Home News Orioles call up No. 3 prospect Jordan Westburg

Orioles call up No. 3 prospect Jordan Westburg

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BALTIMORE — Reds phenom Elly De La Cruz is coming to Baltimore to face the Orioles on Monday. But he won’t be the only one of baseball’s top offensive prospects showing up to Camden Yards.

In related moves, infielder Joey Ortiz was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk, and catcher José Godoy cleared outright waivers and accepted an assignment to Norfolk.

Westburg has been raking all year for Norfolk, where he slashed .295/.372/.567 with 15 doubles, two triples, 18 homers and 54 RBIs in 67 games. It was his second stint at the level, as he posted a .274/.361/.508 slash line with 25 doubles, three triples, 18 homers and 74 RBIs over 91 games for the Tides in 2022.

The Orioles have gotten off to a tremendous start this season, as they improved to 47-29 with a 3-2 win over the Mariners on Sunday afternoon. However, Baltimore could use a bit of an offensive boost, which should be provided by Westburg, who was the No. 30 overall pick in Competitive Balance Round A of the 2020 MLB Draft.

Second baseman Adam Frazier (.674 OPS in 74 games) and shortstop Jorge Mateo (.622 OPS in 68 games) have each been slumping a bit of late. Frazier is batting .182 (12-for-66) over 18 games in June, while Mateo was mired in a 1-for-18 skid before going 1-for-2 against Seattle on Sunday.

The right-handed-hitting Westburg’s most impressive tool is his power. But the Mississippi State University product showed the ability to hit for average in the upper level of the Minors, recording a .283 mark in 158 career Triple-A games. He’s also a capable defender at three infield positions, moving around between shortstop (33 games), third base (20) and second base (seven) at Norfolk this year.

Not only that, but Westburg flashed his versatility by getting some time in the corner outfield. He’s played five games in right and one in left this season.

At the end of Spring Training, Orioles general manager Mike Elias said Westburg was “right there” in the battle for a roster spot, noting he was “really close” to the Majors. It was evident Baltimore thought that, considering Westburg remained in big league camp until the final cuts.

Now, the time for Westburg to prove he is ready has arrived.

Westburg will be the first member of the Orioles’ 2020 Draft class to debut in the Majors, where he’ll join catcher Adley Rutschman and infielder Gunnar Henderson, the top two picks in Baltimore’s ‘19 class.

There will likely be more promotions to the Majors to come this year. Outfielders Colton Cowser (the No. 15 overall prospect in baseball) and Heston Kjerstad (No. 40) are currently in Triple-A, with the former closer to a big league callup than the latter. So eventually, the O’s lineup should be filled with even more young talent.

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