Jackson Holliday didn’t waste a lot time getting adjusted to a brand new stage.
The 19-year-old prospect was promoted early final week from Low-A Delmarva to Aberdeen, changing into one of many youngest gamers at High-A. In his first week with the IronBirds, he confirmed that age is only a quantity.
It took Holliday, the Orioles’ prime prospect nonetheless within the minor leagues, simply two video games to get a really feel for High-A pitching. He went 0-for-7 with three strikeouts and three walks in his first two contests earlier than breaking out with a triple and a house run in his third. He then singled in every of his subsequent two video games to increase his on-base streak to start the season to 18 accomplished video games.
Holliday, the son of former star outfielder Matt Holliday, did slightly little bit of every thing in his first week in High-A. In addition to his homer and triple, the 2022 No. 1 total decide additionally stole a base, walked 4 occasions, performed 38 error-free innings at shortstop and turned 4 double performs.
He went 4-for-17 on the plate with a .910 OPS and two RBIs final week to proceed the robust begin to his sophomore season. In 13 video games this 12 months with Delmarva, Holliday posted a 1.190 OPS, 9 extra-base hits and 15 RBIs. His profession slash line within the minors is .326/.489/.530 in simply 38 video games.
But Holliday is much from the one prospect in Baltimore’s minor league system who stood out final week. That’s why every week, The Baltimore Sun will break down 5 of the highest performers within the Orioles’ prospect ranks and hand out some superlatives for individuals who didn’t make that minimize.
1. Triple-A Norfolk infielder Jordan Westburg
The greatest hitter for the Tides this week was Kyle Stowers, who hit three house runs in Friday’s doubleheader and was referred to as as much as the majors Sunday forward of the membership’s stretch in opposition to right-handed beginning pitchers. He swapped locations with infielder Joey Ortiz, who carried out properly in his three video games with Baltimore. As the Orioles yo-yoed these prospects over the weekend, Westburg remained with Norfolk and saved up his spectacular play. The 24-year-old infielder went 11-for-26 (.423 common) with two house runs, 9 RBIs, two stolen bases and 7 runs for a 1.136 OPS. The Orioles’ No. 5 prospect has a .927 OPS in 20 video games with the Tides this season.
2. Double-A Bowie left-hander Cade Povich
The group’s prime left-handed pitching prospect, DL Hall, received a short call-up for the Orioles’ doubleheader in opposition to the Detroit Tigers. Baltimore’s next-best lefty prospect, Povich, went out and had his greatest pitching efficiency since becoming a member of the group final 12 months. Povich struck out 10 and allowed simply three batters to achieve safely (one hit, two walks) throughout 5 scoreless innings in his begin Saturday and was named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week. The 10-strikeout sport was his first because the Orioles acquired him within the Jorge López commerce final summer time and simply the fourth of his minor league profession. The 23-year-old now has a 3.71 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 17 innings this 12 months.
3. Low-A Delmarva right-hander Juan Nunez
Povich wasn’t the one pitcher from the López commerce to face out final week. Juan Nunez, a 5-foot-11 right-hander out of the Dominican Republic, additionally had maybe his greatest begin as a member of the group final Tuesday. The 22-year-old threw 5 shutout innings and scattered one hit and three walks whereas placing out seven. Nunez has a 3.78 ERA in 16 2/3 innings for the Shorebirds this 12 months. Oh, and he and Povich, in fact, weren’t the one pitchers from the López deal who had been good final week, as right-handed reliever Yennier Cano has nonetheless but to permit successful in 11 innings with the Orioles.
4. Double-A Bowie outfielder Heston Kjerstad
With the best way Kjerstad is enjoying, he may very well be featured on this checklist almost each week. But he’s proving that his aim of reaching the majors by the top of the season is probably inside attain as he tears up Double-A pitching. The 2020 No. 2 total decide continued his torrid begin to the 12 months by posting a 1.075 OPS final week, going 5-for-16 in 5 video games with a triple and a homer. Kjerstad, 24, is slashing .284/.392/.612 in 18 video games this season with the Baysox.
5. High-A Aberdeen outfielder Dylan Beavers
Kjerstad wasn’t one of the best outfielder within the system final week, although. That was Beavers, who smacked seven hits, together with 5 for further bases, in 5 video games with the IronBirds. The 21-year-old went 7-for-19 (.368) with three doubles, one triple and one homer for a 1.189 OPS. Beavers, who was chosen with the No. 33 total decide within the 2022 draft, is slashing .269/.364/.522 this season. He additionally wasn’t the one outfielder from the 2022 draft who excelled with the IronBirds, as Jud Fabian went 6-for-15 with a house run final week.
The prime prospect not featured thus far
After Holliday, outfielder Colton Cowser is the group’s prime prospect nonetheless within the minors. And all Cowser is doing in Triple-A Norfolk is crushing extra-base hits and strolling. The 23-year-old saved that up final week with two doubles, one house run and 7 walks in six video games. He went 6-for-19 and had seven RBIs and stole two bases whereas posting a 1.115 OPS. After a sluggish begin to the season, Cowser has heated up and is now slashing .295/.437/.495 with 10 extra-base hits and 21 walks in 25 video games.
International acquisition of the week
When Holliday was promoted to Aberdeen, he joined Max Wagner and Frederick Bencosme as prime 30 prospects, in line with Baseball America, to man the IronBirds’ infield. Bencosme, whom the Orioles signed as a world free agent in 2020, had performed all 12 of his video games this season at shortstop earlier than Holliday’s promotion. He moved over to second base final week and had his greatest three-game stretch of the season. The 20-year-old from the Dominican Republic went 4-for-11 with three doubles, one triple, three RBIs and two walks. Bencosme is hitting simply .173 this season, however he’s walked extra occasions (12) than he’s struck out (11).
Time to present some shine to …
Creed Willems. He’s not the Orioles’ top-ranked catching prospect at Low-A Delmarva — that’s Samuel Basallo — however Willems is enjoying prefer it. The 19-year-old hit one other homer final week to convey his season whole to 5. The 2021 eighth-round decide struggled mightily versus Low-A pitching in 2022 with a .586 OPS, however in 15 video games this 12 months he’s slashing .373/.484/.726 for a whopping 1.209 OPS.
Former University of Maryland and Gilman star Maxwell Costes will quickly be enjoying nearer to house. Costes, a primary baseman within the Orioles’ minor league system, was promoted from Delmarva to Aberdeen on Monday. The 23-year-old had a .961 OPS in 23 plate appearances in Low-A earlier than being positioned on the seven-day injured checklist April 22. Costes, a Baltimore native, is without doubt one of the greatest hitters in Terps historical past and was signed as an undrafted free agent final summer time.