Minor League Podcast: Suprises, surges, disappointments and the 2017 class - BaltimoreBaseball.com
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Minor League Podcast: Suprises, surges, disappointments and the 2017 class

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon
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In the first part of his minor league season wrap-up last week, Double-A Bowie Baysox announcer Adam Pohl looked at some of the top performances in the Orioles system in 2017.

That included outfielder Austin Hays, who was named the organization’s Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year on Thursday and will be honored Saturday at Camden Yards – where the 22-year-old is already playing this month. Also being honored with organizational awards Saturday are Bowie catcher Austin Wynns (Elrod Hendricks Community Service Award), scout Kirk Fredriksson (Jim Russo Scout of the Year) and Bowie hitting coach Butch Davis (Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award). Alex Wells (Jim Palmer Pitcher of the Year) already received his award earlier this month before heading back to his native Australia.

In today’s podcast – Part 2 of the season wrap-up — Pohl talks again with BaltimoreBaseball.com’s minor leaguer reporter Dean Jones Jr., and they focus on the surprises that surfaced in the Orioles system this year.

Guess who Jones mentioned first?

Yep, Hays, a third-rounder in 2016 who went from good prospect to one of the best players in all of the minors this year, hitting a combined .329 with 32 homers at High-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie.

It’s all-Hays, all-the-time here on Minor League Podcast.

But there are other players that Jones and Pohl discuss, too.

Like Frederick outfielder Ademar Rifaela, who won the Carolina League MVP, and Triple-A Norfolk infielder Drew Dosch, who led the International League in doubles.

Pohl suggests that maybe Dosch, a third baseman much of his career, could be a utility player in the majors, because his ability to produce quality at-bats consistently would be an asset anywhere.

Other players that took a step forward, according to the duo, include hitters Steve Wilkerson and Jake Ring and pitchers Reid Love and Lucas Long.

Jones and Pohl also look at some of the prospects that didn’t match expectations, including the Frederick rotation that included Keegan Akin and Cody Sedlock, who struggled with injuries and ineffectiveness, and Keys’ infielder Jomar Reyes, who punched a wall and lost a chunk of the season.

The end of the podcast examines members of the 2017 draft class. So, there’s a whole lot to absorb in this week’s episode. Tune in.

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