Baltimore Orioles Prospects Continue Dominant Arizona Fall League Stints
We’re another week into the Arizona Fall League season and the group of Baltimore Orioles prospects sent out west continue to put up solid numbers.
Last week when we checked in on how things were going in the Arizona Fall League for the group of Baltimore Orioles minor leaguers sent out west, the numbers were largely positive and early returns were encouraging.
Now more than two weeks into the AFL season, the Surprise Saguaros still hold the top record in the league with a 8-3 mark and the group of Orioles prospects making Arizona home for the next few weeks continue to put up huge numbers. We’re looking at small sample sizes here, but it’s great to see a group of players who have an opportunity to contribute at the major league level in the very near future have success against such elite competition.
Infielder Mason McCoy has been my guy since the Orioles drafted him out of Iowa in 2017. Good defense, a solid arm, and the ability to spray base hits all over the field have McCoy ready to take the next step in 2020. He’s making the most of his AFL experience, thus far, and has continued to do what he does best, get on base.
Through six games with Surprise, McCoy is 7-21 (.333 average) with one double, one RBI, and a stolen base. He’s averaging a walk per game, tallying six already and posting an on-base percentage of .481. More extra-base hits would be nice as the season progresses, but you can’t ask for a better start at the moment.
Fellow infielder Rylan Bannon has also continued his solid start with Surprise. Bannon is very likely to join the likes of Ryan Mountcastle and Keegan Akin as the first wave of prospects to reach the majors during this rebuild and a solid AFL stint will bring even more confidence that this move happens sooner rather than later.
Bannon is 7-29 (.241) through seven games with five RBI, two walks, eight strikeouts, and a stolen base. Three of his six games have been multi-hit performances, something he did with high frequency after being promoted to Triple-A late this past season. Tuesday night was a tough night for Bannon, as he went 0-4 with a strikeout.
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On the mound, RHP Dean Kremer continues to do what he does best. In his two starts, Kremer has given up one earned run on three hits while walking one and striking out eight in five innings. Fellow Top 30 prospect, LHP Alex Wells, has been just as dominant. Wells has made three relief appearances, giving up just one run on five hits through five innings. Known for his impeccable command, Wells has struck out five and has yet to issue a free pass.
Also competing in Arizona are RHP David Lebron and RHP Cody Carroll. Carroll is working through the kinks and getting his first action of 2019 after missing all year with a back injury. After tossing back-to-back scoreless outings of one inning apiece, Carroll gave up a run on four hits in his last outing. He owns a 4.91 ERA and opponents are hitting .313 against him in 3.2 innings of work.
Lebron has rebounded well from his opening outing in which he gave up four runs on six hits in 1.2 innings. He has made two appearances since, throwing two scoreless frames in each outing while allowing zero hits. Lebron did walk three batters in his last outing, something that plagued him during his time with the Frederick Keys this season. It’s worth keeping an eye on as the AFL season continues. Lebron could be a potential bullpen piece at the major league level, but his high walk total is a concern.
Outfielder T.J. Nichting will join the Surprise roster this week. He’s taking the place of Austin Hays, who the Orioles have decided does not need extra work in the AFL after a big month of September in the big leagues.