The 2022 season was one filled with surprises for the Baltimore Orioles, as they exceeded odds and finished over .500 at 83-79.
But now that the 2023 MLB season is about to begin, the expectations are a little higher for Brandon Hyde’s club. As fans of the team and game in general, we have a few hot takes that we could see happening this season.
All of us at The Baltimore Battery have constructed this list of hot takes based on a certain format. We have formatted this list as 10 being the least hot and one being the spiciest of the takes.
This specific post will have numbers 10 through six, and we will have another post that consists of numbers five through one.
DISCLAIMER: THESE ARE HOT TAKES, MEANING SOME COULD LOOK DRASTIC OR DOWNRIGHT CRAZY… THAT’S THE POINT.
Without further ado, let’s get spicy.
10. O’s will be buyers at the trade deadline
The Orioles and trading are two words that used to put fear into the hearts and eyes of Birdland fans.
During the 2022 season, GM Mike Elias traded the team’s lone All-Star in Jorge López and traded the heart and soul of the team in Trey Mancini. Throughout the last few years, the Orioles have been sellers starting all the way back in 2018 with the Manny Machado deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
However, if the team is in the mix once again come July, the O’s will most likely be buyers at the deadline. With the consensus top farm system in baseball, the Orioles could use the trade deadline as a time to acquire pieces that will help the team jump the hill and make the postseason for the first time since 2016.
9. Austin Hays will be traded
We’ve seen just about every side of Austin Hays.
We saw the man who went absolutely off in the first half of 2022, then took a straight nose dive in the second half. We’ve seen what he can do when healthy, and we’ve seen him deal with the injury bug quite a bit.
There’s no secret that the Orioles have loaded up their farm system with top-tier outfield talent, which includes the likes of MLB top 100 prospects Colton Cowser and Heston Kjerstad. Kyle Stowers is also a name that will get mentioned in the outfield conversation this season as well.
If Hays doesn’t have a good start to his 2023 season, he could be on the chopping block, especially if Cowser or Kjerstad rake down on the farm. Mike Elias won’t hold these guys down if they perform.
8. An Orioles rookie wins American League Rookie of the Year
Let’s be honest. We do not have the 2022 ROTY as Adley Rutschman because of the insane season Julio Rodríguez had in Seattle.
However, the Orioles have a chance for two, maybe three different players to be crowned 2023 AL ROTY in Grayson Rodriguez, Gunnar Henderson and possibly names such as Kyle Stowers, Terrin Vavra and Colton Cowser.
Henderson is the No. 1 overall prospect in all of baseball, according to numerous ranking systems. Rodriguez is tops among all pitching prospects and could cement his name as the next true Orioles ace with a breakout rookie campaign.
With how young the Orioles core is and the amount of potential these players have, Baltimore should have at least one of these players winning the honors in 2023.
7. D.L. Hall will be traded
This is another situation that the fanbase does not want to see but will most likely help the club in the near future.
Hall debuted last season and, after one start, would be moved to the bullpen, where he had success in a short sample size. However, coming into spring training this year, Hall had rotation on his mind.
One consistent flaw to Hall’s game is his command, something we saw from former Oriole prospect Tanner Scott. We’re not saying Scott was anywhere near the prospect Hall is, but his constant trouble with finding the strike zone got him traded out of Baltimore.
The Orioles will most likely do just about anything to try and get themselves into the postseason. One move that will help bring in guys is trading away future potential stars like Hall to get a top-of-the-line player in return.
Hall being packaged with another MLB-level player, like Austin Hays or Ramón Urías, and a prospect or two in exchange for a player that helps the team now is a move Elias would be willing to make for the right price.
6. Adley Rutschman has a 40-double, 30-home-run season & is an AL MVP finalist
Adley Rutschman is a top catcher in MLB, and 2023 is just his sophomore season. He proved it in 2022 when he had one of the best WARs as a rookie catcher and broke an Orioles rookie record of 35 doubles in a rookie year.
This upcoming season will be his first full season, and the expectations for him are through the roof. Rutschman having 40 doubles might be a lock for the 2023 season. Him having 30 home runs, though?
Rutschman had 13 home runs in 2022 in 113 games. So, in hindsight, it is not crazy to think that he can hit 30 in a season.
Combine that with the 40 doubles, elite defense at a premium position and the Orioles making the postseason, you can almost guarantee that he becomes an AL MVP finalist.
How spicy do you think these takes are for the O’s 2023 season? 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!
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