Entering 2023, Manny Machado was the Orioles’ only hitting prospect over the past 15 years to reach Double-A in his age-19 season or earlier.
Jackson Holliday and, now, Samuel Basallo have joined him this season. With the High-A regular season coming to an end Sunday, the Orioles are promoting Basallo, their No. 5 prospect according to Baseball America, and right-hander Seth Johnson, ranked 20th in the system, to Double-A Bowie, a source with direct knowledge of the team’s plans confirmed to The Baltimore Sun.
Basallo, who turned 19 last month, is a left-handed-hitting catcher who has been the star of the organization’s dive into the international market, signing for a then-franchise record $1.3 million out of the Dominican Republic in 2021. Ranked baseball’s No. 46 prospect overall, Basallo entered Sunday hitting .305/.397/.543 with 20 home runs, 84 RBIs and 12 steals between Low-A Delmarva and High-A Aberdeen. With Basallo reaching his third level of the year, all of the Orioles’ top eight prospects are in Double-A or higher, with Holliday, the sport’s top prospect who has reached Triple-A in his first full season, leading the way.
One of two pitchers acquired last August for Trey Mancini, Johnson underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction shortly after the trade. His first appearance with Bowie will be his first at the Double-A level and his fifth outing since returning. He had a 3.00 ERA in seven starts for the Tampa Bay Rays’ High-A affiliate last season before requiring surgery and has struck out 10 of 31 batters faced in 7 1/3 innings this season across starts in the Florida Complex League, Low-A and High-A. Johnson, who turns 25 later this month, is a member of the Orioles’ 40-man roster.
The Baltimore Banner first reported the promotions.