Orioles’ No. 6 Prospect Tabbed as Most Likely Trade Candidate

Connor Norby

Getty Connor Norby, the number six ranked prospect in the Baltimore Orioles farm system.

With the MLB trade deadline not even two months away, reports and rumors are flying. And the Baltimore Orioles sit firmly at the center of them all.

Home to three top-20 prospects, according to ESPN’s latest rankings, there’s speculation that any number of those three, amongst others, could be dealt for bullpen help ahead of the July 30th deadline.

In his latest article for Bleacher Report, Joel Reuter tabs slugger Connor Norby as Baltimore’s most likely trade candidate.

Norby, ranked sixth on the Orioles’ prospect list, has watched a number of his Triple-A teammates get the call this season.

There’s skepticism that he would see playing time on a Baltimore roster with his primary positions deadlocked with full-time starters.

“Connor Norby is playing alongside some of those guys now at Triple-A,” Reuter wrote on May 23. “And while he has little left to prove in the minors, there is also no clear path to playing time for him at second base or in the outfield.”

Through 41 games with the Norfolk Tides, Norby is slashing .301/.385/.543 with a .928 OPS for 9 home runs and 30 RBIs.

Elias on Norby: ‘He’s a Topic of Conversation

When the Orioles decided to option Jackson Holliday back to Triple-A, after a disappointing 10-game stint with the team, it was veteran Ryan McKenna who took his place on the roster.

Baltimore general manager Mike Elias met with reporters, and talked about the decision, as well as Norby’s trajectory.

“Connor is doing really well,” Elias told reporters on April 26. “I think it feels like heʼs been in Triple-A longer than he has. Heʼs moved really quickly through. … Heʼs also somebody that is working on his defense, whether thatʼs at second base and heʼs also working on the corner outfield, too. Weʼre talking about him, you know, heʼs a topic of conversation, which is always a good sign.”

Drafted in the second round in 2021, Norby’s played 188 games in Triple-A.

That’s more than Colton Cowser (114), Gunnar Henderson (65), Heston Kjerstad (101), and Jordan Westburg (158). All four have received the major-league call up Norby is waiting on.

But none of them play second base either.

Norby Stuck Behind Roster Depth?

As is Reuter’s theory, Norby may still be in the minors for sake of the Orioles’ roster depth.

He plays second base and in the outfield, the latter of which could be argued is no deeper in MLB outside of Baltimore.

Headlined by Cowser, Cedric Mullins, and Anthony Santander, the Orioles’ outfield also features Austin Hays, and Ryan O’Hearn.

That’s a tough tier to crack for any prospect.

At second base, Westburg is the starter, with Jorge Mateo coming on as off late as the secondary option.

Ramon Urias, the team’s starting third baseman, fills in at times too.

As fans saw with Heston Kjerstad, and are seeing with Kyle Stowers, an MLB call-up doesn’t always guarantee playing time.

Kjerstad appeared seven in of 17 possible games before being optioned back to Triple-A.

Stowers, who replaced him, has appeared in five of nine possible games. Both players’s designations are in the outfield.

Perhaps that is what’s holding up Norby, who’s getting ready to make his 189th appearance for the Norfolk Tides.

It could also very well be a reason to trade him to a team with positional need, and get some much-needed relief help.

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