DUNEDIN, Fla. — In years past, when the Orioles left their veteran talent in Sarasota and marched major-league hopefuls onto buses for hour-plus drives across the Sunshine State, the lineups wouldn’t have been so star-studded as this.

On Tuesday, when the Orioles faced the Toronto Blue Jays in one of these late spring training games that might be overshadowed by the nearness of opening day, the lineup was instead bursting with marquee names. There was baseball’s top-ranked prospect, Jackson Holliday, leading off. Adley Rutschman was behind the plate. Colton Cowser, Kyle Stowers and Heston Kjerstad were manning the outfield. Coby Mayo stood at third. Connor Norby hit ninth.

“It’s pretty ridiculous how much talent we have in this organization,” Holliday said. “It’s really exciting to be a part of and any time I get to go out on the field with these guys, it’s a blast. I mean, shoot, Norby’s hitting ninth and he’s dangerous every single at-bat.”

It’s a credit to how deep Baltimore’s farm system is — and it underscores how difficult the decision-making process will be for general manager Mike Elias and manager Brandon Hyde.

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When they looked around the field at TD Ballpark on Tuesday, they only saw one regular: Rutschman. Everywhere else were players pushing for their major league debuts or striving for an extended chance with the Orioles. And in this final week of spring training action, those players are making a case for their inclusion.

Just watch what they did Tuesday — or listen, for the cracks of the bat were evidence enough.

Holliday, Cowser and Norby all homered in a 13-8 win against the Blue Jays. In doing so, they added even more pressure on the upcoming roster decisions.

“It just shows you how deep this organization is, and how talented everyone in it is,” Cowser said. “Feels like everyone came into spring kind of on a mission, and it seems like, whether it’s responding to things or going out there and executing a plan, I think everybody’s going out there and showcasing what they’re capable of.”

What they’re capable of is a lot, apparently.

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Baltimore Orioles infielder Connor Norby makes a catch during a spring training session on Feb. 22. He was 1-for-4 Tuesday with a two-run home run. (Ulysses Muñoz/The Baltimore Banner)

Norby lined a pull-side homer early in the game, Kjerstad finished 3-for-4 and Tyler Nevin, who projects to be a minor league depth piece, homered as part of his strong spring.

But Cowser’s blast, which left his bat at 110.4 mph and traveled a whopping 463 feet, was the loudest of the bunch. Hyde joked there may have been some pent-up frustration loosened in the swing; Cowser struck out in his first three plate appearances ahead of the homer.

Instead, Cowser said he relaxed for that final at-bat. “First three at-bats, I was a little too big today,” Cowser said. He forced the issue and swung at poor pitches. Then, he “tried to just simplify that last one.” In a full count, Cowser unleashed.

Holliday, who hit a grand slam at this park earlier this month, has shown growth in his at-bats recently. He noted that his strikeout numbers are higher than he’d like, with 14 punchouts this spring, but as he worked the count Tuesday, he showed off his eye.

Holliday drew a walk against right-hander Chris Bassitt in his second plate appearance, and he beat out an infield single in the first on another full count. In his fourth at-bat, Holliday drove his solo homer beyond the right-center field fence.

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“I feel pretty good with where my game’s at. Whatever they decide, they decide, right?” Holliday said. “Just coming out here and playing and trying to win each and every at-bat, and each and every play on defense. Just taking that attitude versus thinking too far ahead in the future. Just trying to be present and enjoy the game.”

Of course, Holliday wouldn’t have to look too far into the future for that decision. By the end of this week, he should know whether he made the opening day roster as a 20-year-old hitting .326 with a .998 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.

Does he look like a major leaguer?

“It’s hard to say he doesn’t,” Hyde said.

The same uncertainty awaits Cowser and Mayo and all of Baltimore’s other prospects.

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“We have a really talented organization, a lot of great guys in the outfield, and it’s not really in my control,” said Cowser, who is hitting .351 this spring. “I can only control what I can control out on the field, and whatever decision they ultimately make, I’m going to trust it.”

The Orioles’ decision-makers didn’t need a reminder of how crowded the ranks are, but with homers from three of their high-ranking prospects Tuesday, they got one anyway.

“It just speaks to how Mike has drafted, honestly, of how many talented players we have in our organization and how many talented guys we’re going to have in our upper-levels [of the minors],” Hyde said. “We can only take 26. Good problem to have.”

Andy Kostka is an Orioles beat writer for The Baltimore Banner. He previously covered the Orioles for The Baltimore Sun. Kostka graduated from the University of Maryland and grew up in Rockville.

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