Kjerstad, Prieto lead Orioles' Arizona Fall League contingent; Lyles will start 1st game of series against Blue Jays - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Kjerstad, Prieto lead Orioles’ Arizona Fall League contingent; Lyles will start 1st game of series against Blue Jays

Heston Kjerstad
Photo Courtesy of the Baltimore Orioles

Outfielder Heston Kjerstad, the second overall pick in the 2020 draft, and infielder César Prieto headline seven Oriole prospects headed to the Arizona Fall League next month.

Kjerstad, who didn’t play professional ball in 2021 because of myocarditis, an infection of the heart muscle, hit .463 with two home runs and 17 RBIs in 22 games for Low-A Delmarva.

After his promotion to High-A Aberdeen, Kjerstad hit .233 with three home runs and 20 RBIs in 43 games.

Kjerstad’s IronBirds are playing the deciding game of their best-of-3 South Atlantic League playoff series with Brooklyn at Ripken Stadium on Friday night.

Prieto, a Cuban defector who was signed in January, hit .340 with two home runs and 20 RBIs in 25 games for Aberdeen before his promotion to Double-A Bowie, where he’s hitting .256 with four homers and 36 RBIs in 89 games.

Kjerstad and Prieto will be joined on the Scottsdale Scorpions by outfielder Reed Trimble, right-handed pitchers Noah Denoyer, Nolan Hoffman, Nick Richmond and left-hander Easton Lucas.

Trimble, who was the Orioles’ second-round pick in 2021, underwent labrum surgery on his right shoulder last December. He hit .291 with two home runs and 19 RBIs for Delmarva.

Denoyer, an undrafted free agent in 2019, was 4-0 with a 4.00 ERA in six starts for Aberdeen and is 1-2 and two saves with a 2.61 ERA for Bowie.

Hoffman, who was selected in the minor league Rule 5 draft last December, is 2-2 with a 4.63 ERA in 17 games for the Baysox.

Lucas, who was obtained by the Orioles in a trade for infielder Jonathan Villar in December 2019, was 3-1 with a save and a 3.96 ERA in 27 games  for the IronBirds and 3-0 with a save and a 4.61 ERA in 31 games for Bowie.

Richmond, who was signed as a minor league free agent this season, was 0-1 with two saves and a 3.54 ERA in 16 games for Aberdeen.

Florida Complex League Orioles fundamentals coach Collin Woody and Aberdeen athletic trainer Allyse Kramer also will be on Scottsdale’s staff.

The Scorpions are comprised of players and coaches from the Orioles, Atlanta Braves, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels and San Francisco Giants.

The regular season begins on October 3rd.The Fall Stars Game is November 5th and the championship game is on November 12th at Scottsdale Stadium.

Notes: Jordan Lyles (10-10, 4.62) will start Game 1 of the Orioles’ three-game series at Toronto on Friday night. Lyles was scheduled to pitch against the Blue Jays in the Labor Day doubleheader that the Orioles lost, but he had to be scratched because of illness.  Toronto starts Trevor Richards (3-2, 5.59). Kyle Bradish (3-6, 5.01) will faces José Berrios (10-5, 5.07) on Saturday at 3:07 p.m. Dean Kremer (7-5, 3.34) and Alek Manoah (14-7, 2.43) are the scheduled starters on Sunday. The Orioles trail the Blue Jays by 5 games for the third and final wild-card spot; they trail Tampa Bay by 4 1/2 games. They lost the season series against the Rays, but lead the season series against the Blue Jays, 7-6. If the teams were to finish in a tie, the season series would be the tiebreaker. …Friday night’s game will be seen only on AppleTV+. … Right-hander Logan Gillaspie, catcher Cody Roberts and infielder Tyler Nevin make up the Orioles’ taxi squad for the series. … John Stearns, a three-time All-Star catcher and coach for the Orioles in 1996 and 1997, died on Thursday night of cancer at 71. …Left-handed pitcher Alexander Wells, who’d been on the 60-day injured list with left elbow inflammation has cleared outright waivers and been assigned to Triple-A Norfolk.

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