While most of the focus on the Orioles in late September was on the play of center fielder Austin Hays, who was called up instead of going to the Arizona Fall League, that circuit is at its halfway point with plenty of interesting prospects getting their work in.
While Hays was replaced by T.J. Nichting in the outfield this week, the rest of the Orioles’ minor leaguers have a representative sample size so far for Surprise and are faring well.
Here’s a rundown of how the Orioles prospects are doing through 15 games, entering Tuesday, for the first-place Saguaros out in the desert:
Right-hander Dean Kremer
Making up for a lost month earlier this year because of an oblique injury, Kremer has made three starts, allowing two runs and seven batters to reach with two walks and 10 strikeouts over nine innings. That earned him a spot in the AFL Fall Stars Game. Kremer, 23, spent most of the season at Double-A Bowie, but is rinsing a bad taste from his four starts at Triple-A Norfolk in August and September.
Left-hander Alex Wells
Wells, 22, finished with a 2.95 ERA at Bowie and is building his innings in Arizona. He’s pitched five times in relief, allowing a run on eight hits with two walks against eight strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.
Infielder Rylan Bannon
Like Kremer, Bannon was acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in the July 2018 trade for Manny Machado and made his Triple-A debut this year. Bannon, 23, finished strongly with the Tides, but hasn’t carried that over. He’s managed only nine singles with a pair of walks in 44 at-bats, and hasn’t tapped into the sneaky power that makes him an intriguing infield option for the Orioles.
Shortstop Mason McCoy
An Eastern League All-Star who cooled significantly in the second half, McCoy isn’t getting everyday playing time in Arizona, but is hitting well. The 24-year-old is batting .300 with an .817 OPS in 30 at-bats, and will join Kremer in the Fall Stars Game.
Right-hander Cody Carroll
Carroll, 26, missed almost all of 2019 with a back injury, but pitched some in the Gulf Coast League in August before going to Arizona. He struggled in his first outing there, walking two, allowing a home run and not finishing his inning. But since then, four of his five outings were hitless and scoreless. He has walked five against six strikeouts in 5 2/3 total innings in Arizona.
Right-hander David Lebron
A Carolina League All-Star the Orioles acquired in spring training for international bonus money, Lebron is trying to make up for lost time after his first full professional season at age 25. Now 26, he allowed four runs in his first outing, but hasn’t given up any in three two-inning stints since.
Outfielder T.J. Nichting
A late addition to replace Hays, who found out on the final day of the season he wasn’t going to Arizona after all, the 24-year-old Nichting debuted Saturday and went 0-for-4.