The Orioles second round pick in the 2023 draft, this power hitting infielder took to pro ball immediately putting up great offensive numbers in his limited play across the three levels and comes in as the #10 prospect.
Age (as of Jun 30th) : 21
2023 Level: FCL/A/A+
Tools (current/future value)
Game Power: 45/60
Raw Power: 55/60
Most Likely Future Role: 1st Division hitter (Defensive position is unknown)
Ceiling: 1st Division hitter, occasional All-Star
What we know: The right-handed hitting Horvath had a breakout year at North Carolina showing plus pull power, plus speed, and the ability to work counts. He slashed .305/.418/.711/1.129 with 21 doubles and 24 home runs in 292 PAs in his junior year enough to have the Orioles snag him with the 53rd overall pick in the 2nd round.
The 21-year old took to pro ball right away slashing .321/.455/.603/1.057 with 7 doubles and 5 home runs over 99 professional PAs over three levels of play ending the year with a taste of High-A in Aberdeen. Horvath has a flyball, pull heavy approach at the plate and will absolutely mash breaking balls left over the plate. There were some concerns over his ability to hit upper velocity and fastballs up in the zone coming out of college and that showed up at times as well during his pro ball time. Time will tell whether that becomes a bigger issue as he rises through the system.
Listed at 6-1, 195, Horvath carries his weight well and has plus speed which allowed him to steal 14 bases in 15 tries in just 22 professional games.
Defensively he played mostly 3B in college until his junior year when he was moved out to center field at times. With some quickness side to side, the Orioles split his time mostly between second base (10 starts) and third base (9 starts) while also giving him three starts in the outfield (RF/LF). Horvath does move well enough on the dirt, but he struggles at times to throw on the move and his low arm angle (sidearm at times from 2B) causes his throws to tail away from first base.
What we don’t know: He made the adjustment to pro ball well, but he did show swing and miss with fastballs up in the zone. If that remains an issue, upper level pitching will exploit that like they did with Jud Fabian so there is some risk to the bat despite the plus power. Horvath has always been a pretty heavy pull hitter so they may work with him to try and use right field more as upper level pitching will give him a healthy dose of away pitches if he doesn’t make some adjustments.
What we think: The upside of a power hitter with plus speed is why he’s on the list this high despite some concerns with his hitting velocity, and whether he can stay on the dirt long term. He’ll most likely start 2024 back in Aberdeen with his results deciding on how fast he gets a promotion to Double-A. He doesn’t have a ton of outfield experience so the Orioles may split more of his time out in the corners, and maybe even in center field to see how he handles it out there with his plus speed. Horvath is an interesting player with a nice ceiling, but also some risk to his floor if he continues to struggle with velocity.