Two of the up-and-coming prospects in the Orioles organization, Double-A Bowie outfielder Dariel Alvarez and first baseman Christian Walker, are both expected to be promoted to Triple-A Norfolk following the Eastern League All-Star break this week.
The Orioles have yet to announce a roster move with either player, but the All-Star break is a common time for promotions to occur, and the sense throughout the organization is that the duo will join Norfolk later this week.
Alvarez participated in the Major League Baseball Futures Game on Sunday in Minneapolis. Walker has been selected to play in the Eastern League All-Star Game on Wednesday in Altoona, Pa.
Neither Alvarez nor Walker are listed among the Orioles’ top 10 prospects, according to Baseball America, but both have made tremendous strides this season to become among the organization’s top prospects.
Alvarez, a 25-year-old Cuban defector, is hitting .309/.332/.487 with 14 homers and 68 RBIs in 91 games for the Baysox. Originally signed to be a corner outfielder, Alvarez has flourished playing center field this season at Bowie, recording 10 outfield assists and posting a .987 fielding percentage.
Playing in his first full professional season in the United States, Alvarez also has been able to maintain his power numbers while limiting his strikeouts (35 in 381 plate appearances) at the Double-A level, which is considered a minor league proving ground.
Walker, the Orioles’ fourth-round pick in 2012 out of South Carolina, is hitting .301/.369/.521 with 20 homers and 77 RBIs for the Baysox.
Playing in his second full professional season, Walker exceeded the organization’s initial expectations in terms of his power numbers and has made dramatic strides defensively at first base, posting a .989 fielding percentage.
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