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Orioles call up top prospect Grayson Rodriguez to make MLB debut Wednesday

We discuss the report that the Orioles have called up Grayson Rodriguez, one of MLB’s top pitching prospects, to make his first MLB start on Wednesday, April 5th.

Grayson Rodriguez of the Baltimore Orioles pitches during a spring training game against the Minnesota Twins on March 7, 2023 at the Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Florida. Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

The top pitching prospect in baseball is set to make his MLB debut, as the Baltimore Orioles have promoted righty Grayson Rodriguez to start Wednesday’s game against the Rangers and Jacob deGrom.

Rodriguez has been ticketed for stardom from pretty much the moment the Orioles drafted him 11th overall out of Central Heights High School in Nacogdoches, Texas, in 2018. After tearing through every level of the Minors, he was expected to compete for a rotation spot entering the 2023 season — but 11 earned runs in his final 10 2/3 innings of Spring Training saw him the odd man out on a Baltimore staff full of young arms.

One of those arms, Kyle Bradish, was put on the injured list after taking a line drive off his foot on Monday in Texas, giving Rodriguez a chance to finally make his much-anticipated debut.

Grayson Rodriguez fantasy impact

After a full year of waiting, the day has finally arrived. If you conjured up the idea of an ace in your mind’s eye, it would look a lot like Rodriguez: a big, 6’5 righty from Texas with an overpowering mid-90s fastball and as many four plus secondaries when he’s on his game.

There are some reasons for concern here, namely his struggles in the spring and his lone start in Triple-A over the weekend. Still, the talent, pedigree and strikeout potential are undeniable, and he could profile as a high-end SP2 if he gets off to a strong enough start to convince the Orioles to give him 120-130 innings with the big club this year.

If you’re in a 12-team mixed league or deeper this should be an immediate buy — guys with the potential to immediately reshape your pitching staff don’t come across the waiver wire very often.