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Orioles minor league recap 8/21: Ryan Mountcastle homers once again

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Adley Rutschman’s promotion to Delmarva was announced. Add in Mountcastle’s big night and it’s fun to think of the O’s future today.

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles
Ryan Mountcastle will probably wear a number lower than 76 when he plays in an Orioles game outside of spring training.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Norfolk Tides 5, Gwinnett (Braves) 1

Ryan Mountcastle continues to make the case for a promotion to Baltimore. He was a triple short of the cycle in a three-hit night. Mountcastle hit a homer for the third straight game, giving him 24 on the year. He is now OPSing .880 at Triple-A at age 22. The ball is juiced down there, too, sure, but Chris Davis is reduced to delivering the lineup card in Baltimore.

This state of affairs cannot last forever. In fairness, it’s probably about more than just the hitting, as the O’s have been having Mountcastle, a shortstop when drafted and a third baseman to start this season, work out of left field. He’s only played 19 games there. The team doesn’t need to rush a non-outfielder to Baltimore to throw him to the wolves in the outfield.

Rehabbing big leaguer Dwight Smith Jr. was 1-2 in a pair of at-bats. Recently-promoted infielder Rylan Bannon turned in a 2-4 in the game, though he also committed a pair of errors. Outfield prospect Austin Hays had a single and was hit by a pitch. Hays also stole his fifth base of the season.

Baltimore’s own lefty Bruce Zimmermann, the Norfolk starter who was involved in last July’s Kevin Gausman deal, turned in a great start to help push the Tides to victory. Over seven innings Zimmermann gave up just four hits and a walk while striking out five. He’s taken some lumps since getting promoted from Bowie, so the one run outing is nice to see.

Binghamton (Mets) 4, Bowie Baysox 3

The highlight for Bowie in this game was Ryan Ripken, nephew of Billy, notching his first Double-A home run in his 22nd game at the level. He added a single for a multi-hit game and is now batting .311 for the Baysox. That was really it, although the Baysox only fell behind in the eighth inning when Zach Muckenhirn gave up a run in an inning where he walked three batters.

Not much in the way of highlights for other Baysox players, prospects or otherwise. Cedric Mullins took an 0-4 and is now OPSing .665 since being demoted back to Bowie. Mason McCoy (.679 OPS) and Ryan McKenna (.685 OPS) each went 1-4, and so did Preston Palmeiro, son of Rafael.

Frederick Keys - Game suspended in 1st, resumes today

Delmarva Shorebirds 6, Greensboro (Pirates) 5

The Shorebirds position player I’ve been keeping my eye on all season is shortstop Adam Hall, so a game like this from him makes me happy: 2-3 with a walk, three runs scored, and two stolen bases. Hall has now racked up 30 steals on the year while batting .310/.389/.411. It is a long way from Delmarva to MLB but this success for the 20-year-old is great to see.

A pair of 2019 draftees, Johnny Rizer (7th round) and Shayne Fontana (23rd round) also had multi-hit games. Seamus Curran, a past favorite hopeful-sleeper prospect of mine who has yet to wake up, also added three hits. Hall, Fontana, and Rizer scored all six Delmarva runs as the Shorebirds went on to win their 84th game of the season. This is not even the most exciting Delmarva-related news of the day. See below.

Aberdeen IronBirds - OFF

On Aberdeen’s day off, #1 overall pick Adley Rutschman was promoted to Delmarva. Look for him in Shorebirds box scores for the rest of the season, and maybe Frederick to start next season. Here’s hoping he closes out the year strong.

Bonus Gulf Coast League Orioles note

Gunnar Henderson, the Orioles second round pick this year, was 1-4 with a walk in a 6-5 victory by the GCL O’s squad. That team is now 31-13. Henderson has now played 23 games as a pro and has a batting line of .282/.361/.412. I like it. He also committed his seventh error.

Double Bonus “Tricky League” Orioles note

Tricky League is what they call the instructional games played by fresh 16-year-old international amateur signings. These are separate from Dominican Summer League games so that the youngest signed players don’t have to count their signing year towards when they become Rule 5 draft eligible. It’s cool that Mike Elias noticed this highlight.

Complete box scores from Tuesday’s games, including the adventures of both Dominican Summer League Orioles squads, can be found here.

Wednesday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: vs. Gwinnett, 7:05. Starter: David Hess
  • Bowie: vs. Binghamton, 12:05. Starter: Cody Sedlock
  • Frederick: vs. Potomac, 5:00 (doubleheader w/suspended game). Ofelky Peralta is listed as the game 2 starter.
  • Delmarva: vs. Greensboro, 7:05. Starter: Gray Fenter
  • Aberdeen: OFF (New York-Penn League All-Star Game at 7pm)

Aberdeen’s All-Stars on the NYPL Red Team are: 2B Andrew Fregia, 3B Toby Welk, OF Kyle Stowers, OF Dalton Hoiles, son of Chris, and pitchers Ryan Conroy and Leonardo Rodriguez