo is athletic behind the plate with a plus arm that could keep him at the position as he continues to develop.
    The Future: Basallo came stateside for the Orioles’ fall instructional camp, indicating he could spend 2021 in the Florida Complex League. While he’s a long way away, Basallo has the skills to grow into a bat-first, everyday catcher or possibly hit enough to play as a corner outfielder.

  16. 16. Joey Ortiz | SS/2B
    Joey Ortiz
    Born: Jul 14, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 175
    Signed By: John Gillette
    Minors: .265/.353/.449 | 4 HR | 4 SB | 136 AB

    Track Record: Ortiz starred at New Mexico State at third base as a freshman and then for two years as a standout shortstop whose advanced glove was enough to get him drafted early on the second day in 2019. Ortiz added nearly 30 pounds of muscle and remade his swing during the 2020 shutdown to add a big league offensive profile to go with his glove. He was one of the Orioles’ breakout prospects before requiring surgery to repair a torn left labrum.
    Scouting Report: By adding loft to his swing and catching the ball out front to elevate it more consistently, Ortiz took what was a meek offensive skill set and created the potential to be an average hitter with fringe-average power. He cut his groundball rate by nearly 12% from 2019 to 2021. Despite bulking up and increasing his ability to impact the ball more consistently, Ortiz didn’t lose much of his defensive promise. He primarily played shortstop, where he can at least be above-average, with the range for second and the arm for third when he played there.
    The Future: There’s always a major league role for a true shortstop, but Ortiz could be a big league regular because of his improved offensive profile. He didn’t spend much time at Double-A Bowie before his injury, and should return there in 2022.

  17. 17. Drew Rom | LHP
    Drew Rom
    Born: Dec 15, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 170
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Fort Thomas, Ky., 2018 (4th round).
    Signed By: Adrian Dorsey.
    Minors: 11-1 | 3.18 ERA | 120 SO | 26 BB | 108 IP

    Track Record: The last in a long line of projectable lefties the Orioles drafted last decade in hopes of them filling out and developing into big league starters, Rom has done that as he’s climbed into the high minors.
    Scouting Report: Rom hasn’t yet developed a standout pitch, but a varied mix and precocious pitchability have helped him carve up hitters at every level. His fastball, which sat around 90 mph previously, was up to 94 mph at times late in the season and more consistently sat around 91-93. He experimented with dropping his arm slot against lefties to create different action on his two-seam fastball. His average slider is the best of his secondaries now, though there’s work to be done on differentiating its movement from his fringe-average splitter, changeup and curveball. Rom knows how the pitches play off one another, and pitches backwards while taking advantage of his deception and angles.
    The Future: Rom is aware of the challenges that face a finesse lefthander without premium velocity in the majors, but adding to his fastball and learning how to pitch backwards at an early stage keep a No. 5 starter profile in play. He should start back at Double-A Bowie in 2022, with a big league chance in play the following year.

  18. 18. Carter Baumler | RHP
    Carter Baumler
    Born: Jan 31, 2002
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: HS--West Des Moines, Iowa, 2020 (5th round).
    Signed By: Scott Thomas.

    Track Record: Baumler’s $1.5 million, above-slot bonus remains the largest the Orioles have given to a pitcher under the Mike Elias regime, and what the athletic righthander showed in fall instructional camp in 2020 made them feel safe in that investment before an elbow injury required Tommy John surgery. Baumler spent 2021 recovering from that injury and finished his rehab progression at fall instructional camp to set the course for a normal offseason throwing program.
    Scouting Report: Before his injury, Baumler worked with a fastball in the 88-92 mph range that topped out at 96 mph from a clean, repeatable delivery with a good arm path and plenty of physical projection to add to his heater. Baumler spent a month of his rehab honing his breaking ball and changeup, each of which had at least average potential before his year off. A classic high-ceiling, cold-weather arm, the Orioles believe Baulmer has plenty of capacity to improve.
    The Future: Baumler is yet to throw a pitch in a professional game, but many believe he has No. 3 starter potential, even if he’s years away from fulfilling that role. He should be a full-go come spring training and begin his affiliated career at Low-A Delmarva in 2022.

  19. 19. Jahmai Jones | 2B
    Jahmai Jones
    Born: Aug 4, 1997
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 204
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Norcross, Ga., 2015 (2nd round).
    Signed By: Todd Hogan.
    Minors: .251/.343/.445 | 12 HR | 11 SB | 263 AB

    Track Record: With a father and brother who played in the NFL, Jones made his major league debut in 2020 to show his choice to play baseball was a sound one. After a slow development process as a high school draftee who signed for $1.1 million, Jones found his swing during the second half of 2019 at Double-A Mobile, after a tough first half. By the time he was traded to the Orioles for Alex Cobb in February 2021, his stock had plummeted significantly. He hit in spurts in the minors before struggling on his return to the big leagues late in the season.
    Scouting Report: Jones had moments in 2021 where his average hit tool and fringe-average power showed up in games. Upon his arrival in the majors, he was attacked with inside fastballs and never made the proper adjustment, leading to plenty of strikeouts and weak contact. Jones’ offensive profile complements a high-energy presence both on and off the field, as Jones’ plus speed and athleticism have helped him transition from center field to second base. He could grow into an average defender at the position, but remains inexperienced there and is still smoothing out his actions.
    The Future: Jones could grow into an everyday player for a second-division club and is still young, but has plenty to improve on based on his time in the majors in 2021.

  20. 20. Kevin Smith | LHP
    Kevin Smith
    Born: May 13, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Georgia, 2018 (7th round).
    Signed By: Tommy Jackson (Mets).
    Minors: 3-7 | 4.59 ERA | 105 SO | 59 BB | 83 IP

    Track Record: Smith was the Mets’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2019, his first full season, and was part of a trade that sent him to the Orioles for reliever Miguel Castro the following summer. He dominated in six appearances at Double-A Bowie to begin 2021 before Triple-A proved challenging. Smith struggled with walks and home runs at Norfolk.
    Scouting Report: When he was at his best at Bowie early in the season, Smith used a four-seam and two-seam fastball in the 91-92 mph range, though they backed up to around 90 mph late in the year. His slider has plus potential, and his changeup can be average, and the whole arsenal plays up at times because of the deception his crossbody delivery provides. That deception relies on him controlling the ball and throwing strikes, something he struggled badly with in Triple-A, with fewer than half of his pitches in the zone.
    The Future: Smith was Rule 5 eligible this winter and was added to the 40-man roster, putting a tighter timeline on him figuring out his command issues as he’ll be needed in the major league mix come 2022. It’s possible he could be a No. 5 starter or middle reliever as he has the pitches to attack hitters at both sides of the plate.

  21. 21. Reed Trimble | OF
    Reed Trimble
    Born: Jun 6, 2000
    Bats: S Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 180
    Signed By: David Jennings
    Minors: .200/.309/.225 | 0 HR | 3 SB | 80 AB

    Track Record: As a second-year freshman who played just one full season because of Covid, Trimble made his year with the Golden Eagles count: he tied for the NCAA lead with 72 RBIs as their everyday right fielder. Trimble signed for a below-slot $800,000 deal after a standout performance in the NCAA regional, but didn’t get to show his full potential in his pro debut as his playing time was limited.
    Scouting Report: Trimble is on the raw side when it comes to Orioles draftees in 2021, but has all the markers of a player who can grow into a complete outfielder. He has polished swings and above-average bat speed from both sides of the plate with bat-to-ball skills and strike zone control that can make him at least an average hitter with potentially above-average power as he matures. His plus-plus speed is an asset on the bases and in center field, where it can make him an above-average defender. He boasts a solid-average arm as well.
    The Future: Trimble could return to Low-A Delmarva for everyday center field duties in 2022 to begin his first full season and establish a path to a future as an everyday outfielder when the Orioles get competitive. Trimble’s athleticism and switch-hitting give him an easy bench outfielder floor.

  22. 22. Hudson Haskin | OF
    Hudson Haskin
    Born: Dec 31, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Tulane, 2020 (2nd round).
    Signed By: David Jennings.
    Minors: .276/.381/.406 | 5 HR | 22 SB | 308 AB

    Track Record: A draft-eligible sophomore who signed for $1.91 million after starring for two seasons with the Green Wave, Haskin spent most of his debut season at Low-A Delmarva and had a month at High-A Aberdeen before he fractured his thumb in late August.
    Scouting Report: Every aspect of Haskin’s game is influenced by his easy plus speed, most notably his ability to potentially play an above-average center field with an above-average arm at the highest level. His legs also are an asset on offense, with his 22 stolen bases among the best in the Orioles’ system and his ability to beat out hits paramount to his attack. His swing is geared more to flat contact than loft and can get a little long, but there’s still average potential for his hit tool, albeit with fringe-average power. As a quick-twitch athlete who is willing to put in the work, the Orioles hope he can increase his damage level as he continues to work his swing and develop physically.
    The Future: Haskin didn’t spend enough time at Aberdeen to warrant his starting above there in 2022, and will likely continue his efforts to be a second-division regular or platoon outfielder with the Ironbirds next spring. His speed and projection to stay in center field give Haskin a high floor at the major league level.

  23. 23. Yusniel Diaz | OF
    Yusniel Diaz
    Born: Oct 7, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: Cuba, 2015.
    Signed By: Ismael Cruz/Miguel Tosar/Roman Barinas (Dodgers).
    Minors: .161/.233/.265 | 5 HR | 2 SB | 230 AB

    Track Record: Signed for $15.5 million by the Dodgers and later used as the centerpiece in a trade that brought them Manny Machado in 2018, Diaz immediately became the Orioles’ top prospect but has seen his career stall out through injury and poor performance. He missed time in 2021 at Triple-A Norfolk with a quadriceps strain and turf toe, but had a .498 OPS over two levels when he was healthy.
    Scouting Report: Diaz’s talent is still there in flashes, though the Orioles believe he needs a sustained period of health to best demonstrate it. Despite a good approach at the plate, his load remains an issue and keeps him from making consistent hard contact. He could be a fringe-average hitter with pull power if he cleans that up, which could put pressure on his bat as he’s likely a corner outfielder despite some experience in center field. Diaz can be an average runner, but hasn’t been aggressive on the bases since his 2018 trade, with his plus arm currently his best tool.
    The Future: An inability to stay on the field has made Diaz a major question mark, but he still has the talent to be a second-division regular or bench outfielder if he regains consistency and health.

  24. 24. John Rhodes | OF
    John Rhodes
    Born: Aug 15, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 200
    Signed By: Trent Friedrich
    Minors: .252/.339/.346 | 2 HR | 6 SB | 107 AB

    Track Record: Rhodes became a draft-eligible sophomore when the draft was moved from June to July, and though he underperformed in 2021 compared to how he stood out before the shutdown in 2020, the Orioles signed him for an above-slot $1.38 million.
    Scouting Report: Kentucky never found a defensive home for Rhodes, who played at the corners in the infield and outfield, but that was more down to his versatility and its desire to keep his bat in its lineup. Rhodes has good bat speed and showed increasingly powerful top-end exit velocities as well as an average hit tool. The challenge for Rhodes will be adding loft to his swing and getting his best swings off consistently without sacrificing his ability to put the ball in play or his impressive on-base numbers. The Orioles will keep him in the outfield, where he has work to do and can be average with experience.
    The Future: Rhodes can be an average regular, perhaps on a second-division club, with the outside potential for more should he grow into the consistent game power a corner outfielder requires.

  25. 25. Cesar Prieto | 2B
    Cesar Prieto
    Born: May 10, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'9" Wt.: 175

    Track Record: Prieto performed well at a young age for Cienfuegos in Cuba’s top league, Serie Nacional, before leaving the country. He continued to show a relatively advanced offensive game working out for clubs before he signed with the Orioles on Jan. 15, 2022.
    Scouting Report: At 22, Prieto will move faster than most international signings. He’s a smart, savvy player who has a mature approach and a good eye for the strike zone. Prieto didn’t strike out much in Cuba, and while he has yet to be tested much since then, the early returns have also shown little swing-and-miss to his game. He never showed much power in Cuba, but he added 15-20 pounds since leaving and has started to drive the ball with more impact, though it’s likely always going to be a hit-over-power profile. An average runner, Prieto is an offensive-minded infielder who projects best at second base.
    The Future: Prieto is advanced enough that he will begin his career in High-A Aberdeen. While he lacks big power or speed, his bat could be good enough to carry him to a big league role.

  26. 26. Braylin Tavera | OF
    Braylin Tavera
    Born: Feb 19, 2005
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 175

    Track Record: Tavera received Baltimore’s biggest international signing bonus in their 2021-22 class, joining the Orioles for $1.7 million when the signing period opened on Jan. 15, 2022. Scouting Report: Tavera jumps out immediately for his lean, lively frame and athleticism. He’s a plus runner with an easy gait who projects to stick in center field with a fringe-average arm. Tavera has a chance to develop into an average hitter with average power. He’s not quite as polished offensively as some of the other top signings in his class, but he shows the ability to manage his at-bats well for his age with the physical upside remaining to grow into more strength and impact as he fills out.
    The Future: Tavera will make his pro debut in 2022 in the Dominican Summer League.

  27. 27. Alex Wells | LHP
    Alex Wells
    Born: Feb 27, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'1" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: Australia, 2015.
    Signed By: Brett Ward/Mike Snyder.
    Minors: 6-3 | 3.29 ERA | 48 SO | 7 BB | 55 IP

    Track Record: Wells was an all-star in each of his first four minor league seasons, including a 2017 season when he was the Orioles’ minor league pitcher of the year. His 2021 got a late start due to an oblique strain in spring training, and he pitched well at Triple-A in between some big league outings that illustrated the challenges of being a soft-tossing, fly ball pitcher in the AL East.
    Scouting Report: Pitching with a fastball that sits in the high 80s is difficult at any level, but Wells showed flashes of being able to locate the pitch well enough to get away with it in the majors. When he stays on the attack, it has pinpoint control in the strike zone where hitters can’t get their best swings off, though his confidence in that attack can waver, leading to walks and bad misses. Wells developed a slider during the 2020 shutdown that gave him a harder breaking ball than his average curve, with the new slider effective in the majors. His changeup has above-average potential, and is necessary against righthanded hitters.
    The Future: Without the ability to be a matchup reliever due to his velocity profile, Wells profiles best as a bulk pitcher or No. 5 starter in the majors. He’ll be in the Orioles’ rotation mix in 2022.

  28. 28. Zac Lowther | LHP
    Zac Lowther
    Born: Apr 30, 1996
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 235
    Drafted/Signed: Xavier, 2017 (2nd round supplemental).
    Signed By: Adrian Dorsey.
    Minors: 0-6 | 5.84 ERA | 42 SO | 18 BB | 37 IP

    Track Record: After earning the Orioles’ minor league pitcher of the year honors in 2018 and an all-star nod at Double-A Bowie in 2019, Lowther’s career slowed significantly. He missed time with a shoulder strain in 2021 and was hit hard once he reached the big leagues. His time at Triple-A Norfolk wasn’t much better, representing the first real struggles he’s had as a pro.
    Scouting Report: Lowther has never had premium velocity, with a four-seam fastball that averages 89-91 mph but plays up because of his ability to get down the mound and generate extension. It’s not a hoppy fastball, though, which limits its effectiveness in the zone. He used his high-spin curveball effectively in the majors, as well as the slider he learned in the 2020 shutdown, but neither those nor his changeup project to be plus pitches. Lowther needs to be fine with his command and pitch backwards to succeed in the majors, and was able to pitch well in 2021 when he did that.
    The Future: Lowther learned the margin for error that he’ll have to live in to be a big league starter in 2021, and still has a chance to be a No. 5 starter or bulk pitcher with refinement.

  29. 29. Kyle Brnovich | RHP
    Kyle Brnovich
    Born: Oct 20, 1997
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 190
    Signed By: Chris McAlpin (Angels)
    Minors: 6-2 | 3.32 ERA | 123 SO | 26 BB | 95 IP

    Track Record: Brnovich was a three-year starter at Elon, earning Colonial Athletic Association rookie of the year honors as a freshman and pitching his way onto the Collegiate National Team after a standout sophomore season. He never appeared in a game after the Angels signed him for just below slot at $168,700, and was part of their December 2020 trade for Dylan Bundy.
    Scouting Report: Brnovich impressed over two levels in his full-season debut thanks to an ability to pitch backwards and de-emphasize a fastball that has some hop but mostly sits in the 90 mph range. His curveball can be an above-average pitch with different movement profiles because of his knuckle grip. After not using his changeup much previously, Brnovich brought it along as the season progressed and it now looks like a future average pitch. He gets downhill with a slight hop in his delivery to create some deception and allow the stuff to play up, but he needs to pitch backwards to be at his most effective.
    The Future: With further development of his secondary pitches Brnovich could take a No. 5 starter role. He may begin 2022 back at Double-A Bowie until a spot in Triple-A opens up.

  30. 30. Jean Pinto | RHP
    Jean Pinto
    Born: Jan 9, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 175
    Signed By: Marlon Urdeneta/Joel Chicarelli (Angels)
    Minors: 1-1 | 2.51 ERA | 56 SO | 13 BB | 47 IP

    Track Record: One of two pitchers acquired when the Orioles traded Jose Iglesias to the Angels in December 2020, Pinto showed well with an impressive domestic debut. He made just five appearances in the FCL before a promotion to Low-A Delmarva.
    Scouting Report: Pinto’s fastball already sits in the low 90s while touching 95 mph, and his size means there’s potentially room to grow into more. It’s already an effective pitch, especially up in the strike zone, though he’s working to be more consistent with the movement of the four-seamer. He missed bats with a changeup that could be above-average in the high 80s, while he uses a two-plane breaking ball in the 82-84 mph range for strikeouts as well. He’s filled out physically since signing, especially in his lower half, but uses his whole body in his delivery and keeps a clean line to the plate.
    The Future: Pinto has a ways to go before he can get near his ceiling as a back-end starter in the big leagues.

View Players 11-30

Are you a member?

In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account. 

Login or sign up  

Additionally, you can subscribe to Baseball America's newsletter and receive all of our rankings, analysis, prospect insight & more delivered to your inbox every day. Click here to get started. 

of Free Stories Remaining