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Orioles become first team to have back-to-back draft picks at Baseball America’s No. 1 of the same draft class – The Baltimore Sun

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The 2019 Major League Baseball Draft marked perhaps the most important step the rebuilding Orioles took in Mike Elias’ first year as executive vice president and general manager of the franchise. Keep pushing hard.

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A year after Baseball America ranked catcher Adley Rutschman — the first overall pick in 2019 — as the sport’s #1 prospect on its official preseason roster, the publication deemed Gunnar Henderson, one of Baltimore’s second-round draft picks, deserving of the status. . The distinction makes the Orioles the first team to have back-to-back No. 1 overall chances from the same draft class since the publication began its rankings in 1990. Baltimore has the league’s highest ranking of eight of Baseball America’s Top 100 teams, with their fourth player of the year Joey of 2019. Ortiz is among those making the cut, too.

“I can’t imagine a better result so far for the 2019 draft,” Elias said in September.

Rutschman and Henderson are only the second pair of players from the same organization to be Baseball America’s top prospects on back-to-back preseason rosters, joining St. Louis Cardinals prospect JD Drew and Rick Ankiel in 1999 and 2000, respectively; St. Louis drafted Ankiel in 1997 and used his first-round pick over Drew the following year. Four more times, the team has had the same No. 1 player overall in consecutive years, but Rutschman’s May promotion prevented him from earning a second consecutive honor. Henderson made his major league debut on August 31, late enough in the year that he retained a prospect eligibility.

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The 21-year-old enters the 2023 season as the favorite to win the American League Rookie of the Year, an award for which Roachman was runner-up in 2022. Henderson started last season as Baseball America’s 57th and then dominated with Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk is perhaps the best hitter in the minor leagues. While never taking a pitch against a pitcher younger than him, Henderson hit .297 with .946 OPS, 19 home runs and 22 steals. In his major league debut, he made his first career appearance before shooting three more goals while hitting . 259/. 348/. 440 in 34 games for Baltimore. Along with Rutschman, Henderson sits near the top of the 2023 Orioles lineup, playing shortstop and third base.

They wouldn’t be the only ones among the young players making an impact in Baltimore, with the rest of Baseball America’s Top 100 list as proof. Right-hander Grayson Rodriguez fell narrowly from his position as The best shooter in the game, he was ranked sixth Overall and one spot behind Philadelphia Phillies prospects Andrew Painter. A muscle strain in June’s right spine prevented Rodriguez from making his debut last year, but the 23-year-old is in good shape entering spring training. Left-hander DL Hall, #75 Likely, he’ll also arrive at camp vying for a role on the Baltimore team.

Gunnar Henderson started last season as the 57th prospect in baseball and then dominated Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk as the best hitter in the minor leagues.
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Outfieler Colton Cowser (#41) and players Jordan Westburg (#76), Connor Norby (#93) and Ortiz (#95) can all press for a major league title in 2023 after finishing last year at Triple-A.

The top 100 Orioles prospect who is unlikely to make an impact in the majors in 2023 is Jackson Holiday, the first overall pick in the 2022 draft. Sports ranked No. 15 Prospect Prior to his first full season, Holiday hit . 297 and walked more than twice as high in 20 games between the Florida Complex League and Low-A Delmarva after he was drafted. He turned nineteen last month.

Each of Baltimore’s first-round draft picks from 2017 to 2022 is ranked among the top 100 prospects except for Rutschman, who is no longer eligible, and outfielder Heston Kjerstad, who missed two years After being selected with the 2020 No. 2 pick due to heart disease, myocarditis, and severe left Tightening of the hamstrings. Kjerstad was named the Arizona Fall League MVP after hitting .309 with a .851 OPS in the regular season between Low-A and High-A, but Baseball America did not rank the 23-year-old among Baltimore’s top 10 prospects.

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