Baltimore Orioles: Rylan Bannon Is Beginning To Show His Value
One of the five players the Baltimore Orioles received in the Manny Machado trade, second baseman Rylan Bannon, is leading the Bowie Baysox in many offensive categories, giving more hope to this trade working out for the O’s.
The Baltimore Orioles received five players from the Los Angeles Dodgers in last year’s trade deadline deal for Manny Machado. Coming to Baltimore were: INF Rylan Bannon, OF Yusniel Diaz, RHP Dean Kremer, RHP Zach Pop, and INF Breyvic Valera.
Currently, the value of the trade is mixed, at best. Valera appeared in 12 games for the Orioles and spent time in Norfolk (AAA) as well, before being designated for assignment in January of 2019. He was traded to the San Francisco Giants for cash considerations before being DFA’d again and ultimately found his way to the New York Yankees.
Diaz is currently on the Bowie 7-day Injured List (with nothing but radio silence on his potential return), Kremer is rehabbing from an oblique injury in Frederick (A-Adv.), and Pop recently underwent successful Tommy John surgery.
Bannon is the only player currently active and is leading the Bowie Baysox in many offensive categories. Currently slashing .292/ .367/ .477 with four home runs and 16 RBIs, Bannon leads the Baysox in games played (36), at-bats (130), runs (17), hits (38), doubles (12), RBI (16), total bases (62), and walks (14). His slash line is one of the best on the Baysox team, as well.
Additionally, Bannon is in the top-10 in all of the Eastern League in games, at-bats, hits, doubles, and total bases.
Little, following the trade, indicated that this would be the case. Bannon hit .204/ .344/ .327 with two home runs in 32 games for the Baysox in 2018, his first year at the Double-A level. He struggled throughout the remainder of the 2018 season but has hit the ground running in 2019.
Bannon is showing an ability to hit any pitcher, no matter what side of the rubber he hurls from; he is hitting right-handed pitchers at a .292 clip and left-handers at .293. He is striking out at a 21% rate this season which is just about what he did in Bowie (20%) in 2018. It would be nice to see him improve on his 9.5 walk rate, however.
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Bannon’s offensive leadership, should it continue, as well as the spark provided by recently promoted Mason McCoy will, hopefully, improve the Baysox fortunes in 2019. The team is currently 12-25 following a week where the team produced a record of 5-2.
At the time of the Machado trade, Diaz was seen as the centerpiece. His struggles in 2018 (.239/ .329/ .403), as well as those in 2019 (.225/ .313/ .338) and the subsequent injury, has delayed the ability to see what the 22-year-old outfielder can produce in a full season of work in the upper minors.
Should the others return to form, the Machado trade will be a huge success. If not, Bannon has real potential to be a pleasant and under-the-radar piece of the deal.
Keep your eyes on Bannon, Baltimore Orioles fans, his performance is worthy of your time.