KANSAS CITY - A shock of bright blonde hair shone in the Orioles clubhouse this morning.
Kyle Stowers is hard to miss.
The Orioles’ No. 8 prospect, per MLBPipeline.com, will join the taxi squad when the team heads north of the border to play the Blue Jays this week.
“He’s having a good year at Triple-A,” manager Brandon Hyde said in Kauffman Stadium’s away dugout before Sunday's game. “It’s a loose, left-handed swing. He’s got huge power. I like the way he plays defense, he can play three defensive spots in the outfield, left-handed bat."
A 2019 second-round pick out of Stanford University, Stowers is hitting .253 with 12 home runs and a .901 OPS in 49 games with Triple-A Norfolk this year. The 24-year-old led all Orioles minor leaguers with 27 homers in 2021.
“He’s got a chance to hit,” said Hyde. “He’s still a really, really young player, like a lot of our guys, but he’s got big upside.”
Stowers is joined by catcher Anthony Bemboom, righty Mike Baumann and righty Rico Garcia on the taxi squad as the Orioles prepare to be without one or more players due to Canada’s vaccination requirement. Hyde would not disclose which players will be absent in Toronto.
The skipper certainly sees the benefit of having prospects like Stowers be with the big league club, even just on the taxi squad.
“You don’t know what it’s like here until you get here,” said Hyde. “To see it up close and to see what a big league clubhouse feels like, it’s just a lot different when you get here. It’s a nice way to see, for any young player, what this actually looks like, feels like, before they actually get on the field.”
The Orioles will have three of their top 10 prospects with the big league club: Adley Rutschman (No. 1), Kyle Bradish (No. 10) and Stowers.
“It’s nice that a lot of our top prospects are in the upper levels or here right now. It’s exciting for the coaching staff, it’s exciting for the club and the fans. It shows that we’ve gone through a few tough years and now we’re getting our guys to the upper levels. It’s a real talented group. It’s (a bunch of) guys that are physical, fast, pitchers that throw hard, pitchers that have big-league stuff. We’ve got toolsy guys. We’ve kind of been missing that for a while now, and now we have some of those type of guys getting here or close.”
Dean Kremer will make his second big league appearance of 2022 this afternoon against the Royals as the O’s look to split their four-game series.