In Baseball America’s first top 100 prospects list of 2022, the Baltimore Orioles show they’ve come a long way in their rebuilding process
On Wednesday morning, Baseball America released its first top 100 prospects list of the new year, ranking the best emerging baseball players for the 2022 season. Under 100 are five players from the Baltimore Orioles minor league system, a figure the O’s have reached only twice since Baseball America began ranking prospects in 1990.
While the list is prefaced by stating that the number one spot could have gone three different ways, mentioning Mariners outfielder Julio Rodriguez and Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. as runners-up to the coveted title, Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman maintained his baseball player status. best prospect. Rutschman is only the second Orioles player to start a season as Baseball America’s number one prospect and the first since 2009, when Matt Wieters earned the top award.
Not far behind Rutschman is Grayson Rodriguez, Baltimore’s top pitcher, who ranks sixth in the 2022 list of the best prospect in baseball, the highest among pitchers. The overwhelming right-hander commands four plus throws according to Baseball America’s scouting report, including a fastball and a slider that each scored a 70 on the 80 scale.
With the combination of Rodriguez and Rutschman, the Orioles have the best pitching prospects and position players in baseball. The expectation of Baltimore’s fledgling battery making the leap to the Major Leagues in 2022, as O’s GM Mike Elias hinted towards the end of last season, should give fans of the team a sense of light at the end of the tunnel.
According to MLB Pipeline, the Orioles farm system was of average quality in the 2020 season, finishing 13th out of 30 clubs in Major League Baseball. At every stop since, Baltimore’s young core has moved up to 8th in the mid-2020 rankings, then to 5th pre-2021, and finally to number one on the list published after the 2021 MLB Draft. After going through some hopeless years of rebuilding, the Orioles are finally on the cusp of becoming one of baseball’s most exciting teams.
Other Orioles prospects to make the cut for Baseball America’s top 100 list include DL Hall (52nd), Gunnar Henderson (57th) and Colton Cowser (98th).