Familiar Territory: O’s farm system ranked #1 yet again.
MLB Pipeline updated their farm system rankings early Wednesday morning. For the fifth straight week, the Baltimore Orioles farm system was ranked #1 in the league. This should come as a surprise to none, as the Orioles farm system is littered with talent across all levels.
Let’s take a look at how some of these prospects have been performing. O’s #5 prospect (#50 overall) Samuel Basallo was recently called up to High-A Aberdeen last week. Since his promotion, Basallo has collected four extra base hits (including a home run), walked six times, and has seven RBI. Basallo has also contributed behind the plate for the Aberdeen IronBirds. His projected ETA to the majors is in 2025, and he’ll look to make an immediate impact backing up Adley Rutschman.
A prospect getting more headlines is Heston Kjerstad (#3 O’s prospect, #25 overall). Kjerstad’s ETA to Baltimore is 2024, but he’s showing he could be a potential September call-up candidate. In 53 games with the triple-A Norfolk Tides, Kjerstad is slashing .320/.387/.547 with an OPS of .934. He’s also collected 27 extra base hits (8 home runs), and has batted in 23 runs. Watch out for Heston Kjerstad in right field if Anthony Santander can’t figure it out at the plate later on.
Kjerstad’s teammate Coby Mayo (#4 O’s prospect, #28 overall) could also be joining the big-league club soon. Mayo hasn’t quite found his stride in triple-A. In 27 games he’s batting .198/.283/.407. His power numbers are encouraging, however. Out of his 18 hits, 3 of them are home runs, and 12 of them have gone for extra bases. Mayo has also batted in 21 runs and walked 10 times. If he’s given time to figure it out, Mayo will find himself in the majors shortly after. He’s mashed at every other level, and some prospects take more time than others. Take Gunnar Henderson for example. Through the first month of the season, he only hit .191. After seeing major league pitching, he took off in June and hit over .300.
This season has brought lots of excitement to the city of Baltimore and their fans. The major league club is 74-46 and is the best team in the AL. What should bring more excitement to the fans is how this success can be sustained. Unlike other teams who are flashes in the pan with big-name free agents, the Orioles have grown their brand with young talent. Over the next five years, more prospects will come to the majors, and the Orioles will be in contention for the division for years to come.