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Fantasy baseball waiver wire: New Orioles infielder Jordan Westburg is a must-add

The infielder — who will reportedly get the call for his MLB debut on Monday — is just the latest top prospect to arrive in Baltimore over the past year or so.

Baltimore Orioles shortstop Jordan Westburg singles against the Toronto Blue Jays during the fifth inning at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Orioles have had a stream of top prospects arrive in the Majors over the past year or two, from Adley Rutschman to Gunnar Henderson to Grayson Rodriguez to Joey Ortiz. But even after all of those graduations, one of the very best farm systems in baseball still has plenty of bullets left in the chamber — and with the big-league club smack in the middle of the AL postseason picture, it appears they’ve decided to fire another one.

Triple-A infielder Jordan Westburg — the team’s third-best prospect and No. 46 overall, per MLB Pipeline — is reportedly set to get the call to Baltimore ahead of Monday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.

Jeff Passan reports that Westburg will in fact be in the starting lineup tomorrow night, and we can’t wait to watch him square off against Cincy’s Matt McLain and Elly De La Cruz. He’ll be a huge boost to an already-strong O’s lineup. If Baltimore’s offense has had one weakness this year, it’s been at the middle infield spots, where Adam Frazier, Jorge Mateo and Ramon Urias have all posted an OPS below league average. With Gunnar Henderson entrenched at third, Richburg can hold his own at short or, more likely, slot in at second base, where he figures to be at least an above-average defender.

After a stellar college career at Mississippi State, in which he helped lead the Bulldogs to the College World Series in 2018 and 2019, the O’s took Westburg 30th overall in the 2020 MLB Draft as a polished, high-floor prospect — the sort of guy who doesn’t have any overly loud tools but does everything pretty well and is a good bet to move quickly. And that’s largely what happened in his first season as a pro, as he went from A-ball to High-A to Double-A while hitting a very solid .285.

But Westburg emerged in 2022 sporting a new, more upper-cut swing, and that effort to pull the ball in the air led to a major power boost. He popped 27 homers (while stealing 12 bases) over 138 games, much higher than anything he’d done in his college or pro career to that point. And he’s carried that over to this season, slashing .295/.372/.567 with 18 homers and six steals in just 67 games at Triple-A Norfolk.

The new power-happy approach has introduced a bit more strikeout risk into his game, and a fly ball-heavy profile at Camden Yards means he’ll probably wind up as more of a .250-.260 hitter in the Majors than a .300 one. But still, the power is real, and if it all clicks Westburg could very well hit 25-30 homers while stealing at least 10-15 bases.