Now another outlet has been heard from. Keith Law released his top 100 prospects list on Monday via The Athletic and six Orioles populate his list. Where once that would have been a haul for the Orioles, six is actually the fewest number they have on any major list out thus far.
Gunnar Henderson, the No. 1 ranked prospect per Baseball America, MLBPipeline.com and Baseball Prospectus, is No. 2 via The Athletic. Arizona outfield prospect Corbin Carroll is ranked No. 1. Henderson was No. 73 on The Athletic top 100 before the 2022 season.
Click here to check out the list (subscription may be required).
Here is the rundown for the Orioles, who have had 10 players get mentioned on at least one of the four lists. I will list going left to right how players have been ranked by Baseball America/Baseball Prospectus/MLBPipeline.com/The Athletic.
* Gunnar Henderson ranked 1/1/1/2
* Grayson Rodriguez ranked 6/8/7/15
* Jackson Holliday ranked 15/9/12/19
* Colton Cowser ranked 41/38/40/NR
* DL Hall ranked 75/95/97/84
* Jordan Westburg ranked 76/74/74/73
* Connor Norby ranked 93/82/NR/NR
* Joey Ortiz ranked 95/NR/99/95
* Coby Mayo ranked NR/69/NR/NR
* Heston Kjerstad ranked NR/NR/80/NR
I don’t want to give away something beyond a pay wall, but hopefully The Athletic would be okay with me passing on this Law quote about Henderson: “Henderson has made incredible strides as a player even just in the past two years, from swing adjustments to physical development to going from a raw athlete on defense to a potentially elite glove at third base who can stay at shortstop too.”
Law is quite bullish on Henderson’s glove, particularly at third base where he believes he can be at least a 70-grade defender which seems about Gold Glove caliber at the hot corner.
Law’s report on Rodriguez had him touching 99 mph last year with a plus changeup, although he noted some scouts see Rodriguez more of a strong No. 2 rather than a No. 1.
Law noted that Holliday began the 2022 season projected to be a late first-round pick and improved to make his way to the top of the board. He sees him topping out as a 20-to-25 homer guy. The power tool seems to get the lowest grades for Holliday, even though he gets plus grades for that.
Holliday told me for a story that will be in this space later that he’s spent time working with O’s coaches this offseason on a more consistent launch angle and hitting more balls that with a lower trajectory, will more carry out of the ballpark.
So, this was another nice haul for the Orioles, even though they got eight players each on the other three lists previously released.
But rather than worry or be critical here, I will remind the fans that seeing 10 players recognized as top 100 caliber is pretty amazing. And also, that these rankings, while fun and meaningful to some, will not determine if a player makes the majors and how he does when he gets there.
Lefty John Means is the best example I can think of. He was never even ranked on one Baseball America O’s top 30 list, and I think just briefly made the back end of the club's top 30 list once via MLBPipeline.
O’Day hangs it up: On Nov. 2, 2011, the Orioles acquired right-hander Darren O’Day on waivers from the Texas Rangers. That move worked out well as O’Day was an Oriole for the next seven seasons. He put up outstanding numbers wearing the Orange and Black and pitched in the playoffs.
O’Day, throwing from the low submarine arm slot, went 28-14 with an ERA of 2.40 and 0.994 WHIP. He fanned 10.2 per nine with the Orioles and his Baltimore career ERA+ was an impressive 174.
He was very good for the Orioles, and we note this as he announced his retirement from MLB yesterday after pitching since 2008 in the majors for six teams. Not bad for a pitcher that was not drafted by any team coming out of the University of Florida. O’Day threw 61 percent of his 609 career innings in the majors for the Orioles.
He came up big for the club time after time, always getting out tough right-handed hitters like his buddy, Toronto's Jose Bautista. And seemingly always able to wriggle out of bases-loaded jams. It was an O’Day specialty.
He was very well respected in the Orioles clubhouse and was a team leader, even with position players. He was a go to guy for the media. He seemed to enjoy the banter with reporters and was almost always available and very quotable too.
Here’s wishing O'Day, a class act, well. He’ll be missed by fans on the field and those with notepads and mics for his work after the games.
The journey to spring training begins: The Von Paris moving vans have loaded Orioles equipment at Oriole Park and headed south to Sarasota, Fla. for spring training. The journey began yesterday.
The trucks, which are carrying 320 uniforms, 300 hats, and 10 pitching machines, will travel 1,000 miles before arriving at the Ed Smith Stadium complex early next week. Also making the trip to Sarasota are 800 cases of baseballs and 300 bats.
The 2023 season will mark the Orioles’ 14th spring season in Sarasota and the club’s 13th year at the renovated Ed Smith Stadium.
Spring Training games are slated to begin Saturday, Feb. 25, as the Orioles host the Minnesota Twins. Tickets are currently on-sale for all 17 Spring Training home games in Sarasota, which fans can purchase online at Orioles.com/SpringTickets.
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