Orioles Prospect Update: Coby Mayo, Chayce McDermott, Samuel Basallo's recovery

Your spot for similar insight into Baltimore's No. 1 farm system every week through the end of the minor league season.
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It wasn't just the Orioles who bounced back after a rough week, as the four affiliates also played some solid ball across the board, taking three of four series with a chance to split the final one. Here's how the final week of June played out.

Norfolk Tides
Trailing series with Charlotte Knights 2-3, Sunday game PPD in bottom 9th, tied 4-4

Coby Mayo made sure Charlotte remembered his name, homering in the first three games of the series before cooling off a little over the weekend. He may have been responsible for the heat wave much of the United States endured in recent weeks, finishing the month of June with a torrid .412/7/16 line in 15 games between Aberdeen and Norfolk. Ramon Urias may be a recent Gold Glove winner, but Mayo's going to need that roster spot if he keeps this up at the plate

Plenty of guys fall just one leg short of the cycle, but it's pretty rare to have a single be that leg. That's exactly what happened to Kyle Stowers on Thursday, missing just a one-bagger in his attempt at completing the feat. Hard to be mad at a 3-for-5 day with a pair of RBI, though. Unfortunately, Stowers would only collect one more hit on the week, a first-inning bomb Sunday. With how Heston Kjerstad's come on in Baltimore, Stowers could be looking at an extended Triple-A stay.

Interesting midweek addition from Mike Elias, who signed Garrett Cooper to a minor-league deal before assigning him to the Tides. The 33-year-old's split time between first base and the corner outfield spots throughout his career, having his most success between 2019-2022 for Miami. He was a .274 hitter during that stretch, cranking out 39 home runs while driving in 153 in 1,130 at-bats. It's fair to have minimal expectations for Cooper, but he's a name with big league experience that may pop up again down the road.

Any chance Julio Teheran had of a promotion evaporated on Friday after allowing seven earned runs on six hits while failing to escape the first. The right-hander opted out of his contract with Baltimore on Sunday, instead electing to test the free agency waters. Shouldn't be a bustling market for the vet.

Chayce McDermott put another strong outing on his resume Tuesday, striking out eight and giving up two earned over 5.2 innings. Most importantly, he only walked one Knight. With Teheran now out of the picture, McDermott and his 12.9 K/9 are likely next in line if the major league rotation finds itself in need.

Slightly better work from Dean Kremer Thursday night, relatively, surrendering four runs over 4.1 IP. His 11.42 ERA through three starts at Norfolk is concerning nonetheless, likely forcing the Orioles to give him another rehab start to get right.

No. 20 organizational prospect Justin Armbruester had a long overdue quality start to kick off the weekend, lasting six scoreless while giving up four hits, no walks and striking out five. He's still allowing a .265 average to opposing batters, but hot streaks have to start somewhere.

Orioles Farm Report continues with Samuel Basallo's return to Baysox

Bowie Baysox
Won series with Reading Fightin' Phils 4-2

The top Bowie batter of the week was Matthew Etzel, who's quickly and quietly become a real sleeper in this farm system. The ascending outfielder went 6-for-18 with two long balls and three RBI, raising his average to .271 since joining the Double-A club. The 10th-round pick has made massive growth in his first full professional season, spanning three minor-league levels.

Samuel Basallo left Thursday's game with a lower body contusion, but was good to go Sunday, returning to go 1-for-4 with an RBI double that ended up being the difference in Game 2 of the doubleheader. He finished with a .308/1/2 line in four games, as the trade winds begin to swirl.

Fellow catcher Silas Ardoin finds himself in the midst of a five-game hitting streak, collecting one in each of his four appearances versus the Fightin' Phils. His .220 career batting average leaves room for improvement, but it's deceptive when looking at his more impressive .342 on-base percentage. Some improved contact could elevate him into a position to push for a backup spot at the next level.

The Baysox official Twitter account posted a stat Thursday about Seth Johnson's 1.53 ERA and 32 strikeouts over his last eight starts ... while overlooking that he's also walked 19 guys during that time frame. He picked up three more over four innings this week, failing to quell any concerns on the matter. Fascinating upside, but really needs to address the free passes.

Seven more strikeouts for 24th-ranked prospect Alex Pham in a 10-3 Friday loss, dropping him to 3-2 on the season. His 5.88 ERA isn't the prettiest, but the crafty righty is still sporting an 11.75 K/9 rate, about 3/4 of a point above his career number. The next couple months should be really indicative of his long-term trajectory.

Happy to receive word of Bradley Brehmer's promotion to Bowie. The Indiana alumni was rocking a 2.80 ERA in 19 appearances for Aberdeen, really earning this opportunity to move up. He picked up the decision in a victory Sunday evening to announce his arrival.

Aberdeen IronBirds
Won series with Brooklyn Cyclones 5-1

Earlier in the week, Enrique Bradfield Jr. was diagnosed with tendinitis in his left wrist, with a murky timeline on his potential return. Some reports said several games, while others said a few weeks. Fortunately, the injury concerns were a bit overblown, and after just four games off, the speedy center fielder was back, going 5-for-8 at the dish with two walks and a 5-for-5 stolen base streak. It'd be incredibly welcome for him to be able to keep up that kind of contact.

We saw a patient and punishing approach at the plate from Dougie Hodo throughout the series, driving in five as he collected a hit in five of his 13 at bats while reaching base seven times via walk. That's a .600 OBP there, raising his number on the month to .455.

2023 second-rounder Mac Horvath continued his summer surge as well, posting a .455/1/4 line in three games against the Cyclones. After finding himself below the Mendoza line at the end of May, Horvath brought his batting average up .039 points in June.

If you haven't watched Tavian Josenberger walk it off on Sunday afternoon yet, do yourself a favor. Sick moment from an electric outfielder.

After a really rough welcome to A+ ball, Michael Forret has been incredible. The 14th-rounder allowed one hit and one walk to Brooklyn across five scoreless to start the series off with a win, his second since joining the club. Over his last three starts, Forret's given up just four hits and one earned run over 11.1 IP.

Bruce Zimmermann found himself in Aberdeen this week on a rehab assignment, dicing up opposing batters through 3.1 frames, with six of his 10 outs coming via strikeout. A couple more starts like that on the way up and we could hear his name being discussed for another look on the major league level -- for better or worse.

Edgar Portes was sharp in relief of Zach Fruit on Saturday, polishing off the final five innings of the game without giving up a run en route to his fourth victory with the IronBirds. The 21-year-old's 2.28 ERA is looking better and better as his sample size continues to grow.

Delmarva Shorebirds
Won series with Down East Wood Ducks 4-2

Until he gets that inevitable call up, you're going to continue to see Aron Estrada in this section a lot. He's been Delmarva's best and most consistent hitter all season, going 7-for-18 in 5 games against the Wood Ducks this week while driving in three.

Thomas Sosa is another name to know in this weak Shorebirds' offense, batting .300 on the series (plus one opportune RBI to walk things off on Saturday night).

Outfielder Jake Cunningham hit a three-run jack Wednesday before a rain delay forced that game to be completed the following evening. Last year's fifth-round pick has been steadily improving at the dish as his first full season has progressed, raising his average .047 points this month.

Jacob Cravey was awesome in bookend starts this series, surrendering one earned run through 7.2 IP and racking up 10 strikeouts along the way. He's still in pursuit of his first professional win, but it was a strong week from the former Samford arm.

Blake Money picked up the rock Thursday in the third inning of an abbreviated doubleheader and was absolutely shutdown. Five shutout innings, one hit, six strikeouts -- hard to get much better than that. His 2.47 BB/9 is currently best on the team among starters.

Money's LSU teammate Riley Cooper was sharp during the second game of the aforementioned double header, surrendering just one hit, a solo home run, over four frames. After a shaky May, Cooper allowed just four earned runs in five starts this June, lowering his ERA to 2.70 in the process.