The Baltimore Orioles called up outfield prospect Heston Kjerstad, the team announced Thursday. Here’s what you need to know:
- Kjerstad, 24, was selected No. 2 by the Orioles in the 2020 MLB Draft.
- He slashed .303/.376/.528 with 21 home runs in 122 games across Triple A and Double A this year.
- Kjerstad ranked No. 56 in The Athletic’s Keith Law’s prospect rankings in July and currently ranks as the No. 24 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.
- The Orioles lead the American League East with a 91-54 record heading into Thursday, when they start a four-game series against the division’s second-place Tampa Bay Rays (90-57)
The Warehouse is ready. pic.twitter.com/jyk0J0XvoU
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) September 14, 2023
Kjerstad looked very good this year and continues to make contact at higher rates even as he’s moved up the ladder to Triple A, with just a 17.5 percent strikeout rate at that level — lower than his strikeout rate in his last full year at the University of Arkansas. Kjerstad has always made very hard contact, which the Orioles hoped would become 25-30 homer power as they worked with him on his hitting, and that seems to be where he is now. There are some small red flags in his Triple-A line — he’s chasing stuff out of the zone too much and still has struggles with same-side breaking balls — but it’s great to see him doing the stuff Baltimore expected of him when they made him the second overall pick three years ago. — Law
(Photo: Mike Janes / Four Seam Images via AP)