Johnny Rizer is playing all three outfield positions for Double-A Bowie. That versatility might bode well for a potential callup to the Orioles late this season.
“I am covering ground, being able to play left, center, right,” Rizer told BaltimoreBaseball.com. “I am not too nervous. I am just having fun and just seeing the ball. I think it’s pretty easy. I’ve gotten exposure at all three [positions]. I am probably most confident at center.”
Rizer spent just one month at High-A Aberdeen, where he batted .288 with six doubles, three homers, and eight RBIs in 15 games. He was promoted to Bowie on June 1st and went 12-for-28 (.429) with a home run and a triple in his first week with the Baysox.
“I was just going out there in Aberdeen and, if they wanted to promote me, then I was ready for it,” Rizer said. “Coming from Aberdeen to Bowie, it’s like, ‘wow, they’re two great teams that match pretty well.’ It’s very exciting. We have a lot of prospects and a lot of great players coming up through the ranks. In the next couple of years, it’s going to play out very well.”
Rizer was selected in the seventh round (198th overall) by the Orioles in the 2019 Major League Baseball draft from Texas Christian, where he slashed .315/.383/.535 with 11 home runs in his senior year. He was the third outfielder taken by the Orioles in that draft behind Kyle Stowers and Zach Watson.
In 2019, Rizer played 63 games between Aberdeen, which was then a short-season club, and Low-A Delmarva and batted .308/.365/.456. He only struck out once every 5.27 at-bats and hit for the cycle with the IronBirds against Staten Island.
“Just getting in the box and competing,” Rizer said. “That’s a big part of my success — every time I step into the box, it’s a big at-bat. You just don’t want to give at-bats away. I’m just going to keep working hard and whatever happens, happens.”
Rizer has made a smooth transition to Double A.
“You can definitely tell the difference with the pitchers throwing strikes and commanding their offspeed or trying to attack with the fastball,” Rizer said. “They’re trying to expose my weaknesses, which I would say I am swinging at some pitches out of the zone, maybe some that are offspeed,” Rizer said.
If Rizer keeps producing, he could be a late-season call-up. That prospect is on his radar.
“My goal is as soon as possible,” Rizer said about a potential promotion to the Orioles. “Keep on hitting, keep on doing well and maybe a September call-up would be awesome. If not, maybe next year.”
Leyba stays hot: Third baseman Domingo Leyba homered in three consecutive games for Triple-A Norfolk. He also had four RBIs in an 8-0 win over the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp on Friday night.
Leyba, 25, was claimed off waivers from Arizona on June 4th and made his debut for the Tides two days later. He is a switch-hitter who can play shortstop, second base and third base.
Leyba hit a grand slam and had an RBI single on June 9th, followed by a solo home run the following day. He drove in 10 runs in three games for the Tides before going 0-4 on Saturday.
He appeared in 34 major-league games (54 plate appearances) for the Diamondbacks, batting .149 with five RBIs, two doubles and a triple.
Sedlock dominates: Bowie right-hander Cody Sedlock has allowed two runs in the last 16 2/3 innings and has a 1.08 ERA in his last four starts.
Sedlock was selected by the Orioles in the first round (No. 27 overall) of the 2016 draft and finished last season ranked as the No. 25 Orioles prospect, according to Baseball America.
Sedlock is 1-0 with a 3.43 ERA and one save in six appearances (four starts) this season.
“Sedlock is a starter and he’s going to pitch multiple innings,” Baysox manager Buck Britton said. “Whether it’s the front end of a tandem or the back end, it may rotate, but he’s definitely a guy who’s going to throw a lot of innings for us.”
Streak for Hernaiz: Delmarva infielder Darell Hernaiz has reached base in 26 consecutive games. During the streak, Hernaiz is slashing .296/.328/.698 with two homers and 15 RBIs. Hernaiz plays multiple positions in the infield — second, shortstop and third.