Baltimore Orioles top 10 prospects for 2019

SARASOTA, FL- MARCH 08: A Baltimore Orioles hat is seen against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 8, 2017 at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
SARASOTA, FL- MARCH 08: A Baltimore Orioles hat is seen against the Toronto Blue Jays on March 8, 2017 at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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4. Ryan McKenna, OF

Birthday: 2/14/1997 (21)
Acquired: Draft, 4th round, 2015
Level(s): high-A Frederick, AA Bowie
Statistics: .315/.410/.457, 127 G, 551 PA, 25 2B, 4 3B, 11 HR, 9 SB, 12% BB, 18.3% K

Originally drafted out of high school in New Hampshire, Ryan McKenna is not exactly a physically intimidating player, standing just 5’11” and listed at 185 pounds, though both numbers seem on the exaggerated side. After struggling his way to high-A Frederick, however, he had a huge breakout in 2018.

McKenna doesn’t profile as a guy who will ever hit 30 home runs or even likely steal 30 bases. While he’s a very smart baserunner, he’s not a natural base stealer, so while he can hone that skill as he works his way up the farm system, McKenna’s going to likely be more valuable going 1st to 3rd on a single than 1st to 2nd on a slider right now.

In center field, McKenna’s above-average straight line speed allows him to handle everything, and he does get good reads off of the bat, but he’s likely going to end up shifting to a corner down the road, most likely left field.

McKenna did struggle some after his promotion to AA this year, but much of my views showed a player who simply was fatigued, and his performance in the Arizona Fall League has shown that his high-A performance was no flash in the pan.

Most likely, McKenna will open at AA in 2019, but he has the profile of a modern leadoff guy, with excellent contact skills, the ability to take a walk, gap power, and excellent base running skills. He could move up quickly to a Baltimore Orioles team in need of a leadoff man if he’s able to handle AA and then AAA well.