A solid 1st full professional season saw this tall, lanky shortstop make his way to Double-A and become the #8 overall prospects in a stacked system.
Age (as of Jun 30th) : 22
2021 Level: A-/A+/AA
Tools (current/future value)
Game Power: 40/50
Raw Power: 45/50
Most Likely Future Role: Starting second base
Ceiling: Starting shortstop, occasional All-Star
What we know: Made a nice professional debut starting off the season dominating Low-A ball and ending the year putting up a .929 OPS over his last 22 AA games. A mature, old school throw back type player, Westburg is a gap to gap hitter who loves to drive the ball to right center for doubles. The Orioles started him off in Delmarva but after dominating for a .484 wOBA and 188 wRC+ in his first 20 games, he was promoted to Aberdeen. After making some adjustments, Westburg proved to be too good for A+ pitching putting up a .333/.447/.576/1.023 over his last 123 PAs to earn himself a promotion to AA.
He struggled a bit making the adjustment to AA pitching slashing just .138/.266/.277/.543 through his first 19 games over 79 PAs but finished strong slashing .310/.385/.586/.971 over his last 14 games over 65 PAs.
While Westburg doesn’t have the big time power that some of the other hitting prospects have at the top of this list, he has a solid hit tool that should allow him to hit for doubles and put up 15-20 home runs a year. He’s a hard nose runner who has good speed on the base paths, but is not an accomplished base stealer. He’s the kind of player that will hit a ball under the shortstops glove and stretch it into a double of the outfielders don’t go after it hard.
Defensively, he has very good instincts at shortstop along with good range and hands. His only downfall is an average at best arm that may suggest his better future is at second base. However, there are times he shows good arm strength so he may be one of those guys with a great game clock who knows how much he needs on the ball to get a runner out by a half step. Outside of Cadyn Grenier and maybe Joey Ortiz, Westburg is the best defensive shortstop in the system. Michael Young could be a good comp for Westburg.
What we don’t know: Can Westburg stay at SS or is he better off at second base? While he can handle third base, he may not have that pure arm strength you look for over there so he’s probably better up the middle. What kind of power will he end up. There’s room for Westburg to get stronger but his modest line drive and flyball rates suggest his swing is more adept to doubles than home runs
What we think: Westburg is a nice looking prospect who could end up a doubles machine at the plate who can play up the middle on the dirt. While he may not have the upside of some of the players ahead of him including Gunnar Henderson, he has a higher floor. He could start the year in Bowie again, but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t make his Baltimore debut in 2022.