A few days still remain before Major League Baseball’s deadline for the Orioles to sign their 2023 draft picks.
Many of those players, most of whom were drafted out of college, will begin their professional careers later this season, but how they perform in their first action is perhaps less important than how they’ll handle next season — their first full year as professionals.
Given that, let’s take a look back at the 2022 draft and see how each of the players the Orioles selected and signed last summer are performing so far this year.
Shortstop Jackson Holliday (Round 1, 1st overall): The Orioles considered five players with the first selection in the draft, and at least so far, it appears they picked right. In his first full professional season, Holliday has zoomed through the minors and up prospect lists, now ranked No. 1 in the sport by both Baseball America and MLB Pipeline. The son of seven-time All-Star Matt Holliday, the 19-year-old dominated Low-A Delmarva and High-A Aberdeen to achieve his 2023 goal of reaching Double-A Bowie, where he hit his first home run at the level Saturday. He also earned a trip to the MLB All-Star Futures Game earlier this month. In 80 games between the three levels, Holliday is slashing .333/.459/.522 — good for a .981 OPS — with 20 doubles, six triples, eight home runs, 20 stolen bases and just six more strikeouts (73) than walks (67).
Outfielder Dylan Beavers (Round 1, 33rd overall): Selected in Competitive Balance Round A, the Cal standout has had an up-and-down season in High-A, with an excellent July and solid June bolstering his numbers after a challenging May. For the season, the 21-year-old is slashing .260 with an .810 OPS. Beavers, ranked as Baltimore’s 19th-best prospect by Baseball America, has reached base in all but two of his past 25 games. In July, he’s hitting .377 with a 1.206 OPS.
Infielder Max Wagner (Round 2, 42nd overall): The 21-year-old has spent the entire year in High-A, slashing .236/.368/.402 — good for a .769 OPS. Wagner, ranked as the Orioles’ 14th-best prospect by Baseball America, is hitting .342 in July. He’s hit nine home runs and stolen 23 bases in 70 games.
Outfielder Jud Fabian (Round 2, 67th overall): Selected in Competitive Balance Round B, Fabian dominated High-A to earn a promotion to Bowie a month ago. The Florida standout posted an .882 OPS in 56 games with the IronBirds, tallying 13 doubles, nine homers and 19 stolen bases. He’s struggled to begin his Double-A career with a .174 average, but he hit two home runs last week and has 15 combined on the season. Baseball America ranks Fabian as the Orioles’ 13th-best prospect and 10th-best among those still in the minors.
Catcher Silas Ardoin (Round 4, 107th overall): After standing out at Texas, Ardoin opened his first full professional season with Aberdeen. He’s slashing .219/.371/.343 — good for a .714 OPS — with 10 doubles and five home runs in 64 games. In his past 13 games, the 22-year-old has walked 13 times, hit four home runs and posted a 1.222 OPS.
Right-hander Trace Bright (Round 5, 137th overall): Few pitchers in the Orioles’ farm system are striking out batters more often than Bright. In 63 1/3 innings in High-A, the 6-foot-4 righty has a 4.26 ERA with 92 punchouts for a 33.8% strikeout rate. On Friday, he pitched five shutout innings, allowing just one hit while punching out nine. Bright, 22, is ranked as Baltimore’s 27th-best prospect by Baseball America.
Outfielder Douglas Hodo (Round 6, 167th overall): The former Texas Longhorn opened the season in Delmarva and posted a .403 on-base percentage to earn his promotion to Aberdeen in late May. He opened his High-A career 4-for-41 at the plate before landing on the seven-day injured list in late June.
Right-hander Preston Johnson (Round 7, 197th overall): Drafted out of Mississippi State, the 23-year-old hasn’t pitched in a game this season as he recovers from Tommy John elbow reconstruction.
Right-hander Cameron Weston (Round 8, 227th overall): In 23 1/3 innings with Aberdeen, Weston has a 1.93 ERA and 29 strikeouts compared with just six walks. After easing into the level with bulk relief outings, the 6-foot-2 22-year-old has earned wins in his past two starts, striking out 15 and allowing four runs in 10 innings.
Infielder Adam Crampton (Round 9, 257th overall): Crampton hit .271 with a .379 on-base percentage in April, but the 22-year-old has since hit .177 with a .507 OPS at Delmarva. For the season the Stanford standout is slashing .198/.287/.263.
Right-hander Wyatt Cheney (Round 10, 287th overall): Drafted out of a junior college, Cheney is 2-7 with a 5.59 ERA with Delmarva. In 48 1/3 innings, the 22-year-old has allowed 54 hits, walked 31 batters and struck out 45.
Right-hander Zack Showalter (Round 11, 317th overall): A year later, Showalter is perhaps the Orioles’ best value from the 2022 draft. Drafted out of high school, the Orioles persuaded the righty to sign and he’s dominated so far in his young professional career to become one of Baltimore’s top 30 prospects, according to Baseball America. Showalter, ranked as the ninth-best pitcher in the Orioles’ system, struck out 16 batters and allowed just one run in the Florida Complex League to earn a promotion to Delmarva. The 19-year-old has a 2.04 ERA and 20 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings with the Shorebirds.
Right-hander Bradley Brehmer (Round 12, 347th overall): Drafted out of Indiana, the 23-year-old starting pitcher has a 4.61 ERA in 70 1/3 innings with the Shorebirds. He’s walked just 8.1% of batters and struck out 19.7%. He was placed on the seven-day injured list last week.
Left-hander Jared Beck (Round 13, No. 377th overall): Beck was one of the most interesting players the Orioles selected in 2022. He was selected out of Division II St. Leo and is an intriguing prospect as a 7-foot left-hander. In 58 1/3 innings with Delmarva this year, Beck posted a 3.86 ERA with 78 strikeouts to earn a promotion to High-A earlier this month. In his first outing with the IronBirds, the 23-year-old struck out two in three hitless innings.
Catcher-first baseman Adam Retzbach (Round 14, 407th overall): Retzbach, 22, posted an .862 OPS in April for the IronBirds, but he cooled down in May and is now on the injured list. In 32 games between High-A and Low-A, he has a .208 batting average and a .643 OPS.
Right-hander Graham Firoved (Round 16, 467th overall): Drafted out of Virginia Tech, the 23-year-old reliever has a 5.92 ERA in High-A with a 30.4% strikeout rate.
Infielder Carter Young (Round 17, 497th overall): The Orioles were able to sign the Vanderbilt shortstop and LSU transfer thanks in part to slot money they saved from not coming to an agreement with third-rounder Nolan McLean. Young, 22, is hitting .232 with three home runs in 74 games for the Shorebirds, but he’s hitting .276 with a .737 OPS since June 1.
Right-hander Reese Sharp (Round 20, 587th overall): The 22-year-old reliever allowed just two runs in 16 innings with Delmarva to earn a promotion to Aberdeen, where he’s posted a 5.57 ERA in 21 innings. Sharp has struck out 29.3% of batters, but he’s struggled with command, walking a whopping 21.6%.