The Orioles today announced the winners of their player development and scouting awards for 2019, including infielder/outfielder Ryan Mountcastle as the club’s top minor league player and right-hander Mike Baumann and right-hander Grayson Rodriguez as the club’s top minor league pitchers. The award winners will interact with fans during Q&A sessions on Saturday, September 21, on the Budweiser Roof Deck starting at 5:30 p.m. They will then be honored in an on-field ceremony prior to that night’s game against the Seattle Mariners, with awards presented by Orioles Executive Vice President and General Manager Mike Elias, Director of Minor League Operations Kent Qualls, Supervisor, Domestic Scouting Operations Brad Ciolek, and Triple-A Norfolk General Manager Joe Gregory.
Mountcastle has been named the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year. Mountcastle, 22, was named the International League’s Most Valuable Player on August 27, becoming the first Tides player to be named league MVP since Roberto Petagine in 1997. Over 127 games with Triple-A Norfolk, he batted .312/.344/.527 (162-for-520) with 35 doubles, one triple, 25 home runs, 81 runs, and 83 RBI, earning him both Mid-Season and Postseason All-Star honors. He led the International League with 162 hits, becoming the first Tides player to lead the league in hits since Mike Cervenak did so with 157 hits in 2007. Mountcastle earned Orioles Minor League Player of the Month honors in July after batting .333 (36-for-108) with 11 doubles, four home runs, 15 runs, and 15 RBI over 25 games. He was also named the International League Batter of the Week for the period of April 15-21. He is rated as the No. 5 prospect in the Orioles system by Baseball America and No. 92 in the publication’s Top 100. Mountcastle was selected by the Orioles in the first round (No. 36 overall) of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Hagerty (Fla.) High School.
Baumann has been named Orioles Jim Palmer Minor League Co-Pitcher of the Year. Michael Baumann (Bill Vaughan) (6)Baumann, 24, pitched to a combined 7-6 record with a 2.98 ERA (41 ER/124.0 IP) and 142 strikeouts in 24 games (22 starts) between Class A-Advanced Frederick and Double-A Bowie. He threw a no-hitter for Bowie on July 16 against Harrisburg, becoming the first Baysox hurler to toss a 9.0-inning no-hitter since Radhames Liz achieved the feat in 2007, also against Harrisburg. In his first five appearances (three starts) with Bowie, he pitched to a 2-1 record with a 0.33 ERA (1 ER/27.0 IP) and 32 strikeouts. He was named the Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Month for July, and was twice named the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week; first for the period of July 15-21, and again for the period of August 12-18. While with the Keys, Baumann was named the Carolina League Pitcher of the Week for the period of April 29-May 5. He was selected as a Mid-Season Carolina League All-Star with Frederick. He is rated as the No. 10 prospect in the Orioles system by Baseball America. Baumann was selected by the Orioles in the third round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of Jacksonville University (Fla.).
Rodriguez has been named Orioles Jim Palmer Minor League Co-Pitcher of the Year. Rodriguez, 19, was named the South Atlantic League’s Most Outstanding MLB Prospect after he pitched to a 10-4 record with a 2.68 ERA (28 ER/94.0 IP) and 129 strikeouts in 20 starts for Class-A Delmarva, his first full professional season. Rodriguez was selected to participate in the 2019 Sirius/XM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, July 7, in Cleveland, Ohio. After the scheduled 7.0 innings had been completed, the game remained tied at 2-2. Rodriguez entered the game to pitch the eighth inning with a runner at second base to begin the extra frame; he retired all three batters faced on 11 pitches to keep the game tied. He was named both a Mid-Season and Postseason All-Star. In eight starts at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium, he went 6-0 with a 0.82 ERA (4 ER/43.2 IP) and 61 strikeouts. His 0.82 ERA at home was the lowest among all South Atlantic League pitchers with at least 40.0 innings pitched. He was named the Orioles Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April after going 3-0 with a 0.54 ERA (1 ER/16.2 IP), including a 14.2-inning scoreless streak to begin the season. He was also named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for the period of April 4-14. He is rated as the No. 3 prospect in the Orioles system by Baseball America and No. 47 in the publication’s Top 100. Rodriguez was selected by the Orioles in the first round (No. 11 overall) of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft out of Central Heights (Texas) High School.
Left-hander Cameron Bishop has been named this year’s recipient of the Elrod Hendricks Minor League Community Service Award. Bishop was eager to volunteer his time at many community appearances in the Frederick area this season. He helped lead the Keys baseball camps throughout the summer, teaching kids the fundamentals of baseball. During the season, Bishop befriended a young student from the Maryland School for the Deaf named Ryder, who taught him how to sign “Come support the home team, the Frederick Keys” for a special video shown during Frederick’s Deaf and Hard of Hearing Night. He made 22 starts (24 appearances) for the Keys this season, striking out 109 batters in 113.2 innings of work. Bishop was selected by the Orioles in the 26th round of the 2017 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of California Irvine.
Delmarva Pitching Coach Justin Ramsey has been named the winner of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Player Development Award, named for the late Orioles coach and manager who is widely regarded as the architect of “The Oriole Way.” Each year, a minor league staff member who exemplifies Ripken’s qualities as an instructor is recognized with the award. In his first season as a coach in the Orioles system after over a decade in the college ranks, Ramsey oversaw one of the premier pitching staffs in Minor League Baseball. The Shorebirds led the South Atlantic League in ERA (3.00), WHIP (1.18), and strikeouts (1,389), and allowed the fewest home runs (67). Delmarva set the South Atlantic League record for the most strikeouts in a single season on August 26 at Lakewood, surpassing the previous record set by Lakewood in 2018. Five Delmarva pitchers (Rodriguez, Gray Fenter, Drew Rom, Ryan Wilson and Nick Vespi) struck out 100 batters despite throwing fewer than 100.0 innings each.
Area scout Thom Dreier will receive the Jim Russo Scout of the Year Award, named in honor of the man who spent 33 years in various scouting capacities with the Orioles beginning with their move from St. Louis in 1954. Dreier suffered a cardiac arrest earlier this year near his home in The Woodlands, Texas, but has since made a full recovery. He was the signing scout for Orioles Jim Palmer Minor League Co-Pitcher of the Year RHP Rodriguez when the Orioles made the right-hander the 11th overall pick in the 2018 First-Year Player Draft.
The Orioles will also recognize Managers of the Year Buck Britton (Double-A Bowie, Eastern League), Kyle Moore (Class-A Delmarva, South Atlantic League), and Alan Mills (GCL Orioles, Gulf Coast League).
In his second managerial season, his first managing Bowie, former Orioles farmhand and 2008 draft pick Britton guided the Baysox to the Second Half Western Division title and eventually to the Eastern League Championship Series, where they fell to the Trenton Thunder in four games. For Bowie, it was only their second Eastern League Championship Series appearance in franchise history, having won the Eastern League title in 2015. After beginning the season with a 7-23 record, the worst in all of professional baseball, the Baysox went 69-41 to finish with a 76-64 record, including posting back-to-back 20-win months in June and July. Bowie led the Eastern League in both ERA (3.17) and WHIP (1.18), and finished second in shutouts with 16 and complete games with five. Baysox hitters led the Eastern League with 584 runs scored, 1,108 hits, 244 doubles, and 542 RBI, and struck out fewer times than any other team. Britton is the second Baysox manager to win the award after Brad Komminsk won in 2008. Britton began his coaching career in 2017 as the Hitting Coach with Delmarva after playing nine seasons in the minors, including seven in the Orioles organization.
In his second managerial season, his first managing Delmarva, Moore led the Shorebirds to the Northern Division title and the team’s first postseason berth since 2005. Delmarva started the season 24-4 and went 48-21 in the first half. The Shorebirds broke a 23-year-old franchise record with their 84th win of the season on August 20 and became the first South Atlantic League team to reach 90 wins since 2006 (Augusta). The club finished the regular season 90-48, becoming the minor leagues’ only 90-win team of the year. Moore has spent a decade in the Orioles organization as a player/coach and managed Aberdeen during the 2018 season.
In his first season as a manager, Mills led the GCL Orioles to a league-best 38-15 record, improving upon the team’s league-worst record of 13-42 in 2018. The GCL Orioles finished as the GCL South Division Champions, as their remaining games were cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian. Mills spent the previous two years as the Orioles Bullpen Coach and served as a Pitching Coach for Orioles minor league affiliates for five seasons prior to joining the Major League club in 2017. Due to a prior commitment, Mills is unable to attend the events on Saturday.