5 underrated O’s prospects to watch in 2023: Part 2

The Orioles farm system is getting deeper and deeper by the year, which opens up more room for prospects to go under the radar and hand underrated statuses.

There are many players that have high potential in the Orioles system but are unseen due to being outshined by more well-known prospects, such as Gunnar Henderson, Grayson Rodriguez and Jackson Holliday.

That shows you just how stacked the O’s farm system is and is a testament to how GM Mike Elias and the O’s scouting department drafted and developed over the past few years.

With that being said, here are five Orioles prospects who are underrated heading into the 2023 season. Unlike the first time we did this, we did use the team’s MLB Pipeline top 30 prospect list, but only the numbers 11-30 were allowed (prospects one through 10 are ranked that way for a reason).

Hudson Haskin – OF

Hudson Haskin is currently the 15th-ranked prospect in the Orioles’ top 30. The 24-year-old outfielder out of Tulane University had a career year in 2022 during his time with Double-A Bowie.

Haskin was drafted in the second round of the 2020 draft as the 39th overall pick by the O’s. Haskin spent the 2021 season between Low-A Delmarva and High-A Aberdeen, where he looked decent with an average of .276 and an OPS at .787 through 83 total games. But 2022 is where he really blew up.

Haskin started the 2022 season hot with three doubles on Opening Day, and just two days later hitting three home runs in one game. He would finish the month of April with a .373 average, 1.182 OPS and 14 total RBIs.

During the 2022 season, Haskin slashed .264/.367/.455 with a .822 OPS in 109 games. He had 102 hits, 23 doubles, three triples, 15 home runs and knocked in 56. He was considered a ball magnet, as he was hit by a pitch a total of 24 times last season.

Haskin is a very balanced hitter and an elite defender with a strong arm. He will most likely start the 2023 season back in Bowie or with Triple-A Norfolk.

Frederick Bencosme – INF

Frederick Bencosme is currently the 22nd- ranked prospect in the Orioles’ top 30 list, coming off a season where his bat was superior.

The 20-year-old infielder became an Oriole in August of 2020 as an international free agent. He spent the 2021 season in rookie ball and had a stellar season, where he had an average of .310 and an OPS of .816 with 10 stolen bases.

He would split 2022 between Delmarva and Aberdeen with a short two-game span in rookie ball. Delmarva would be where he would strut his stuff with 74 total hits, a .336 average and an .842 OPS, with 29 RBIs and a BB/K ratio of 27/31.

His 2022 season would dip when he was promoted to Aberdeen, as his bat would turn cold. In 2022, as a whole, he would slash .311/.381/.412 with a .793 OPS in 73 total games. He would have 83 total hits, 10 doubles, four triples, three home runs and 31 RBIs.

Bencosme is entering his third year in the organization and looks to prove more and more each the day that he’s truly a top 30 prospect in the system. It looks like he will begin this season back in Aberdeen, but he could reach Bowie towards the midway point of the season if he produces.

Ryan Watson – RHP

Ryan Watson is our first pitcher to enter the underrated list, and underrated might be an understatement for how good this guy has been. Watson enters the 2023 season as the organization’s 24th-ranked prospect.

The 25-year-old right-handed pitcher from the University of Auburn was drafted in the 39th round of the 2016 draft by the Dodgers. He decided to take a chance on himself and pitch at Auburn, when four years later, in 2020, he would be signed by the Orioles.

Watson had a solid 2021 season between Delmarva and Aberdeen but was mostly used as a reliever in 22 games played, four starts. The 2022 season would be where Watson would grab more saves and really show his worth out of the bullpen.

Watson would pitch in 27 games, starting 18 of them, and have a record of 7-5 with a 3.44 ERA in 107.1 innings pitched. He would tally three holds and one save and would end the season with 108 strikeouts to just 29 walks.

Watson received a non-roster invite to 2023 spring training camp, and while he has not touched the mound yet, he can still show his potential for what’s to come. Watson was also the recipient of the 2022 Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award.

Jean Pinto – RHP

The first prospect that is currently not a part of the Orioles’ top 30 list, 22-year-old right-handed pitcher Jean Pinto looks to make a name for himself in 2023.

Pinto was originally signed in 2019 by the Angels as an international free agent but would end up being traded in December of 2020 to the Orioles along with Garrett Stallings for shortstop José Iglesias. Pinto spent the 2021 season between rookie ball and Delmarva before getting the call up to spend the entire 2022 season with Aberdeen.

Pinto had a solid 2021 season carrying a 2.30 ERA in 14 total games. He did a phenomenal job keeping hits down with an opponent average of .171 and a WHIP at 0.86.

Pinto was used as both a reliever and starter in 2022 like he did in 2021, pitching a total of 24 games, starting 19 of them. He had a 3.83 ERA in 91.2 inning pitched and kept opponents to a .227 average with a WHIP of 1.36.

Nolan Hoffman – RHP

The final underrated prospect for this piece is a man who had maybe the most under the radar season because of injury. Nolan Hoffman is a 25-year-old right-hander who was drafted in 2018 during the fifth round by the Seattle Mariners out of Texas A&M University.

Hoffman became an Orioles prospect in December of 2021 when he was picked up in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft. He jumped all around in the 2022 season but pitched the majority of his games at Bowie.

Hoffman had two stints on the injured list and had three different rehab assignments in 2022 alone. But, when he was on the mound, he was a solid out of the pen.

Hoffman pitched in just 18 games, but he held a 4.24 ERA with seven walks and 22 strikeouts. He had a bit of an issue with keeping runners off base with a .278 opponent average and a WHIP of 1.37.

The biggest thing with Hoffman is staying healthy, as we all know that the best ability is availability. Hoffman could be a lights-out reliever in the future if he can put together a full season on the farm.

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What do you think of these five prospects? 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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