In new Baseball America top 100, O’s have top pitcher and catcher

Baseball America released an updated top 100 prospects list today and the Orioles organization now features the top-rated catcher in Adley Rutschman at No. 2 and the top-rated pitcher, with right-hander Grayson Rodriguez at No. 11.

For a Double-A Bowie team that is 21-7, Rutschman is batting .293/.450/.586/1.035 with five doubles, eight homers and 22 RBIs. He has walked more than he has struck out, 26 times to 24. His name is all over the Double-A Northeast leaders. He’s second in OBP, third in homers and tied for third in RBIs, while ranking fourth in slugging and OPS, and ninth in batting average.

Rutschman remains at No. 2 on this list with Tampa Bay shortstop Wander Franco at No. 1.

Thumbnail image for Rodriguez-Follows-Through-sidebar.jpgRodriguez, 21, recently promoted from high Single-A Aberdeen to Bowie, is 4-0 with a 1.59 ERA through six starts, the first five with the IronBirds. Over 28 1/3 innings, he has allowed 15 hits with seven walks to 48 strikeouts. He has a WHIP of 0.78 and a .152 batting average against.

With a strikeout rate of 15.25 per nine innings, Rodriguez ranks 10th in all of Minor League Baseball, one spot behind his Bowie teammate, lefty DL Hall, who is ninth at 15.33 strikeouts per nine. Rodriguez’s next outing is set for Tuesday night when Bowie plays at Binghamton. Rodriguez was No. 17 in the last Baseball America top 100.

Hall is now rated No. 44, up from No. 51. In six starts for Bowie, he is 2-0 with a 2.67 ERA. Over 27 innings he has allowed 15 hits with 12 walks to 46 strikeouts. He has a WHIP of 1.00 and a .160 batting average against.

Outfielder Heston Kjerstad, the second overall selection in the 2020 draft, is now ranked No. 78, down from No. 53 previously.

He was diagnosed with myocarditis and has been working out in Sarasota, Fla., with no timeline yet to begin playing in games.

“There hasn’t been much to report,” O’s executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said of Kjerstad on May 19. “I feel it’s appropriate to emphasize again that this is a very tricky condition that he’s coming out of. It involves the heart muscle, very serious in that regard, and it’s something that we’re going to have to take very slowly and methodically and carefully. And it’s probably going to take some time, but we’ve got all hands on deck to make sure this goes well.

“He’s got every medical resource available to him, world-class, and he’s got a great head on his shoulders and he’s a very determined, disciplined kid, so it all projects well. But we’re not going to rush anything and this is certainly not something that I’ve had a lot of experience with and it’s not something that happens a lot in baseball, so there’s not a real precise timeline we can put on something like this.”

Infielder Gunnar Henderson is now rated No. 90, the same as last time. He is batting .314/.379/.618/.997 with seven doubles, eight homers and 35 RBIs for low Single-A Delmarva. His RBI total is both tied for first in his Low-A East and for first in all of Minor League Baseball. He ranks second in his league in homers, seventh in slugging and 11th in OPS.

The Orioles’ four full-season farm clubs have a combined record of 70-43 (.619) and are all off today. Triple-A Norfolk is 10-18 and Bowie is 21-7, with Aberdeen at 19-9 and Delmarva at 20-9.

Here is the new Baseball America top 100 (subscription may be required).

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