We all know that the Orioles’ farm system is loaded with talent. Adley Rutschman and Grayson Rodriguez are at the top of the minor leagues. D.L. Hall and Jahmai Jones bring hope to the fan base. Even Kyle Stowers has shown amazing improvement this year.
And beyond them and others, there is another bat that has come out of the woodwork in 2021. He is Robert Neustrom. Don’t forget that name!
Drafted back in 2018, Neustrom was a fifth round pick out of the University of Iowa. Weighing in at six-feet-two inches and 208 pounds, this is a big 24-year-old. While in college, the young outfielder was never a power threat; however, his on base and strikeout rates were impressive.
In his first two seasons in 2018 and 2019 in the Orioles’ minor league system, that didn’t change. Although the strikeouts rose a little bit (117 in those two seasons), his batting average never dipped under .250 to end either season, and his OBP never fell to under .313.
As we have seen a lot more of Neustrom in 2021, we are getting to see the electricity this kid brings to the field.
Neustrom played in 62 games in Double-A Bowie this year, before his recent promotion to Triple-A Norfolk. In that time with Bowie, Neustrom was one of their top players. When he was sent to Norfolk, he held a slash line of .284/.364/.467 and an OPS of .831. With nine home runs, we can imagine how that power will translate into Camden Yards from the left side.
Fun Fact: This home run above would have been the longest in Camden Yards history, at an astounding 476 feet!
What impresses me with Nurstrom, and it’s something we saw in almost every draft pick this year, is his ability to get on base. He can certainly hit home runs, although he won’t be your guy that’s chasing a league-lead. But instead of being a two-outcome guy, he has figured out how to produce the offense in other ways. In his 69 total games this year between Bowie and Norfolk, he has just 49 Ks to 31 walks. He has speed too, stealing seven bases on the year so far.
The production also comes down to timely hitting. He currently has more RBI than he does strikeouts (54 RBI to 49 Ks). The reason that is so hopeful sitting in our farm system is our current team, and a majority of MLB teams in general, just don’t have guys who can work a strike one like Neustrom.
Like I said, Neustrom was recently promoted to Triple-A Norfolk, and it was much deserved. A lot of times, players will struggle when they first move up, but this hasn’t been the case for Neustrom so far. He’s had maybe the best stretch of any seven games so far this year in his first seven with Norfolk. He already has four RBI, with two home runs and a .976 OPS. And folks, he’s not even a top-30 prospect for the O’s. It shows just how deep the farm is for Baltimore!
Keep your eye on this kid in Norfolk, as in my prediction, it won’t be to long until we see him in orange and black!
What do you think of young outfielder, Robert Neustrom? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and follow our podcast, The Walk-Off, on YouTube and Spotify! And, make sure to use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content to show your Birdland swag!