Enter your email to read this article
Read news on any topic, in one place, from publishers like The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more.

Orioles’ farm system ranked No. 1 in baseball after trade deadline and draft acquisitions

BALTIMORE — Even without rookie catcher Adley Rutschman leading Major League Baseball’s top prospect lists, the Orioles have the best farm system in the sport.

Rutschman has established himself as an American League Rookie of the Year candidate with the big league club, but with shortstop Gunnar Henderson taking his place as the top prospect in the game, Baseball America ranked Baltimore’s farm system No. 1 in Thursday’s midseason update. The Orioles also took the top spot in ESPN’s updated rankings.

In Baseball America’s preseason rankings of organizational talent, the Orioles were No. 4. They’ve risen as a result of Henderson’s development, as well as draft and trade deadline acquisitions. Baltimore selected Oklahoma high school shortstop Jackson Holliday with the first overall pick last month, and the publication ranked the 18-year-old as the No. 39 overall prospect. Despite not pitching since June because of a right lat muscle strain, right-hander Grayson Rodriguez is considered the No. 4 overall prospect and the best pitching prospect.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, Cleveland Guardians, Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds round out the top five in Baseball America’s rankings.

Henderson became the top-ranked prospect behind his results at Triple-A Norfolk, where he entered Thursday hitting .286 with a .906 OPS. Executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias said last week on MLB Network Radio that Henderson was “on the radar” for a promotion to the majors this season, and the young infielder played first base for the first time Thursday in a move to potentially increase his versatility.

With left-hander DL Hall (No. 56), outfielder Colton Cowser (92) and infielder Jordan Westburg (93) also highly ranked by Baseball America, the Dodgers and St. Louis Cardinals are the only clubs with more Top 100 prospects with seven each.

Baltimore added more pitching talent through deadline trades of All-Star closer Jorge López to the Minnesota Twins and first baseman Trey Mancini to the Houston Astros. Right-hander Seth Johnson is ranked No. 10 in the organization, right-hander Chayce McDermott is No. 17 and left-hander Cade Povich is No. 29. McDermott and Povich have already made the jump to Double-A Bowie.

Elias has emphasized his desire to build an “elite talent pipeline” in Baltimore, and with Rutschman already a graduate of that system, there are plenty more prospects on the way.

“We just sat there and plugged away at pushing young talent into the organization from every angle and improving the capabilities and the infrastructure of the organization,” Elias said last week on MLB Network Radio. “This year, it seems like it kind of organically spilling over into major league success. ... We have all sorts of good stuff to look forward to.”

The No. 1 ranking farm system just reinforces that idea.

Related Stories
Spenser Watkins continues strong run but Orioles’ bats stay quiet in 3-2 loss to Cubs
BALTIMORE — The Orioles have largely avoided these sorts of games, which is why they’re playing meaningful baseball in the middle of August for the first time in years. But with anemic offense coupling with a bullpen that has cracked two days in a row, their playoff aspirations took another…
From analysis to the latest developments in health, read the most diverse news in one place.
After spoiling another perfect game bid, Orioles fall apart in 6-1 loss to Blue Jays
TORONTO — In the just more than two weeks since the deadline deal that sent All-Star closer Jorge López to the Minnesota Twins, the Orioles’ bullpen has largely avoided melting down. The offense, meanwhile, has had its struggles of late, though it’s unclear whether the freshly traded Trey Mancini would…
The baseball brainiacs are heading to Baltimore: At research convention, expect ‘a smorgasbord of baseball content’
BALTIMORE — The baseball brainiacs are coming to Baltimore.
Yankees again do little offensively in shutout loss to Blue Jays
NEW YORK — Oswaldo Cabrera drifted back to the warning track in right field, was stopped by the wall, then jumped straight up to rob the Blue Jays' Lourdes Gurriel Jr. of a home run on the first pitch of Friday night's game.
MLB absolutely should start apologizing to teams (and fans!) for all these awful calls
Give us daily apology press conferences, Rob Manfred!
One place to find news on any topic, from hundreds of sites.
Benjamin Hochman: Nolan Arenado epitomizes Cardinals' defensive excellence, yet again
The gloves in St. Louis are glazed with gold.