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Three Orioles named in Baseball America's list of game's top 100 prospects

Outfielder Austin Hays watches the Orioles-Yankees game from the dugout after he was called up from the Bowie Baysox. He will try to make the Orioles roster out of spring training this season.
Outfielder Austin Hays watches the Orioles-Yankees game from the dugout after he was called up from the Bowie Baysox. He will try to make the Orioles roster out of spring training this season. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Three Orioles minor leaguers are featured prominently in the Baseball America ranking of the top 100 prospects in the game, topped by last year's breakout star, Austin Hays.

Hays, who was a nominee for Baseball America's Minor Leaguer of the Year award in 2017 after he hit .329 with a .958 OPS, 32 doubles and 32 home runs in High-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie last season, came in at No. 21. He made his major league debut in September and was also the top-ranked prospect in the system according to Baseball America this offseason.

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Below him are two other possible impact bats, catcher Chance Sisco (No. 68) and infielder Ryan Mountcastle (No. 71). Sisco, who was the Orioles' only representative on last year's list at No. 57, hit .267 with a career-high seven home runs and a .735 OPS at Triple-A Norfolk. The 22-year-old also debuted with the Orioles in September, and homered twice in limited action.

Mouncastle, 20, hit .314 and had the most extra-base hits in the minors (51) when he was promoted from Frederick to Bowie at midseason and moved from shortstop to third base. The transition proved difficult and he struggled at the advanced level, but there's still confidence in his bat once he finds a position.

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On the organizational rankings released in December, Mountcastle was No. 2 in the system, while Sisco was No. 3. [Disclaimer: I wrote and compiled the system rankings, and explained that decision here.]

The last time the Orioles had three prospects in the top 100 was 2014, when right-hander Dylan Bundy was No. 15, pitcher Kevin Gausman was No. 20, and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez was No. 65.

In other rankings, Baseball Prospectus released its Orioles Top 10 last week with Mountcastle No. 1, while ESPN's Keith Law split his top 100 into two pieces, with Sisco at No. 53 and Hays at No. 79. His top 50 is pending.

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