For the Baltimore Orioles, the future is now.
Adley Rutschman became their best player immediately upon being called up last May, Cedric Mullins already has a 30-30 season under his belt, Ramon Urias just won a Gold Glove, and the offense and the bullpen they have put together are competitive.
Yet, in 2023, all eyes will be on infield prospect Gunnar Henderson.
One of the favorites to win the American League Rookie of the Year award, Henderson already had a successful MLB cameo in 2022.
In 132 plate appearances, the young thumper hit .259/.348/.440 with four home runs and a .788 OPS.
He also drove in 18 runs.
He reported to his team in spring training and is already showing promise for the 2023 campaign.
“There’s a base knock for MLB’s No. 1 prospect! The @Orioles’ Gunnar Henderson registers a hit in his first plate appearance of the spring,” MLB Pipeline tweeted.
There's a base knock for MLB's No. 1 prospect!
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) February 28, 2023
It wasn’t a well-struck base hit, but still counts.
Don’t worry, he doesn’t have a problem hitting the ball hard.
In fact, across three levels last season – Double-A, Triple-A, and MLB – he hit 23 home runs and stole 23 bases.
With a full slate of games and good health, Henderson can make a run at his first 25-25 season in 2023.
He is mature beyond his years, he has an understanding of the strike zone, and he hits the ball hard frequently.
He is also a good defender at shortstop and third base and can run.
With an impeccable track record of success in the minors and outstanding work ethic, Henderson projects as a star for the Orioles.
He is part of the future, but is also ready to help his team make the playoffs this year.NEXT: The Orioles Have A Major Problem To Solve In 2023