The newest promotion within the Orioles’ farm system is one that may bring a little more excitement than most.
At the beginning of the year, it was unclear what we would see from left-handed slugger Heston Kjerstad. So far, we have a much better picture.
After just 22 games in Low-A Delmarva, it was very clear Kjerstad was not being challenged at all. It’s almost like that time off due to dealing with myocarditis didn’t effect him at all.
In his 80 at-bats in Delmarva, Kjerstad hit safely 37 times, 11 of which were for extra bases, and finished with a slash line of .463/.551/.650 and a 1.201 OPS. That’s simply incredible.
Even with those beautiful numbers, it gets even better when you dive deeper. He leaves Delmarva with a 19-game on-base streak, where he had a hit-streak in the first 14 games. Only one of his 22 games saw Kjerstad not reach base at all.
In 13 of those 22 games, Kjerstad registered multiple hits and only struck out more than once one single time.
Defensively, Kjerstad has impressed as well, which is big considering how densely packed the Orioles outfield prospect pool currently stands. He has made a bunch of great plays, while committing just two errors in 131 innings in right field. He does have one outfield assist to his name as well.
It is always expected for a prospect to struggle a bit as he progresses through the minors, but do not be surprised to see a lick of that as Kjerstad makes his way to High-A Aberdeen. Premier college bats tend to have a better time in the minors, and one at 23 years old like Kjerstad has shown his plate approach is one that already surpasses the level of High-A.
If you are in the area to get to Aberdeen, I would highly recommend doing so. Kjerstad is one of the top prospects in the O’s system, and it is likely he will not spend much time with the Ironbirds if his upward trend continues.
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