CHICAGO – The Orioles minor league rosters are in for some big changes very soon. According to a club source, eight players are about to be promoted and they include five players currently ranked among the O’s top 30 prospects list via Baseball America.
Moving from Double-A Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk are infielder César Prieto, right-handed pitcher Justin Armbruester and righty reliever Wandisson Charles.
Moving from High-A Aberdeen to Bowie are pitchers Alex Pham, Keagan Gillies and Jean Pinto and outfielder Jud Fabian.
Moving from Low Single-A Delmarva to Aberdeen is right-handed pitcher Juan Nunez.
Fabian is currently ranked as the Orioles’ No. 13 prospect by Baseball America and No. 15 via MLBPipeline.com. In 55 games with the IronBirds, he is batting .281/.392/.490/.882 with 13 doubles, nine homers, 35 runs, 19 steals and 43 RBIs. He was the No. 67 overall draft pick in 2022 out of the University of Florida.
Both Baseball America and MLBPipeline.com rank Prieto as the O's No. 16 prospect He moves to Triple-A after back-to-back three-hit games with Bowie that leave his Eastern League-leading batting average at .364 to go with a .406 OBP, a .476 slugging average and .882 OPS, which ranks ninth-best in the league. He has hit 12 doubles, one triple and four homers and driven in 29 runs while scoring 33.
Armbruester is the O’s No. 22 prospect per Baseball America and No. 30 via MLBPipeline. In 12 starts for Bowie, he has gone 3-2 with a 2.47 ERA. Over 62 innings, the club’s 12th-round pick in 2021 has allowed 52 hits with 19 walks, 43 strikeouts, a .228 average against and 1.15 WHIP. In his last Bowie start this week he allowed two runs over seven innings.
Pinto is the No. 28 O's prospect, per Baseball America, and has gone 1-1 with a 2.86 ERA over 12 starts for Aberdeen. In 50 1/3 innings he allowed 39 hits with 18 walks and 71 strikeouts with a .206 average against and 1.13 WHIP. The Orioles acquired him on Dec. 2, 2020 from the Los Angeles Angels with pitcher Garrett Stallings for shortstop José Iglesias.
Nunez is the Orioles' No. 29 prospect, per Baseball America, a 22-year-old right-hander from Azua, Dominican Republic. He was one of four pitchers the Orioles acquired from Minnesota late last summer for then-closer Jorge López. With the Shorebirds this year he has gone 0-4 with a 3.93 ERA over 13 games. In 55 innings he has allowed 44 hits with 26 walks, 72 strikeouts, a .218 average against and 1.27 WHIP.
Pham, the club’s 19th round pick in 2021 from the University of San Francisco, has had a big year for Aberdeen, going 3-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 12 starts. In 51 1/3 innings he allowed 29 hits with 25 walks, 76 strikeouts, a .163 average against and 1.05 WHIP.
Pham, 23, was recently named the Pitcher of the Month for May in the South Atlantic League. He went 2-0 with a 1.54 ERA over five starts, allowing just 10 hits in 23 1/3 innings with 12 walks, 34 strikeouts, a .128 average against and 0.94 WHIP for the month. He was also the O’s organization Pitcher of the Month.
Gillies has had a very strong year, flying a bit under the radar. He was the club’s 15th-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft out of Tulane University. He has gone 3-0 with an ERA of 0.54 with Aberdeen. In 16 2/3 innings he has allowed just two hits and one earned run with four walks and 27 strikeouts. That has produced a .038 batting average against and a 0.36 WHIP.
Charles, 26, an O’s non-roster invitee to spring training, has gone 2-1 with a 2.35 ERA for the Baysox. In 15 1/3 innings he has allowed just seven hits and five walks while notching 26 strikeouts.
At Wrigley Field today, the Orioles beat the Chicago Cubs 6-3 to improve to 44-27 and avoid a three-game sweep. They will be off Monday and open a series at first-place Tampa Bay on Tuesday night.