When it comes to the Orioles, having a group of threes is something that has been common throughout the years.
You have the group of D.L. Hall, Grayson Rodriguez and Adley Rutschman in that they were drafted in three consecutive years. You also have the Ripkens, Cal Sr., Cal Jr. and Billy. Then you have the big three in 1966, 1970 and 1983, the three years the O’s won the World Series.
There is now another set of three that have all connected together for the past few season. They’re called the Triple C’s.
The collective group of prospects that consists of Colton Cowser, Connor Norby and César Prieto have put on quite the performance in their respective tenures in the Orioles organization. They deserve some recognition.
Let’s highlight each member of the Triple C’s:
Colton Cowser – OF
The first “C” is the former first-round pick from Sam Houston in 2021. Outfielder Colton Cowser, 23, is currently playing for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides and is awaiting his major league debut.
Cowser is currently the Orioles’ No. 3 prospect and is No. 36 on MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospects list.
The lefty made an impact during the 2022 season, slashing a clean .278/.406/.469 with 142 total hits and 36 doubles. He really shined with Double-A Bowie, as he had a 1.037 OPS and batted a clean .341.
Cowser would have a solid 2023 spring training, compiling a .241 average while hitting three home runs with nine RBIs and walks. Cowser would end his spring with a .973 OPS, and the Orioles would decide to start his 2023 season in Norfolk, where he ended his 2022 season.
After a slow start to his year, Cowser is starting to heat up and return to the player O’s fans know and love. Cowser will make his big league debut this season, barring any injury.
Connor Norby – INF/OF
The second member of the trio is someone who actually has been on the same path as Cowser but was drafted one round later. Connor Norby was drafted in the second round of the 2021 MLB Draft out of East Carolina and has done nothing less than be dominant.
Norby is currently the Orioles’ eighth rated prospect and has recently been honored to make MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospects list.
Norby had 29 total home runs during the 2022 season and managed a .886 OPS throughout the year. He would also earn an invite to spring training in 2023.
Norby would have an underrated spring, as he would carry a .637 OPS, have eight total hits and knock in two. This would land Norby a spot on the Norfolk Tides roster to start the 2023 season, as he finished last season in Norfolk as well.
Norby’s offense to start the season has been special to watch. In his 11 games, he has a .313 batting average, an .817 OPS, 15 total hits, two home runs and 10 RBIs. He has had an issue with the strikeouts, as he has 14, but his glove has also been amazing at second, short and left field.
César Prieto – INF
The final “C” is technically the “C” that is considered the lesser tier, but he is still absolutely incredible to watch. César Prieto became an Orioles on January 15, 2022, when he signed from his home country of Cuba.
Prieto is currently considered the 17th ranked prospect in the Orioles’ top 30. But that does not take away how much improvement Prieto has put into his game.
Prieto’s 2022 season started out incredible, as he carried a 1.000 OPS in High-A Aberdeen with six doubles, seven home runs and 20 RBIs. Prieto semi-struggled in Bowie towards the end of the season, as he only had a .644 OPS and batted .255.
Prieto would start off hot in spring training but would eventually cool down and bat just .083 for the entire month of March, as he grabbed a single hit.
However, Prieto’s 2023 season has been off to a blazing hot start in Double-A, as he carries an .889 OPS and has 12 total hits in the eight games he has played. Prieto has been efficient at the plate, and his glove has been nothing short of impressive.
Where did the nickname come from?
So, now you probably wonder where the nickname came from. Well, it actually goes back to the 2022 season when all three guys played in Double-A Bowie.
During their time in Bowie, the Baysox lineup would come out in an order of Cowser, Norby and Prieto as the 1-2-3 hitters to start the game most of the season.
When you pair the three names together, you get the Triple C’s. While the story of the name is not the most outlandish, it is still nice to see that we might have a new trio to look forward to in the future.
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