Orioles call up OF prospect Heston Kjerstad ahead of series vs. Rays


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)

Scouting report

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

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(Photo: Mike Janes / Four Seam Images via AP)

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