Orioles land pair on Top 100 Prospects list
OF Hays ranks No. 23; 3B Mountcastle at No. 98
BALTIMORE -- The Orioles' farm system is showing signs of improvement. Baltimore had three prospects reach the Top 10 in MLB Pipeline in their respective positions, and two of those players -- Austin Hays and Ryan Mountcastle -- cracked the Top 100 overall.
The list, unveiled live on MLB Network on Saturday, had Hays at No. 23 and Mountcastle at No. 98. The pair give Baltimore's system 81 prospect points, which ranks as 24th overall. Prospect points are doled out on a sliding scale in which a team receives 100 points for the No. 1 prospect, 99 for No. 2, 98 for No. 3 and so on.
:: Complete 2018 Top Prospects coverage ::
The annual ranking of MLB's Top 100 prospects is assembled by MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis, Jonathan Mayo and Mike Rosenbaum, who compile input from industry sources, including scouts and scouting directors. It is based on analysis of players' skill sets, upsides, proximity to the Majors and potential immediate impact to their teams. Only players with rookie status entering the 2018 season are eligible for the list. Players who were at least 25 when they signed and played in leagues deemed to be professional (Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Cuba) are not eligible.
• MLB Pipeline's 2018 Top 100 Prospects list
Hays, who was named the Orioles' Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year, was ranked as the sixth-best outfield prospect in baseball.
The 22-year-old broke out in a big way in his first full season after appearing in 38 games with Short-Season Class A Aberdeen in 2016. Hayes led the system with a .329 average, 32 homers, 95 RBIs and 310 total bases, finishing eighth among all full-season Minor Leaguers with a .958 OPS across 128 games with Class A Advanced Frederick and Double-A Bowie. He earned a September callup with the Orioles and is expected to vie for a spot on the Opening Day roster this spring.
Mountcastle spent this season transitioning from shortstop to third base. He spent 37 games at the position after moving up to Double-A on July 20 and was ranked as the seventh-best third-base prospect by MLB Pipeline.
A right-handed hitter, Mountcastle made it up to Double-A Bowie at just 20. The 2015 first-rounder turned in a .287/.312/.489 slash line with 18 homers, a Minor League-leading 48 doubles and 62 RBIs between two levels.