5 hot takes for Orioles’ top 30 prospects in 2023

As the 2023 baseball season edges closer and closer, we stay on the topic of Orioles prospects.

It’s been just around two weeks since the Orioles’ top 30 prospect list was released by MLB Pipeline, and in that time, we at The Baltimore Battery have constructed five hot takes for players that rank within the top 30.


Without further ado, let’s get into it!

5. Cade Povich is a September call-up

Calling someone a September call-up can be bold, mostly because of how much depth is in the Orioles’ system. Calling a prospect that hasn’t spent a full year with the organization a September call-up is downright spicy.

Cade Povich was the primary return piece in the 2022 trade that sent Jorge López to the Minnesota Twins. The 22-year-old has shown high potential since being acquired and could be in conversation for a September call-up if he quickly moves through the farm.

Povich actually struggled to start the 2022 season when he pitched for the Twins’ High-A team, but he really turned things around after the trade on August 1. In his time with the Orioles, Povich conducted a 6.94 ERA in eight games, but his ERA was inflated after a rough game on September 18 against Akron.

Povich received a non-roster invite to spring training and, in his two outings, has allowed just two hits in four innings of work. He also has struck out four and held his WHIP to 0.500.

The young lefty could actually end up being a possible reliever for the Orioles, along with Cionel Pérez and Keegan Akin. Povich being a September call-up would allow the O’s to get crafty, especially if they’re in the AL Wild Card hunt.

4. Colton Cowser debuts in May

If there was a captain of five tool players in the Orioles’ system, Colton Cowser is the top candidate for the position.

The Sam Houston State alumni had a ton of success during the 2022 MiLB season and showed true potential frequently. Cowser carried a .895 OPS with 36 doubles in 630 at-bats and hit 21 home runs and 119 walks.

Cowser is also an above average fielder in the outfield, having seven total assists and two double plays credited this past season. He averages a .970 fielding percentage thus far in his young career.

Cowser also received a non-roster invite and has been solid with seven walks and having a monster home run on March 6 that tied the game for the O’s. He also is carrying a .476 OBP and a .905 OPS in nine total games.

The Orioles’ outfield is currently stacked with Mullins, Santander, Hays and Stowers (who can hit lefties, but we knew that). But if Cowser shows that he can hang with Triple-A pitching early in the year, O’s GM Mike Elias won’t hold him down.

3. Jackson Holliday makes it to Triple-A this season

Yes, you read that correctly. Jackson Holliday, who was just drafted not even a year ago and is just 19 years old, will play in Triple-A Norfolk this season.

Holliday has been showing why he was the No. 1 overall pick. In the 20 games he played in the minors last season, Holliday carried a .489 OBP and had a BB/K ratio of 25 walks to 12 strikeouts.

Holliday is a generational talent, as his father, Matt Holliday, had an illustrious career, and Jackson shows that he might be just as good, if not better than his dad.

Like Cowser and Povich, Holliday received a non-roster invite and is currently batting .375 with a .545 OBP as of March 8. He has collected three hits, a double, an RBI, three walks and has struck out two times.

Holliday could possibly have the quickest run-up the ladder we have seen since Manny Machado. Don’t be surprised if Holliday makes Triple-A before September.

2. Joey Ortiz makes the Opening Day roster

Joey Ortiz making the Opening Day roster is something that no one would expect but everyone would love. Ortiz absolutely showed off during the 2022 season and became a name O’s fans brought up more and more each day.

Ortiz was drafted in 2019 as a defensive-first infielder, but he is possibly one of the best hitters in the Orioles’ farm system. Ortiz last season had 153 total hits, 35 doubles, six triples and 19 home runs in 137 games last year between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk.

Ortiz still flashed his outstanding with 64 double plays turned and only nine errors in over 1,000 inning played. When it comes to the organization’s infield prospects, Ortiz is by far the best defender.

The only presumed locks in the O’s infield are Gunnar Henderson and Ryan Mountcastle. There are question marks as to how much guys like Jorge Mateo, Ramón Urías and Adam Frazier will actually play.

Ortiz is already on the 40-man roster and has shown a lot of potential in spring training this year. Will a trade happen prior to Opening Day to make room?

1. Gunnar Henderson finishes top 10 in AL MVP voting

Who’s ready for a full season of the top prospect in baseball? If you’re not ready, then get ready because it’s going down.

Henderson in just his one month of games last year showed that his hype is legitimate. His pretty swing and glove that’s top tier is something that all Oriole fans look forward to seeing for over 130 games this season.

But how good will Henderson be in his first full year? How about an AL MVP candidate?

In the glimpse we saw of Henderson, he batted .259 with a .788 OPS in 34 games. He had 30 total hits, seven doubles, four home runs and drove in 18. Henderson is someone like Julio Rodriguez, who, with a full season, could just completely take over the league.

Henderson could actually be the third player in recent history to finish top 10 in MVP and win Rookie of the Year, joining Rodriguez in 2022 and Aaron Judge in 2017. While saying Henderson being an MVP candidate is certainly a scorching hot take, the 21-year-old is someone who could be the O’s X-factor for success.

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Let us know in the comments below what you think of our hot takes! 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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