The 2019 season did not begin well for the Bowie Baysox. The team had a 6-19 record at the end of April. They have come a long way since then, and now they will be playing for the Eastern League championship starting on Tuesday night. Bowie clinched a berth in the championship series with a 12-5 blowout of the Harrisburg Senators, the Nationals Double-A affiliate, on Saturday night.
Bowie got on the scoreboard with their very first batter of the game. Erstwhile Oriole Cedric Mullins led off with a home run. The Baysox never trailed after this and did not look back. They blew the game open with a five-run second inning that included a two-run home run hit by Preston Palmeiro, son of Rafael, and a run-scoring single by outfield prospect Yusniel Diaz.
These were among Bowie raining down 20 hits upon the Senators. Mullins went on from his leadoff home run to hit for the cycle. He would probably rather be in Baltimore this September, but lighting the Eastern League on fire in the Double-A postseason isn’t a bad way to state his case to get back. Mullins had five hits overall, scored three runs, drove in three runs, and stole a base.
According to the Minor League Baseball Twitter, Mullins became the first Baysox batter to hit for the cycle since Manny Machado did so on August 4, 2012. Machado was in Baltimore within a week of hitting for that cycle and never saw the minors again except for rehab games afterwards.
Mullins was not the only prospect to excel. Diaz, left fielder Ryan McKenna, and shortstop Mason McCoy all had multi-hit games, and Palmeiro added three as well. This would have been a delightful box score to look at for an O’s prospect watcher at any point this season. That it happened when they could move on in their postseason makes it even better.
Diaz, McKenna, and Mullins all had OPSes over 1.000 across the four games of this series.
Staked to a huge lead early, the O’s Australian lefty added to his 2019 resume with a dominant outing that left no question about whether Bowie would be able to clinch. Wells largely scattered six hits over six innings and did not give up any extra-base hits to the Senators batters. He walked one and struck out six.
There have been plenty of outings like this for Wells this season and it will be interesting to see if he can do it again in Norfolk next season. That’s true of all of the guys who’ve been Bowie standouts this year. If Bowie’s got some legitimate future big leaguers, the days of seeing completely hopeless Orioles teams, like last night when Aaron Brooks gave up six runs before recording an out, could be closer to ending than we feared.
The Baysox will take on the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees Double-A affiliate, for the Eastern League title. The first two games will be in Trenton on Tuesday and Wednesday, with as many three games in Bowie on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. It’s a best-of-five series, so it’ll all be over once a team wins three.