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Baltimore Orioles

Orioles’ latest minicamp features top 6 position player prospects, several major league coaches

If Orioles manager Brandon Hyde wants to imagine what it will be like to have many of the organization’s top prospects at his disposal, the next few days will represent the closest he can come for now.

As part of a series of minicamps throughout the month at their Sarasota, Florida, complex, the Orioles have their top six position player prospects at a weeklong camp staffed by Hyde, three members of his major league coaching staff and expected Triple-A manager Buck Britton.

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Catcher Adley Rutschman, infielders Gunnar Henderson and Jordan Westburg and outfielders Colton Cowser, Kyle Stowers and Heston Kjerstad all rank among Baltimore’s top eight prospects, according to Baseball America, with Rutschman (No. 1 overall), Henderson (No. 57) and Cowser (No. 98) recognized by the publication earlier this week as being among the game’s top 100 prospects. The Orioles have selected all six players within the first two rounds of the past three drafts, taking Rutschman first overall in 2019, Kjerstad second overall in 2020 and Cowser fifth overall in 2021.

Joining that group at the camp are three more intriguing prospects in outfielder Robert Neustrom and infielders Patrick Dorrian and César Prieto. Neustrom, the Orioles’ fifth-round pick in 2018, had 50 extra-base hits between Double-A and Triple-A last season. Dorrian was acquired in 2019 as a player to be named later in a trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates and posted an .815 OPS in the high minors in his first full season with Baltimore. Prieto was a member of the Orioles’ latest international signing class and was considered one of the top players in Cuba before defecting last year.

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None of these players are on Baltimore’s 40-man roster, meaning they are allowed to participate in team activities despite the league’s owners’ ongoing lockout of the players.

Along with Hyde and Britton, major league field coordinator/catching instructor Tim Cossins, outfield/first base coach Anthony Sanders and infield/third base coach Tony Mansolino are working the camp, along with a handful of player development staffers. The camp began Friday and will run through Tuesday. The Orioles also held a camp earlier this month for pitchers who were taken in the 2021 draft or signed soon afterward as undrafted free agents. The purpose of the camps, as director of player development Matt Blood has said, is to get players acclimated and prepared for the start of spring training so they can immediately get to work whenever it begins.

More recognition from Baseball America

Since unveiling its preseason top 100 prospects earlier this week, Baseball America has been pumping out content about those on the list, those who just missed it and those who could be on it in the future. Orioles minor leaguers have made frequent appearances.

A look into which pitchers on the top 100 have the best offerings included right-hander Grayson Rodriguez, the top pitching prospect in the game at No. 6 overall, and left-hander DL Hall, ranked 52nd. Those two pitchers, Baltimore’s highest-ranked prospects behind Rutschman, were seen as having the first and third best repertoires, respectively, of any pitchers in the top 100. Cowser, meanwhile, is seen as a player lower on the list with the potential to quickly rise up it.

Third baseman Coby Mayo is Orioles’ top position player prospect not featured at this week’s minicamp, but by this time next year, his prodigious power could put him among the game’s top 100 prospects in Baseball America’s eyes. Westburg came close to cracking the list this time, with the piece also pointing out that all of the Orioles’ top 10 prospects — with right-hander Kyle Bradish the only one not mentioned to this point — received at least one top 150 vote from Baseball America’s prospect writers.


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