The minor league season is winding down and end-of-year All-Star teams are being announced. A few Baltimore Orioles prospects have been named to those teams.
The 2019 minor league season is scheduled to end on September 2nd and although there is less than ten days remaining for games to be played, two leagues, the Carolina League (Advanced-A) and the Eastern League (Double-A), have announced their year-end All-Star teams.
The Carolina League announced their All-Stars on Thursday and the Eastern League followed suit on Friday. A prospect in the Baltimore Orioles organization was named to each of those year-end teams; the players recognized were Frederick Keys outfielder Zach Jarrett and Bowie Baysox pitcher Zac Lowther.
Jarrett was named to the All-Star team despite his promotion to Bowie on August 15th. In 92 games for the Keys, the 2017 28th round draft pick out of UNC-Charlotte slashed .290/ .349/ .432 with 53 runs scored, 11 home runs and 37 RBI. He remains the Keys team leader in runs scored and his games played, at-bats (338), hits (98), home runs, total bases (146), walks (27) and stolen bases (7) are all currently top-three as well.
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Among Carolina League hitters, Jarrett remains sixth in slugging percentage and ninth in OPS (.781) and was ranked fourth in hitting at the time of his promotion. The year-end accolades top off a season in which Jarrett was also named to the mid-season All-Star team and duplicates what he did in 2018 with the Delmarva Shorebirds (A-Low) when he was both a mid-season and end of season South Atlantic League All-Star
Lowther, the Orioles 2017 Competitive Balance round B draft pick and #10 ranked prospect according to MLB Pipeline, earned the nod as the Eastern League’s left-handed starter based on a solid 2019 campaign.
In 24 starts for the Baysox, Lowther has pitched to a 13-7 record over 136.0 innings with a 2.71 ERA and 1.14 WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched). Additionally, he has struck out 137 batters while holding them to a .198 batting average. He has made a total of 12 quality starts and, in fact, his last four starts have been quality starts.
He is currently the Bowie team leader in wins, starts, and innings pitched; he is also just the sixth Baysox pitcher in history to win 13 games in a season. Lowther leads the Eastern League in wins and is ranked second in strikeouts, tied for third in ERA, fourth in innings pitched and seventh in WHIP.
Lowther, like Jarrett, was also a mid-season All-Star. He earned the E.L. Player of the Week Award for the week of May 13-19.
It has been a very good year for Orioles prospects and the future is getting brighter as these awards demonstrate. I do not think this is the end of year-end accolades either for prospects in the Baltimore organization; I anticipate a few more of these announcements as the season draws to a close.