Three highly ranked Orioles prospects are taking another step in the organizational pipeline, receiving call-ups Monday to Double-A Bowie from High-A Aberdeen.
With the promotions of third baseman Coby Mayo (No. 5) and outfielder Colton Cowser (No. 6), each of Baltimore’s top nine prospects are in the upper minors or the major leagues. Second baseman Connor Norby, ranked No. 11 in Baltimore’s pipeline according to Baseball America, also received a call-up to the Baysox.
Mayo’s promotion comes one day after he hit his 13th home run of the season, matching him for the organizational lead in long balls with Triple-A Norfolk outfielder Kyle Stowers and Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander. Mayo is hitting .250 this season with an .805 OPS. He ‘s struck out as many times as he ‘s recorded a hit (60), but he ‘s added 28 extra-base hits for the IronBirds this season, and his 42 RBI his are already a career high.
Mayo was drafted out of Stoneman-Douglas High School in Florida in the fourth round of the 2020 draft, and he rose quickly last season from Rookie ball to Low-A Delmarva. Now, after 63 games with Aberdeen, the 20-year-old reaches another level.
Cowser has seen a similarly swift rise through the ranks since he was taken in the first round of the 2021 draft out of Sam Houston State. The 22-year-old is hitting .258 in his first season at the High-A level, adding 19 doubles and 16 stolen bases.
And Norby, drafted in the second round after Cowser from East Carolina, was batting .237 with a .736 OPS for Aberdeen before his call-up.
The lone member of Baltimore’s top-10 prospects not in the upper minors yet is outfielder Heston Kjerstad (No. 10), who returned from injury only this month to make his debut with Delmarva, for which he’s hitting .422 in 12 games.
As the top prospects continually approach the majors — or have already arrived, such as catcher Adley Rutschman and right-hander Kyle Bradish — there’s a sign that the rebuild in Baltimore is approaching its next stage. There’s evidence beyond the promotions, too, with the Orioles playing winning baseball in June — with the potential to clinch a winning month for the first time in manager Brandon Hyde’s four-season tenure with one win during the series against the Mariners.