BA Newsletter: Get Analysis, Rankings Delivered To Your Inbox!

Baltimore Orioles

Prospects Overview

Top 10 Prospects

Click prospect for player report

Prospect Lists

Best Tools

Top Prospects of the Decade
(Listed with 2022 organization)

Top Draft Picks of the Decade
(Listed with 2022 organization)

Player Reports

  1. 1. Gunnar Henderson | SS/3B
    Gunnar Henderson
    Born: Jun 29, 2001
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 195
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Selma, Ala., 2019 (2nd round).
    Signed By: David Jennings
    Minors: .297/.416/.531 | 19 HR | 22 SB | 407 AB

    Track Record: When the pandemic shut down minor league baseball in 2020, the Orioles worried high school hitters like Henderson--whom they signed for an over-slot $2.3 million as the 42nd overall pick in 2019--would be most impacted by the loss of development time. Instead, Henderson flourished. Two years after being the youngest player at Baltimore's alternate training site and exposed to the challenging and, at times, overwhelming Orioles hitting practices, Henderson forced his MLB debut at 21 years old. The Orioles wouldn't have thought Henderson would be in the majors by September when they didn't invite him to big league camp in 2022, but he walked more than he struck out (41 to 38) with a 1.025 OPS in two months at Double-A Bowie before continuing to produce at Triple-A Norfolk, becoming the top prospect in baseball and earning Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year honors.

    Scouting Report: The talent to put together such a season has always been within Henderson. His offseason work meant it came faster than the team expected. He added a little rhythm to his swing to get himself moving early, flattened out his bat path to be able to combat riding fastballs up in the zone, and most importantly improved his plate discipline in his return to Double-A Bowie in 2022. He showed immediate gains with swing decisions and contact rates. Henderson's swing has always been a powerful one, and him growing into his body made it more so. His strength and explosiveness allow him to get away with having a smaller move--where he doesn't need to generate much momentum to produce all-fields power--and his approach allows him to stay up the middle consistently. Henderson was exposed to plenty of outer-half spin in 2022 as pitchers tried to avoid the heart of the plate against him. That gave him plenty of looks at one of the few areas where he's continuing to search for solutions. Otherwise, his plus hit tool and plus-plus power showed up in the majors. Henderson had a 92.4 mph average exit velocity and a 53.7% hard-hit rate. Defensively, Henderson hasn't outgrown shortstop and has the potential to be at least above-average there with elite capabilities at third base thanks to his plus-plus arm and range. He's a plus runner as well and impressed the big league staff with his speed on his callup late in the season. Henderson is an intensely driven player who embodies the growth mindset the Orioles seek in their players.

    The Future: Henderson reaching the majors this quickly and succeeding in the manner he has puts his career on a steep upward trajectory. The Orioles believe he can be an MVP-caliber player, but at worst he can be a regular all-star who will be a cornerstone in the ongoing Orioles turnaround.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 60. Power: 70. Speed: 60. Fielding: 60. Arm: 70

  2. 2. Grayson Rodriguez | RHP
    Grayson Rodriguez
    Born: Nov 16, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 220
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Nacogdoches, Texas, 2018 (1st round).
    Signed By: Thom Dreier
    Minors: 6-2 | 2.62 ERA | 109 SO | 28 BB | 76 IP

    Track Record: Rodriguez, a pop-up prospect signed for $4.3 million as the 11th pick in the 2018 draft, has done nothing but dominate since joining the Orioles. He shared the organization's pitcher of the year honors in 2019, won it on his own in 2021 and was on the cusp of a big league debut as the May Triple-A International League pitcher of the month before a lat strain in early June kept him out for two months. He returned to the mound in September but wasn't summoned to the majors before the season ended.

    Scouting Report: Rodriguez's stuff remained similar to that which made him the game's top pitching prospect entering the season. His fastball sat 95-99 mph and topped out at 100 with above-average hop, and he showed the ability to spot it in every part of the strike zone. He executed his development goal of achieving more consistent top-end spin in 2022, because in past years the consistency of his pitch action could waver. His plus-plus slider remains his top secondary pitch, sitting 79-85 mph with late bite, and he uses different shapes depending on the situation. Rodriguez's changeup, a pitch he learned in pro ball, is a plus pitch as well, with screwball-like action that works to both sides of the plate. His curveball has above-average potential, and Rodriguez ramped up usage of his new low-90s cutter as the season went on, especially against lefthanded hitters. His lat injury was his first major setback, but Rodriguez otherwise has the makings of a physical, innings-eating workhorse with a durable, repeatable delivery.

    The Future: Rodriguez has top-of-the-rotation potential and a mid-rotation floor based on his stuff, pitch mix and mentality. The Orioles expect him to compete for a major league rotation job in spring training, and he'll be favored to win one given his talents.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 70. Curveball: 55. Slider: 70. Changeup: 60. Control: 65

  3. 3. Jackson Holliday | SS
    Jackson Holliday
    Born: Dec 4, 2003
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 175
    Minors: .238/.439/.333 | 0 HR | 1 SB | 42 AB

    Track Record: The son of MLB all-star Matt Holliday was set to play for his uncle Josh at Oklahoma State until he was drafted first overall by the Orioles in 2022. Holliday took classes from home this winter to work on adding strength and further refining his picturesque lefthanded swing, and he elevated himself to the top of the draft by doing so. He broke JT Realmuto's national high school hits record in the process and was recognized as BA High School Player of the Year. Holliday signed for $8.19 million--a record for a high school player--and had an impressive introduction to pro ball at the end of the summer. He walked 25 times against just 12 strikeouts, primarily against full-season competition.

    Scouting Report: Holliday's draft-year improvement only made what could be an elite offensive future even clearer. He has a smooth, fluid swing that doesn't require maximum effort to create maximum bat speed, with good body awareness to make him adjustable and keep the barrel through the zone well. Holliday already boasts advanced strike-zone discipline, and the continued physical development his frame suggests is imminent could give him above-average power to go along with his plus hit tool. He handled velocity well in his pro debut, but the Orioles want him to continue overcoming expected challenges with velocity and advanced pitch shapes as he climbs the minors. Defensively, he's a true shortstop with all the skills and instincts to play the position at a plus level, with a plus arm and plus speed as well.

    The Future: If Holliday ends up being the Orioles' last high first-round pick in a while, they'll be glad to have his all-star potential in the organization. He has the talent, mindset and work ethic to get there, and could be back in Low-A Delmarva to begin the 2023 season.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 60. Power: 55. Speed: 60. Fielding: 60. Arm: 60.

  4. 4. Colton Cowser | OF
    Colton Cowser
    Born: Mar 20, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: Thom Dreier
    Minors: .278/.406/.469 | 19 HR | 18 SB | 510 AB

    Track Record: The Orioles believed Cowser to be the best hitter in the country in the 2021 draft, even if signing him for a below-slot $4.9 million as the fifth overall pick skewed that impression. Cowser backed that up in his first full season in 2022, overcoming some early challenges at High-A Aberdeen before taking off and dominating Double-A Bowie with a 1.037 OPS in 49 games there. He was one of a handful of 2021 draftees to reach Triple-A.

    Scouting Report: Cowser's special bat-to-ball skills showed up as he climbed through the minors. His plus hit tool impressed the Orioles with the amount of line drives and hard contact he produced even as there was a bit more in-zone whiff than they expected. Cowser's preferred opposite-field approach came into conflict with the team's damage-oriented swing decision mantra at times, but Cowser got better at tapping into his pull-side pop as the season went on, showing at least above-average power potential. His offensive path seems unsettled, though. There's a belief that he can both maintain a gap-based, on-base strategy at the top of a lineup or gear his approach toward more power and succeed at either. Cowser might not be more than an average center fielder, but he can handle the position well thanks to his smooth motions and range as an above-average runner. He could be above-average in a corner spot, with at least an above-average arm.

    The Future: Cowser did his part by climbing through the minors quickly for an organization that hoped he would be ready to help when they contended. He has the floor of a solid-average regular, though his advanced bat could make him a first-division starter with continued refinement. Cowser will be back at Triple-A Norfolk to begin 2023, with the hopes of playing himself into a major league debut.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 60. Power: 55. Speed: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 55.

  5. 5. D.L. Hall | LHP
    D.L. Hall
    Born: Sep 19, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'0" Wt.: 180
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Valdosta, Ga., 2017 (1st round).
    Signed By: Arthur McConnehead
    Minors: 3-8 | 4.48 ERA | 137 SO | 50 BB | 85 IP

    Track Record: Hall was one of the best prep lefthanders in the 2017 class and signed with the Orioles for $3 million to begin a pro career that has often tantalized and finally included a big league debut in 2022. He made just seven starts in 2021 due to a stress reaction in his elbow and was eased back onto the mound in 2022 by the Orioles. Hall continued to show flashes of dominance--36% strikeout rate in Triple-A--but also control issues as he walked 14% of the batters he faced with Norfolk. The Orioles gave him a start for his MLB debut in August, then moved him to the bullpen to control his innings. He excelled in relief late in the 2022 season.

    Scouting Report: Few, if any, can match Hall's raw stuff from the left side. His four-seam fastball sits in the mid-to-upper 90s and has touched 100 mph with above-average hop. His 85-89 mph slider features bat-missing sweep and is his best secondary pitch, though his mid-80s changeup plays extremely well off his fastball and has plus potential. So does his curveball, a slower offering in the high 70s and low 80s. Hall's extension in the big leagues was exceptional, which makes his one shortfall--repeating his delivery and consistently commanding around the strike zone--a point of concern. He's athletic enough that the Orioles believe he can improve, but with his fastball velocity, extension and pitch mix, Hall only needs his pitches to look like strikes out of his hand to force hitters into bad swings.

    The Future: Hall has a No. 2 starter ceiling given his stuff, but a high-leverage relief role is more likely at this point in his career. The Orioles will continue to develop him as a starter, with a realistic mid-rotation goal. He'll be in the major league rotation mix come 2023 spring training.

    Scouting Grades: Fastball: 80. Curveball: 60. Slider: 70. Changeup: 60. Control: 40

  6. 6. Jordan Westburg | SS/3B
    Jordan Westburg
    Born: Feb 18, 1999
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 203
    Drafted/Signed: Mississippi State, 2020 (1st round supplemental).
    Signed By: David Jennings
    Minors: .265/.355/.496 | 27 HR | 12 SB | 544 AB

    Track Record: Westburg went 30th overall in the 2020 draft and signed for $2.37 million on the belief that his improved performance in the summer and abbreviated spring before his draft year was legitimate. Nothing he's done as a pro has made the Orioles question that. Westburg climbed to Double-A in 2021, his first full pro season, and spent most of 2022 at Triple-A Norfolk. His 69 extra-base hits were fifth-most in the minors in 2022, and Westburg's continued improvement earned him the organization's Brooks Robinson minor league player of the year award.

    Scouting Report: Recognizing Westburg for his improvement the way the Orioles did only highlights all his skills. He doesn't have a plus tool but has spent his career maximizing what he has. Westburg has become more aggressive in all counts as he has matured, and he used the team's challenging practice to address deficiencies with hoppy fastballs up in the zone and sliders away. At every level, he's adjusted back to the league and gone on to excel. Westburg has a clean, simple swing that still generates plenty of bat speed and could allow him to be an average hitter with above-average power thanks to his ability to pull the ball and drive it to the opposite-field gap. Consistency in his at-bat quality has been an issue, though, leading to two prolonged slumps in 2022. Westburg is an above-average runner and can play shortstop but may be stretched to be average there, with above-average potential at second base as an everyday position. He can play third base, too.

    The Future: Westburg's versatility may be key to his future in what's shaping up to be a loaded Orioles infield. His ability to play up the middle and potentially hit for power make him a future solid-average regular, and he'll compete for a major league job in spring training. Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 55. Speed: 55. Fielding: 55. Arm: 50.

  7. 7. Connor Norby | 2B
    Connor Norby
    Born: Jun 8, 2000
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'10" Wt.: 187
    Signed By: Quincy Boyd
    Minors: .279/.360/.526 | 29 HR | 16 SB | 477 AB

    Track Record: Norby was a first-team All-America selection for East Carolina in 2021 as he led Division I with 102 hits and impressed against top-level starters in the NCAA Tournament. The Orioles drafted him in the second round at No. 41 overall and signed him for $1.7 million--slightly below slot. He began 2022 at High-A Aberdeen and saw a significant burst in production in the second half, hitting 21 home runs in the high minors for an organization-leading 29 and ending the year at Triple-A Norfolk.

    Scouting Report: Norby's breakout came as he found comfortable lower-body patterning by recommitting to a toe-tap he abandoned in the winter and moving his hands to allow him to be less vertical through the hitting areas and better combat sliders away and fastballs up. The adjustments allowed Norby to take off. His extreme feel for hitting and high-level ability to execute his plan continued to put him in good positions to do damage, as did his acceptable strike-zone control. Norby showed the capabilities of an above-average hitter with potentially above-average power, with his ability to drive the ball the other way and overall consistency in elevating hard contact key factors in that. Defensively, Norby is limited to second base on the infield or maybe left field due to a fringe-average arm, though his actions on the dirt are fine.

    The Future: Bat-first second basemen are tricky propositions, but Norby's offensive profile is one that is increasingly hard to doubt at this point. He can hit enough to be a first-division regular. He will start at Triple-A Norfolk in 2023 with an eye toward pushing for a major league debut in the second half of the season.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55. Power: 55. Speed: 50. Fielding: 50. Arm: 45.

  8. 8. Joey Ortiz | SS/2B
    Joey Ortiz
    Born: Jul 14, 1998
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 5'11" Wt.: 175
    Signed By: John Gillette
    Minors: .284/.349/.477 | 19 HR | 8 SB | 539 AB

    Track Record: Drafted out of the friendly offensive environment of New Mexico State, Ortiz was an early second-day pick in 2019 mostly because of his elite traits at shortstop. The pandemic allowed him to address his offensive shortcomings. He added nearly 30 pounds of muscle to his frame and leveraged his swing toward elevated contact. His breakout was cut short in 2021 due to a torn left labrum that required surgery, and he struggled in the first half of 2022 before a breakout that brought him to Triple-A Norfolk. From July 1 to the end of the season, Ortiz hit .352/.416/.610 and led the minor leagues with 101 hits, 68 runs and 175 total bases. His 1.026 OPS ranked seventh in that time.

    Scouting Report: Ortiz always boasted exceptional contact ability--he only whiffed 7.4% of the time in 2022, best in the organization--but the quality of contact wavered early in the year as he struggled to come back from his lead shoulder injury. By adjusting his hand placement to allow him to get to a better launch position and focusing more on the areas where he can drive the ball as opposed to just making contact, Ortiz started producing elite exit velocities. His adjustments and improvements raised his offensive capabilities to potentially an above-average hitter with average power. He drives the ball well to all fields but could improve his pull-side power. Considering he is a true shortstop with plus capabilities at the position thanks to his range, play-making ability and arm, that makes for quite an intriguing tool set.

    The Future: Ortiz's defensive versatility and ability to play shortstop give him a utility floor, but his offensive progress makes an everyday role likely if he can sustain it. Ortiz likely needs more time at Triple-A before a major league debut, but not much time if he continues hitting.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 55. Power: 50. Speed: 50. Fielding: 60. Arm: 55.

  9. 9. Kyle Stowers | OF
    Kyle Stowers
    Born: Jan 2, 1998
    Bats: L Throws: L
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 200
    Drafted/Signed: Stanford, 2019 (2nd round supplemental).
    Signed By: Scott Walter
    Minors: .264/.357/.527 | 19 HR | 3 SB | 349 AB

    Track Record: Stowers spent his college career searching for a balance of contact and power, and the Orioles believed in his potential for both. He used the 2020 shutdown to get stronger and shared organizational player of the year honors with top prospect Adley Rutschman in 2021 after he hit a system-high 27 home runs in his first full minor league season. Stowers spent most of 2022 at Triple-A Norfolk, where he cut down his strikeout rate while hitting for power just as consistently. He was in the big leagues for good by mid August.

    Scouting Report: Part of Stowers' year-over-year improvement came down to him flattening his swing a bit to help him defend against velocity at the top of the zone, and otherwise being adjustable to hit offspeed pitches as higher-level pitchers grew weary of giving him anything in his red zones. The resulting season--decreasing whiff rates with a higher slugging percentage--showed he was able to meet his goals without losing power. Stowers' power will always be his calling card as an easy plus and potentially better tool thanks to his aggressive, naturally lofted swing. He was challenged when it came to whiffs and strikeouts in the majors, and Stowers may never be more than a fringe-average hitter, but that would be enough along with continued plate discipline gains to help him access his power. Stowers' power is imperative to his future, because he can be a fringe-average center fielder but is better suited for a corner outfield spot, where he can potentially be solid-average with a plus arm and above-average speed.

    The Future: Stowers' power potential and all the drawbacks that come with it make him a high-ceiling proposition, but his progress makes it possible he becomes a first-division regular.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 40. Power: 65. Speed: 55. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.

  10. 10. Coby Mayo | 3B
    Coby Mayo
    Born: Dec 10, 2001
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'5" Wt.: 215
    Drafted/Signed: HS--Parkland, Fla, 2020 (4th round).
    Signed By: Brandon Verley
    Minors: .251/.328/.462 | 19 HR | 5 SB | 383 AB

    Track Record: Mayo was the first of two significantly over-slot high school draftees for the Orioles from the 2020 draft. He signed for $1.75 million in the fourth round thanks to his impressive raw power. As a professional, Mayo has been assigned aggressively and reached Double-A Bowie at 20 years old. Back spasms forced him to miss some time upon arriving there, but the slugging righthanded hitter finished well after a slow start and his expected stats paint a more optimistic picture of his season than his actual ones.

    Scouting Report: Mayo's carrying tool is his plus-plus raw power, and his ability to turn on inside pitches while driving balls over the heart of the plate gives him significant in-game power potential. Upper-minors pitchers exposed his issues with outer-third channeling and spin away, but the Orioles feel another offseason of adding strength can help Mayo control his body and the moving parts of his aggressive swing better to be more adjustable to those pitches and cover more of the plate. He might only be an average hitter and needs to control his bat path to keep the ball elevated to maximize the contact he does make. If he does so, his game power can flourish. Defensively, Mayo's peers may save the Orioles from having to make a call on him staying at third base. He could be fringe-average there and has a plus arm that fits at the position, but the expectation that the 6-foot-5 third baseman gets bigger could make him better suited for first base or a corner outfield spot.

    The Future: Mayo didn't have the breakout season expected of him in 2022. Still, holding his own as a 20-year-old in Double-A was a sign there's still plenty to dream on. This is a big winter for Mayo, who with the right training and adjustments could break out on his way to becoming a first-division regular.

    Scouting Grades: Hitting: 50. Power: 60. Speed: 45. Fielding: 45. Arm: 60.

Are you a member?

In order to access this exclusive content you must have a Baseball America Account. 

Login or sign up  

Additionally, you can subscribe to Baseball America's newsletter and receive all of our rankings, analysis, prospect insight & more delivered to your inbox every day. Click here to get started. 

of Free Stories Remaining