Kjerstad said Mayo has been locked in all season (plus O's win in 12)

After a year where he tore it up at Double-A and Triple-A and finished the 2023 season with 29 homers and 99 RBIs – leading the O’s farm in both – Coby Mayo is raking again.

Heston Kjerstad played with him with last year and this season and said Mayo has basically been locked in all spring and all year.

“Especially after playing with Coby last year, there is room for improvement, but he was already a really good hitter. So, for him to improve this year is really impressive. Still really young and for me, he’s more mature at the plate. He’s using all parts of the field a little bit better. Not just trying to pull everything.

“He has realized if he just makes contact, he hits the ball hard. He doesn’t have to try to produce that," said Kjerstad. 

In a combined 140 games last year with 78 at Bowie and 62 at Norfolk, Mayo, 22, hit .290/.410/.563/.973.

This year he has improved most of those stats. Over 34 Norfolk games through Tuesday, he was hitting .301/.365/.615/980. He has eight doubles, two triples, 11 homers and 32 RBIs.

He played in 140 games last year and if he plays in 140 this year, at his current pace, he would hit 45 homers with 132 RBIs.

“He can take his walks and work the counts and it comes with him just knowing himself as a hitter,” Kjerstad explained. “Knowing, if he gets the pitch in the zone and takes a good swing, he will hit the ball hard. Don’t try to create a hard-hit ball. There are some pitches you can’t hit hard and you have to take.”

Both these players can mash balls hard and far with Kjerstad from the left side and Mayo from the right.

“For sure, we both can definitely hit it hard and hit it far. Kind of interesting, because we’re both swing-wise a bit different. He is more spread out (in his stance), I’m a little bit more narrow. But cool to see him drive balls out of the yard,” he said.

Kjerstad added that Mayo is handling the waiting part just fine. A player the club drafted in round four of 2020 out of a Florida high school, Mayo is waiting for that first big league chance.

“As far as I know he’s handling it well," Kjerstad stated. "Everybody wants to be in the big leagues and we all understand our time will come. You know, keep preparing, keep working on getting better and stay ready. He’s mature about it and he’s enjoying his time down there and his day is coming."

So will Mayo's big power translate to the bigs? Didn't have to ask, did we?

“It is going to translate. That is impressive power. Even when you think you’ve played with him long enough and seen it all, he can shock you with even more pop. It will be cool once he can show that power on this stage.

“This year I’ve seen him drive balls to the right-center gap and even crushing homers that way. When you see that Coby, he’s locked in and that’s the way he’s been all spring and all season," Kjerstad said.

O's outlast Nats: With a chance to lose two games in two nights and see their sweep less streak end, the O's blew a couple of leads last night but not the game. They held off the Nationals 7-6 in 12 innings at Nats Park.

They stay in first place at 24-12 and have won five of six, seven of nine, 12 of 17 and 16 of their last 22 games.

They have now gone 103 straight regular-season series without being swept.

They are 8-1 in their past nine games versus the Nationals, leading the all-time series now by 56-40. 

They do have a bit of a closer problem, as right-hander Craig Kimbrel was pulled yet again in the ninth inning.

"We're going to stick with him," O's manager Brandon Hyde said. "This guy's got a big-time track record, he's a Hall of Famer, and we need to get him right because he's big for us. It's important that we get him right."

As he says that, I do not interpret that as unlimited support for Kimbrel. After all Hyde has now yanked him a few times in the ninth. 

But I do think the club needs to find out whether he can do it or not. Is he hurt and if not, can he consistently still close games? If not, the O's need to know that too and figure out when they have to go to Plan B and just who that might be. There is time left to figure it out right now. 

Leftovers for breakfast
More questions confronting Orioles

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