Baltimore Orioles: Six Prospects Likely To Debut in 2020
By Nick Stevens
Baltimore Orioles fans will finally witness the debut of Ryan Mountcastle in 2020.
I mean, this is clearly the most obvious choice for players who will make their debut in 2020. Ryan Mountcastle should have been up in 2019, but with the Orioles destined for another 100+ loss season and a severe logjam at first base, designated hitter, and in the outfield, Mountcastle spent the entire year seasoning in Triple-A.
The International League MVP slashed .312/.344/.527 with 25 home runs, 35 doubles, 83 RBI, and a wRC+ of 117. His groundball rate was down, line drive rate was up, and his presence in the batter’s box was well beyond what you would expect from a 22-year-old.
“But he can’t play defense!” Stop. The Orioles have moved him from shortstop, to third base, to first base, and now the outfield. His defense at first base improved as the year went along in Norfolk, as he clearly looked more comfortable at the position. Let’s see the young man play one position for an extended period of time and then we can talk about it.
“But he doesn’t walk!” No, he doesn’t, and the walks aren’t going to come. However, 51 extra-base hits in 127 games is pretty impressive and he does have a sub-20% strikeout rate at two of his three stops in the minors where he appeared in at least 100 games.
Mountcastle is ranked as the 64th best prospect in baseball, he’s still very young, and he’s improved at each level in the minors. See you at Camden Yards very soon, Mountcastle.