Rhodes, Baumler and Cook headline Orioles representatives in AFL

CLEVELAND – Nine Orioles minor league players and one coach are included on the Mesa Solar Sox roster in the Arizona Fall League, which begins Oct. 2.

The organization is sending pitchers Carter Baumler, Zack Peek, Trey McGough, Carlos Tavera and Peter Van Loon, catcher Connor Pavolony, infielders TT Bowens and Billy Cook, and outfielder John Rhodes to Mesa. Double-A Bowie pitching coach Forrest Herrmann is on the coaching staff.

MLB Pipeline ranks Rhodes as the organization’s No. 20 prospect, Baumler No. 22 and Cook No. 27.

Rhodes was the 76th-overall pick in the 2021 draft who appeared in 108 games at Double-A Bowie this season and batted .228/.323/.422 with 22 doubles, three triples, 17 home runs and 69 RBIs in 108 games.

Baumler, a fifth-round pick in the 2020 draft, has undergone Tommy John and right shoulder surgeries. He appeared in seven games between the Florida Complex League and Single-A Delmarva and allowed six earned runs with nine walks and 21 strikeouts in 17 innings.

Cook, a 10th-rounder in 2021, finished with 16 doubles, two triples, 24 home runs and 81 RBIs in 120 games with Bowie.

Peek, part of the return in the Dylan Bundy trade with the Angels in December 2019, could use the innings after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2022. He made five starts this year, spread over three affiliates, and allowed seven earned runs (12 total) with nine walks and 13 strikeouts in 10 2/3 innings.

McGough attended Mount St. Mary’s in Emmitsburg, and he’s also recovered from Tommy John surgery. He pitched for four affiliates and posted a 3.05 ERA and 1.11 WHIP with a .169 opponents’ average in seven games totaling 20 2/3 innings. He allowed seven earned runs and 12 hits with 11 walks and 22 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings and made his final stop in Bowie.

Tavera, a fifth-rounder in 2021, appeared in 23 games with Bowie, including 17 starts, and had a 4.86 ERA and 1.607 WHIP with 89 strikeouts in 79 2/3 innings. Van Loon, a 16th-round selection 2021, also pitched for the Baysox and registered a 6.04 ERA and 1.491 WHIP with 70 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings.

Pavolony, also part of the 2021 draft as a seventh-round pick, was 11-for-67 (.164) with two doubles and a home run with Bowie. He also played briefly in the FCL and with Delmarva.

Bowens, signed by the Orioles as a free agent after the shortened 2020 draft, hit a combined .224/.312/.385 with nine doubles and eight home runs in 59 games with Delmarva, High-A Aberdeen and Bowie.

Herrmann joined the organization as Aberdeen pitching coach in 2022 and made the jump this year to Bowie. He spent two years as a pitching coach in the Reds’ organization and was a pitching strategist with the Mariners.

The AFL championship game is Saturday, Nov. 11 at Scottsdale Stadium.

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