What’s better than having a top-rated farm system in baseball? Having it while competing for a playoff spot.
That’s what the Orioles now boast. Get you a club that can do both.
MLB Pipeline unveiled its midseason prospect list on Wednesday, and Baltimore’s Top 30 saw some fluctuating across the board, both due to newcomers and recent performances. Nine members are brand new to the organization, either via trade or Draft, with No. 1 overall pick Jackson Holliday the headliner.
That last nugget may be the most encouraging. The Orioles were widely seen to have amassed an impressive Draft class -- even despite not being able to sign third-round pick Nolan McLean -- as well as doing well in the prospects they added at the Trade Deadline, albeit for some quality Major League talent.
All continue to bolster what the club sees as “liftoff,” a 10-year window coming -- and one that might already be creaked open.
Here’s a look at the Orioles’ top prospects:
Here are the players whose ranks changed the most from the preseason list:
Jump: Gunnar Henderson, SS/3B (Preseason: 3 | Midseason: 1) -- The internal movement isn’t much given how high Henderson was already ranked, but consider his place in the greater baseball landscape. Henderson has ascended to the No. 2 prospect in the Top 100 after starting the year at No. 41, leapfrogging Rodriguez (who was hampered by his right lat injury) and making himself another can’t-miss prospect in the Orioles’ system. A torrid start to the year with Double-A Bowie began such hopes, and few if any hiccups with Triple-A Norfolk have continued them.
Fall: Braylin Tavera, SS (Preseason: 21 | Midseason: Unranked) -- The jewel of the Orioles’ last international signing class signed to a record bonus by the club, Tavera now finds himself off the Top 30 list. There are a couple aspects of Tavera’s game this year to like -- he owns a .402 OBP with 32 walks through his first 41 games -- but he has overall put up modest numbers in his first pro season at the Dominican Summer League. There’s still plenty of internal belief in Tavera, who’s just 17, but it’s something to monitor as he climbs the levels.
New to the list
Here are the players added to the Top 30 from outside the organization:
No. 3, Jackson Holliday, SS (No. 1 overall Draft pick)
No. 8, Dylan Beavers, OF (No. 33 overall Draft pick)
No. 11, Seth Johnson, RHP (Acquired in Trey Mancini trade)
No. 14, Chayce McDermott, RHP (Acquired in Trey Mancini trade)
No. 15, Cade Povich, LHP (Acquired in Jorge López trade)
No. 17, Max Wagner, 3B (No. 42 overall Draft pick)
No. 25, Jud Fabian, OF (No. 67 overall Draft pick)
No. 27, Silas Ardoin, C (No. 107 overall Draft pick)
No. 29, Carter Young, SS (No. 497 overall Draft pick)
Henderson, SS/3B (No. 1/MLB No. 2)
A fully healthy Rodriguez might have been the choice (and might still be), though a fully healthy Rodriguez might have been in the big leagues already and not up for consideration here. Henderson has adjusted to Triple-A quite nicely, with a .902 OPS over 51 games at age 21. He could be an offensive upgrade at either spot on the left side of the infield.
Players are graded on a 20-80 scouting scale for future tools -- 20-30 is well below average, 40 is below average, 50 is average, 60 is above average and 70-80 is well above average. Players in parentheses have the same grade.
Hit -- 60, Jackson Holliday (Gunnar Henderson, Colton Cowser)
Power -- 60, Gunnar Henderson (Coby Mayo, Kyle Stowers, Jud Fabian)
Run -- 60, Jackson Holliday (Hudson Haskin)
Arm -- 70, Coby Mayo
Field -- 65, Joseph Ortiz
Fastball -- 70, Grayson Rodriguez
Curveball -- 55, DL Hall (Chayce McDermott, Carter Baumler)
Slider -- 60, Grayson Rodriguez (Mike Baumann)
Changeup -- 70, Grayson Rodriguez
Control -- 60, Grayson Rodriguez