MLB Pipeline releases Orioles 2023 top 30 prospect list

MLB Pipeline has released their 2023 top 30 prospect list for the Orioles, and there are many young men that we actually might see sooner than we think.

Let’s break down this updated list and spot the differences from this year’s list to last year’s.

Biggest Promotion: Joey Ortiz (8 spots)

Being promoted on a top 30 list in a year’s time is an accomplishment of its own. It means you proved in the past season that you have shown signs of improvement and development. That was Joey Ortiz last season.

Ortiz is a 24-year-old infielder that the Orioles drafted in 2019 in the fourth round out of New Mexico State University. When the top 30 prospects were updated in July after the 2022 MLB draft, Ortiz was the 16th-ranked prospect in the Orioles organization.

Now, in 2023, Ortiz is ranked eighth and is a top 100 prospect in all of baseball.

Ortiz had a fantastic 2022 season both at the plate and in the field. While spending his time between Double-A and Triple-A, Ortiz was named Eastern League Player of the Week and a All-Star.

In 137 games, the righty slashed .284/.349/.477 with a .826 OPS and had 153 total hits, 35 doubles, six triples and 19 home runs while driving in 85 runs. His bat was just as hot as his already great glove.

Ortiz helped turn a total of 64 double plays in 2022 and also had 317 assists and nine errors in over a thousand innings played.

Ortiz was mostly drafted for his defensive ability and versatility but showed that he has more to offer than just his glove work. Ortiz is one of a kind and is killing it in spring training so far this season.

Biggest Demotion: Seth Johnson and Chayce McDermott (6 spots)

It’s actually pretty interesting that two players the Orioles received at the 2022 trade deadline were both demoted by the same amount of spots.

Johnson is a 24-year-old right-handed pitcher that the Tampa Bay Rays drafted 40th overall in 2019 out of Campbell University. He missed most of the 2022 season, pitching in just seven games, as he received Tommy John surgery. In the seven games, Johnson went 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 27 innings pitched.

Johnson gave up 23 total hits, nine earned runs, walked 11 batters and struck out 41. He was dropped from 10th to 16th in the Orioles’ top 30.

McDermott also had a huge drop of six spots as he fell from 13th to 19th in the rankings. The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher was drafted by the Astros in the fourth round of the 2021 MLB draft out of Ball State University.

McDermott went 7-3 with a 5.56 ERA in 27 total games, 18 starts. He gave up 77 total hits, 64 earned runs, walked 64 batters and struck out 160 batters.

New Additions: Ryan Watson and Luis Almeyda

Every top 30 list has to add new prospects each year. The Orioles had two brand new additions to their rankings, right-hander Ryan Watson and infielder Luis Almeyda.

Watson, 25, was drafted in the 39th round of the 2016 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of Auburn University. He became an Oriole when he signed a minor league contract in 2020 during the pandemic season.

Watson has made an amazing impression on the Orioles organization during the 2022 season. The righty went 7-5 in 27 games, 18 starts, while carrying a 3.44 ERA in 107.1 innings pitched. Watson also had three holds and collected one save.

Watson gave up 89 total hits, 41 earned runs, 29 walks and struck out 108 batters. He also held a 1.10 WHIP and 9.06 K/9 in 2022.

Watson received a non-roster invite to 2023 spring training camp thanks to his 2022 season, as he earned Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year honors. He debuts on the O’s top 30 at No. 22.

Almeyda is a whole different story, mainly because the story is just beginning. The 16-year-old was just signed by the Orioles on January 15 as an international free agent. Almeyda was ranked as the 20th best international free agent in the 2023 class.

Almeyda will be a huge addition to the 2023 list for Baltimore, as MLB Pipeline calls him a smart hitter who has a good approach at the plate. The future is bright for Almeyda, as he debuts at No. 26.

Players Knocked Out: Silas Ardoin and Justin Armbruester

The unfortunate side of adding new players is that some need to be taken out to make space. That’s what happened to catcher Silas Ardoin and right-hander Justin Armbruester.

Ardoin, 22, was drafted in the fourth round of the 2022 draft out of the University of Texas. He’s a second-generation player, as his father Daniel was drafted in 1995 and made his MLB debut in 2000.

Ardoin had a rough patch in his first half season as a prospect, as he slashed .192/.394/.212 with a .606 OPS. Ardoin only had ten total hits in 52 at-bats, only one of them was for extra bases, and walked 17 times to 20 strikeouts.

Armbruester is a 24-year-old right-hander that the Orioles drafted in the 12th round of the 2021 MLB draft out of New Mexico. He was a late edition to the 2022 top 30 list because of the graduation of Kyle Stowers.

Armbruester had a really good 2022 season between High-A Aberdeen and Double-A Bowie, as he had a 6-2 record while holding a 3.85 ERA in 26 games, 22 starts. Armbruester also went two for two in save opportunities.

In 117 innings, Armbruester gave up 91 total hits, 50 earned runs, walked 34 and struck out 126. He also held batters to a .213 average and had a 1.07 WHIP.

Below is the complete list of MLB Pipeline’s Orioles’ top 30 prospects in order:

  1. Gunnar Henderson INF
  2. Grayson Rodriguez RHP
  3. Jackson Holliday INF
  4. Colton Cowser OF
  5. Jordan Westburg INF
  6. Heston Kjerstad OF
  7. DL Hall LHP
  8. Joey Ortiz INF
  9. Connor Norby INF/OF
  10. Coby Mayo INF
  11. Dylan Beavers OF
  12. Samuel Basallo C
  13. Cade Povich LHP
  14. Max Wagner INF
  15. Hudson Haskin OF
  16. Seth Johnson RHP
  17. Jud Fabian OF
  18. César Prieto INF
  19. Chayce McDermott RHP
  20. Drew Rom LHP
  21. John Rhodes OF
  22. Frederick Bencosme INF
  23. Carter Baumler RHP
  24. Ryan Watson RHP
  25. Braylin Tavera OF
  26. Luis Almeyda INF
  27. Maikol Hernandez INF
  28. Leandro Arias INF
  29. Noah Denoyer RHP
  30. Carter Young INF

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What are your thoughts on the O’s 2023 top 30 list? 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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