Every off-season, MLB prospects from all 30 teams go off to different offseason programs to stay crisp and have extra practice to get ready for the next season.
One of the biggest programs is the Arizona Fall League. This year, two Baltimore Orioles prospects dominated the 2022 AFL season.
MVP! MVP! MVP! Yes, the 2022 Arizona Fall League MVP was Baltimore’s own, Heston Kjerstad.
After a rough start to his professional career based on illness and a COVID year, Heston made it worth his while to participate in the Arizona Fall League this season.
The former No. 2 overall pick slashed an impressive .357/.385/.622 with a 1.007 OPS. He had nine doubles, one triple, five home runs and 17 RBIs.
He also placed second in the AFL Home Run Derby and was an AFL All-Star Game Starter. The big left-handed bat will use this amazing AFL season and carry it over to the 2023 minor league season, and we might possibly see him be a late September call-up in Baltimore.
An undrafted superstar in the making, starting pitcher Noah Denoyer had an injury filled second half of the minor league season and decided to join the AFL to get some extra work in.
Denoyer started in five of the six games he pitched, hosting a 3-1 record with a 4.50 ERA in 20 total innings. He gave up 10 earned runs, walked 11 batters and struck out 21.
Denoyer was also named the starting pitcher for the AFL All-Star Game. This comes to show that a healthy Denoyer is the undrafted rookie we expected to see.
The Orioles had five other prospects that participated in the AFL league this year. Below is a list of those five players and the stats they had for the fall.
- INF César Prieto – .189/.267/.358, .625 OPS, two doubles, two triples, one home run, nine RBIs
- OF Reed Trimble – .244/.375/.333, .708 OPS, four doubles, five RBIs, nine walks, three stolen bases
- LHP Easton Lucas – 10 games, 2-1, 11 innings pitched, 3.27 ERA, four earned runs, seven walks, 14 strikeouts
- RHP Nolan Hoffman – 10 games, 0-0, 12.1 innings pitched, 3.65 ERA, five earned runs, two walks, 17 strikeouts
- RHP Nick Richmond – nine games, 1-1, nine innings pitched, 13.00 ERA, 13 earned runs, eight walks, nine strikeouts
So, there we have it. Two prospects who showed us a possibility of domination for the 2023 MiLB season and five prospects who are trying to up their chances at a Baltimore Orioles roster spot in the near future.
Who stood out to you this fall in the AFL? Let us know in the comments below! And make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content!
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