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  1. 1. Adley Rutschman | C
    Adley Rutschman
    Born: Feb 6, 1998
    Bats: B Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'2" Wt.: 216
    Drafted/Signed: Oregon State, 2019 (1st round).
    Signed By: Brandon Verley
    Minors: .285/.397/.502 | 23 HR | 3 SB | 452 AB

    BA Grade: 70/Medium

    Track Record: The Orioles were made to wait longer than expected to see the No. 1 overall pick in 2019, who they signed to a record $8.1 million bonus, tear through the minors the way a generational amateur talent is expected to. A College World Series champion and Most Outstanding Player for Oregon State in 2018 and the BA College Player of the Year in 2019, Rutschman got a late start to his 2019 pro debut due to illness, then spent the summer of 2020 at the Orioles’ alternate training site refining his swing and beginning to build rapport with some of the top pitching prospects in the organization. His delayed first full season, however, could not have gone better. Beginning at Double-A Bowie, Rutschman was the top prospect in Double-A Northeast and appeared in the Futures Game before ending his season with Triple-A Norfolk. He hit .285/.397/.502 with 23 home runs and a 79-to-90 walk-to-strikeout ratio in 123 games. He led all minor league catchers with 543 plate appearances. Rutschman shared the Orioles’ Brooks Robinson minor league player of the year award with fellow 2019 draftee Kyle Stowers at the end of the season.

    Scouting Report: Rutschman’s calling card at the plate is his elite plate discipline, with his 14.5% walk rate the best in the organization and in the top 10% of all qualified hitters in the high minors. He paced the Orioles’ internal swing decision metrics and rarely swings and misses, with a 6.7% whiff rate. His uncanny understanding of the strike zone means his already-modest strikeout numbers could fall as he advances to the majors and higher quality umpires. When pitchers do come into his zone, Rutschman can do damage. In the midst of his one rough stretch of the season, he and the Orioles identified an issue with his load and landed on a change that allows him to let the ball travel deeper. In doing so, he was able to drive the ball more consistently by staying on plane with the pitch, all without sacrificing power or contact to do so. His line drive rate was 17.2% at Bowie, but with the changes taking hold, that rate jumped to 26.6% the last two months at Triple-A. The adjustment helps Rutschman better tap into his potentially elite power while elevating his average when he’s staying in the ballpark. Defensively, Rutschman made strides calling games and built on his strength of developing relationships with pitchers, who raved about working with him. He’s already an advanced receiver and his strong arm helped him cut down 27% of basestealers. While his skill set is major league ready, coaches and teammates appreciate how tirelessly Rutschman works to improve and shows genuine efforts for helping them do the same.

    The Future: The composite of all of Rutschman’s skills makes for a player who looks like he can be an above-average major leaguer in 2022. A forecast of multiple all-star appearances and consideration for MVP honors isn’t far fetched. Rutschman will be the cornerstone of the Orioles’ planned turnaround, and his success in Triple-A means there’s not much left for him to accomplish there. If he’s not on the Opening Day roster, it won’t be long before he’s at Camden Yards.

    Scouting Grades
    Batting: 70. Power: 70. Speed: 40. Defense: 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: 9-1 | 2.36 ERA | 161 SO | 27 BB | 103 IP

    BA Grade: 70/High

    Track Record: Only one pitcher in the 30-plus years of the Orioles’ Jim Palmer minor league pitcher of the year award had ever repeated before Rodriguez shared the honor in 2019 then took it on his own in 2021. Signed for $4.3 million as the 11th overall pick in 2018, Rodriguez spent the year leading up to his selection remaking his body and delivery. He has thrived in the Orioles’ progressive new pitching system and become baseball’s top pitching prospect. He led all minor league pitchers with 100 innings in strikeout rate: 14.1 per nine innings.

    Scouting Report: Rodriguez’s dominance over his two full seasons took on different forms. He overpowered batters with his fastball in 2019, but used an advanced pitch mix to carve through Double-A Northeast lineups in 2021. Rodriguez’s fastball averaged 97 mph for the season and frequently hit 100 early in the year before settling in the mid-to-high 90s late. It’s an elite pitch with above-average spin and hop, and he locates it to all four quadrants of the strike zone. Rodriguez’s slider, a plus pitch in the 79-85 mph range, has late bite and can be manipulated a variety of different ways. His screwball-like changeup is a swing-and-miss weapon against both righties and lefties. Rodriguez also has the potential for an above-average curveball, a pitch that he started to throw harder this year, and he occasionally mixes in a low-90s cutter. Physically, Rodriguez has a prototypical starter’s frame with a durable and repeatable delivery that allows him to exhibit plus command.

    The Future: Rodriguez’s attributes give him the chance to be a mid-rotation starter at worst, with No. 2 starter potential at best. He’ll start 2022 at Triple-A Norfolk, with the 22-year-old’s major league debut not far off.

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

  3. 3. 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: 2-0 | 3.13 ERA | 56 SO | 16 BB | 32 IP

    BA Grade: 60/Very High

    Track Record: The Orioles got a premium talent when Hall fell to them as the 21st pick in the 2017 draft and signed for $3 million, considering he was considered the best prep lefty in that class. Hall has been impressive when healthy, and in each of his first two full seasons—the second featuring a trip to the Futures Game in 2019—he got better as the season went on. But after thriving at the team’s alternate training site in 2020 and coming into 2021 with high expectations, Hall made just seven starts for Double-A Bowie, albeit dominant ones, before a stress reaction in his elbow ended his 2021 early.

    Scouting Report: Hall honed his electric arsenal at the alternate site and hit 100 mph for the first time there. He carried that into 2021 in a significant way, with his fastball sitting in the high 90s and averaging 97 mph with above-average hop. The efforts of 2020 to distinguish his breaking balls paid off, with a plus slider in the mid 80s the best of his secondaries, followed by a slower curveball and a changeup. Hall’s command, however, will be what determines his big league fate. It improved since his last game-action in 2019, and while his walk rate of 4.6 per nine innings was still high, the Orioles believe he was more consistently around the strike zone without sacrificing the chase his dynamic arsenal creates.

    The Future: Hall’s stuff and control create the possibility of a high-leverage, late-inning reliever, but despite his injuries, he has a ceiling of a No. 3 starter. He’ll be added to the 40-man roster this winter but could be back at Double-A Bowie in 2022.

    Scouting Grades
    Fastball: 70. Curveball: 55. Slider: 60. Changeup: 55. Control: 45.

  4. 4. 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: .258/.350/.476 | 17 HR | 16 SB | 399 AB

    BA Grade: 55/ High

    Track Record: Signed for an above-slot $2.3 million to keep him away from an Auburn commitment, Henderson has grown to be a darling of Orioles staff and scouts alike as a precociously talented hitter and relentless competitor. He quickly learned what it would take to face older pitchers at the alternate training site and used what he learned there to move quickly in. Henderson was the Low-A East player of the month in May to begin 2021 and eventually was promoted twice, finishing at Double-A Bowie.

    Scouting Report: Henderson has all the makings of a modern-day, bat-first shortstop and took strides toward that in 2021 as he embraced the challenges of playing above his level for most of the year. He’s a potentially average hitter with plus power who has improved along with his competition, and while he struck out more often as he climbed the minors, his swing decisions and contact rates were better in High-A than Low-A. Henderson has a quiet setup but quick hands that allow him to get his barrel into the zone quickly and keep it there, and as he continues to connect his upper and lower body in his load, he’ll tap into more pull power. While there’s a risk he can outgrow shortstop for third base, Henderson is athletic for his size with a plus arm and above-average speed. His intelligent aggression on the bases shows how locked-in he is on a daily basis.

    The Future: The Orioles haven’t drafted and developed an all-star shortstop since Manny Machado, but Henderson has the talent to be the next one. He’ll be back at Double-A Bowie to start 2022, with an MLB role in 2023 in play.

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

  5. 5. Colton Cowser | OF
    Colton Cowser
    Born: Mar 20, 2000
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 195
    Signed By: Thom Dreier
    Minors: .375/.490/.492 | 2 HR | 7 SB | 120 AB

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: Even selecting fifth overall in 2021, the Orioles feel they picked a premium college bat in Cowser, who signed for a below-slot $4.9 million. Cowser embodied the team’s focus on hitters who make hard contact and don’t strike out, which he demonstrated with USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team in 2019. He hit .374/.490/.680 with 16 homers and 17 steals in 55 games this spring to take Southland Conference player of the year honors in 2021. He spent a month at Low-A Delmarva to end his pro debut and walked more than he struck out.

    Scouting Report: Cowser has always found the barrel, a skill that results in few whiffs and is aided by impressive swing decisions. He’s the type to spray line drives to all fields, but his swing path is presently more geared toward contact versus power. The Orioles believe he’s the rare college draftee who can add more strength and allow him to perhaps grow into 20-home run power to go along with his plus hit tool, and that any added power won’t take away from his strengths of controlling the zone. Cowser is an above-average runner with good instincts in center field, giving him solid-average potential there with the arm to allow him to play either corner.

    The Future: Part of the allure of selecting Cowser was how quickly he might climb to the majors, where his table-setting ability would fit right in. Developing more power could allow him to be more, but Cowser has the makings of a first-division regular at present. He could begin at High-A Aberdeen in 2022 and ride a fast track to Baltimore by 2023.

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

  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: .285/.389/.479 | 15 HR | 17 SB | 424 AB

    BA Grade: 55/High

    Track Record: In signing Westburg for $2.37 million as the 30th overall pick in 2020, the Orioles bet he was going to continue the improvements from his strong summer in 2019 in Cape Cod League and the first few weeks of the shortened college season. He did just that at instructional league in 2020. He began his pro career at Low-A Delmarva before beginning a three-level ascent to Double-A Bowie.

    Scouting Report: While climbing the minors, Westburg showed an aptitude to adjust and rise to the competition level each time. An above-average hitter who made consistent contact with good swing decisions, Westburg abandoned a toe-tap late in the season and moved to a leg lift that caused his hard-contact rate to spike down the stretch at Bowie. As he moves forward with that and doesn’t give up his ability to drive the ball late in counts, Westburg could have 20-home run power, especially if he pulls the ball more often. His strikeout concerns have been quieted by a year where his strikeout rates fell as he climbed levels, and he chased fewer than 20% of the time. He’s a plus runner with the instincts and athleticism to play shortstop in the big leagues and the arm for third base, making him an asset anywhere on the infield.

    The Future: Westburg’s quiet competitiveness and confidence fit in well on an ascendant Orioles farm, and he projects to be an everyday big leaguer whose versatility may make him worth more than that in the major leagues. He should finish off Double-A Bowie to begin 2022 but has a chance to push for the majors by the end of the summer.

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

  7. 7. 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: .278/.383/.514 | 27 HR | 8 SB | 449 AB

    BA Grade: 50/Medium

    Track Record: Signed for $884,200 thanks to his power potential and high average exit velocities at Stanford, Stowers was a short-season New York-Penn League all-star after debuting in 2019 but was left out of the team’s alternate training site in 2020. He spent the year getting stronger and in 2021 led Orioles minor leaugers with 27 home runs over three levels. He shared the Brooks Robinson player of the year award with top prospect Adley Rutschman as he climbed from High-A Aberdeen to Triple-A Norfolk in his first full year.

    Scouting Report: Stowers is a picture of controlled violence in his swing. He takes big hacks but rarely seems to overswing. He has natural loft in his swing, which allows him to display his plus-plus raw power on balls down. He’s working on more consistently closing holes up in the zone, but has the ability to drive elevated pitches as well. Even with that development point, his 2021 season was defined by elite hard contact and barrel rates. Stowers has the typical swing-and-miss concerns of a big swinger, but it’s less to do with chase than whiffing in the zone and missing mistakes. Correcting that would make him an even tougher out. Drafted as a center fielder, Stowers could still play there in a pinch, but his bat will play in right field, where he boasts a plus arm and above-average speed as well.

    The Future: Even after a successful full-season debut, Stowers’ assignment to the Arizona Fall League shows how quickly the Orioles want to get him to the majors. He has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order hitter because of his power potential. He could be in the majors in 2022 after finishing his development at Triple-A Norfolk.

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

  8. 8. Heston Kjerstad | OF
    Heston Kjerstad
    Born: Feb 12, 1999
    Bats: L Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'3" Wt.: 205
    Drafted/Signed: Arkansas, 2020 (1st round).
    Signed By: Ken Guthrie

    BA Grade: 55/Extreme

    Track Record: The Orioles feel Kjerstad would have been college baseball’s best player had the 2020 season finished. Thus they believe they got a bargain when he signed for a below-slot $5.2 million as the No. 2 overall pick. They haven’t gotten to see much of his promise on the field. Kjerstad has yet to appear in a game due to the effects of myocarditis—inflammation of the heart muscle—that was detected ahead of 2020 instructional league. He began working back to health in the spring, but was shut down again in June before resuming activities in August. He was swinging a bat again in September.

    Scouting Report: Coming out of college, Kjerstad was touted as a potential middle-of-the-order bat with plus-plus raw power and the ability to utilize it in games. The moving parts of his swing introduced strikeouts risk, but the Orioles saw the type of improvement over his college career to believe that could be managed. While Kjerstad has an above-average arm, his corner outfield profile puts pressure on his bat to produce at that level. The loss of muscle that can come from spending more than a year without physical activity raises concerns about whether he’ll be able to hit for the power his position will require. The Orioles feel his swing is natural enough to him that he’ll be able to regain it.

    The Future: A positive outlook on Kjerstad’s health at the end of 2021 has the Orioles hopeful he’ll be able to begin his professional career in 2022, potentially at Low-A Delmarva. The uncertainty his health struggles created makes it unclear how easily Kjerstad will be able to reach his ceiling as an everyday bat-first outfielder.

    Scouting Grades
    Hit: 50. Power: 70. Speed: 40. Fielding: 50. Arm: 60.

  9. 9. Kyle Bradish | RHP
    Kyle Bradish
    Born: Sep 12, 1996
    Bats: R Throws: R
    Ht.: 6'4" Wt.: 190
    Drafted/Signed: New Mexico State, 2018 (4th round).
    Signed By: Chad Hermansen (Angels)
    Minors: 6-5 | 3.68 ERA | 131 SO | 44 BB | 101 IP

    BA Grade: 50/High

    Track Record: Bradish came to the Orioles as one of four pitchers acquired for Dylan Bundy in a December 2019 trade with the Angels. He quickly distinguished himself as the top piece in that deal. Bradish had struggled with the Angels, but he regained his mid-90s velocity upon reporting to his first spring with the Orioles. He impressed at the alternate training site in 2020, and needed just three scoreless outings at Double-A Bowie to end up at Triple-A Norfolk.

    Scouting Report: A tall righthander with a unique, over-the-top delivery, Bradish comes at hitters from an uncomfortable angle with lively stuff. His fastball, a four-seamer with hop and cut, sits comfortably in the mid 90s and tops out at 97 mph. It can explode on hitters. A plus slider that averaged 86 mph is his top weapon against righthanded hitters, and a low-80s curveball is his go-to against lefthanders. Both the curveball and his firm changeup are under-utilized at times and aren’t finished products. Bradish’s walk rate jumped at Triple-A Norfolk, but he finished strong when he stopped trying to make perfect pitches and attacked with his best stuff in the strike zone. Further honing his delivery and getting to his best release point and timing more consistently, a challenge with his unique mechanics, will help that.

    The Future: Bradish largely lived up to the internal buzz he generated during the 2020 shutdown. A No. 4 starter’s role could be in play for Bradish should he grow more consistent and develop confidence in his entire arsenal. He could compete for a rotation spot in the majors in 2022.

    Scouting Grades
    Fastball: 60. Curveball: 50. Slider: 60. Changeup: 45. Control: 45

  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: .315/.424/.568 | 6 HR | 5 SB | 111 AB

    BA Grade: 50/Very High

    Track Record: Prolific raw power as an amateur was the principal reason the Orioles signed Mayo for $1.75 million—more than $1 million above slot—in the five-round 2020 draft. Still, it would take work to translate that power into games, and Mayo ultimately did that after a spring training knee injury kept him back from a full-season affiliate. Once games began in the Florida Complex League, Mayo dominated and continued his rise with a month at Low-A Delmarva to end the year.

    Scouting Report: Mayo used his time in extended spring training to improve his movement patterns and rotation to better allow him to get to his plus power in games and hit the ball in the air more consistently. His base is presently more stable than when he was an amateur. While tall, Mayo is athletic, allowing him to have a clean swing and catch the ball out front often. By combining the newfound loft in his swing with his natural strength, Mayo is hitting fewer ground balls and thus finding more hits when he stays in the park. He could be an average hitter as he continues to hone his approach, and his ability to control the strike zone and cut down on chase rate while still hitting for power in his debut season impressed the Orioles. Mayo could easily outgrow third base, but has a chance to be average there, with his plus arm an asset at the position.

    The Future: Mayo doesn’t have much pro experience, but has the makings of a middle-of-the-lineup, everyday third baseman after how he finished 2021. He could be back at Delmarva for 2022, and is a few years away from the majors, but he features some of the system’s best offensive upside.

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

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