Orioles 2023 projected starting lineup & player stats

One of the most fun parts of the MLB offseason is when we look into our imaginary crystal ball and predict the future.

Of course, there are so many of us who enjoy this past time that we jump at the opportunity to play the game.  

We always want to be correct, but ideally, we would like to be more-or-less in the ballpark, mainly because we have so many factors that we can’t predict that can change these projections in various ways.  

Keeping that in mind, we will take a journey into my new crystal ball and see what the projected 2023 Orioles starting lineup and season stats will look like for our beloved Birds.

Quick disclaimer, the crystal ball does not include any ultimate trades that could transpire or long-term injuries that could throw a wrench into any projections. So, without further ado, let’s get started.

1. Cedric Mullins – CF

Cedric Mullins will reclaim his spot atop the Orioles’ lineup once again in 2023. After finishing second in the American League in stolen bases (behind Jorge Mateo), the speedy center fielder looks to log another 20-plus stolen base season, which would be his third straight.

Another area in which we are going to see a small improvement will be in the home run department. Two seasons ago, Mullins hit 30 long balls and saw a drop off to 16 last season. 

Mullins’ strikeout and walk numbers were very similar, as he did play three less games and recorded 18 less hits, although he still led the team in total hits. With back-to-back strong seasons, we look for Mullins to bounce back and see his production increase from last season. 

PROJECTIONG: 157 H: 166 R: 90 H: 166  2B: 32 3B: 5 RBI: 65 BB: 70  SO: 130 SB: 26 BA: .274 OBP: .381 SLG: .442 OPS: .823

2. Adley Rutschman – C

Rutschman was everything and more when he debuted for the O’s last season. Helping turn the club around, the Birds would go 67-55 with Rutschman on the 26-man roster.

The star rookie would play in 113 games, leading the club with 35 doubles, which broke Cal Ripken Jr.’s Orioles rookie record, and 17 defensive runs saved. 

A full season of Rutschman will show the baseball world just how good he is and will be. While some of those doubles will be home runs, there should be increases in his statistics across the board.

PROJECTIONG: 141 AB: 564 R: 87 H: 144 2B: 39 3B: 1 HR: 21 RBI: 72 BB: 73 SO: 107 SB: 5 BA: .254 OBP: .382 SLG: .620 OPS: 1.002

3. Gunnar Henderson – 3B

The early season AL Rookie of the Year favorite, Gunnar Henderson, had a 34-game display for Birdland and the rest of baseball to see.  

Displaying above average defense with range, quickness and a strong arm, the athletic Henderson also showcased his offensive abilities by slugging .440 with a .348 on-base percentage in 116 at-bats. 

What will 2023 bring for the top prospect? Batting in the prime spot in the lineup should allow Henderson to flourish, as he teams up with Rutschman to form a dangerous duo at the top. 

PROJECTIONG: 146 AB: 584 R: 60 H: 151 2B: 35 3B: 4 HR: 20 RBI: 77 BB: 68 SO: 141 SB: 17 BA: .259 OBP: .375 SLG: .635 OPS: 1.010

4. Anthony Santander – DH/OF

Santander broke out big last season to the tune of a team-leading 33 home runs. He would also lead the team in RBIs, slugging percentage and total bases.

The former Rule 5 Draft pick has shown his ability to drive the ball as well as come through with runners on base.  

Though many would like to see a more consistent approach to the plate, Santander should slot in as the designated hitter and clean-up hitter, who can slot into the outfield as needed. 

PROJECTIONSG: 131 AB: 458 R: 63 H: 112 2B: 24 3B: 0 HR: 26 RBI: 71 BB: 34 SO: 109 SB: 0 BA: .244 OBP: .319 SLG: .513 OPS: 832

5. Ryan Mountcastle – 1B

Lord Mountcastle had an off year by some standards, but many people forget that 2022 was only his second full season. 

The former shortstop turned first baseman still hit 22 long balls while setting career-highs in games played, hits, doubles and walks. 

Mountcastle also played Gold-Glove-caliber defense, though the amount of top first basemen in the AL made Mountcastle one of the “under the radar” players heading into 2023. Surrounded by talent, 2023 might see a breakout campaign by the former first-round pick.

PROJECTIONSG: 145 AB: 507 R: 68 H: 133 2B: 24 3B: 0 HR: 28 RBI: 88 BB: 43 SO: 154 SB: 4 BA: .262 OBP: .347 SLG: .580 OPS: .927

6. Austin Hays – OF

The talented Austin Hays has made a name for himself, more so on the defensive side due to his strong arm and ability to cover any outfield spot. Hays would have only one error last season while also picking up eight outfield assists. 

On the offensive side of things, Hays set career-highs in games played, hits, doubles and walks. 

Remaining healthy will be Hays’ biggest challenge going forward, as he has visited the injured list each year in the majors. With young outfielders knocking on the door, this is a make or break year for Hays.

PROJECTIONSG: 140 AB: 462 R: 70 H: 119 2B: 26 3B: 2 HR: 14  RBI: 65  BB: 32  SO: 110 SB: 4 BA: .258 OBP: .327 SLG: .478 OPS: .805

7. Kyle Stowers – DH/OF

The young rookie from the same draft class as Rutschman and Henderson arrived on the scene for the Orioles for good in mid-August.

Over the 34 games that Stowers played, he showed why he was a top prospect and a threat to becoming a consistent and strong corner outfielder for the Orioles.

Though he seems to be the forgotten one this season, he will gladly take that in stride as he sneaks up on everyone.

PROJECTIONSG: 128 AB: 346 R: 42 H: 85 2B: 15 3B: 3 HR: 13 RBI: 42 BB: 19 SO: 109 AVG: .246 OBP: .301 SLG: .363 OPS: .664

8. Adam Frazier – 2B

The biggest acquisition of the offseason, Adam Frazier brings some stability to the second base position.

The scrappy lefty brings a steady defense to the Orioles and provides a strong, consistent upgrade offensively from Rougned Odor.

Providing some speed and a .273 career average, Frazier can be a sneaky pick-up that can help the Orioles solidify the right side of the infield.

PROJECTIONSG: 117 AB: 318 R: 53 H: 88 2B: 17 3B: 3 HR: 6 RBI: 36 BB: 32 SO: 55 SB: 6 BA: .264 OBP: .377 SLG: .308 OPS: .685

9. Jorge Mateo – SS

The athletic Jorge Mateo broke out in a big way last season, his first as a full-time position player.

Not only did Mateo lead shortstops in the AL in defensive runs saved with 14, but he turned heads with his slick fielding, quick instincts and strong arm on way to receiving the Fielding Bible Award.

As fun as Mateo was to watch defensively, his speed was a weapon on offense, as he would lead the AL in stolen bases with 35.

As talented as Mateo is, he will need to lower his strikeout rate while raising his walk rate. He possesses raw power, as he hit 13 home runs last season, but to take the next step, Mateo will need to increase his .267 career OBP.

PROJECTIONSG: 138 AB: 370 R: 50 H: 90 2B: 23 3B: 5 HR: 10 RBI: 38 BB: 20 SO: 121 SB: 26 AVG: .243 OBP: .297 SLG: .383 OPS: .680


Based on the projections above, you can see that the Orioles should have an exciting lineup from top to bottom. Of course, this doesn’t include players such as Ryan McKenna, Ramón Urías, Terrin Vavra or James McCann, but you can be sure the bench will be contributing just as well.

Once again, these are only projections and do not include any long-term adjustments due to slumps, injuries, trades or prospects being brought up.

The fun part will be revisiting this after the season to see how accurate these projections were and how close we came to being correct.

What do you think about these projections of the O’s starting lineup? 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 Stephen’s content? Follow him on Twitter – @SRJHeckman

10 thoughts on “Orioles 2023 projected starting lineup & player stats

  1. Maybe it’s a case of too much,too soon,but I see Adley having an MVP year not only for the O’s, but league wise.
    I also see Hayes and/or Mountcastle as players to be dealt at the trade deadline for that elusive mound stud.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can agree with Adley. He was already tabbed as the best catcher in the league.
      As for Hays, I can see him dealt, but Mountcastle is a fixture. It is only his 3rd season, so there should be a big bounce back. There’s more upside keeping him than letting him go, especially with the depth we have in prospects ready to hit the majors

      Like

    2. I can’t understand why so many of our fans are so willing to trade Mountcastle. I see this man being one of the premier bats in the game for the better part of the next decade. They need to lock him up as soon as possible.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree with you. I think fans forget he is going into his 3rd big league season. We have been hearing about him so much longer it seems like he has been playing in the bigs alot longer than he has. I think he has a breakout season this year and people start singing a different tune

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  2. No problems with your lineup,however I’d love to see Vavra take 2nd base and run with it.

    I still don’t get the point of the Frazier signing? Ibelieve Henderson is going to be moved to shortstop eventually with Westburg showing up to man 3rd … or visa versa. If Mateo has a future, I only see 2nd base as a viable option for him.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’d like to see Vavra become an everyday player but I think that Westburg or Ortiz might make it to 2B first.

      Henderson will stay at third due to the fact that Holliday was drafted to be the future Short Stop. Mateo needs an increase in offensive production to maintain his spot as an everyday player, but I see us having Mateo this year and possibly next depending on Holliday’s progression and growth.

      Friazer was a place holder who fits as a INF/OF player as a lefty bat. He will platoon with Urías and provide a steady presence in line-up. He has speed and a career .273 hitter makes him a cheap option who can be traded at deadline if he excels.

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      1. I’m thinking a bit more in the moment than I believe you are. I’m wanting to win this year, not next. Elias’ has held this team back for too long already. Honestly, I don’t see why a run at the AL East isn’t possible in ’23. Just have to pave some of the pitching fall into place, and stranger things than that have happened.
        As far this year … Holliday more likely than not, won’t show up until at least 2025, or more likely 2026, if at all. Westburg and Vavra should contribute immediately. Let’s see what they have.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m anxious to see the youngens take the next step. Bradish was really strong in his last 10 starts, 3-3 with less than 3.00 ERA. Kremer took a big step forward, so it’ll be nice to see if he can continue that. Tyler Wells should continue his growth and we have Greyson who should be a part of rotation. There’s a lot to be intrigued by but I do believe if any more pitching comes it’ll be via trade. I wouldn’t mind Wacha, but I don’t foresee it happening unless it’s a cheap deal

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