The Baltimore Orioles Start Spring Training

Birdland got their first look at the highly-rated Jackson Holliday against the Twins

The Baltimore Orioles opened their Spring Training schedule with a bang, notching a 10-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins. The game saw the debut of many exciting prospects including 2022 first overall pick Jackson Holliday. On MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospect list, Holliday is ranked thirteenth. Fangraphs is even higher on Holliday: ranking him ninth on their top 100 prospect list. 

Holliday’s inclusion on the Spring Training roster, while surprising, was certainly merited. The 19-year-old hit a double in his first and only plate appearance of the day after he took over at shortstop for Joey Ortiz.

Ortiz had a similarly impressive day; in his first outing for the O’s he hit a RBI triple while flashing the leather a couple times at SS. Ortiz is a player who could potentially make the opening day roster, but a crowded infield at Camden Yards may mean he starts the year in Norfolk.

INF Cesar Prieto had a fantastic day as well; the 23-year-old was perfect in his ABs and recorded two RBIs. Prieto, a Cuban international signee, absolutely raked in the Cuban National Series. Prieto will start the year in Bowie where he will look to improve on his slashline of .255/.296/.348 that he recorded in 2022 with the club.

Big league 2B Terrin Vavra looked sharp too. He went 2/3 on the day with a home run, double, and two RBIs. Vavra often felt like the odd man out in the clubhouse last year, but if he can continue to perform consistently this Spring he could solidify his place with the Orioles’ major league club.

Left-hander Drew Rom was the starting pitcher for the Orioles, and in two innings of work he recorded two strikeouts, one walk, and one earned run. Rom is a player to keep an eye on when he (presumably) returns to AAA Norfolk to start the year. 

The showstopper however was Heston Kjerstad who went 3/3 in his ABs with two homers and a single. Kjerstad, who missed over two years due to a myocarditis scare, played out of his mind to start 2022. The former second overall pick slashed .463/.551/.650 in his brief time with Single-A Delmarva, before his swift promotion to A+ Aberdeen. He cooled off somewhat in his time with the Ironbirds, but returned to form during Fall League play. Playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions, Kjerstad batted .357/.385/.622 while hitting five home runs in just twenty-two games. 

With all the young talent the Orioles possess, this Spring Training will serve as a fantastic opportunity to watch how prospects are developing. Other names to keep an eye on include, (but are not limited to), 3B Coby Mayo, LHP Cade Povich, INF Jordan Westburg, utility man Connor Norby, and OF Colton Cowser. These players have all impressed in the Minors, and have at least a chance of appearing for the Orioles in 2023. 

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Tatiana Bird

I love talking, writing, and arguing about the O's. Follow me on twitter @TheNotoriousTGB

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