Debut of league’s 34th-ranked prospect isn’t the end of the story…2 ‘12.7 billion’ first-rounders await call-ups, too
The Baltimore Orioles of Major League Baseball (MLB) have called up another super rookie. It’s shortstop and third baseman Jordan Westberg, 24.
Westberg is a de facto first-rounder, having been selected with the 30th overall pick in the 2020 draft with the Competitive Balance Pick A. He was signed for $2.35 million when he was drafted.
He began playing in Single-A in 2021, and within a year, he was promoted to Double-A, and last year he was promoted to Triple-A, where he hit .273 with 18 home runs and an OPS of .869 in 91 games – numbers that wouldn’t be out of place in a call-up to the big leagues카지노.
But Westberg started the year at Triple-A because of Baltimore’s infield depth, which included the retention of last year’s Fielding Bible Award winner at shortstop, Jorge Mateo (28), and last year’s Gold Glove winner at third base, Ramon Urias (29), as well as the acquisition of utility Adam Frazier (31) in free agency and the call-up of the Orioles’ No. 1 overall prospect, Gunner Henderson (21).
In April, shortstop Joey Ortiz (24), the team’s seventh-best prospect and a year ahead of him in the draft, was called up first, making his big-league debut seem increasingly remote.
Undeterred, Westberg continued his “show of force,” hitting .295 with 18 home runs and a .939 OPS in 67 games at Triple-A this year, and eventually found himself on the cusp of a big league debut.
Westberg is currently the third-best prospect on the team and the 34th-best prospect in the league, per MLB Pipeline. He and Gunner Henderson have been together in the minors for years, alternating between shortstop and third base.
Baltimore will likely DFA one of their 40-man roster spots to make room for Westberg. Some speculate that they will also trade one of their infield redundancies. Currently, the two most underperforming infielders are Mateo and Frazier.
What’s worth noting is that Baltimore has more big-name prospects that could be called up sooner rather than later.
Outfielder Colton Cowher (23), the team’s second-best prospect and 15th-best prospect in the league, and outfielder Heston Custad (24), the team’s fourth-best prospect and 40th-best in the league, are both performing as well as Westberg at Triple-A.
Cowher is a 2021 first-rounder (5th overall) and Custad is a 2020 first-rounder (2nd overall). Their contracts were worth $4.5 million for Cowher and $5.2 million for Custad.
It will be interesting to see if Baltimore, with a core group of prospects in place for 2023, can make it to fall ball on the strength of its young players. Currently, Baltimore is second in the American League (AL) in winning percentage with a 47-29 record (.618 winning percentage).