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Apr 23, 2024 1:02 pm

Reports: Orioles to call up OF/1B Heston Kjerstad

Heston Kjerstad

The Orioles are expected to call up slugger Heston Kjerstad on Tuesday, making him the latest first-round draft pick to land in Baltimore, multiple outlets reported.

Kjerstad, an outfielder/first baseman, was the No. 2 overall pick of the 2020 MLB Draft out of Arkansas but had a rough start to his career. He missed the 2021 season because of the heart condition myocarditis, and was limited in 2022 by a serious hamstring injury.

But fast forward to 2024, and opponents in the International League will be happy to see him go.

At Triple-A Norfolk, he is hitting .349 with 10 home runs and 30 RBIs with a slugging percentage of .744 in 21 games. On April 3, he homered twice and drove in 10 runs in a 26-11 win at Charlotte.

In 13 games with the Orioles last season, he batted .233 with two homers and three RBIs; in spring training this year, he drove in three runs in 18 games, batting .265.

The Orioles promoted 2022 No. 1 overall pick Jackson Holliday two weeks ago, and he joined first-round picks Colton Cowser (No. 5 overall in 2021), Adley Rutschman (No. 1, 2019) and Grayson Rodriguez (No. 11, 2018) on the roster.

Outfielder Austin Hays went on the injured list on Monday with a calf strain.

Kjerstad, 25, started the season ranked as the No. 29 prospect on MLB.com’s Top 100 list.

The Orioles enter Tuesday’s road game against the Los Angeles Angels with a 15-7 record, a half-game ahead of the New York Yankees atop the tough American League East.

–Field Level Media

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