Comparing Orioles prospects to current MLB players

Being a prospect always comes with the “What if?” tangibility as the young hopefuls progress towards the majors.

Some prospects make it and go on to have strong, productive, big league careers. Others come in with fanfare and fizzle out either well before or shortly after making their major league debut.

To have a little fun, we’ve decided to take some of the Orioles’ top prospects and see which current MLB player they resemble the most. Now, this isn’t to say they are 100% exact, but they hold traits, characteristics and other attributes that make this comparison.

Let’s jump in and see how this pans out:

Jackson Holliday: Comp – Bryce Harper

The 2022 first overall pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, Jackson Holliday, comes in with five-star tools and projects to be the future shortstop of the Orioles.

Looking at his makeup, the one player that Holliday reminds us of the most is Philadelphia Phillies outfielder, Bryce Harper.

The first thing that jumps out is the approach to hitting. Both Holliday and Harper have a similar stance, swing and quick wrists.

From the leg kick, the push of the hips and the follow through, their swing generates power, line drives to the outfield gaps and forces their head down on the ball.

Holliday also has a penchant for going all out in his play, as he doesn’t take a play off. He is always watching what is going on, and his early knowledge of the game gives him a leg up on most of his fellow prospects, thanks to his family history in the sport.

Projected to hit the majors in 2025, Holliday has the tools and talent to move that timeline up and be a big presence in a lineup that will feature the likes of Adley Rutschman and Gunnar Henderson.

Grayson Rodriguez: Comp – Jacob deGrom

The top right-handed pitcher in the minors over the last two seasons, Grayson Rodriguez, is set to make his big league debut this season.

Rodriguez possesses an over-powering fastball, one of the best changeups in the minors and an above average curveball he can command and manipulate the strikezone with in any count.

When looking at the top pitchers in the majors, the one pitcher that Rodriguez compares to the most is Texas Rangers right-handeder, Jacob deGrom.

Now, many will think this is a reach due to deGrom’s dominance over his career when healthy. However, when approaching the eye test, they both have similar approaches and deliveries.

While the wind-up varies in certain parts, the beginning, release and follow-through are all very similar in appearance. The way deGrom commands and moves the strikezone is very similar to how Rodriguez has approached it in his career so far.

Both possess a fastball that can overpower even the best hitters, moving it in, out, up and down to keep batters off-balance. They utilize their overpowering fastball to set up a dominating changeup that forces hitters to fall on their front foot and push their weight through, even while trying to fight it back.

If they don’t get you over-striding on the change, you can bet the big breaking ball will throw your zone read completely off. Whether it sweeps through the strikezone or falls into it, the deception of their offspeed pitches is what forces weak contact and off-balance swings.

Cade Povich: Comp – Max Fried

One of the pieces the Orioles received when they traded All-Star closer Jorge López to the Minnesota Twins, Cade Povich dominated his first two starts in High-A Aberdeen before advancing to Double-A Bowie to finish the 2022 season.

One of the things that stood out from examining Povich was the similarities between him and Atlanta Braves left-hander, Max Fried.

Both are tall with long, lengthy legs, have compact wind-ups and similar pitch selections. They also shockingly look very similar, almost like they could be long-lost brothers.

Fried is quicker out of his delivery, but both he and Povich attack hitters in similar fashions. They use an above average fastball and cutter, utilize strong changeups and have curveballs with so much drop that they can punch hitters out with that pitch alone.

Dylan Beavers: Comp – Kyle Tucker

Drafted in the 2022 MLB Draft, Dylan Beavers wasted little time showing why the O’s selected him with the 33rd overall pick.

At 6-foot-4, the lefty-hitting Beavers is the next highest ranked outfielder in the Orioles system. Possessing five tool potential, Beavers’ sky is limitless.

Interestingly enough, Mike Elias is familiar with a player in which Beavers is similar to, Houston Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker.

From the eye test alone, both have an almost mirror image batting stance and possess plus bat speed with sneaky good power. With their aggressive approach, both are capable of expanding the zone when locked in.

Beavers’ athleticism gives him the ability to play any of the outfield spots while possessing a strong, accurate arm.

Tucker might fly under the radar due to the star power on the Astros, which will fall into the same category that Beavers might experience with all the talent the Orioles possess throughout the organization.

Colton Cowser: Comp – Mike Trout

We know, we know. Mike Trout is a rare, generational talent, but there are many similarities between the two players, so hear us out with this before your eyes roll back in your head.

Colton Cowser was the fifth pick of the 2021 MLB Draft out of Sam Houston State. Though some feel he was a reach for the O’s, GM Mike Elias saw something many others did not.

Though Cowser is a left-handed hitter, his stance mirrors that of the right-handed-hitting Trout. Whether it’s holding their hips back and hitting inside out on breaking pitches or using their quick wrists to move through the zone, they both possess the ability to not only hit for contact but plus power to all fields.

Their hand placement on the bat allows them to stay tight and lower the barrel of the bat to match the angle of the incoming pitch. They also both have a consistent leg kick with a back foot drag that allows for maximum power potential.

Defensively, they both have speed, as well as quick jumps that let them play on the ball instead of behind it when roaming the outfield.

We’re not saying Cowser is the next Mike Trout, but these similar traits, attributes and habits are very similar. If Cowser corrals it all together, the Orioles will end up with the steal of the 2021 draft.

These comparisons are in no way designed to disrespect or take away from any of the proven players mentioned. What is being discussed are similarities that are possessed and makeup of a similar style of player.

Needless to say, however, the Orioles would be more than happy if these players can approach some of the accomplishments of their counterparts.

What do you think of these comparisons? 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

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