After over a year of waiting, Baltimore Orioles fans finally get to see what all the fuss is about.
According to a Tweet from Roch Kubatko, the number-five prospect in the Baltimore Orioles organization has finally been called up ahead of Friday’s home game against the Boston Red Sox.
Mountcastle, 23, has been a force in the O’s minor league system ever since being drafted 36th overall in the 2015 draft out of Paul J. Hagerty High School in Oviedo, Florida.
Over five seasons in the minors, he hit a slash of .295/.328/.471 with 70 homers and 274 RBI. He saved his best season in the minor leagues for the highest level in minor league ball. In 2019 for Triple-A Norfolk, he hit .312 with an .871 OPS, 25 home runs and 83 RBI.
Mountcastle’s fielding has been the only real question. But it appears he was playing the wrong position for his first four years in the system. After starting his career playing shortstop and third base, he moved to first and outfield last year. In 26 games in left field, he went error-free and in 84 games at first, he made just four.
Mountcastle should have been a September call-up last season or started this season in Baltimore but the Orioles brass was seemingly worried about service time. However, with the hot start, followed by the five-game losing streak, waiting any longer would be foolish.
Mountcastle’s call-up marks the first-time Orioles fans will get to see a real glimpse of the future. While Keegan Akin was called up earlier this season, he is nowhere near the prospect level of Mountcastle. Throughout his minor-league career, he has consistently been a part of the Top 100 prospects on MLB.com. The Orioles front office expects him to be a cornerstone of the franchise for many years to come.
It looks like Mountcastle was called up to replace Chris Davis, who was placed on the IL.
Friday is a day to rejoice for Orioles fans. This could be a real day to remember. It also may signal a changing mindset for the organization and maybe – just maybe – Adley Rutschman will be in the big leagues in September.