This week's top O's Minor League performers

May 30th, 2021

With the Orioles' Minor League system now ranked the fifth-best in baseball by MLB Pipeline, it's time to pay attention.

All summer at, we’ll be keeping tabs on the top performers from each rung of the Minor League ladder with weekly Sunday roundups. Think of it as a way to track the rebuilding process in real time.

Here are the O’s top Minor League performers, plus some additional news items, from the past week (all stats as of Sunday morning):

• First baseman Tyler Nevin (No. 22 per MLB Pipeline) promoted from Triple-A Norfolk to Majors
No. 12 right-hander Kyle Bradish promoted from Double-A Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk
No. 7 RHP Mike Baumann had rehab assignment transferred from High-A to Double-A Bowie
No. 2 prospect Grayson Rodriguez promoted from High-A Aberdeen to Double-A Bowie
No. 30 shortstop Joseph Ortiz promoted from High-A to Double-A Bowie
• INF Malquin Canelo promoted from Double-A Bowie to Triple-A Norfolk
No. 6 shortstop Jordan Westburg from Low-A Delmarva to High-A Aberdeen
• INF J.D Mundy from Low-A Delmarva to High-A Aberdeen
• OF Johnny Rizer from High-A Aberdeen to Double-A Bowie
• RHP Blaine Knight from High-A Aberdeen to Double-A Bowie

Triple-A Norfolk

Position Player: SS Mason McCoy
Prospect ranking Unranked

McCoy hit three triples in a four-game span this week, becoming the first Tides player to do so since Mike Yastrzemski in 2018. McCoy’s four triples on the season lead all of Triple-A; he’s also hit safely in 16 of his 19 games, and he leads Tides batters in hits (22), runs scored (10) and total bases (33) this season.

Additional news: On Friday, the Orioles placed infielder Rylan Bannon, their No. 21 prospect per MLB Pipeline, on the 7-day injured list with a left oblique strain. Bannon joins Richie Martin (wrist fracture), Yusniel Diaz (quad strain), Jahmai Jones and Baumann on Norfolk’s injured list.

Double-A Bowie

Pitcher: LHP Kevin Smith
Prospect ranking Club No. 16

While Rodriguez and DL Hall garnered most of the early pitching headlines at Bowie, it’s the southpaw Smith who has been the most consistent Baysox pitcher. Acquired from the Mets in last year’s Miguel Castro trade, Smith owns a 1.06 ERA (2 ER, 17 IP) in his first four starts at Bowie. He’s also struck out 22 and allowed just one homer.

Position Player: C Adley Rutschman
Prospect ranking No. 2 overall, club No. 1

Rutschman started slowly but is heating up, with a homer and eight walks in 34 plate appearances over the past 10 days. He is hitting .320 with a .500 OBP over that stretch, and now gets to catch Rodriguez as part of one of the most talented batteries in Minor League Baseball.

High-A Aberdeen

Pitcher: RHP Grayson Rodriguez
Prospect ranking No. 22 overall, club No. 2

The Orioles hope this is the last time Rodriguez ever appears in the “High-A” portion of this roundup. He has little left to prove at the level after going 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA in his first five starts with the IronBirds, striking out 40 in 23 1/3 innings. He earned a promotion this week to Double-A, where he joins Rutschman and Hall on one of the most talented rosters in Minor League Baseball.

Position Player: OF Kyle Stowers
Prospect ranking Club No. 23

Baltimore’s third-round pick in 2019, Stowers is enjoying his best stretch in pro ball to date. The 23-year-old is hitting .314/.400/.543 over his past 10 days, with 19 total bases over that stretch. Some significant swing-and-miss remains in Stowers’ game (31 strikeouts in 76 at-bats), but the production is picking up. He leads the IronBirds with 17 RBI.

Low-A Delmarva

Pitcher: RHP Brandon Young
Prospect ranking Unranked

Signed as an undrafted free agent after the 2020 Draft, Young is pitching to a 3.38 ERA over his first four appearances (all starts) in pro ball. He leads Shorebirds starters in innings (13 1/3), has struck out 21, walked 10 and allowed just one homer in those outings. Delmarva is 4-0 in his starts.

Position Player: SS Jordan Westburg
Prospect ranking Club No. 6

The Orioles’ second-round pick in 2020, Westburg this week became the second straight Shorebird (last week was Gunnar Henderson) to earn Low-A East Player of the Week honors. He’s hitting .370/.500/.556 with 15 total bases and six walks over the past 10 days.