A collection victory over the New York Yankees represents an early spotlight for the Orioles on the main league stage, however there have already been a number of throughout the minors.
Current draftees and worldwide signees are starting to mix at each A-ball associates. The Orioles’ future infield is perhaps on show every night time at Double-A Bowie. At Triple-A Norfolk, a lineup filled with on-the-cusp batters is having success whereas the group’s high two lively pitching prospects dominate.
That final group will start making an impression within the majors within the close to future, however for now, they’ll should accept being featured in The Baltimore Solar’s weekly minor league experiences. This version appears to be like again at, within the case of Norfolk gamers, the primary two weeks of the minor league marketing campaign, however every week going ahead, we’ll break down 5 of the highest performers within the Orioles’ prospect ranks and hand out some superlatives for many who didn’t make that minimize.
1. Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Grayson Rodriguez
Baseball’s high pitching prospect was drafted within the first spherical in 2018 however didn’t make his first Grapefruit League look till this spring, pairing a stunning first inning with a cumbersome second. Rodriguez has caught to the end result of the previous in his first two Triple-A begins.
Over 9 innings, Rodriguez, 22, has allowed two runs on 4 hits, hanging out 15 batters in opposition to one stroll. The dominant begin has followers clamoring for a debut, however together with his time final 12 months with Double-A Bowie, Rodriguez has made 20 begins within the higher minors and has but to pitch previous the fifth inning. Final 12 months, the Orioles had been safeguarding their prized arm popping out of the coronavirus shutdown. This season, they’re nonetheless constructing him up, with Rodriguez but to succeed in 70 pitches in an outing. They’ll probably need him to get no less than a rating past that and pitch into the seventh inning or so earlier than contemplating an outing at Camden Yards.
2. Triple-A Norfolk right-hander Kyle Bradish
After two spectacular spring outings in opposition to lineups of Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies regulars, Bradish briefly stayed behind in Sarasota to get additional constructed up. It hasn’t appeared to take him lengthy to catch as much as Rodriguez. Named the Worldwide League Pitcher of the Week on Monday, Bradish pitched 9 innings of one-run ball in his two begins final week in opposition to New York’s Triple-A affiliate.
The very best-regarded of the 4 pitching prospects the Orioles acquired from the Los Angeles Angels in December 2019 within the commerce for starter Dylan Bundy, the 25-year-old already spent most of final season at Triple-A. Like Rodriguez, he’s topped out at 67 pitches up to now, however as soon as Bradish will get stretched out, it shouldn’t be lengthy till he’s within the majors, particularly if he retains pitching like this.
3. Double-A Bowie infielder Jordan Westburg
Westburg is a part of an thrilling infield with Bowie, sharing the filth with fellow high prospects Gunnar Henderson and Joey Ortiz, the latter of whom had a handful of defensive highlights through the week. Bowie skipper Kyle Moore has managed to get all three a while at shortstop, however Westburg is the one one up to now to get work at each second and third.
He additionally made an impression together with his bat. 4 of Westburg’s 9 hits have left the yard, together with his all-fields method on show for a house run via falling snow Sunday. He’s additionally drawn six walks in opposition to eight strikeouts, posting an OPS of 1.021.
4. Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Kyle Stowers
Stowers will get the headline, however that is actually a chance to shout out lots of the Tides’ hitters. Regardless of lacking a number of video games after a gap day hit-by-pitch to his hand, Stowers, Baltimore’s No. 7 prospect, returned and raked, ending this week with a slash line of .381/.519/.905. Tyler Nevin and Terrin Vavra, each merchandise of the Mychal Givens commerce with Colorado, have an OPS of .890 and .820, respectively, with Nevin, one of many Orioles’ ultimate cuts this spring, tying a Norfolk document with eight RBIs on Friday. Between them in OPS ranks are Jahmai Jones and Rylan Bannon, infielders who got here to Baltimore in trades with the 2 Los Angeles franchises. Solely Nevin and Jones have appeared within the majors, however all might in some unspecified time in the future.
Yusniel Diaz can also be worthy of recognition right here, carrying his scorching spring into the season, although he’s since been shelved with a proper hamstring pressure, yet one more lower-body harm for the previous high prospect.
5. Double-A Bowie outfielder Hudson Haskin
Haskin truly hasn’t performed since exiting Wednesday’s Baysox recreation after getting hit by a pitch, however what he did earlier than that was spectacular sufficient to warrant recognition right here.
In Bowie’s first recreation of the 12 months, the 2020 second-round choose recorded three doubles, then two days later, he added two bases to every of these for a three-homer recreation. Identified extra for his pace, Haskin hit solely 5 house runs in 83 video games final 12 months for Low-A Delmarva and Excessive-A Aberdeen.
He was initially going to return as a part of Sunday’s lineup earlier than being scratched amid the frigid temperatures, so the hope is he’ll return someday this week.
The highest prospect not featured up to now
Catcher Adley Rutschman, the Orioles’ — and within the eyes of a number of publications, baseball’s — high prospect, may already be within the majors if not for the fitting tricep pressure he suffered on the cusp of main league camp. As a substitute, he stays on the Orioles’ complicated in Sarasota, Florida, working towards becoming a member of an affiliate in hopes of reaching the majors within the close to future.
In an interview Friday with MASN play-by-play broadcaster Kevin Brown, government vice chairman and common supervisor Mike Elias mentioned Rutschman might return to recreation motion “very quickly,” including that the Orioles need him to take part in “regular, on a regular basis play” earlier than becoming a member of an affiliate. Then, it turns into a matter of getting his timing again.
“I believe as soon as we see that, we’re gonna know that [he’s] again to the participant we had firstly of spring coaching, when he has poised to impression the roster,” Elias mentioned. “I believe that’s all going to occur in a short time.
“On a week-to-week foundation, we’re going to regulate the way it’s going with him, and the earlier he will get again into his timing, I believe the earlier he’s going to make the crew. He’s doing very effectively in getting back from the harm, and he was wanting higher than ever previous to the harm. It was simply actually as dangerous of timing as you would have.”
Worldwide acquisition of the week
With the Orioles’ elevated give attention to Latin America lately and the gamers who got here to them on account of that starting to matriculate into their full-season associates, this 12 months’s roundups will spotlight minor leaguers who’re byproducts of the group’s elevated worldwide funding.
Delmarva outfielder Isaac Bellony, 20, is with a full-season affiliate for the primary time after signing with Baltimore for $220,000 in 2018 after then-executive vice chairman Dan Duquette mentioned the group would improve its worldwide presence.
Among the many almost 40 Orioles minor leaguers who’ve no less than 20 plate appearances up to now, Bellony ranks third in OPS (1.062). The switch-hitter’s numbers could be even higher with out his efficiency as a right-hander, a aspect he additionally struggled with final 12 months within the Florida Complicated League. In opposition to lefties, he’s 0-for-6 with 5 strikeouts, however hitting left-handed, Bellony is 10-for-22 (.455) and slugging .818.
The very best former top-30 prospect of the week
After posting a .690 OPS with Delmarva final 12 months, infielder Darell Hernaiz is again with the Shorebirds, and the 20-year-old is off to an excellent begin. Baltimore’s fifth-round choose in 2019, Hernaiz is hitting .375/.412/.625, having homered twice already after doing so six occasions in 94 video games final 12 months. He’s additionally dropped his strikeout fee by virtually 6% within the early going.
The graduations which are certain to return in entrance of him paired with this sturdy begin imply Hernaiz may not be eligible for this class for much longer.
Time to provide some shine to …
After going unselected in 2020′s shortened draft, right-hander Brandon Younger posted a 3.52 ERA between Delmarva and Aberdeen, rating sixth within the group in strikeouts and fourth in strikeout fee (minimal 60 innings).
He’s persevering with that success with Bowie, the place in two begins he allowed a run in every throughout 9 1/3 whole innings. He’s struck out 9 batters up to now and restricted right-handed hitters to a .191 common and no extra-base hits.
With Rodriguez, Bradish, Mike Baumann and DL Corridor all able to shedding their prospect standing this season, Younger might pair with left-hander Drew Rom to shepherd the following wave of Orioles pitching prospects.
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