Baltimore Orioles Minors Monday: Ryan Mountcastle could play third
With all the talk of the Baltimore Orioles potentially trading Manny Machado, little has been said about his potential replacement.
If the Baltimore Orioles are considering a trade for Machado, and possibly even a sell-off, the top prospects could start to make their way to Birdland.
This means that Ryan Mountcastle, who has yet to play in Triple-A ball, could show up to take Machado’s place.
He’s no Manny, but he’s not horrible
While there is no guarantee that Mountcastle is the heir apparent to Machado’s perch as the king of third base, he appears to be one of the most qualified youngsters in the system. The O’s drafted Mountcastle in 2015 right out of high school in the first round. He is currently 20 years old and will be able to legally order a beer in February.
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In three seasons in the minors, Mountcastle has a slash of .286/.317/.448 with 32 home runs and 132 RBIs. The highest level he has played in is Double-A with the Bowie Baysox. He also spent time in the Arizona Fall League. He has spent the majority of his time on the field at shortstop, but so did Machado before he transitioned successfully to third base. He has played a few innings at third. Overall, he has a .950 fielding percentage in his three seasons.
Plenty of press
Mountcastle is a mover and shaker in the minor leagues. He has garnered the attention of Fangraphs and he made an appearance on a Fringe Five list with Austin Hays, who could quickly earn a full-time spot in right field if he rocks out in spring training. Victor Robles of the Washington Nationals minor league system also appeared on the list – and he’s another minor leaguer with plenty of buzz.
Mountcastle is no Machado; otherwise, he would already be in the dugout in Birdland. But, the kid has promise. In another post on Fangraphs, Mountcastle is called an above average slugger with a low walk rate. This sounds like exactly what the Orioles like to see in their batters.
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But, Mountcastle is incredibly young for a call-up, but his chances are good that he will be invited to Spring Training to showcase his skills. Those odds should increase if Machado is traded.