The 2023 MiLB season is underway, and it’s the perfect time for the third edition of five underrated prospects in the Orioles system to watch this season.
The names that have been listed in the past have been hit and missed. With names like Hudson Haskin, Creed Willems and Luis Valdez, it shows that prospects go under the radar every season and get overpowered by the top prospects in the O’s very deep system.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it:
TRACE BRIGHT – RHP
How about we start with a first-time full season prospect who has been nothing short of lights out. Trace Bright is a 22-year-old right-hander who the Orioles drafted in the fifth round of the 2022 draft out of Auburn.
Bright’s career is only seven games in and 18.1 innings long, but he looks like a star in the making. The Alabama native currently has a 2.45 career ERA and has become very versatile, as he is needed in just about every situation for the Aberdeen IronBirds this season.
In his seven professional games, Bright has started four of them, including the three games he has pitched this year. The biggest accomplishment for Bright is how great he has been keeping runners off base, as he’s only allowed nine career walks and an opponent’s batting average of .127.
Bright is someone that I expect to see climb the system with ease. He also reminds me a ton of Tyler Wells in the way that he’s a strike thrower who doesn’t give away too many free passes.
GARRETT STALLINGS – RHP
Stallings is a 25-year-old right-hander who was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the fifth round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of the University of Tennessee. He became an Oriole on December 2, 2020, when the O’s traded José Iglesias for Stallings and Jean Pinto.
Stallings’ career started out with what seemed to be up and down trajectories. His 2022 season wasn’t the greatest with Double-A Bowie, as he carried a 6.28 ERA in 119 innings pitched.
However, the start he has had in 2023 has been electric. Stallings has started in three games and carries a 2.40 ERA and 0.73 WHIP while holding hitters to a .173 average.
Stallings’ control is impeccable, as he’s only walked 51 total batters in 240 innings pitched. The native of Chesapeake, Virginia, might be the most consistently accurate pitcher the Orioles have in the system.
STIVEN ACEVEDO – OF
This might be the first unknown player of the article, but by the end of this year, I would say he will be a household name. Acevado is a 20-year-old outfielder who is currently in his fourth minor league season after being signed as an international free agent in 2019.
Now, at first glance, Acevado looks very inconsistent, as he finished the 2022 season with a .197 average. However, the young righty has been the Ryan Mountcastle of the minor leagues: he’s been extremely unlucky at the plate. Acevado had a .287 BABIP in 2022 and had over a .300 in 2019 and 2021.
Acevado in 2023 has been off to a red hot start, batting .306 with 14 RBIs and four stolen bases. His OPS currently sits at .781, as he’s tallied four doubles and one home run for Low-A Delmarva thus far.
MAX COSTES – 1B
Baltimore’s own Max Costes is a 23-year-old undrafted free agent who the Orioles signed after the 2022 draft out of the University of Maryland.
Costes had a really solid start to his MiLB career, as he has an impeccable eye with 23 walks in 25 games played. When you have more walks than strikeouts in your career, you will make it in the league.
Costes, although a patient hitter, can really turn on the ball. In a small sample size this season with Delmarva (six games), the Marylander is hitting .368/.435/.526 with seven total hits, one home run and three RBIs.
DONTA’ WILLIAMS – OF
The final underrated prospect on this list is a personal favorite of mine. Donta’ Williams is a 23-year-old outfielder who has been nothing short of incredible defensively in his career. Williams was drafted out of the University of Arizona in the fourth round of the 2021 MLB Draft.
Williams is not only an on-base machine, but he is a defensive monster, as stated earlier. Oh, and he is extremely quick and stealthy on the base paths.
Williams stole 23 bases in 2022 and walked 55 times. This season, he has already stolen two bases and has put his body on the line multiple times in the field. I mean, have you seen this catch?
Who stands out to you on this list? Let us know in the comments below! Make sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook, Twitter and TikTok, and use the hashtag when sharing our content!
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