Oriole infielder Gunnar Henderson is ranked Baseball America’s top prospect. A year ago, catcher Adley Rutschman was the publication’s top prospect. It’s the first time in the 33-year history of the rankings that players from the same draft class were chosen top prospects in consecutive years.
Henderson, who at 21 is likely to be the Orioles’ starting third baseman in 2023, made his Major League Baseball debut on August 31st and hit .259 with four home runs, 18 RBIs and a .788 OPS. He was selected in the second round in 2019. Rutschman was the first overall pick in 2019.
Last year, Rutschman, who finished second in the American League Rookie of the Year voting, hit .254 with 13 homers and 42 RBIs and an .806 OPS.
The Orioles had eight prospects in Baseball America’s Top 100. Right-hande pitcher Grayson Rodriguez is sixth overall but is no longer the top pitching prospect; Philadelphia’s Andrew Painter is fifth.
Rodriguez, who missed three months because of a lat injury in 2022, is expected to begin the season in the Orioles’ rotation.
Jackson Holliday, the first overall pick in July’s draft, is ranked 15th. The 19-year-old shortstop hit .297 with a home run and nine RBIs in 20 games in the Florida Complex League and Single-A Delmarva.
Outfielder Colton Cowser, the Orioles’ top pick in the 2021 draft is the 41st top prospect. Cowser hit .278 with 19 home runs and 66 RBIs and an .874 OPS with High-A Aberdeen, Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk.
Left-hander DL Hall, who could challenge for a spot in either the Orioles’ rotation or bullpen, is 75th. Hall was 1-1 with a 5.91 ERA and a save in 11 appearances late last season with the Orioles.
Infielder Jordan Westburg is 76th. Westburg, who won the organizational award for top prospect last season, hit .265 with 27 homers and 106 RBIs with an .852 OPS for Bowie and Norfolk.
Second baseman Connor Norby, who was selected second in the 2021 draft, is 93rd. Norby hit .279 with 29 homers and 73 RBIs with an .886 OPS with Aberdeen, Bowie and Norfolk.
Infielder Joey Ortiz is ranked 95th. Ortiz, who was the Orioles’ fourth-round pick in 2019, hit .284 with 19 home runs and 85 RBIs with an .826 OPS for Bowie and Norfolk last season. He was placed on the Orioles’ 40-man roster last November.
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