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Orioles prospect Heston Kjerstad has been promoted to Triple-A

The Heston Kjerstad Finally Arrived Tour, now in its second year, is headed to Norfolk

Pittsburgh Pirates v Baltimore Orioles Photo by George Kubas/Diamond Images via Getty Images

UPDATE: On Monday afternoon, the Heston Kjerstad promotion was officially announced. The article below was published when this was reported but not yet announced.

It seems like everywhere that you look in the Orioles farm system, there are players who are deserving of being promoted up to the next level, whatever it is. Steadily, if not as fast as the impatient segment of fans would like, these prospects are getting those promotions. The latest is Heston Kjerstad, who is reportedly headed up from Double-A Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk starting on Tuesday. Don’t rush to Norfolk to see him right away, as the Tides will be in Scranton.

Kjerstad’s promotion was reported on over the course of about an hour on Sunday night by the following, in chronological order as well as from least mainstream to most mainstream: Adley Rutschman’s Big Tits II, Bob Phelan of the On The Verge podcast, and MASN’s Steve Melewski. You can choose whoever is most convincing to you.

By this point, we’re all well familiar with the journey that Kjerstad has gone on just to get this far, with not being able to play a pro game until two full years after he was drafted by the Orioles at #2 overall in 2020 due to myocarditis and then a hamstring injury. Now 24, the lefty was assigned to Double-A Bowie to start this season, coming off of an Arizona Fall League campaign last year where he OPSed over 1.000 in 22 games.

Bowie has also gone well for the former Arkansas standout. With a multi-hit game in what will hopefully be his last Double-A game ever, Kjerstad tallied a .310/.383/.576 batting line across 46 games at the level. That includes 11 home runs and a strikeout rate of only about 15%. Since Kjerstad was old for Double-A - and every level he’s been at up to now - due to the delays in his career, the Orioles have generally been aggressive in promoting him and so far it’s all paid off.

Kjerstad will join a Norfolk outfield that’s also got 2021 top Orioles pick Colton Cowser recently returned to it. According to Phelan, the injured Hudson Haskin is set to end his lower-minors rehab assignment and return to the Tides for this week as well. That’s a nice prospect outfield. As recently as two days ago, the Tides lost 16-0 while they had a starting outfield of Daz Cameron, Ben DeLuzio, and Shayne Fontana. Things can change fast.

With Kjerstad in Norfolk, everyone waiting on the next promotion can turn their focus to wondering when Jackson Holliday will get to Bowie, when Cowser or Jordan Westburg will get to Baltimore, and so on down the list as far as your strong feelings go.