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Baltimore Orioles 2022 Top 10 MLB Prospects Chat

Gunnar_Henderson_TomDiPace.jpg
Gunnar Henderson (Photo by Tom DiPace)

Top 10s season is officially here! We're kicking things off with our Orioles Top 10 prospects list for 2022, which you can see here.

Jon Meoli: Good afternoon and welcome to another year of chatting Orioles prospects at BA! I'm Jon Meoli, Orioles beat writer for the Baltimore Sun, and this is my sixth year ranking their prospects for BA. It's always a blast, and obviously has gotten more and more interesting as they've put more and more resources into building what executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias referred to on his hiring as an "elite talent pipeline." Not much of that has gotten to the big leagues just yet, but there's certainly a lot happening in a farm system that's quickly become one of the game's best. I've got a couple dozen questions lined up so far and am going to do my best to get to all of them.

Jerry (BALTIMORE):

    Could Adley start the year in Baltimore next year? Or are we going to see more service time manipulation?


Jon Meoli: Let's start with Adley Rutschman questions, of which there are a few. The short answer to this is yes, there's a chance he could start with the major league team, but it's almost impossible to envision that happening under the current CBA that incentivizes teams to hold top prospects in the minors for anywhere from a few weeks to a few months to optimize long-term costs and club control. The Orioles have frequently fallen back on the position in a lot of the things they've done in recent years that they're only trying to compete in the system that the game has set up, and I can't imagine that tune would change for something as significant as keeping a player of Rutschman's talents in Baltimore for an extra year if they have the chance to.

Jeff (Idaho):

    Any chance of a pre-arb contract for Rutschman that gets him on the OD roster? Or maybe changes to the CBA that remove incentives for teams to avoid Super 2 status by keeping guys in the minors for the first few weeks of the season? Do you think he's ready to start in Baltimore or think he still needs some seasoning in AAA to start the year?


Jon Meoli: This is kind of in that same vein, but a couple of different aspects to touch on. As for the last part, I can't really imagine any baseball reason why Rutschman would start next year in Norfolk. The two easiest development reasons to fall back on for justifying such things, plate discipline and defense, are strengths of his. And his midseason adjustment to let the ball travel deeper led to much more consistent hard contact and better overall production. All that leads to him being ready for Opening Day, at least in my eyes. As for the contract part, I'm not sure what deals like that would even look like in the new CBA if there are wholesale changes to how service time and arbitration raises factor into player pay. I'm sure the Orioles would be interested at the right number, but what seems fair for the club to pay would probably not interest Rutschman. Just speculation there, though.

BOB (Buffalo):

    Does yusneil Diaz have any future in Baltimore after horrible 2021 season?


Jon Meoli: I sense I'm going to have trouble creating a flow to how I answer these, but from one top prospect to their former one, this is certainly a question a lot of people have about Yusniel Diaz. It would have been hard for him to break into this Orioles outfield as it is, but he did himself no favors with his inability to stay healthy and his poor performance when he did play this year. It's encouraging to see him playing better in the Arizona Fall League, but talent has never been the issue. He just needs to be his best and most healthy self for an entire season and show what we've seen in flashes for an extended period. As far as his future in Baltimore, the leash is probably shorter than past years but they're not in a position 40-man roster-wise to need to move on from him any time soon. This front office didn't trade for him, though, and thus won't make any accommodations for him they wouldn't make for anyone else. He has to earn his way to the big leagues, and time is certainly not on his side.

Mat (Halifax):

    I'm a big fan of Terrin Vavra & believe he'll help amp up O's infield in near future. How close was he to Top 10, is he viewed as an every day player or UT, and could he make it onto the O's roster by end '22?

Mike (Baltimore):

    Is terrin vavra the future 2b or just a platoon player at this point?


Jon Meoli: Had a couple questions about Vavra that I'll lump together here. Vavra is in the next handful of spots after the top-10, and while it was unfortunate he didn't get a fully healthy season this year, I don't think anything that happened in 2021 would remove him from the second base mix for down the road. He's always been better against righties but that's not disqualifying, and I think being a utility player who can actually produce offensively isn't a bad thing if he can play second base, maybe some shortstop, and a little center field along with it. I think Vavra is a player they like still and will get a chance to be among the first up to the big leagues to represent the wave of players they have their hopes pinned on.

Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware):

    Jon, really appreciated the depth and detail that you put into answering questions in prior Oriole chats, and think it is great that you are the guy doing it again this year. The O's have signed a lot of international prospects in comparison with times past. Which of them do you think have a reasonable chance of starting 2022 on the Delmarva roster?


Jon Meoli: Thanks, Karl. Always appreciate your questions. The Orioles are definitely more engaged in the international market than in past years. I think a few of the players they traded for, like right-hander Jean Pinto and outfielder Mishael Deson, who ended at Delmarva could be back there to start 2022, and then some of the standouts from their own signing classes like outfielders Luis González and Stiven Acevedo and infielder Moises Ramírez could make the jump as well. Most of this year's Florida Complex League teams featured international signees. Depending on where all the 2021 draftees start next spring, there could be room for plenty in Delmarva.

Erik (New York):

    I was a guy who was skeptical of Colton Cowser when the O's drafted him at 5. He got off to a hot start and seems to be proving the doubters wrong. What are your opinions of him? Do you think he has a chance to start in Bowie this spring?


Jon Meoli: Let's get into some 2021 draft questions. I think what Cowser did in his pro debut was largely to be expected, considering we're talking about an advanced, high-floor college hitter with strong contact skills. His ability to control the strike zone and put the bat on the ball were never in question. I think the developmental pivot-point for him, and to some extent the Orioles' entire group of 2021 hitters they took, will be how they're able to bring more power into play without sacrificing the strengths he already has. Will whatever is lost in the contact ability and bat control worth it if he's geared toward power more? I think it's something that could still happen naturally without too much changes, but the power will certainly be what determines whether he's able to max out his production in the majors. Bowie seems a bit steep to start for '22, but they moved high college picks from '20 past Delmarva after about a month this year. His month to end the season there might mean he starts at High-A Aberdeen.

Lloyd (Lakewood):

    I know this is going back a few years, but Cowser sounds a little bit like Lenny Dykstra. How far off am I?


Jon Meoli: I should have lumped this in with the last one, and don't really feel equipped to answer it considering most of Lenny Dykstra's career was before I was born, but just wanted to acknowledge the question and say I don't know.

Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware):

    In August past the O's had 9 position players from the 2021 draft on their low east team. We know what you think of Cowser. Of the other guys (Pavolony, Burns, Norby, Teter, Cook, Rhodes, Trimble, and Donta'Williams), who do you think has a chance of being in the top 30 when the Handbook comes out?


Jon Meoli: Still in the reporting and gathering phase for the rest of the list so unclear on who exactly will make it and where, but I'm keying on Norby, Rhodes, Trimble, and maybe Williams to be in the mix. One symptom of an improving farm system is that just being a high pick doesn't necessarily guarantee a spot even in the top-30. It's certainly a better problem to have than the alternative.

John (Tampa):

    Who is your favorite guy from this past draft class? Who could you realistically see from the past two draft classes making an impact on the big league roster in 2024?


Jon Meoli: I don't have enough personal experience with the players to have a favorite just yet, but from what I did see of them and speaking to people in the organization, 13th-round first baseman Jacob Teter seems like he'll be a fun one to watch. The Orioles have identified some small-school sluggers that have moved through their system well in recent years, and Teter could be in that vein. He's massive and hits the ball very hard, all while moving well around first base. Not a terrible combination. As far as who could be on the big league roster in 2024, I'd say the Orioles hope that Colton Cowser will be a fast-mover and be up by then. Maybe Connor Norby as well if second base is open. From 2020, I think Jordan Westburg will continue to move quickly and be an asset defensively wherever he's playing for the major league team by then, and generally, a conservative development path for that whole 2020 draft class would put them all around Triple-A by then, so anyone could join him in theory.

Reagan (Maryland):

    How close is Mayo and Westburg to the top 100


Jon Meoli: I'll stay on Westburg and the infield in general for a bit, lots of questions on that. This one is first and the simplest to answer--I only rank the Orioles, so I'm not really sure where they fall in the overall BA rankings. Sorry!

LJ (NYC):

    Does Westburg see the big leagues at any point in 2022?


Jon Meoli: I think it may be a stretch, but definitely isn't out of the question. The Orioles like how he adjusted to the advanced competition at Double-A Bowie late in the season after he started out terribly. He had a .563 OPS in his first three series there, and a .918 OPS in his last three. He could spend most of 2022 at Triple-A Norfolk, and then it's just a matter of whether all the non-baseball reasons to not bring him up exist or not. He's one of a handful of cases where the Orioles' foundational belief that player get better when they're challenged and need to quickly leave environments where they're performing well to seek another level will be challenged. Westburg could be holding his own in Triple-A by mid-year next year. Will the calculus change as to whether he needs a more significant challenge when it means bringing him to the majors? No one has really forced the issue like that in recent years to have a precedent to go off.

Trey (New Braunfels):

    Is Henderson more likely to stay at SS rather than Westburg? Does Henderson have better range? Do you see Westburg moving to 3B or 2B? How does Westburg compare to Mayo?


Jon Meoli: For the projected lineup, I lined it up with Westburg at second, Gunnar Henderson at short, and Coby Mayo at third just as a way to get them all in the lineup with Ryan Mountcastle at first. Could be a fun lineup. I think Westburg has the skills to stick at short, no question, but Henderson is going to get every chance to stay there given how valuable his bat could be at that position. Mayo will have to prove he can stay at third, but again, that would be the best position to optimize his offensive value. So to answer your question, that alignment was the best lineup as opposed to the best defensive setup, though the projected lineup given also wouldn't kill you defensively.

Gunnar Henderson (AA):

    Consdering the amount of strikeouts I had this year, did scouts/executives overestimate my hit tool? Am I becoming a three true outcome hitter?


Jon Meoli: One time I answered one of these questions directed at the player and he thought I was being serious in thinking it was him, so I'll avoid that this time. There were definitely more strikeouts than you'd like to see from Henderson in his full-season debut, but he was young for his level when he started at Low-A Delmarva and only got more so through Aberdeen and Bowie. His swing decisions rated better in the Orioles' eyes at Aberdeen than Delmarva, but the issue there was more pitchers were able to better attack his weaknesses and he had to adjust. So, he's still learning the strike zone a bit--including the part where pitches he deems balls might actually be strikes--and that will improve as time goes on as well. There's plenty of work left to do, but ultimately the best hitters are the ones who hit the ball hard and in the air consistently, and use all fields. He has those traits, and the Orioles are working with him to refine that. I'd say a three-true-outcome label is premature for all that.

Jonathan (OH):

    Hello! How excited are you about Gunnar Henderson? Is he a potential future all star? How soon could we see him in Baltimore?


Jon Meoli: Everyone's mind goes to Corey Seager when it comes to Henderson, and it's been said and written plenty of times, so I'll go with that. I think he has the makings of that type of really good player, and I'd estimate maybe some time in 2023 he could be pushing to the majors after spending most of 2022 in Double-A and maybe finishing in Triple-A.

Zak (Boston):

    Thanks for the chat. What are your thoughts on Joey Ortiz? From a defensive stand point, where would he rank in comparison to Henderson and Westburg?


Jon Meoli: Every year, I seem to report one story that doesn't get written before a player is seriously injured and this time, Ortiz won (lost?) that honor. He was a breakout player on the Orioles' farm for how he rebuilt his swing and added muscle during the shutdown, but before that, he had a deserved reputation as a good defender. Early reports before his season-ending shoulder injury were that even as he bulked up, he didn't lose much of that. I'd put him probably generally in that group with them, but as he's bigger now, it might be easier to slot him at second base if those others are viable shortstop options.

Bill B (Glen Allen Va):

    Who is best SS comp in majors for Gunnar? And could he be there in 5 years? Thanks


Jon Meoli: I went out of order but let's tack this back with the previous question on Henderson and consider it answered. Corey Seager is the name that often comes to the front of mind for him, inside and outside the organization.

Erik (Chicago):

    A couple Coby Mayo questions: 1. What has changed in his profile since the draft? 2. If they redrafted the 2020 draft do you think Mayo still wouldve gone in the 4th? 3. What level do you see him starting at next year? AA? Thanks,


Jon Meoli: Staying on the infield a little bit. I think Coby Mayo's overall profile as a slugging corner infield with immense raw power remains about the same, but the work he did over the last year to be able to tap into that power in games and generally keep his swing under control and locked into a good path really changed his chances of reaching that. It was a small sample to work off of, but what's clear is Mayo really used his time in Sarasota recovering from his knee injury well and is better for it. As far as where he'd have been drafted, it's hard to say. I know the Orioles did a ton of work on him for years leading up to that draft and maybe were more comfortable with the price tag given what was known, but I also think generally, the price tag and signability in a five-round draft where teams weren't going to take someone they couldn't sign had more to do with where he went than his talents. These types of high school picks are always high-risk, high-reward types. Just about which team is comfortable with that at their stage in the draft. Forgot to answer the last part, sorry. I think it'd be safe to start him back at Delmarva last year. He was great there at the end of the season, but is still young. He can start there and still have a Gunnar Henderson-type climb to Double-A if that's in the cards for him.

Steve (MD):

    What was the biggest surprise development for you this year in the Orioles system?


Jon Meoli: This was the first question in the chat and I haven't gotten an occasion to answer it. I think the short answer is how quickly the hitting program has taken hold and proven to be the makings of something very productive on the farm. Truthfully, I had a thought in the offseason that the hitting side could make similar jumps to how the pitching improved in 2019 based on some new instruction methods and better use of technology, and was talked off that idea by some in the organization because of how much harder it is to develop hitters. They are, after all, the ones reacting, and not the ones throwing the pitch. But the way they improved can't be considered anything but a credit to the program they've put in place and will continue to work in going forward. Their full-season OPS jumped over 30 points, and both home run and walk rates spiked as well. Those are as good of measures as any, and show the Orioles know what they're looking for in the draft and how to bring that along in the development process.

Joe (NY):

    At some point the Orioles need to start winning games right? Are there moves they could make this winter to start becoming semi-competitive?


Jon Meoli: Another general question--I think it would be fantastic if the Orioles won more games. I'm not sure they think they're ready to do that yet, which means trading for or signing a mid-rotation starter the way they should isn't likely to happen this year. If they wanted to be semi-competitive this year, they'd sign a couple of mid-tier starting pitchers and one of the big-time shortstops. They wouldn't put the team over the competitive hump, but they'd maybe be worth a 10-game swing along with the expected prospect debuts. It'd be a start. It's just probably not what's going to happen.

Chris (Hamilton, Ontario):

    What can we expect from late, overslot sign Trendon Craig?


Jon Meoli: Going to quick-hit some individual answers here. Craig got some time in the FCL in, but as a JC pick, he might be one with a longer development path than some of his fellow draftees. It was telling that he hung back in Florida as many of them went north, but that's not a bad thing. Indications are there are plenty of tools to work with, and the Orioles aren't going to rush any of that. He could pop up in a year or two as someone to know, though.

Tim Stephens (Proctorville, Ohio):

    Could Blaine Knight benefit from a move to the bullpen?


Jon Meoli: I don't think the Orioles are in a position to give up on anyone as a starter before they have to, and Knight's bounceback before he reached Triple-A this year was among the more encouraging developments they had on the pitching side. He was back pitching aggressively and being the player he was upon being signed, but then he got to Triple-A and just stopped striking batters out. No idea what went into that, but I imagine he'll be in the rotation mix at Norfolk next year to give him a chance to fix that.

Tim Stephens (Proctorville, Ohio):

    Rylan Bannon probably wasn't going to hit for high average, but his season was shockingly poor. Can he make it to majors even as a utility man unless he improves at the plate?


Jon Meoli: There's not a ton of value in a utility player that doesn't play shortstop, so that would be a tough sell regardless. Not sure what happened with Bannon at the plate, though. Injuries don't help, of course, but save for his hot stretch in August the season just seems to have gotten away from him. It's always been a tough profile, but a year like that at Triple-A makes the path to the big leagues even more treacherous.

Tim Stephens (Proctorville, Ohio):

    Is Ryan Higgins more a versatile strong bat/weak glove guy off the bench or does he have potential to hold down a corner outfield spot?


Jon Meoli: Haven't dug in a ton on Higgins but know that like many of the Orioles' draftees this year, all he did in college was hit. I don't think anyone is drafted with a bench role in mind, so they either think he can handle a low-impact corner defensive spot or think they can bring his bat along enough for him to hit so much it doesn't matter. Hard to say at this point, though.

Karl of Delaware (Georgetown, Delaware):

    Of the pitchers moving from the Florida Complex League to full season ball in 2022, who are your favorites?


Jon Meoli: I think one of the FCL standout pitchers this year was Raul Rangel, one of their international signees from their record 2019 July 2 class. He was one of the pitchers who got the most buzz from that group, and lived up to it in the FCL.

Ben (CA):

    Thanks for the chat Jon. Are there any prospects that missed the top 10 that have good plate discepline and/or emerging power who we should be aware of? THanks!


Jon Meoli: Off the top of my head, Terrin Vavra is a plate discipline type to know. There's a lot of power in the organization, but someone like JD Mundy comes to mind in terms of power. Not sure where he plays, but as Dan Duquette once said about Mark Trumbo, his best position is in the batter's box.

Chris (MT):

    Do you think Hudson Haskin has everyday MLB OF potential? Do you have any thought on Kyle Bradish?


Jon Meoli: Haskin didn't overwhelm in his first full pro season the way others did, but the tools are there to coalesce into an everyday outfielder still. I think there's a lot more competition for those jobs than there would have been this time last year when it comes to projecting out the Orioles' outfield in the short- and long-term, but that's not really a knock on him. As for Bradish, he's clearly established himself as the third-best pitching prospect in the organization's eyes. There's some skepticism about what he ultimately is outside the Orioles, but they believe his pitches are going to work in the big leagues as long as he repeats his delivery and stays on the attack. Now, we pivot to pitching.

Bill (Baltimore):

    Rodriguez and Hall understandably dominate the pitching best tools. Were there other under the radar types in the mix for those awards?


Jon Meoli: I think there were a few candidates who could have challenged in some categories, but those two were really each other's only competition for the superlatives. At its best, which it wasn't always this year, Mike Baumann's slider could be in the mix. Alexander Wells is still prospect-eligible and has had best command on lock for years before this. Those are the only two tha come to mind, though. There's just a lot of weapons between Hall and Rodriguez.

Eric (Towson MD):

    Joe, curious as to why you rated DL as having a better fastball vs. Grayson. Also, why do you think Mike Elias has not drafted many pitchers in the early rounds of the draft? Pitching is such a precious commodity can you ever really have enough quality arms in the minors.

Zak (Boston):

    Seems like the organization has used most of their draft capital on college players in recent drafts. Do you see this as an organizational philosophy or just coincidence? Do you think this trend will continue in the 2022 draft?


Jon Meoli: Will get to the first part first then these can go together. There's really not much of a difference between their fastballs. Edge goes to Hall, for me, for being from the left side and having a little more life. We're talking elite velocity on both, though. It's really splitting hairs. As for the draft philosophy on taking hitters, there's definitely enough to see it as a pattern that could continue. The Orioles always contend that they have pitchers rated highly on their draft board they don't end up taking, and I believe them. They are strict adherents to the board and take the top player on it, and it's often been a hitter. But they also clearly feel there's less risk in a college bat with a track record of hitting and the underlying contact and batted ball skills that come with it that makes them safer bets to develop into big leaguers than pitchers. It means they're dealing in lower-ceiling pitchers, as a Grayson Rodriguez is largely only available at the top of the draft, but the tradeoff having more potential impact bats you can deal for established starters seems like their preferred approach. It will be truly fascinating to see if some of the pitchers they've drafted and acquired in the last three years can make a leap into future-starter territory, though, and vindicate their belief that they know which weapons and traits to look for and can bring those along sufficiently. Same goes for the hitting side. The whole operation kind of depends on it.

Mike C. (Lynchburg, VA):

    Thanks for the chat! I'm thinking Grayson Rodriguez could be a top 10 starter in the bigs in a few years time. What do you think?


Jon Meoli: I don't see any reason to disagree at this point. He's got all the pitches, he's got the steady delivery, he's strong, and he's got the mentality to make any of this happen. I'm fascinated to see how quickly he's built up to pitch past the fifth inning in 2022 after being pretty limited this year, and how the challenge of facing advanced hitters a third time goes for him. I've seen outings where he's absolutely dominated and you get the feeling he'd pitch into the eighth if he could, but it's one thing to think that and another to do it in practice. Then, another thing still to do it in the big leagues consistently. That's what those top, top pitchers do, and to the Orioles' credit, that's how they're trying to prepare Rodriguez, albeit without actually having him do it in a game. We'll find out sooner than later whether it worked.

Brad (NJ):

    How worried are you with the injury risk of Grayson and Hall? Seems like not many SP have panned out as high draft picks the last few years...thoughts on drafting bats vs arms with early picks?


Jon Meoli: Definitely two different cases here. Rodriguez has been healthy throughout his career and shown no signs of warranting concern, other than the fact that he's a pitching prospect and those come with a built-in amount of caveats. Hall seems to be on track to be healthy for next year after the stress reaction in his elbow, but anything with an elbow is tricky. He has the stuff to be a dynamic big leaguer, but needs to pitch and refine his delivery in game action to help get himself there, so injuries hurt his development in a particularly acute way. As far as the philosophy, I'll add that the presence of these two certainly gave the Orioles leeway to draft hitters with all their top picks recently. Overall, they make the portfolio at the top relatively balanced, but it's hard to see this front office going away from bats in future years given what we've seen so far.

Rich Dauer's Glove (Maryland):

    Some of their under the radar moves are the trades they made with the Angels. Thoughts on Pinto, Bradish & Brnovich?


Jon Meoli: All had good years considering the year off in 2020, with Pinto in particular serving as a bright spot in the low minors. Brnovich is someone there's mixed thoughts on, but you can't deny his success this year. There's just not as much fastball there as you'd typically see from a right-handed starter, and it's going to be interesting to see how that continues to play up the ladder. Bradish we've touched on a bit, but seems to be somewhere in between the guy who dominated at Bowie and the one who had a tougher time at Norfolk. He did finish well, though, and will get a chance in big league camp next year to show what he can do.

Brad (NJ):

    Baumann seemed overmatched in his late season start. Is he worth holding onto for fantasy baseball knowing he wont get many wins, and is in a bad pitchers park. Is he a SP or RP long term?


Jon Meoli: Baumann was a tough exclusion from this list, but his drop had less to do with him than with others simply jumping him. But I think the concern level from his September cameo isn't much different than any other young pitcher: when he made mistakes over the plate, they got hit hard. He just needs to get back to trusting his entire arsenal after a difficult year coming back from injury, and a healthy offseason where he can fully get back into his delivery and develop that rhythm won't hurt, either. It's good to have the fastball/slider reliever floor to fall back on, but I think the Orioles keep him as a starter in 2022 and hope the challenge forces him to use all of his pitches more effectively.

Mary (USA):

    Who is your favorite sleeper in the Baltimore system and why?


Jon Meoli: I'm going to go with Brenan Hanifee, who had Tommy John in the spring and has always been a popular pitcher in the Orioles' system among coaches and scouts. They were really looking forward to how he was going to pitch after some strong work in the shutdown, and it never happened. I'm going to bet on him coming back just as good. He's always pitched like a big leaguer in terms of his approach and maturity. If the stuff catches up outside of his sinker, he's a fun one to dream on.

Josh (Charleston, SC):

    Let's talk draft. I know Elias is known for under slotting, but Elijah at 1.1 is a no-brainer, right? We didn't question Adley, let's not make this difficult.

Cory (Florida):

    Do you think the Orioles will stick with a college player at #1 in the upcoming draft or is someone like Johnson or Green enough talent to tip the scale in the other direction?


Jon Meoli: Haven't dug too deep into draft stuff, but I think if a true 1-1 emerges they'll have a hard time passing on it. All of this is CBA related, but they're slated to have a competitive balance round A pick, which will further inflate their bonus pool and make it so there's less need to go way under-slot at 1-1. We've seen both ways, obviously, but it's far harder to pass on an elite talent when you have the first pick than it is to pass on someone on whom opinions are mixed a few picks later.

Monty (Baltimore):

    Does Toby Welk have a chance of ever getting enough playing time to ever become a real Prospect for the Orioles? How do you think he played last season? Thanks Jon.


Jon Meoli: Couple stragglers. Toby Welk got to Double-A and did well there, certainly has the ability to hit a bit. I think it's a pretty crowded infield mix he now finds himself in, though. Once you're at Triple-A, though, you have a chance, so he can definitely force the issue.

Jon Meoli: Couple stragglers. Toby Welk got to Double-A and did well there, certainly has the ability to hit a bit. I think it's a pretty crowded infield mix he now finds himself in, though. Once you're at Triple-A, though, you have a chance, so he can definitely force the issue.

KB (New York):

    Jordan Westburg is another 1st round pick middle, maybe corner infielder, in the mix of Baltimore shortstops. How does he stack up with Gunnar Henderson and who do you think makes it to the majors first?


Jon Meoli: Touched on these two a lot earlier, but have Henderson rated above him overall because of the age difference and overall offensive package Henderson can bring. I'd say Westburg will be in the majors first, though.

Josh (New York):

    If every Orioles prospect peeks, combined with their current core of Mountcastle and Mullins, would the O's have a championship contender? Or is there not enough upside yet in the system


Jon Meoli: Last question, but before I get to it, thanks for the questions and everyone at BA for another year of this. I think there's definitely the upside for a championship-level lineup with Rutschman, Henderson, Stowers, Cowser, etc joining that group, but even with Rodriguez and Hall, it might be a little light on pitching. It's a good thought though. They're certainly getting closer.

Adley Rutschman Tomdipace (1)

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