Sisco and Scott share big stage; Mullins to the DL; Stewart's inner hulk; Akin keeps sizzling - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Dean Jones Report

Sisco and Scott share big stage; Mullins to the DL; Stewart’s inner hulk; Akin keeps sizzling

Photo credit: Steve Mitchell/USA Today Sports

The Orioles won’t play again until Friday against the Chicago Cubs at Camden Yards.

I hope you enjoy the breather from the daily frustration until then.

We’ve reached the All-Star break for the organization’s top two affiliates, too.

Triple-A Norfolk (37-53) has the third-worst record in the 14-team International League. The Tides are last in the league’s South Division. Meanwhile, Double-A Bowie (47-42) has surged into a first-place tie with Altoona in the Eastern League’s Western Division.

On Monday afternoon, Orioles first baseman Chris Davis started an injury rehab assignment with High-A Frederick. Davis, who has been on the disabled list for nearly a month with a strained right oblique muscle, went 1-for-4 with a double and a walk for the Keys. Naturally, he also struck out twice in the game.

Now, let’s get into this week’s update. If you’re new here, the “Dean Jones Report” is my thoughts about the Top 12 players in the organization (according to my “Dean’s Dozen”). Each player is either a rising stock (“bullish”) or a falling stock (“bearish”).

I also share the names of a handful of players who are either “surging” or “falling” over the past several games. And, finally, I conclude with the upcoming schedules for the Orioles’ top five affiliates – from Norfolk all the way down to short-season Single-A Aberdeen.

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DEAN’S DOZEN

No. 1: Chance Sisco, C, Norfolk
BULLISH
Statistics: .276, 3 HRs, 31 RBIs, 17 2Bs, 720 Ks in 66 games
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The 2013 second-round pick apparently has a knack for playing on the big stage. Sisco, 22, hit a solo home run in the fourth inning of the All-Star Futures Game last year in San Diego. While he didn’t go deep during this year’s game, Sisco hit an RBI triple (pictured above) in the bottom of the second inning of the U.S. team’s 7-6 win in Miami on Sunday. On Twitter, Baseball America managing editor JJ Cooper talked about Sisco’s time around the bases on the hit. Of course, Sisco’s continued work on the other side of the ball has been viewed as the thing that’s keeping him out of the majors. And Cooper noted a “bad look” for Sisco on a wild pitch.

No. 2: Austin Hays, OF, Bowie
BULLISH
Statistics: .329, 3 HRs, 14 RBIs, 4 2Bs in 18 games at Bowie; .328, 16 HRs, 41 RBIs, 15 2Bs in 64 games at Frederick
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Hays, 22, has cooled off slightly from his blazing start after his promotion to the Baysox in late June. On July 1, the 2016 third-round selection increased his batting average with Bowie to .405 with a 2-for-4 performance in an 11-0 rout at Akron. Since then, however, Hays is only batting .250 (9-for-36) with two extra-base hits – both doubles – and four RBIs. Still, he hit safely in seven of those nine games. And, overall, Hays has a .328 average, 19 home runs and 55 RBIs in 82 games between Bowie and Frederick. There’s no reason to be worried about Hays at this point. Carry on as usual.

No. 3: Ryan Mountcastle, SS, Frederick
BULLISH
Statistics: .312, 15 HRs, 47 RBIs, 32 2Bs, 60 runs in 82 games
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In the Keys’ 10-7 loss to Myrtle Beach on Monday afternoon, the 2016 first-round pick (36th overall) had his first three-hit game since June 24. Mountcastle, 20, had a pair of doubles in the game to increase his Carolina League-leading total to 32. Last year with Delmarva, he only had 28 doubles in 115 games. Mountcastle also continues to lead the league in hits (105), runs scored (60) and total bases (184). If you’re looking for something to criticize Mountcastle about, he’s only batting .227 (20-for-88) with runners in scoring position.

No. 4: Keegan Akin, LHP, Frederick
BULLISH
Statistics: 6-6, 3.47 ERA, 89 Ks, 34 BBs in 80 1/3 innings
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I’ve almost forgotten that Akin, 22, started the year with an unsightly 81.00 ERA after one start. The 2016 second-round selection gave up six runs, four hits and three walks in two-thirds of an inning way back on April 7 against Carolina. Even as recently as the end of May, he had a 5.95 ERA. That’s when the Keys skipped Akin’s turn through the rotation so he could put in some extra work on the side. That’s all ancient history at this point, though. Although Akin took the loss after giving up a pair of solo home runs in his most recent start Saturday against Myrtle Beach, he struck out at least nine hitters for the third time in 2017.

No. 5: Cody Sedlock, RHP, Frederick
BEARISH
Statistics: 4-4, 6.46 ERA, 53 Ks, 26 BBs in 62 2/3 innings
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The 2016 first-round pick (27th overall) remains sidelined with a right elbow flexor strain. Sedlock, 22, was 1-4 with a 9.07 ERA in his final nine starts before he went on the disabled list earlier this month. The Orioles will take things slowly with Sedlock, but he’s starting to throw again, so the injury doesn’t appear too serious at this point. We’ll monitor it, though.

No. 6: Cedric Mullins, OF, Bowie
BEARISH
Statistics: .318, 8 HRs, 24 RBIs, 13 2Bs, 35 runs in 42 games
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Speaking of injuries that I mentioned last week, the 2015 13th-round selection left last Wednesday’s doubleheader against Hartford in the first inning of the second game. As my colleague Dan Connolly noted on Twitter, Mullins reinjured his left hamstring. The injury isn’t believed to be nearly as serious as the one that caused Mullins, 22, to miss six weeks earlier this season. The move to the 7-day DL seems to be a precaution and the sense is he won’t miss much time. Before the injury, Mullins was batting .400 (10-for-25) with four doubles in six games in July. He has shown a lot of promise, but the injuries have slowed his ascent.

No. 7: Tanner Scott, LHP, Bowie
BULLISH
Statistics: 0-1, 1.84 ERA, 62 Ks, 32 BBs in 49 innings
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Last week, I flipped to “bearish” on the 2014 sixth-round pick because he walked three batters in three of his previous four starts. Scott, who will turn 23 on July 22, has only pitched one inning for the Baysox since I made the switch. He struck out one batter and gave up a double in one scoreless inning during Bowie’s 3-2 win over Hartford on Thursday. However, because Scott received a good amount of praise for his performance in the All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, I’m going back to “bullish” this week. Although Scott allowed the World team to score its first run, triple-digit heat helped him strike out two hitters.

No. 8: Chris Lee, LHP, Norfolk
BEARISH
Statistics: 3-5, 6.32 ERA, 52 Ks, 39 BBs in 78 1/3 innings
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Lee, 24, hasn’t pitched since he was shelled (once again) at Gwinnett last Wednesday. The 2011 fourth-round selection gave up seven runs and 13 baserunners – nine hits and a season-high four walks – in 4 1/3 innings during the Tides’ 10-3 loss to the Braves. Lee also allowed eight runs (seven earned) and 11 baserunners – nine hits, two walks and a hit batter – in a June 25 start at Gwinnett. It goes without saying that the luster is fading from Lee’s prospect status. Opponents are hitting .324 in 78 1/3 innings against him this year.

No. 9: Jesus Liranzo, RHP, Bowie
BEARISH
Statistics: 1-3, 5.35 ERA, 44 Ks, 24 BBs in 35 1/3 innings
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In order to get some work in before the All-Star break, the Dominican Republic native started on three days’ rest for the Baysox against Richmond on Sunday at Prince George’s Stadium. Liranzo, 22, allowed a one-out single and a two-run home run to the Flying Squirrels’ K.C. Hobson before he recorded the final two outs in the first inning of Bowie’s 6-3 victory. In his previous start, Liranzo gave up two runs, four hits and two walks while striking out six batters in three innings as the Baysox beat Hartford, 7-2, last Wednesday. Because Liranzo has surrendered a home run in back-to-back outings, I’m switching to “bearish” this week. We’ll see how he responds in the second half of the season.

No. 10: DJ Stewart, OF, Bowie
BULLISH
Statistics: .270, 11 HRs, 44 RBIs, 14 2Bs, 51 runs, 12 SBs in 79 games
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For me, the highlight of Bowie’s Superhero Day on Sunday afternoon – with the exception of the free cake for Baysox mascot Louie’s birthday – was when the 2015 first-round pick (25th overall) channeled his inner Incredible Hulk and connected for a mammoth shot to right-center field to lead off the bottom of the second inning. Stewart, 23, possesses that bombs-away potential from time to time. That homer was also significant because it allowed Stewart to establish a career high with his 11th of the season. Through 10 games in July, the streaky hitter is batting .367 (11-for-30) with three home runs and nine RBIs.

No. 11: Ofelky Peralta, RHP, Frederick
BEARISH
Statistics: 2-7, 6.13 ERA, 68 Ks, 55 BBs in 61 2/3 innings
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The Dominican Republic native’s last start was the perfect microcosm of his entire career. Peralta, 20, earned his second win after holding Myrtle Beach to only one hit in five shutout innings last Friday. He struck out six batters in the Keys’ 8-3 victory, but he also issued five walks for the second consecutive start. If you’re keeping track at home – if you’re not, I am – you know that’s 55 walks in 61 2/3 innings this season. With Delmarva in 2016, Peralta walked 60 hitters in 103 1/3 innings. He could pass that number in his next two starts.

No. 12: Alex Wells, LHP, Delmarva
BULLISH
Statistics: 7-4, 2.72 ERA, 74 Ks, 10 BBs in 96 innings
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After a somewhat rough June in which the Australia native pitched to a 4.46 ERA in six starts, he appears to be fully recovered this month. Wells, 20, has tossed 13 scoreless innings over two starts in July, including six at Hickory on Monday afternoon. Although he retired the first 10 hitters and only allowed two singles, the Shorebirds fell, 2-1. Wells has shined in four starts during the day. In those games, he’s 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA in 25 innings. One negative? Wells is second in the South Atlantic League with 13 home runs allowed. He only gave up one in 62 2/3 innings for Aberdeen last season.

SURGING

Ben Breazeale, C, Aberdeen: You couldn’t expect much more from the 2017 seventh-round selection. Breazeale, 22, leads the New York-Penn League with a .500 average (23-for-46) in 13 games. He also ranks first in on-base percentage (.589) and slugging percentage (.761). On Monday, Breazeale earned the league’s Player of the Week award.

Zac Lowther, LHP, Aberdeen: The professional career of the 2017 competitive balance round B pick has gone well so far. Of course, we’re only talking about two starts. But Lowther, 21, has tossed three scoreless innings in each game for the IronBirds. Overall, he has 10 strikeouts and six hits allowed. Lowther also hasn’t walked anyone.

Tobias Myers, RHP, Aberdeen: Last week, I included the 2016 sixth-round pick in this section after he struck out eight batters and only gave up one hit in six innings against Lowell on the Fourth of July. Myers, 18, hasn’t pitched since then, but he was named the New York-Penn League Pitcher of the Week on Monday. He’ll start tonight for the IronBirds.

Ademar Rifaela, OF, Frederick: The Curacao native remains one of the hottest hitters in the organization. Rifaela, 22, was picked Monday as the Carolina League Player of the Week. In eight games this month, he is batting .484 (15-for-31) with one home run and seven RBIs. Last year, Rifaela hit .239 with 12 homers and 45 RBIs for Delmarva.

FALLING

Tyler Coolbaugh, SS/2B, GCL Orioles: The feel-good story involving Orioles hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh and his son, the club’s 36th-round pick this year, hasn’t continued into the season. Coolbaugh, 23, is only batting .087 (2-for-23) with seven strikeouts in six games for the club’s Rookie-level affiliate. He was hitless in his first 15 at-bats.

Matthew Grimes, RHP, Bowie: Speaking of feel-good stories gone bad, the 2014 18th-round selection dominated the first half for Frederick last year with an 8-4 record and 1.45 ERA in 14 games (13 starts). That performance earned Grimes, 25, a call-up to the Baysox last July. Since then, he is 6-13 with a 5.18 ERA in 27 games (26 starts) for Bowie.

David Washington, OF, Norfolk: The curse of the “Dean Jones Report” struck Washington, 26. Last week, I noted that the 2009 15th-round pick had reached base in 30 straight games – the longest streak in the International League this year. On Wednesday, the streak ended when he went 0-for-4. A day later, the Orioles designated him for assignment.

Gabriel Ynoa, RHP, Norfolk: In three starts since the Orioles sent the Dominican Republic native back to the Tides on June 23, he is 0-3 with a 9.39 ERA in 15 1/3 innings. Ynoa, 24, is 1-8 with a 7.64 ERA in 12 starts overall for Norfolk. In his latest start Friday, Ynoa gave up seven runs and eight hits in five innings as the Tides lost, 8-4, at Columbus.

THE WEEK AHEAD

Norfolk (37-53)
July 12 – Triple-A All-Star Game, 9:05 p.m.
July 13 – vs. Durham, 7:05 p.m.
July 14 – vs. Durham, 7:05 p.m.
July 15 – vs. Durham, 7:05 p.m.
July 16 – vs. Durham, 4:05 p.m.
July 17 – at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 7:05 p.m.
July 18 – at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, 7:05 p.m.

Bowie (47-42)
July 12 – Eastern League All-Star Game, 7:05 p.m.
July 13 – at Altoona, 7 p.m.
July 14 – at Altoona, 7 p.m.
July 15 – at Altoona, 6 p.m.
July 16 – at Altoona, 6 p.m.
July 17 – at Hartford, 7:05 p.m.
July 18 – at Hartford, 7:05 p.m.

Frederick (37-48)
July 12 – at Buies Creek, 7 p.m.
July 13 – at Buies Creek, 7 p.m.
July 14 – at Buies Creek, 7 p.m.
July 15 – at Buies Creek, 6 p.m.
July 16 – at Down East, 4 p.m.
July 17 – at Down East, 7 p.m.
July 18 – at Down East, 7 p.m.

Delmarva (39-47)
July 12 – vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m.
July 13 – vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m.
July 14 – vs. Lexington, 7:05 p.m.
July 15 – vs. Rome, 7:05 p.m.
July 16 – vs. Rome, 5:05 p.m.
July 17 – vs. Rome, 7:05 p.m.
July 18 – OFF

Aberdeen (11-7)
July 12 – at Auburn, 7:05 p.m.
July 13 – at Auburn, 7:05 p.m.
July 14 – vs. Connecticut, 7:05 p.m.
July 15 – vs. Connecticut, 6:05 p.m.
July 16 – vs. Connecticut, 5:35 p.m.
July 17 – at Lowell (doubleheader), 6:35 p.m.
July 18 – at Lowell, 6:35 p.m.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ZantiGM

    July 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm

    I think Sisco, Mullins, Chris Johnson, Dickerson, Long and maybe Hess will see some MLB action latter this summer..Possible trade chips-Means, Sisco, Rifaela, Marin, Hess, Barker,Palmeiro, Liranzo, Wynns and Cleavinger..i do not think o’s will trade Hays, Mountcastle, Akin, Stewart or Scott

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