Minor League Podcast: Talking award-winning performances (and, of course, Austin Hays) - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Minor League Podcast: Talking award-winning performances (and, of course, Austin Hays)

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The minor league season is over for Orioles’ affiliates.

Adam Pohl, the tireless voice of the Bowie Baysox, is never done, though.

This week – and next week – Pohl wraps up the 2017 Orioles’ minor league year by talking with BaltimoreBaseball.com’s minor league reporter Dean Jones Jr.

They look at who is award-worthy – and the first name that comes to mind is outfielder Austin Hays, who began the season at High-A Frederick and ended up in the majors this month.

Hays, a third-round pick in 2016 out of Jacksonville University, hit a combined .329 with 32 homers at Frederick and Double-A Bowie. He’ll be named the Orioles’ Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year next week.

Pohl and Jones discuss Hays’ season, which Jones said may actually be the most surprising year in the Orioles organization (more on that in next week’s podcast). Pohl adds that Hays’ production this year is right up there with Matt Wieters’ 2008 and Trey Mancini’s 2015 campaign.

Other prospects who at least should have been in the conversation for the best offensive season by an Orioles’ minor leaguer include infielder Ryan Mountcastle, outfielder DJ Stewart and utility man Garabez Rosa.

Rosa, 27, who hit .310 with 94 RBIs in his fifth season with Bowie and was the Eastern League MVP this year – one of two players to win a league MVP. The other was Frederick outfielder Ademar Rifaela, a 22-year-old from Jonathan Schoop’s hometown in Curacao. Rifaela had his best offensive season, hitting .284 with 24 homers and an .858 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.

Our duo also discusses the organization’s top pitcher in 2017, Jim Palmer Prize winner Alex Wells.

The minor leagues are over for 2017, but we’re still talking about them. Give this a listen.

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