The Baltimore Orioles‘ 2022 campaign was marked by the overall organizational improvement they showed in comparison with their lousy 2021.
You don’t go from winning 52 games to 83 the next season without some serious changes, top to bottom.
Ever since they called up catcher Adley Rutschman in May, it’s like they flipped a switch.
The truth is Mike Elias’ work as general manager is finally paying off: the Orioles now pay attention to the amateur international market, they can now develop their own players through coaching and analytics, and they have called up most of their top prospects preparing to kickstart that contention period.
One of those players is Gunnar Henderson.
The talented infielder is capable of playing second base, third base, and shortstop, and he is above-average defensively in the last two.
Here is a glimpse of what he can do.
Same 👀 https://t.co/Y4KTIeQ13L
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) November 13, 2022
That clip shows some special athleticism.
A Defensive And Offensive Star
He is fluid, he is not afraid to attack the ball, and he has a cannon for an arm.
All those traits helped him play three infield positions smoothly and effectively.
His 2023 position will likely be shortstop, since Ramon Urias just won a Gold Glove at the hot corner in Baltimore.
Not only can Henderson field: hitting is actually what he does best on a baseball field.
In 132 plate appearances, Henderson hit .259/.348/.440 with four homers and 18 RBI.
He had a 125 wRC+, meaning he was 25 percent better than the league average hitter.
Before his MLB showing, he had a 176 wRC+ in Double-A and a 138 mark in Triple-A.
This kid is special, and he is destined for greatness.
The Orioles basically just won 83 games without Grayson Rodriguez, their top pitching prospect.
With him and fellow top pitching prospect DL Hall in the 2023 picture, plus some free agency help, they can shoot for the stars.