7 prospects that could debut for O’s in 2023

As we are now less than 100 days until Opening Day of the 2023 season, it’s time to discuss possible MLB debuts for a young Orioles team.

With the consensus top farm system in baseball, the Orioles have a lot of exciting prospects on the rise.

Here are seven players that are on the lookout for a 2023 MLB debut for the Orioles.

Grayson Rodriguez

Grayson Rodriguez is the most likely prospect expected to make the 2023 Opening Day roster for the O’s.

Rodriguez, the No. 2 O’s prospect, had a minor setback in 2022 due to a lat injury, but he is still arguably the best right-handed pitching prospect in all of baseball.

The 2018 first-round pick has been waiting for his moment, but because of his recent injury and the pandemic, his time has been delayed. After an incredible 2021 where he had a 9-1 record and a 2.36 ERA in 23 starts, Rodriguez did not disappoint in 2022.

Gray-Rod took a step back with pitching in 17 games between Aberdeen, Bowie and Norfolk. He had a 6-2 record with a 2.62 ERA, pitched 75.2 innings, gave up 47 hits and 22 earned runs, walked 28 batters and struck out 109. He also had a 2.20 ERA in 14 games started for Triple-A Norfolk.

Rodriguez would possibly be the ace of the 2023 Orioles rotation, with Kyle Bradish, Kyle Gibson and Dean Kremer (we don’t know who has that fifth starting pitcher spot yet).

Jordan Westburg

The 2020 30th overall pick is possibly an answer to a question that Oriole fans have. Who do we put at third base? My answer: Jordan Westburg.

Westburg spent time between Bowie and Norfolk in 2022, and he did not disappoint. Slashing .265/.355/.496 with a .851 OPS in 138 games, Westburg had 144 total hits, 39 doubles, three triples and 27 home runs and also knocked in 106 RBIs, walked 70 times and stole 12 bases.

Westburg is not only an offensive threat, but can really field his position, wherever you pencil him in. He is a 97.5% fielder, and even though he made 17 errors, thanks to Jorge Mateo, we see that errors don’t mean much when it comes to being a good defender.

The O’s No. 5 prospect would be a very solid option to put at third base. However, most people envision him manning second base whenever he makes his debut.

Colton Cowser

Colton Cowser really came on the scene in 2022. The fifth overall pick of the 2021 MLB draft had a stellar 2022 minor league season, moving between three levels.

Cowser split time between Aberdeen, Bowie and Norfolk during the 2022 season, and while he started a little slow, his Baysox season was possibly one of the best MiLB seasons of 2022. In Bowie, Cowser slashed .341/.469/.568 with a 1.037 OPS and had 60 total hits, 10 doubles and 10 home runs in 49 games.

Cowser, in the entirety of his 2022 season, slashed .278/.406/.469 with a .875 OPS. In 138 games, he had 142 total hits, 36 doubles, two triples and 19 home runs

The O’s No. 4 prospect also knocked in 66 RBIs, walked 94 times and stole 18 bases.

Joey Ortiz

The 2019 fourth-round pick was the Orioles 2022 MiLB hits leader and showed that he has not only a defensive side but also a potent offensive side.

Joey Ortiz spent time between Bowie and Norfolk and had a true breakout season. Slashing .284/.349/.477 with a .826 OPS in 137 games, he had 153 total hits, 35 doubles, six triples and 19 home runs.

The O’s No. 17 prospect also knocked in 85 RBIS, walked 50 times and stole eight bases.

Ortiz would be a huge defensive asset for the Orioles and would fit perfectly as a last-minute defensive shift at the end of close games.

Connor Norby

The 2022 Orioles MiLB home run leader, Connor Norby, is highly expected to debut in 2023.

The 2021 second-round pick had a 2022 season to remember and showed off his incredible power. The team’s No. 11 prospect split his year between Aberdeen, Bowie and Norfolk and made a huge impact wherever he landed.

Norby slashed .279/.360/.523 with a .886 OPS in 121 games. He had 133 total hits, 23 doubles, four triples and 29 home runs, while knocking in 73 RBIs, walking 55 times and stealing 16 bases.

With the Orioles having trade rumors with Jorge Mateo, there is a possibility that any of the infielders mentioned make their debuts early in the 2023 season.

Drew Rom

Maybe the pitcher with the funkiest delivery in the O’s farm system, Drew Rom has a shot to crack the big leagues in 2023 after being selected and placed on the 40-man roster earlier this offseason.

Splitting time between Bowie and Norfolk, Rom had very similar results at each level. Holding an ERA around 4.00 in each affiliate, Rom collected a total of 144 strikeouts to just 47 walks in 2022.

The home run ball was something to be worked on for the crafty lefty, as he gave up 10 and 59 total earned runs between Double-A and Triple-A.

The O’s No. 19 prospect will most likely begin the year in Norfolk, but if he has a strong spring, Rom could make the big league roster at some point in 2023.

Justin Armbruester

This is someone we might catch fire for, but he’s a pitcher that is falling under the radar.

A 12th-round pick in 2021, Justin Armbruester’s first complete season was underrated, to say the least. The O’s No. 30 prospect spent time between Aberdeen and Bowie and had a season of high potential.

Armbruester went 6-2 in 26 total games but started in 22 of them. He had a 3.85 ERA in 117 innings pitched and gave up 91 hits, 50 earned runs, walked 34 batters and struck out 126.

Armbruester would fit as a Tyler Wells or Austin Voth type of spot, where he could spot start if needed or could be a long reliever in the bullpen. It might be a longshot, but Armbruester deserves his chance.

And there it is, seven prospects that could debut in 2023 for the Orioles. Obviously, no one could predict the future, but we can certainly take an educated guess.

Who do you think will debut for the O’s this year? 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!

Like Zack’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @Zackattack8211

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