2024 MLB Season Outlook: Baltimore Orioles Preview, Predictions & Expectations
The Baltimore Orioles snuck up on MLB last season and won 100 games for the first time since 1980.
The Orioles saw its top prospects excel at the Major League level and there are more coming. It was a relatively quiet offseason for the Orioles but there were still some big-time moves. Let’s dive into it.
2023 SEASON IN-REVIEW
Record: 101-61, 1st in AL East
Postseason: Loss in ALDS (3-0) to Texas Rangers
The Orioles returned to the postseason for the first time since 2016 and appeared in the divisional round for the first time since 2014. Baltimore emerged, what many thought was prematurely, during the regular season and flamed out once the postseason came around.
2024 SEASON PREVIEW
Key Additions: RHP Corbin Burnes, RHP Craig Kimbrel
Key Losses: RHP Kyle Gibson, RHP Shintaro Fujinami
The Orioles are the first team to have the No. 1 ranked prospect in baseball for three-consecutive years. Gunnar Henderson was named AL Rookie of the Year last season while Adley Rutschman has quickly become one of the best catchers in baseball. Yes, this was expected in Baltimore but the jump happened much earlier than anticipated.
The question is, can this be sustainable?
Rutschman is 25 years old. Henderson is currently 22 and Jackson Holliday, who has a chance to come up right away and be the big-league shortstop in 2024, is just 20. The core is set for Baltimore and there are still many years before it has to start paying players the big bucks. Of course, new ownership could choose to go the route of the Atlanta Braves and jump the gun while the players are still young. Regardless of the plan, the core is there for 2024 and is only improving.
Holliday is currently ranked as the top prospect in baseball. As of now, he is not on the big-league roster but there is a great chance that he is named the Opening Day shortstop for the Orioles. This is the plan long-term for Baltimore and it does not make sense to delay it any longer. If Holliday is ready, he can only add more explosiveness to this lineup.
The biggest question mark to this 101-win team last season was the starting rotation. Grayson Rodriguez and Kyle Bradish are intriguing options while John Means turned in a sub-three ERA last season and has a no-hitter on his resume. The Orioles were still lacking a true ace at the top of the rotation. This is what they acquired when they made a deal for Corbin Burnes. The Orioles sent the Milwaukee Brewers two prospects, just one ranked inside the Top 100, and received one of the best pitchers in baseball. It will be interesting to see how it plays out this time next year when Burnes enters free agency but he will be in an Orioles’ uniform for 2024.
Baltimore remains an interesting case. This is a team that is loaded within the lineup on paper and now has its true, legitimate ace in the rotation. The core is young, talented, and hungry. We saw that in 2024. For those who have doubts about the consistency of this group, it’s not entirely unwarranted. When a group is this young, it is fair to speculate on if a team can repeat success, especially when the initial burst seemed a bit premature.
The Orioles will have a chance to answer all questions and put doubters to rest this season. Another division title and postseason appearance can prove that last year was not fraudulent and this will be the norm moving forward. Many eyes will be on the Baltimore Orioles, especially as they battle the New York Yankees within the AL East.
Potential Starting Lineup
- Gunnar Henderson, 3B
- Adley Rutschman, C
- Anthony Santander, OF
- Ryan O’Hearn, 1B
- Austin Hays, OF
- Cedric Mullins, OF
- Ryan Mountcastle, DH
- Jackson Holliday, SS
- Jordan Westburg, 2B
- Corbin Burnes
- Kyle Bradish
- Grayson Rodriguez
- John Means
- Dean Kremer/Cole Irvin
Final Record Prediction: 95-67
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