Mayo mashes two homers at Aberdeen

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Mayo homers twice at High-A Aberdeen (May 19)
Coby Mayo was maybe the Orioles' most ascendant prospect in 2021, but the slugging third baseman has yet to really catch fire at High-A the way some expected early this season. Perhaps that’s about to change.

Mayo may be warming up after homering twice to pace Aberdeen’s 5-1 win over Rome at Ripken Stadium. Socking two-run homers in the sixth and eighth, Mayo showcased the light-tower power that is his calling card. He’s now homered thrice in his past four games, after leaving the yard six times in his first 28 contests. 

The Orioles’ fourth-round pick in 2020, Mayo came out of the layoff raking and reached Single-A Delmarva in ’21, hitting .319/.426/.555 in 53 games across two levels. The 20-year-old has been productive at Aberdeen but is yet to find real consistency, hitting .242/.303/.508 with nine homers, 29 RBIs, four steals and 36 strikeouts in 32 games. He might be a hot week or two from emerging as a breakout prospect of the summer.  — Joe Trezza

3 of club's top prospects homer on same night (May 18)
No. 1 prospect Adley Rutschman
(Triple-A), third-ranked Gunnar Henderson (Double-A) and No. 4 Colton Cowser (High-A) all homered.

Rutschman and Henderson have gone yard in back-to-back games, with Henderson teeing off three times over the course of those games.

Baseball's No. 1 overall prospect launched his second homer in as many days to left field in Norfolk's 8-7 victory over Charlotte.

Henderson followed up a two-homer game with a blast on a line drive to left in Bowie's 6-3 loss to Hartford.

The shortstop launched his third of the series on the first pitch he saw in the eighth and finished 1-for-3. He's more than doubled his home run count since entering May.

The right-handed hitter has begun to elevate his performance in the second month of the season, batting 17-for-46 (.370) with 12 RBIs and four homers during the 14-game span.

And Cowser got in on the home run parade with a long ball to left on a 3-1 pitch in the sixth, providing the sole offense in Aberdeen's 2-1 loss to Rome.

Baltimore's picked up all its blue-chip prospects within the past few years. The Orioles nabbed their No. 1 and No. 3 prospect in the 2019 Draft. Two years later, the O's nabbed No. 4. No. 2 Grayson Rodriguez was taken in the first round in 2018. -- Ethan Sands

On prospect-studded night, Henderson stands out (May 17)
Take your pick for who had the biggest night on the Orioles' farm. Maybe it was top pitching prospect Grayson Rodriguez with a season-high 11 strikeouts to go along with 20 whiffs in just 5 1/3 innings. Perhaps it was the No. 1 prospect who caught him, with Adley Rutschman hammering his second homer of the season for Triple-A Norfolk with a gaudy 112.6 mph exit velocity. You could also pick No. 8 prospect Kyle Stowers going deep for a second consecutive game.

You could make a case for any of the above, but you'd likely fall short if you don't pick Gunnar Henderson. The Orioles' No. 4 prospect merely turned in his first two-homer game of the season, sending a ball to both right- and left-center in Double-A Bowie's home contest, his fifth and sixth blasts of the year. It was a wholly impressive night, but really much of the same. Henderson entered the night with a .293/.453/.485 slash line through his first 31 games, thanks in part to an on-base streak of 29 contests to open the season. He left it with a .301 average and his first multi-homer game since July 9.

Tuesday marked the start of a new on-base streak for Henderson. What better way to start it than with a pair of blasts? -- Zachary Silver

Adley goes deep, Rodriguez strikes out eight (May 12)
When will Adley Rutschman get the call? That’s the biggest question in Orioles’ land these days, with many expecting the club to promote its top overall prospect sometime next homestand, now that he’s fully recovered from a triceps injury suffered this spring. 

He’s also on the board, home run-wise. Rutschman clubbed his first home run of 2022 in Triple-A Norfolk’s 5-2 loss to Memphis on Thursday, connecting for a go-ahead, solo shot off right-hander Angel Rondón in the seventh inning of a soggy afternoon at Harbor Park. 

Even in a losing effort, Rutschman’s long ball was a highlight in a game full of big-name prospects, featuring a Grayson Rodriguez vs. Matthew Liberatore matchup and Nolan Gorman’s Triple-A leading 13th home run. The game's top overall pitching prospect and Baltimore's No. 2 prospect behind Rutschman, Rodriguez struck out eight across five innings of one-run ball, shaving his ERA to 3.09 across seven starts. Full story »

McKenna leaves yard three times for Tides (May 11)
Ryan McKenna hadn’t put one over the wall through 18 big league games or six back at Triple-A this season. On Wednesday night, he liked being reintroduced to the feeling so much, he did it three times.

McKenna belted his first three homers of the season and drove in four runs as Norfolk fell to visiting Memphis, 9-7.

Baltimore's 2015 fourth-rounder opened the game with a bang, namely a leadoff homer to right-center field off Redbirds righty Johan Oviedo in the first inning. After striking out swinging in the third and fourth, he made loud contact again in the seventh with another solo shot again to right-center off new reliever Kyle Ryan. McKenna capped his night with a two-run blast to right-center off righty Junior Fernández in the eighth to draw Norfolk within two runs. Full story »

Right-handed prospect Brnovich undergoes Tommy John surgery (May 11)
It was partly expected news, but unfortunate nonetheless. The Orioles announced that right-handed prospect Kyle Brnovich underwent Tommy John surgery May 11 with Dr. Keith Meister in Dallas, three weeks after he was placed on the injured list at Triple-A Norfolk with a right elbow sprain.

It's a tough break for Brnovich, who's now facing about a year of recovery before he returns to the mound. The 24-year-old acquired in the Dylan Bundy trade with the Angels had finally reached the highest circuit in the Minors in 2022 after pitching to a 3.32 ERA in 23 games (19 starts) across High-A and Double-A in '21, inching closer to his Major League debut.

Elsewhere from the Bundy trade, Kyle Bradish pitched his best outing in the Majors the day prior to Brnovich's update, Isaac Mattson made his debut in '21 and Zach Peek is providing a stellar slate of performances since his arrival in Baltimore's system, with a 3.71 ERA through four starts this year. -- Zachary Silver

Hall hits Triple-A for the first time (May 10)
Left-hander D.L. Hall has seen the Triple-A level as just one stop during a season he hopes ends in the Majors. But it's a step he had to take before even starting to think about an eventual debut.

That was accomplished Tuesday, when Hall, Baltimore's No. 5 prospect and No. 87 in baseball, made his long-awaited debut at the Triple-A level for Norfolk, pitching three innings while allowing two hits, one run, two walks and striking out four against Memphis. It was an abbreviated outing, as Hall will likely be slow-played into the highest circuit of the Minors like he's done plenty so far this year, with just 53 pitches thrown. And as has been a story in his career thus far, he'll want to raise the amount of strikes he threw, with just 34 (64%), leading to the pair of free passes.

But finally reaching Triple-A is a start for the 23-year-old -- one he and the organization hopes results in Baltimore at some point over the summer. -- Zachary Silver

Baysox duo twirls combined no-hitter (May 8)
In the early game of their Mother's Day doubleheader, the Bowie Baysox made it a day to remember. Baysox starter Garrett Stallings went six hitless innings, and reliever Morgan McSweeney followed with a perfect seventh to finish off the 11th no-hitter in franchise history in a 5-0 win over Harrisburg.

Stallings set the tone, facing just two batters over the minimum through his six frames thanks to walks he issued in the first and third. Following his second free pass, the right-hander retired the final 11 batters he faced and fired 51 of his 75 pitches for strikes. Stallings recorded eight outs on the ground against just three in the air.

After Stallings' departure, McSweeney worked around one dramatic moment to finish off the feat. On his penultimate pitch of the afternoon, McSweeney saw Harrisburg's K.J. Harrison lace a liner down the left-field line that tailed just foul. McSweeney bounced back to record the game's final out on a fly ball to right one pitch later. Full story »

Rodriguez fans 5 in reunion with Rutschman (May 7)
It’s been nine months and two days since the top prospect battery of Grayson Rodriguez and Adley Rutschman -- MLB's top pitching and catching prospects -- took the field together. On Friday night at First Horizon Park in Nashville, Tenn., they reunited with a productive outing.

Rodriguez, the No. 6 prospect in baseball, struck out five in 5 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing two hits and walking three batters in Triple-A Norfolk’s 1-0 loss to Nashville. Rodriguez lowered his ERA from 4.15 to 3.33 with the scoreless start, rebounding from allowing eight runs over his past two starts. The 22-year-old has fanned five or more batters in 14 consecutive starts, dating back to his last start with Rutschman behind the plate on Aug. 5.

“It’s huge," said Rodriguez about having Rutschman back. "He’s one of the best catchers that there is. Getting back, throwing in a game with him, it’s awesome.” Full story »

Hall heads to Triple-A Norfolk with Rutschman (May 5)
Adley Rutschman
 and D.L. Hall received a call together just moments after they started in tandem for Double-A Bowie, with some elevating news.

Rutschman and Hall were both promoted to Triple-A Norfolk following a dynamite outing together, making them each just one step away from their long-awaited Major League debuts.

The outing against Harrisburg was the left-hander’s first start back in Double-A since a stress reaction in his left elbow ended his season there last June. Hall allowed two runs on three hits and one walk with six strikeouts across 3 2/3 innings in the 6-1 loss. Full story »

Henderson records second straight three-hit game (May 4)
In an Orioles farm system stocked with high-end talent, Gunnar Henderson is beginning to separate himself from the pack.

Baltimore’s No. 3 prospect doubled and scored two runs as Double-A Bowie’s three-hitter in a 10-7 win, extending his on-base streak to 22 games. Henderson’s performance comes a night after he went 3-for-4 with a home run and four RBIs, drilling his fourth home run of the year.

The 20-year-old got a brief five-game taste of Double-A last year and has gotten off to a hot start in 2022. Henderson has eight extra-base hits, 19 runs scored and 18 RBIs in 22 games for Bowie. He’s slashing .306/.459/.528 with a .987 OPS. -- Nick Trujillo

Henderson extends OB streak on big night (May 3)
No. 62 overall prospect Gunnar Henderson got even hotter for Double-A Bowie against Harrisburg.

In fact, the 20-year-old plated four of the five Baysox runs in the 6-5 loss. In the third, the Orioles' No. 3 prospect hit his fourth homer, a three-run shot to center field to tie the game, 3-3. Henderson grounded an RBI single to right in the fifth to cap his 3-for-4 showing.

The third baseman's first-inning infield single pushed his on-base streak to 21 games, and he has reached base in every game to start the season. It was Henderson's fourth multi-hit game; half of them have included a long ball. He has amassed a slash line of .279/.441/.500.

The 20-year-old was selected with the 42nd overall pick in the 2019 Draft. -- Ethan Sands

Prieto's torrid start put on brief pause (May 2)
The Orioles were greatly intrigued in what Cesar Prieto might bring them, making him a priority in their latest international signing class. So far, results have been nothing short of exceptional, with a .328/.378/.701 slash line (1.079 OPS) through 18 games thanks to four doubles and seven home runs.

But now that success will have to hit a temporary pause.

Prieto was placed on the 7-day injured list at High-A Aberdeen on May 2 with a Grade 1 hamstring strain that he appeared to injure in an April 29 contest -- a game in which he also hit a home run. The club said that it believes the injury is minor enough to require just a short-term stint. Nonetheless, Prieto joins a notable list of prospects battling hamstring ailments, alongside Terrin Vavra, Yusniel Diaz and Heston Kjerstad. -- Zachary Silver

Rutschman, Hall to continue rehab in Double-A (May 1)
Two of the Orioles' top young talents are taking their next steps on the road back from injuries.

Baltimore's top prospect Adley Rutschman and No. 5 D.L. Hall will join Double-A Bowie on May 3 after completing successful first stops on their rehab assignment with High-A Aberdeen, the Baysox announced.

Rutschman's season debut came with a 6-for-13 performance over four games with High-A Aberdeen, during which baseball's No. 2 overall prospect slashed .462/.533/.692 slash line and finished with a flourish, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles on April 30. Over his four contests, Rutschman walked twice without a strikeout and scored a pair of runs. The catcher is coming back from a right triceps strain he suffered during Spring Training. Over three Minor League seasons, Rutschman boasts a career slash line of 282/.390/.489 with 27 homers and 101 RBIs in 164 games across six levels.

Left-handed pitcher Hall, MLB's No. 88 prospect, likewise started his return from injury with Aberdeen and was dominant in his one start, tossing four scoreless innings and striking out six with just two hits allowed. The southpaw whiffed the first four batters he faced and never pitched to a three-ball count, throwing 36 of 54 pitches for strikes. Hall is recovering from a stress reaction in his left elbow that ended his 2021 season in mid-June. Prior to the injury, the 2017 first-round pick went 2-0 with a 3.13 ERA in seven starts for Bowie, striking out 56 batters against 16 walks in 31 2/3 innings and limiting opponents to a .145 average against. -- Tyler Maun

Rutschman has first four-hit game since 2019 (April 30)
Prior to his current rehab stint for a right triceps strainAdley Rutschman hadn’t played in A-ball since his professional debut season in 2019. Four games in, and his second tour of High-A is going as expected.

The No. 2 prospect in baseball tallied four hits -- all from the left side -- in five trips to the plate to raise his batting average to .462. Rutschman smashed two doubles and scored a run as Aberdeen’s designated hitter in its 6-4 win over Jersey Shore on Saturday night.

It was Rutschman’s first game with four-or-more hits since his five-hit night on Aug. 19, 2019, also for Aberdeen. He needed to see 16 pitches to reach base safely four times, proving his stint at High-A should be short-lived. Full story »

Hall impresses in his season debut (April 29)
D.L. Hall’s 2022 debut went about as well as he could have hoped. The No. 5 prospect allowed two singles and didn’t walk a batter while striking out six over four innings of work in High-A Aberdeen’s 6-1 win over Jersey Shore.

After a stress reaction in his left elbow forced him to miss the last few months of 2021, the 23-year-old looked as sharp as ever, striking out the first four batters he faced and never running a three-ball count to any of the 13 batters he was up against. The southpaw fired 36 of his 54 pitches for strikes. In 31 2/3 innings last season, Hall held opponents to a .145 average and fanned 56 batters while putting up a 3.13 ERA in seven starts. -- Stephanie Sheehan

Mayo clubs fourth homer in three games (April 28)
Coby Mayo has been on a tear in High-A Aberdeen’s series at Jersey Shore. The No. 7 prospect clubbed his fourth home run in three games, this time as part of a 2-for-4, two-RBI day in the IronBirds’ 4-0 win.

After singling to right in the fourth, the 20-year-old got the green light at 3-0 and doubled his team’s lead with a no-doubt, two-run shot to left. Mayo entered the series batting just .232 with 10 RBIs and has boosted his average up to .286 in just three games while collecting 10 more RBIs in that span. The 2020 fourth-rounder is up to six homers through 17 games. -- Stephanie Sheehan

O's call up Bradish to start vs. Sox (sources) (April 28)
One of the Orioles' highly touted pitching prospects is slated to make his Major League debut. The club is planning to promote right-hander Kyle Bradish to start Friday’s series opener against the Red Sox at Camden Yards, multiple sources confirmed to MLB.com.

The club’s No. 10 prospect per MLB Pipeline, Bradish was the key return piece the Orioles acquired in their four-player trade with the Angels for Dylan Bundy in 2019. The 25-year-old reached Triple-A Norfolk last season and enjoyed an excellent start at the level this year, pitching to a 1.20 ERA in three starts.

Bradish was one of several top Orioles pitching prospects excelling at Norfolk, alongside Grayson Rodriguez (No. 2) and Kevin Smith (No. 18). Rodriguez, the sport’s top pitching prospect, was never a candidate to replace Means. The Orioles want to give the 22-year-old more than four starts of seasoning in Triple-A, where he has posted a 2.45 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 18 1/3 innings. But he could reach the big leagues before season’s end. Full story »

With health intact, Hall to make 2022 debut Friday (April 27)
ABERDEEN, Md. -- Four weeks ago, D.L. Hall was showcasing his triple-digit fastball in a Grapefruit League game against the Phillies. On Tuesday, the left-hander arrived at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium to begin what he hopes is a journey to Baltimore.

Hall will make his season debut Friday with the High-A Aberdeen IronBirds, Orioles general manager and executive vice president Mike Elias said Wednesday, officially resuming his Minor League career after a stress reaction in his left elbow forced him to miss the final three and a half months of the 2021 season.

"He's a hell of a talent," Elias said. "It's just about innings and health with him."

Hall, the team's No. 5 prospect per MLB Pipeline, is built up to around four innings, Elias said. It'll be his first start since June 12, 2021, at Double-A Bowie, where Hall pitched to a 3.13 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 31 2/3 innings before the injury last summer.

“I’m feeling great,” Hall said. “It was a long journey. It seems like it's been forever since I got to toe the rubber in a game, but I'm just excited to put it in the rearview and keep moving forward.” Read more >>