Henderson, 21, was the Orioles’ second-round pick out of high school in 2019 and he’s moved quickly through the system since. The Orioles had him playing third and batting sixth against the Cleveland Guardians on Wednesday.
He played in 47 games in Double-A this season before moving to Triple-A, where he’s appeared in 65. In all in 2022, he’s hitting .297/.416/.531 with 24 doubles, seven triples, 19 homers, 76 RBI, 101 runs and 22 steals in 112 games. Henderson has played mostly third base and shortstop at both stops this season.
CBS Sports’ R.J. Anderson recently explained why Henderson was considered arguably the top prospect in the minors:
He’s impressed scouts with his above-average raw power and his defensive potential. The Orioles have cross-trained him at both left-side infield positions throughout his career, but scouts expect him to end up at third base long term.
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Henderson joined an Orioles team that is surprisingly pushing for a playoff spot. The O’s entered Wednesday with a 67-61 record, putting them three games back of the Blue Jays for the final wild-card spot in the American League. Henderson, with his Wednesday call-up, would be eligible for the postseason roster if they make it.
It’s worth mention that Henderson has seen very limited time at second base, but that it started recently. In his last nine games, Henderson has played second base six times. The move is perhaps a precursor to Henderson taking over second base from Rougned Odor with Jorge Mateo at shortstop and Ramón Urías at third.
The Orioles also have the ability to mix-and-match and move Henderson around between positions.
Another layer here that is intriguing: The Orioles are the only team in baseball with two 20-plus stolen base players in Cedric Mullins and Mateo — and they are both close to 30. Henderson has 22 steals in the minors, so the promotion gives them another strong threat on the basepaths.
The Orioles already promoted top prospect Adley Rutschman earlier in the season and he’s likely to finish second in AL Rookie of the Year voting, if not make a surge to winning the award. Henderson being added to the mix is just that much more excitement for the Orioles and their fans.