Orioles announce minor league award winners

The Orioles have chosen catcher Adley Rutschman and outfielder Kyle Stowers as their Brooks Robinson Minor League Co-Players of the Year and Grayson Rodriguez as recipient of the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award.

The trio will be honored in a pregame ceremony before Tuesday night’s game against the Red Sox at Camden Yards.

Rutschman, the first-overall pick in the 2019 draft out of Oregon State University and the No. 1 prospect in baseball, earned a promotion to Triple-A Norfolk on Aug. 10 and is batting .321/.415/.530 (43-for-134) in 37 games with nine doubles, two triples, five home runs, 19 RBIs, 22 runs scored and 21 walks. He slashed .271/.392/.508 (80-for-295) with 16 doubles, 18 home runs, 55 RBIs, 61 runs scored and 55 walks in 80 games for the Double-A Bowie Baysox en route to his selection to the All-Star Futures Game.

Rutschman’s .914 OPS in 117 games this summer leads all Orioles minor leaguers.

Thumbnail image for Stowers-Outfield-White-ST-sidebar.jpgStowers, also 23, leads Orioles minor leaguers with 27 home runs, 51 extra-base hits and 228 total bases while playing for three affiliates - Single-A Aberdeen, Bowie and Norfolk. He’s slashing .297/.375/.469 (19-for-64) in 17 games with the Tides, including two doubles, three home runs, nine RBIs, nine runs scored and eight walks. He batted .340 with a 1.076 OPS, nine doubles, seven home runs, 15 RBIs, 17 runs scored and 16 walks in 27 games for the Baysox.

Stowers is rated as the No. 11 prospect in the system by MLBPipeline.com and No. 17 by Baseball America. The Orioles chose him with the 71st overall pick in 2019 out of Stanford University.

Rodriguez, 21, is a combined 9-1 with 2.36 and 0.825 WHIP in 23 starts between Aberdeen (five) and Bowie (18). He’s allowed 58 hits, walked 27 batters and struck out 161 in 103 innings.

Rodriguez is the No. 2 prospect in the Orioles system by Baseball America and MLB Pipeline, as well as the No. 1 pitching prospect in baseball. Baseball America rates him as the game’s No. 7 prospect and MLBPipeline.com has him eighth.

The Orioles drafted Rodriguez 11th overall in in 2018 out of Central Heights (Texas) High School.

Bowie manager Buck Britton, who guided the Baysox to the Double-A Northeast Championship Series, is receiving the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award. Area scout Brandon Verley, who signed Rutschman, is receiving the Jim Russo Scout of the Year Award,

Meanwhile, Cedric Mullins is on the bench today with a sore hamstring, though he’s available to pinch-hit again.

“It’s been sore for a few days,” said manager Brandon Hyde. “It was a little sore even on that 30/30 game. ... With the off-day tomorrow, hoping to rest it as much as possible and be back for the Boston series.”

Kelvin Gutiérrez hit a two-run homer last night, his third in the majors, and he’s playing third base again this afternoon.

“He really hasn’t gotten a ball in the air until last night,” Hyde said. “You saw that when he does, he’s got some power.”

Hyde noted that the at-bats have improved over the last few weeks.

“He’s hitting more balls hard,” Hyde said. “He is hitting a lot of balls on the ground. You see he’s showing the power he has in batting practice. You saw it last night. So, if he can tap into that a little more. And the position he plays, too, you’d like to see some slug there. But the ability’s there, he’s obviously really athletic.

“I know he works hard at it and hopefully, he can continue to keep it going the last week.”

The Orioles will see how Chris Ellis feels over the next few days before deciding whether to shut him down with arm fatigue and soreness.

“It’s definitely a possibility,” Hyde said.

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