Kyle Stowers on his recent power surge for Norfolk

Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Kyle Stowers said he recently made a small batting adjustment. It helped produce big results.

Stowers, ranked as the Orioles' No. 8 prospect via MLBPipeline.com and No. 9 by Baseball America, hit three home runs Sunday at Charlotte. He has hit four homers his past four games and seven in his last 10 games.

Stowers’ three-homer game tied a franchise record for the Tides, and he connected in three straight innings with solo homers in the fifth and sixth and then a three-run shot in the seventh at Charlotte.

Stowers' power is back for him and the Tides.

“I’d say the biggest thing in the last few weeks has been kind of get a little more upright (in my stance) again,” he said today during a Zoom session with reporters. “I was a little crouched early in the year and so it’s kind of getting back to a little more upright, which I feel like is a little more of an athletic position for me. It’s a small change, nothing too big. Kind of been feeling confident all year. Felt like I’d run into some tough luck early and things started to drop a little bit.

“Early on, when I was in that more crouched position, I was feeling comfortable with my hand-eye coordination and my bat-to-ball (skills). The problem was it started to lead to a little more weak contact, so you know, just felt like had some room to get more athleticism back. It was a group decision (between me and the coaches)."

In 37 games with Norfolk, Stowers is batting .256/.353/.564 with a .917, 11 doubles, 10 homers and 25 RBIs.

Stowers has maintained the power while cutting down on his K rate. It was 30.4 last year at Double-A and 34.4 in 2021 at Triple-A. He has dropped that now to 22.7, an impressive improvement. And his 10 homers are tied for the O’s organization lead with Coby Mayo of high Single-A Aberdeen.

“Playing Charlotte helped, the ball flies pretty well, it’s a good park to hit in," Stowers said. "Hit some balls in Norfolk and other places that didn’t get over the fence but metrically they would be good balls. I think a combination of that and just seeing the ball well and putting some good wood on it. Never really trying to hit home runs, just get good wood on the ball and hit good pitches."

During the Zoom call, Stowers discussed how the Tides are a close-knit team and seeing players like pitchers Nick Vespi and Logan Gillaspie make the bigs for the first time was huge for their entire team.

“It’s so awesome to see," he said. "I wish you guys could see in the lockerroom. See LG or Vespi warming up and they come in, we’re all glued to the TV watching. All fired up in the clubhouse. Super close, a tight-knit group and truly a team. When we see one guy succeed, we are all super happy for them."

Stowers hit 27 homers with 85 RBIs and an OPS of .897 last season when he shared the Orioles Minor League Player of the Year with his good friend, Adley Rutschman. 

He said he's been excited to see Rutschman get his call. Now Stowers is trying to make sure he's ready for his when that time comes.

“I’m really proud of the way I’ve gone about things this year," he said. "I feel like I’m just getting more and more steady as an individual and a player. Showing up to the ballpark every single day with the same mentality. Haven’t been too high, haven’t been too low, even during a cold stretch or hot stretch. Really been able to hang my hat on my work ethic and my preparation and it’s made it easy to live with whatever happens in the game.

“You know all I can really do is take things day-by-day. Keep getting one step closer to the idealized player that I see myself becoming one day and if I get a step closer to that each day, then I’m happy with how the day went."

 

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