Talking about the 2019 O's draft with outfielder Kyle Stowers

CHICAGO – In some ways, Orioles outfielder Kyle Stowers will always be linked with catcher Adley Rutschman and shortstop Gunnar Henderson.

That is because while Rutschman was taken with the first overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft and Henderson was the O’s next pick, at No. 42 overall. The third selection that year was Stowers, taken No. 71 overall out of Stanford.

The three are close friends and they were the first three draft selections by Mike Elias as Orioles executive vice president and general manager.

“It’s really cool. Definitely was a special draft and just really cool to come up through the system with them,” Stowers said Saturday morning in the Baltimore clubhouse. “Those guys have already made their mark on the league and hopefully I am heading that way as well.”

Rutschman, Henderson and Stowers have pushed each other to be better both on the farm and in the big leagues.

“Through being competitive (we have),” said Stowers, 26. “Whether it’s in the cages, on the field and or living together in spring training playing a video game. We all want to raise the level of competition for the others and we do that.”

Of the Orioles' first six picks in that 2019 draft, five have already seen the majors.

“The fourth-round pick was Joey Ortiz and he’s doing really well with the Brewers. It includes Darrel Hernaiz and he has debuted (with Oakland),” Stowers noted.

Ortiz of course was in the trade for right-handed pitcher Corbin Burnes and Hernaiz was in the deal for lefty Cole Irvin.

Stowers made the Opening Day roster last year but this season waited until May 13 to get the call back to the bigs after producing an OPS of .856 with 11 homers in 32 games at Triple-A. His season included a three-homer game April 3 for Norfolk at Charlotte.

He went 1-for-4 with a single, getting the start for the Orioles on Saturday afternoon in Chicago. He is 3-for-12 with a double and RBI in eight games since being called up.

After playing in 221 Triple-A games, he doesn’t have much left to do on the farm. He hopes this is his time. His time to get to play and to shine.

“I feel like it’s coming. I believe I have the ability to make an impact for this team. Trying to do everything I can to be ready for that, so that I am prepared when the opportunity comes,” he said.

But in being the third pick following Rutschman and Henderson, Stowers is keeping good company.

“I don’t want to pump their tires too much because they are two of my best friends,” Stowers said laughing. “To me it’s just fun playing with my friends. Obviously they are special players. So to be lumped with them is special but for me it’s just that we are such good friends that get to play together.”

Going for a sweep today: The Orioles lost three straight games in the series at St. Louis, scoring just eight runs and hitting one homer. They have won three games at Chicago by scoring 19 runs and hitting six homers off White Sox pitchers.

Their three-homer explosion in the top of the eighth Saturday at Guaranteed Rate Field lifted them to a 5-3 win and today they can sweep this four-game series.

At 32-18 at the 50-game mark, the Orioles would have a winning road trip with a victory today. At the 50-game mark last year they were 33-17 and two games out of first place.





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