Minor Monday: Reviewing the Orioles' prospects and affiliates - BaltimoreBaseball.com

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Minor Monday: Reviewing the Orioles’ prospects and affiliates

The Orioles will take an extended look at a number of prospects when they open spring training in 2022 — a benefit of having one of Major League Baseball’s top minor-league systems. A number of players should be ready to compete at the next level.

Here’s an overview:

Triple-A Norfolk

2021 Record: 48-72

Top Performers/Prospects

Catcher Adley Rustchman — .312, 5 HR, 25 RBIs .896 OPS

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Outfield Kyle Stowers — .272, 3 HR, 11 RBIs  .773 OPS

Right-handed pitcher Kyle Bradish — 5-5, 2.46 ERA

Left-handed pitcher Kevin Smith — 3-6, 6.23 ERA

Outfield Yusniel Diaz — .157, 4 HR, 14 RBIs .476 OPS

Outlook: Forty-one players appeared on the active rosters of Norfolk and Baltimore. Fourteen made their major league debuts. Rutschman, who spent the first three months of the season at Double-A Bowie,  is likely to make his major league debut in 2022. Right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez also has a chance to start with the Orioles out of spring training. However, it seems more likely Rodriguez will open the season with the Tides. Stowers, who shared the award for top minor league positi0n player with Rutschman, also could begin the season in Norfolk and get a midseason promotion. He began the season at High-A Aberdeen and was promoted twice. Infielders Gunnar Henderson, Jordan Westburg and Terrin Vavra should make the jump to Norfolk. Diaz is still looking to get on track. The Orioles fired Norfolk manager Gary Kendall after the season. Kendall also spent eight seasons as the manager of Double-A Bowie and has been with the Orioles since 2000. Bowie manager Buck Britton could succeed Kendall at Norfolk.

Double-A Bowie

2021 Record: 73-47

Top Performers/Prospects

Right-handed pitcher Grayson Rodriguez — 9-1, 2.36 ERA

Left-handed pitcher D.L. Hall — 2-0, 3.13 ERA

Shortstop Jordan Westburg — .232, 4 HR, 14 RBIs, .752 OPS

Second base Terrin Vavra — .248, 5 HR, 20 RBIs, .818 OPS

Second base/third base  Joey Ortiz — .233 4 HR, 9 RBIs, .780 OPS

Left-handed pitcher Drew Rom — 3-1, 3.83 ERA

Rustchman — .271, 18 HRs, 55 RBIs, .901 OPS

Stowers — .283, 17 HR, 42 RBIs, .938 OPS

Outlook: Bowie advanced to the Double-A Northeast League Championship Series, where it was swept by Akron. Britton was named the winner of the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award. Rodriguez emerged as the No. 1 pitching prospect in MLB after a dominant season. Henderson could start the season with the Baysox but could be with the Orioles by the end of 2022. The Baysox will begin developing more prospects, including infielder Adam Hall and outfielder Shayne Fontana, from Aberdeen and Delmarva.

High-A Aberdeen

2021 Record: 58-61

Top Performers/Prospects

Outfield Shayne Fontana — .241 5 HR 32 RBI, .734 OPS

Second base Adam Hall — .248, 3 HR 27 RBIs, .672 OPS

Shortstop Gunnar Henderson — .230, 9 HR, 35 RBIs, .775 OPS

Shortstop Jordan Westburg — .286, 8 HR, 41 RBIs, .858 OPS

First base Andrew Daschbach — .268, 8 HR,  35 RBIs, .802 OPS

Right-handed pitcher Brandon Young, 1-2, 4.24  ERA,

Stowers — .275, 7 HRs, 32 RBIs, .900 OPS

Ortiz — .289, 8 RBIs, .816 OPS

Outlook: Manager Kyle Moore kept the IronBirds competitive despite dealing with a roster that had almost constant change. They started the season hot but then lost players to Bowie. Hall hit .248 and led the team in stolen bases with 26. Stowers, Henderson, Westburg and Rodriguez were among the players whobegan the season with the IronBirds. Outfielders Hudson Haskin and John Rhodes ,and infielders Coby Mayo and Darell Hernaiz  likely will start the season with the IronBirds in 2022 before moving to Bowie. Moore will manage top draft choices Colton Cowser (outfield) and Connor Norby (second base) from Delmarva to begin 2022.

Low-A Delmarva

2021 Record: 68-51

Top Performers/Prospects

Outfield Colton Cowser — .347, 1 HR, 26 RBIs, .904 OPS

Second base Connor Norby — .283, 3 HR, 17 RBIs, .847 OPS

outfield Hudson Haskin — .275, 5 HR, 33 RBIs, .792 OPS

Third base Coby Mayo — .311, 5 HR, 26, RBIs, .963 OPS

Outfield Reed Trimble — .169, 6 RBIs, .461 OPS

Shortstop Darell Hernaiz — .277 6 HR, 52 RBIs, .690 OPS

Shortstop Anthony Servideo — .246, 7 RBIs, .801 OPS

Outfield John Rhodes — .266, 2 HR, 18 RBIs, .715 OPS

Outlook: The Shorebirds had a winning record for the third straight season, which reflected the depth of the Orioles’ minor league system. Delmarva also set a franchise record for most runs scored in a season (720), on-base percentage (.358), and slugging percentage (.396). Delmarva likely will lose all of its key players from 2021 to a higher affiliate to begin the 2022 season. However, Trimble, the club’s 21st-rated prospect, Servideo (No. 26), and right-handed pitcher Carter Baumler, who had Tommy John surgery in 2020 (No. 27), should be there for more seasoning. Outfielder Heston Kjerstad, 2020’s top draft choice missed the entire season because of myocarditis, an enlargement of the heart, and the Orioles hope he will make his professional debut next year.

Florida Complex League

2021 Record: Black: 18-28; Orange: 10-33

Top Performers/Prospects

Outfield Trendon Craig — .294, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, .796 OPS

Outfield Craig Lewis — .435, 2 HR, 10 RBIs, .1188 OPS

Outfield Mishael Deson — .369, 3 HR, 16 RBIs, .930 OPS

Third base Noelberth Romero — .229, 3 HR, 15 RBIs, .670 OPS

Outfield Luis Gonzalez — .176,  2 HR, 10 RBIs, .543 OPS

Outlook: Alan Mills, who managed the Florida Complex League Black team, was fired. It’s also uncertain whether the Orioles will have two  teams next season. However, several young players showed promise. Cowser, Mayo, Deson and Lewis were among the players to earn promotions. Romero needs more work on his hitting.

Dominican Summer League Prospects

Shortstop Maikol Hernandez- .231, 15 RBIs, .647 OPS

Catcher Samuel Basallo — .239, 5 HR, 19 RBIs, .748 OPS

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