On Friday, the Orioles released their players who will play in Arizona Fall League next month. The AFL brings some good moments, especially last year with a MVP for Heston Kjerstad and a surprising ascension by Nolan Hoffman, who was protected in the last Rule 5 draft.
Overall, nine players and a coach were selected to play for Mesa Solar Sox alongside prospects and coaches from the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros.
Without further ado, a little breakdown for Orioles players will represent the O's on AFL:
Which Orioles prospects will play in the Arizona Fall League?
Carter Baumler, RHP
An extended season for a pitcher who struggled with injuries. A fifth-round pick in 2020, Baumler played in Rookie Ball and Delmarva in 2023 with a 3.18 ERA and 21 strikeouts in 17 innings across two levels. The 21-year-old have a lot of potential.
TT Bowens, INF
An undrafted in 2020, Bowens played across three levels in 2023, mostly on AA. In 59 games, the infielder finished with a .224/.312/.385 slash line, 8 HR and 19 RBI.
Billy Cook, INF/OF
A name to watch this year is Cook. The best player in Bowie, Cook will have more action in 2023 to live up his great season. The 10th-round pick in 2021 finished with 24 Home Runs (.776 OPS) and 30 stolen bases. His prospect stock could be on the rise.
Trey McGough, LHP
A Maryland high school product, McGough came to Orioles organization this year after three seasons in the Pittsburgh Pirates system. The lefty finished his season in Bowie. Overall, he posted a 3.48 ERA with 22 strikeouts in 20.2 innings.
Connor Pavolony, C
Unfortunately, Pavolony had his 2023 season ruined by injuries. Only 27 games in three levels for the 2021 7th-rounder. A strong case for an extended season for the Vols product.
Zach Peek, RHP
Recovered from a Tommy John surgery made last year, Peek will have an extended season, too. Another step to prepare for hopefully a full 2024 season for Peek.
John Rhodes, OF
A third-round pick in 2022, Rhodes had a 17 Home Run season for Bowie in 2023. Unfortunately, his strikeout numbers rose to 123. The AFL could be a springboard to a bounce back in 2024 for Rhodes.
Carlos Tavera, RHP
The first pitcher selected in 2021 draft (5th round), Tavera finished with a 4.86 ERA, the highest in his minor league career. His 89 strikeouts were the highest number of punchouts, too. The 24-year-old could be an intriguing arm to see in Arizona.
Peter Van Loon, RHP
Like Tavera, Van Loon he was selected in the same 2021 draft (17th round). In his first year in Bowie, he had similar results with a 6.04 ERA and 70 strikeouts for the BaySox.
Forrest Herrmann, pitching coach
The AA pitching coach was selected to join the Mesa staff this fall. He came to the Orioles organization in 2022 for a pitching coach job in Aberdeen. He was promoted to Bowie this year. For more info, check his LinkedIn page.
Birdland, which prospect excites you the most in the AFL this year?