clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tuesday Bird Droppings: Heston Kjerstad is tearing up the AFL

The star-crossed Orioles prospect is putting up big numbers in Arizona, including an inside-the-park home run yesterday.

Scottsdale Scorpions v. Mesa Solar Sox Photo by Jill Weisleder/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Good morning, Camden Chatters.

Last night brought an unscheduled break from postseason baseball, as the only game on the docket — the decisive Guardians/Yankees Game 5 in the Bronx — was postponed by rain. They’ll make it up this afternoon, after which the winning team will immediately fly to Houston to begin the ALCS tomorrow. Meanwhile, the NLCS gets underway this evening with the surprising Phillies visiting the also-surprising Padres after those clubs knocked out the defending champion Braves and 111-win Dodgers, respectively.

Still, we weren’t completely deprived of baseball action yesterday. Down in the Arizona Fall League, the Scottsdale Scorpions — a team made up of seven Orioles prospects — defeated the Peoria Javelinas, and the undisputed star of the game was the Birds’ former #2 overall draft pick, Heston Kjerstad. Kjerstad, who entered the game with 15 hits, second-most in the league, continued to tear up opposing pitchers. The Birds’ #9 prospect (per MLB Pipeline) went 4-for-5, and — oh yeah — he smacked an inside-the-park home run.

Look at Kjerstad flying around those bases! For a guy known mainly for his power, he’s sure got some wheels. Incredibly, the Scorpions later hit another inside-the-park home run in the same game, courtesy of Braves prospect Cal Conley.

It’s been an up-and-down first professional season for Kjerstad, who made his long-awaited debut after recovering from myocarditis, then destroyed the Low-A level before fading badly at High-A. It’s hard to glean much information from AFL stats, given the extremely small sample size and varying caliber of opposing pitchers, but Kjerstad seems to be swinging a hot bat. Hopefully he can take that momentum with him into the 2023 season.


Orioles accumulating catchers in early days of offseason -
The hot stove is absolutely sizzling, you guys! Get hype!

Evaluating the Orioles 2019 top prospect list, aka on the therapy couch over Yusniel Diaz - Maximizing Playoff Odds
Jon Meoli looks back on his 2019 Orioles top prospect list for Baseball America and evaluates how things have gone since. Dan Duquette fans, you might not want to revisit how his slew of 2018 trades turned out.

A look at Ryan Mountcastle’s 2022 season - Steve Melewski
In summary: Mountcastle wasn’t very good, but there’s no reason to give up on him yet.

Because You Asked - Rise of the Lycans - School of Roch
In Roch Kubatko's latest mailbag, he douses cold water on the idea of the Orioles signing Carlos Correa. I guess that’s the end of that...until Raul Ramos comes out of nowhere to get our hopes up again!

Orioles birthdays and history

Is today your birthday? Happy birthday! Four ex-Orioles have birthdays today, all pitchers: lefty Garrett Olson (39), righty and Darryl Strawberry-puncher Alan Mills (56), reliever Terry Clark (62), and the late righty Ed Farmer (b. 1949, d. 2020), who finished his Orioles career with an infinity ERA, giving up one run without recording a batter in his lone appearance in 1977. He did have a decent 11-year MLB career elsewhere, though.

The Orioles have never played a game as late as Oct. 18 in their history, so this has usually been a pretty quiet day for the O’s. They have made one trade on his date, swapping Cal Abrams to the White Sox for Bobby Adams in 1955. Abrams had been one of the Birds’ best hitters after they acquired him early in their inaugural 1954 season, but he played just four more major league games after the trade. Adams, meanwhile, played one lackluster season in Baltimore before moving on.