The Orioles’ organization is filled with exciting young outfielders. There’s All-Star starter Cedric Mullins and a healthy Austin Hays with the big club, and it’s easy to forget that Anthony Santander is still only 26 years old.
Kyle Stowers somehow managed to compete with Adley Rutschman for the offensive player of the year award in Baltimore’s system, and former top pick Heston Kjerstad will join fellow first rounder Colton Cowser at the Orioles fall camp this year. While Kjerstad will rightfully steal the headlines with his long-awaited return this fall, there is another prospect worth talking about in Sarasota right now.
The Orioles selected Hudson Haskin in the second round of the 2020 draft. Haskin was selected nine picks after Jordan Westburg, and was the second outfielder chosen by Baltimore after Kjerstad.
Like the rest of the 2020 draft class, Haskin missed out on playing professional ball that season. He made his debut this year at Delmarva, but worked his way up to High-A Aberdeen before a season-ending thumb injury in late August.
Haskin slashed an impressive .276/.377/.415 over 57 games with the Shorebirds. He played center field for a majority of the games (39), but also made appearances in both corner spots.
Haskin played his college ball at Tulane where he gained the reputation of a solid defender with an average arm. His speed and unorthodox swing jumped out right away, but his strong approach at the plate and power potential made him an attractive choice. The Orioles elected to pay him full slot value at the top of the second round.
Haskin put that speed on full display right out of the gate. He stole 17 bags at Delmarva and swiped five more at Aberdeen. He walked 32 times between both levels and flashed an ability to get on base in both leagues.
At 6’2 and 200 pounds, Haskin can still add some power into his game at the professional level. However, he did little to help that argument this season. The Tulane product tallied five homers at Delmarva, but did not go deep with Aberdeen. He posted 19 doubles and three triples over 83 games.
The thumb injury squashed any potential for a brief stint at Bowie to end the season, but Haskin’s ability to adjust at High-A deserves attention. He hit .275 with the IronBirds after posting a .276 average with Delmarva, and his on-base percentage actually increased from .377 to .389.
Haskin appears to have the ability to stick in center field long term, and that could be a requirement if the power never arrives. Still, his speed and on-base skills could make him an attractive candidate to bat atop the order someday.
Haskin will likely start 2022 with Aberdeen, but he should have an opportunity to jump up to Bowie fairly quickly. The thumb injury is not expected to linger into next season.
Haskin fits the mold as a player that could receive plenty of hype between fall camp and spring training next season. Despite his unique swing, the guy looks like a hitter. He currently ranks 16th on MLB.com’s Top 30 Orioles prospects, but he could jump into the top 10 if the ball comes off the bat with more pop next season.
It would take a meteoric rise for Haskin to end up in Baltimore next year, but he does appear on track for a 2023 call up. There are plenty of reasons to believe that Haskin will make it to the bigs, and his debut season marked a strong step in the right direction.
Tomorrow: Kyle Bradish and Kevin Smith