The Baltimore Orioles have some of the most talented prospects and young players in the game at the moment.
They are more than just Adley Rutschman.
In fact, one of their best prospects already made his presence felt in 2022: infielder Gunnar Henderson.
Capable of playing both shortstop and third base, Henderson slashed .259/.348/.440 with four home runs, a .788 OPS, and a 126 wRC+ in just 132 plate appearances in MLB.
Between Double-A, Triple-A, and the majors, the 21-year-old hit 23 home runs and stole 23 bases.
But Henderson is more than just power and speed.
“Only four hitters in baseball with 50 BBE last season recorded a 50+% Hard-Hit rate while ranking in the 90th percentile or better for sprint speed. Julio Rodriguez; Mike Trout; Byron Buxton; Gunnar Henderson. Add in a 12% walk rate threshold and it’s just Gunnar,” fantasy analyst Eric Cross tweeted.
Only four hitters in baseball with 50 BBE last season recorded a 50+% Hard-Hit rate while ranking in the 90th percentile or better for sprint speed.
Add in a 12% walk rate threshold and it's just Gunnar. pic.twitter.com/JyXWMS6qV5
— Eric Cross (@EricCross04) January 18, 2023
More than half of Henderson’s batted balls traveled at 95 mph or faster.
That’s extremely impressive, and if you add in his elite sprint speed, you have a potentially premier power-speed combo that may yield several 30-30 seasons down the road.
But that’s not all.
Henderson also draws a lot of walks.
He is selective and disciplined, powerful, and speedy.
In other words, he is the complete package as a hitter.
When we factor in his slightly above-average defense at three infield spots, you have a potential superstar in the making.
Henderson will have a role as a starting infielder for the Orioles, and he could make a run at a 25-25 campaign as soon as 2023.
He is supremely talented, and has been appointed by some specialists and observers as the main candidate to win AL Rookie of the Year honor.