Orioles' top prospects are creating excitement at Bowie - BaltimoreBaseball.com

Rich Dubroff

Orioles’ top prospects are creating excitement at Bowie

Photo credit: Joy R. Absalon

BOWIE, Maryland—Buck Britton pointed to an expression on his T-shirt. “Pressure is a privilege,” it read. Britton, who’s in his second season as manager of the Bowie Baysox, has a number of prospects on his roster.

“The prospect list is basically here,” he said before Grayson Rodriguez’s first home start on Tuesday night.

Along with Rodriguez, Baseball America’s top-ranked pitching prospect, the Baysox have catcher Adley Rutschman, the overall No. 1 draft choice in 2019, and the Orioles’ top prospect, according to MLB Pipeline.

Rodriguez is second and, after outfielder Heston Kjerstad, who’s ranked third but has yet to play because of myocarditis, a inflammation of the heart muscle, is left-handed pitcher DL Hall, who this week was placed on the injured list because of tendinitis in his left elbow.

With Rutschman (2019), Rodriguez (2018), Hall (2017) and right-hander Cody Sedlock (2016), Bowie has four top draft choices on its roster.

The Baysox also have right-hander Mike Baumann and infielder Terrin Vavra, who was acquired from Colorado in the August 2020 trade that sent reliever Mychal Givens to the Rockies. Vavra is also on the injured list because of a strained lower back.

Two other Top 30 products, right-hander Kyle Bradish (15) and left-hander Kevin Smith (19), started the season with Bowie and did so well that they’ve moved up to Triple-A Norfolk.

Outfielder Yusniel Diaz, who’s the 10th-ranked prospect, is rehabbing a leg injury with Bowie.

On Tuesday, Bowie drew nearly 5,000 for Rodriguez’s first start. There was a big-time atmosphere with a true minor league promotion. Fans were encouraged to bring empty gas cans to symbolize the gas that Rodriguez brings with his fastball.


“They know the eyes are on them,” Britton said. “What better place to be when you’re in the minor leagues and everybody paying attention to what’s going on? These guys are excited every day.

“Guys compete with each other on a daily basis. It’s an internal competition. They’re trying to one-up each other, and that’s what we’re seeing daily.”

Britton jokes about the difficulty of his job.

“I kind of just write their name on the lineup card, roll the balls out and let them go,” he said.

Bowie’s pitching coach is Justin Ramsey, who worked with Rodriguez at Low-A Delmarva in 2019, his first season in professional ball after years in college coaching. He’s working under the direction of Chris Holt, who oversees pitching for the organization.

“I don’t feel like it’s pressure because there’s a good system in place that Holty’s put together,” Ramsey said. “I feel comfortable staying in that system. Getting to know the guys and what they’re trying to do and how they work, it’s easy to put them in different positions or whatever we’re talking about for the delivery adjustments.

“We’re confident in what we do with the guys. We believe in what we do, and we’re seeing the results.”

This minor league season is different. The season began a month late, in the first week of May, and will run until mid-September. Teams play six-game series and Mondays are off.

That schedule has enabled Rutschman to get a regular rest day, and he’s also played 10 games at first base besides catching.

“Adley’s outstanding back there,” Britton said. “He has just as much influence on the development of these pitchers as they do on him. These are guys he’s going to catch in Baltimore, hopefully for a long time. There’s a leadership factor in Adley. He’s a very inviting guy for these pitchers to go to and talk to.”

There’s excitement each time Rutschman comes to the plate. He’s excited about catching the top prospects.

“It’s awesome. It makes my job easy,” Rutschman said. “You can sit back, relax and watch them do their thing and see how they work. It’s been awesome all year.

“They’re all different pitchers, so I get a lot of different pitches, a lot of different angles, sequencing … so for me, it covers all angles, and I’m able to work and get better every single day.”

Oriole fans hope to see Rutschman this season, and he keeps up with the club.

“We’re pretty busy for the most part, but we throw on the games in the locker room when they’re playing, so we’re able to see as much as we can,” he said.

On Friday, catcher Chance Sisco was designated for assignment. The move would seem to open up a position at Norfolk, perhaps leading to a faster track to the majors for the 23-year-old.

“As far as my timeline goes, I don’t really know. I’m just trying to better every single day,” Rutschman said.

Rutschman has caught Baumann, Bradish, Hall, Rodriguez and Smith this season, and perhaps they’ll be together in 2022 at Camden Yards.

“There are definitely times when you have to take a step back and have that kind of perspective and realize this is a cool thing we have going on right now and try to enjoy every single second of it,” Rutschman said.

“There’s a lot of excitement going on in the minor leagues,” Britton said. “This is where the future is. Oriole fans understand that, and they’re hopeful of it, so it’s exciting when … really good players start trickling up the system and getting close to Baltimore.

“Losing is never easy, but when you have some talent coming up, it makes things a little easier. Baltimore is a great sports town, and they want a winner, and they’re excited for these guys that are down here performing. I’m looking forward to things changing.”

Follow Rich Dubroff on Twitter @RichDubroffMLB



  1. CalsPals

    June 20, 2021 at 7:42 am

    Adley made some very mature comments regarding philosophy & catching, much more intriguing than Severinos just throw it down the middle, wonder how guys at triple A feel that the Bowie team gets much of the headlines, as they should, bring the Bowie team & Buck up for 2022…go O’s…

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      June 20, 2021 at 9:34 am

      Very mature indeed….

      I’m just happy to be here. Hope I can help the ball club. I just want to give it my best shot, and the good Lord willing, things will work out.

      Write it down.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 20, 2021 at 9:53 am

      Ray, English is not Pedro Severino’s first language and he chooses not to use an interpreter for interviews. Rutschman had three years of college. Please think before you make remarks that are demeaning someone’s ability to speak a second language. Pedro tries very hard to master English, as do many others.

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        June 20, 2021 at 10:56 am

        Yeah Rich, I’m with Ray on this one. I don’t see how anything he stated sounded demeaning as it relates to Pedros speaking the English language. I don’t see how the statement ‘throw it down the middle’ has anything to do with linguistics.

    • CalsPals

      June 20, 2021 at 10:01 am

      Rich, not demeaning anyone, simply quoting something you said he said, if it was lost in translation it’s on you, I just read what you wrote…go O’s…

    • Icterus fan

      June 20, 2021 at 12:15 pm

      I haven’t seen much of Rutschman, but, as I’ve stated in the past, I definitely saw him be a fatherly type figure the pitchers he was catching. Intentionally talking to them while walking off the field. Hand on shoulder type conversation. He seemed to be “relational” and very interested in what appeared to be teaching type dialogue.
      Just that brief glimpse spoke volumes to me.

  2. Bhoffman1

    June 20, 2021 at 7:49 am

    Yes Buck should manage this team sorry I do feel bad for Hyde but we need Buck number two here along with AR and soon AH and GH

    • CalsPals

      June 20, 2021 at 8:11 am

      The Birdlings…go O’s…

  3. Orioleschatter

    June 20, 2021 at 8:28 am

    Sounds like even boy blunder, Mike Elias, couldn’t even screw this up.. Or can he?

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      June 20, 2021 at 9:10 am

      Hmmmm….”boy blunder” ….

      Even those of us that are not crazy about the manner in which Mike Elias has gone about handling the organization as of late, need to stand back and admit that he’s responsible for this team anyway. As much as I’ve attacked him, I do think he’s done some good things for the long run.

  4. Ekim

    June 20, 2021 at 9:00 am

    Rich…. Thank you for another informative piece on the future for the O’s. I haven’t been to Bowie yet this season (health problems) but am looking forward to going again (and hopefully again and again).

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 20, 2021 at 10:00 am

      Ekim, I’m sorry you haven’t been feeling well. Because of the unusual minor league schedule, the pandemic restrictions of the first month of the season, and my schedule I haven’t been to as many minor league games as I normally do. I appreciate your kind words about our minor league coverage. Todd will have his weekly piece tomorrow.

  5. Boog Robinson Robinson

    June 20, 2021 at 9:39 am

    Welcome to Bowiebaseball.com

    Drink Pepsi.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 20, 2021 at 9:55 am

      Ken, I’m sorry you object to our coverage of the minor leagues. Many of the readers have found it helpful. I would appreciate it if you didn’t include commercial endorsements in your comments.

      • Tileman

        June 20, 2021 at 10:54 am

        Rich I noticed you didn’t bark at the drink coke mesaage from the other day

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        June 20, 2021 at 11:15 am

        Damn Rich … am I being called into the principles office again?

        And forgive my rudeness, but one thing I’ve notice about you sir, is that you don’t seem to have a grasp for levity sometimes. The Bowie crack was a joke. If you didn’t catch it, I’m sorry. I think I’ve posted enough times here that most readers recognize my sense of humor without having to stick a LOL or winkie face on the end. The fact that we’re concentrating so much on minor league baseball simply goes to show us how pathethic, how TRULY pathetic our club has become.

        And the “commercial endorsement’ is more of a political statement going back to MLB sticking it’s nose into the politics of the day when they moved the All Star Game out of Atlanta and the Coca Cola company followed along.

        I’m sorry you don’t get me or think I’m funny, but plenty of your readers do. I’m not a racist as you’ve admonished me in private. I’m a good person, lead a clean life and love BB.COM. If you’d like to banish me from the site, so be it, it’s your site.

    • CalsPals

      June 20, 2021 at 10:03 am

      Ouchy today…go O’s…that is an endorsement…again, go O’s…

    • DcOsfan

      June 20, 2021 at 10:08 pm

      BRR – while you are often funny, it is never when you offer political commentary. Some of us respectfully disagree and I thought there was a tacit agreement to stay away from such comments

    • CalsPals

      June 21, 2021 at 7:54 am

      DC, while what BRR said in response “being more like a political statement” mentioned politics, it wasn’t about politics, I believe we asked & had an unwritten agreement about real political statements, but I could be wrong, his statement was aimed at MLB, which many of us have chastised one time or another…go O’s…

    • TxBirdFan

      June 21, 2021 at 2:21 pm

      Why is every one being so sensitive to BRR? I do think he’s funny (most of the time ) but also like his insightfulness and comments. Everyone has a right to have an opinion – but it’s silly to argue whether one persons opinion is better than someone else’s. It’s just an opinion!!!!

  6. CalsPals

    June 20, 2021 at 10:10 am

    Happy Father’s Day to all dads…go O’s…

  7. Icterus fan

    June 20, 2021 at 10:34 am

    Boy, this is an eclectic thread thus far. I’ll be watching the developments.
    Yes, happy Fathers Day to all dads.

  8. Nellie

    June 20, 2021 at 10:56 am

    Some days I love BRR and CP. They come off somewhere between Statler and Waldorf and Diamond and Silk and I laugh my butt off. You “long” timers like me will understand what I’m talking about. And then there are other days, like today, where they embarrass themselves.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      June 20, 2021 at 11:17 am

      I sir,am not embarrased one bit.

    • Shamus

      June 20, 2021 at 11:19 am

      Whoa. Nellie!!!!

      • Hallbe62

        June 20, 2021 at 6:56 pm

        You love to throw that ZINGER don’t you Shamus ?

    • CalsPals

      June 20, 2021 at 11:21 am

      Agree, zero embarrassment here, trying to figure out what could be remotely embarrassing about anything said here, difference of opinion on your part, it’s allowed, embarrassment, nope…go O’s…

    • Icterus fan

      June 20, 2021 at 12:21 pm

      As a sagacious person once said, “to write or to speak is to miscommunicate”.

      Misinterpretation of levity, intent, sarcasm wry wit, etc are bound to occur.

      Especially while our team struggles mightily and we’re all tense and frustrated.

  9. Orial

    June 20, 2021 at 11:00 am

    Excellent much needed writeup to lift our spirits after some of these recent debacles. Bowie’s attendence rising O’s falling. Wonder if the “twain” shall meet? I am appreciating Hyde more by the day. His intensity for various reasons,both good and bad,is starting to come front and center. BUT I have a gutt feeling that Buck #2 will be managing this young core in 2 years. Hyde deserves something in the organization when the time comes. The group of Adley,Kjerstad,Hall,Rodriguez,etc. represents the first solid wave to be followed by Vevra,Westburg,Gunnar,Baumler. Nice assortment. When it will REALLY click is when the International signees start showing up bringing us to REAL present day baseball. Keep these reports coming Rich we desperately need them.

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 20, 2021 at 11:27 am

      Thank you, Orial.

      • Nittle17

        June 20, 2021 at 12:18 pm

        Hey Rich, always been a fan of the site, decide to join the party. Looks like BRR is getting ripped today. Remember gang , it’s the passion why we are commenting on the site. We all want to see our birds do well, we all have our opinions. But the main thing we all have is the PASSION for our birds !!! Good or bad, ( and brothers, their has been. MANY BAD) go orange and black !!

        • Rich Dubroff

          June 20, 2021 at 1:42 pm

          Welcome! Thanks for reading!

    • Icterus fan

      June 20, 2021 at 12:11 pm

      Hmmm…..this discussion of Buck Britton being a good candidate to be at the helm of the big club intrigues me.

      I don’t tend to think about these sorts of things too deeply because I am obviously not in the know, and have no insight into such things, in particular Elias’ agreement with Hyde. As a result I tend to not expend too much cerebral energy on it, but do enjoy learning from other’s posts.

      I guess from the plus side, the continuity and player familiarity would be a benefit.
      Rich has said that there will be many interested candidates to manage the O’s when the time comes, so there will be competition for the position.

      I’ll say that I don’t think Hyde has been terrible, and the comparisons/scrutiny of his strategies, demeanor and decisions to highly successful managers of the past isn’t really that helpful. He’s probably overwhelmed and learning on the job.

    • CalsPals

      June 20, 2021 at 12:27 pm

      Icty, agree, think it would help with a small type of continuity bringing Buck II along with those Bowie guys, he knows them & they’ve won together…go O’s…

  10. Nellie

    June 20, 2021 at 11:20 am

    Very spot on, Orial. It’s nice to know that there are other posters out there who realize that Elias and co. have a plan in place. In a nutshell, it is acquiring and developing talent for the long haul. Maybe next season we will be where the Durham Bulls are today in Triple A. And then the year after that…….who knows.

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      June 20, 2021 at 11:33 am

      IF you referring to me Nellie. I realize he has a plan. I’ve stated that many times. Have supported it in some ways. (see above .. response to Orioles Chatter) I just don’t like what he’s done to the short term product on the OPACY playing field for the past 3 years. It was unecessary.

    • WorldlyView

      June 20, 2021 at 10:06 pm

      Yes, it’s nice to know that there is a “long haul” plan in place. But it’s another thing to passively accept and excuse the overall lack of Major League player talent that is unlikely to be corrected soon. I think criticism is fully justified when directed at the continuing willingness of management and ownership to be dependent on other teams’ discards and their continuing determination to spend an absolute minimum on interim talent as we wait and wait for a winning team. And don’t get me started on the depressingly poor quality of the pitching staff.

  11. Baltimore Castaway

    June 20, 2021 at 11:34 am

    Wishing all you Orioles Fans and Gentlemen a very Happy Father’s Day…

    Enjoy what we have as humans… it is a great time to be alive even though it doesn’t always feel that way.

    Thank you for your fine writing and steadfastness Rich..

  12. Nellie

    June 20, 2021 at 12:11 pm

    If the short term is the right way to go, forget ever hearing about Coach K, John Wooden, Tom Landry, and many others. They all had long term plans. Other than Bumbry and Machado (who had 800+) all of the best position players in O’s history had between 1000-2000 at bats in the minors. How about giving Elias and Co more than two drafts and one international signing period before we make concrete evaluations about their “plan.”

    • Nittle17

      June 20, 2021 at 12:25 pm

      Amen, Nellie !! Yesterday,s game caused me to drink !! But, we shall return for more today. PASSION !!

    • CalsPals

      June 20, 2021 at 12:28 pm

      Coach K actually bought into the short term as college basketball went to the one & done guys, he’s the epitome of transitioning with the game…go O’s…

    • CalsPals

      June 20, 2021 at 12:40 pm

      N17, let’s drink with PASSION today…all for it…go O’s…

  13. Balt mp

    June 20, 2021 at 12:29 pm

    The Bowie club does give one hope . I hope that Elias as much as he can brings them up as a unit adding 3-4 guys with talent is just such a larger injection of said talent than just one guy . I do believe that Buck Britton should get a shot he knows these guys this is not his first team that he has lead to a champion level .

    • Beachdogs

      June 20, 2021 at 12:41 pm

      Don’t forget Buck managed the Shorebirds to a very successful season in 2019

      • Rich Dubroff

        June 20, 2021 at 1:45 pm

        Buck Britton managed Delmarva in 2018. In 2019, he was at Bowie. Kyle Moore was Delmarva’s manager in 2019.

    • Beachdogs

      June 20, 2021 at 1:58 pm

      Sorry , My bad

    • Shamus

      June 20, 2021 at 2:02 pm

      I like Hyder.. Britton is managing TWO levels down

  14. Unoptionable-Option

    June 20, 2021 at 3:02 pm

    CP and BRR taking swipes at Severino? Who’d a thunk it?

    • CalsPals

      June 20, 2021 at 4:11 pm

      UO taking swipes at BRR & CP…who’d a thunk it?…go O’s…

      • Boog Robinson Robinson

        June 20, 2021 at 7:48 pm

        UO indentifies as an Orioles fan.

  15. dlgruber1

    June 20, 2021 at 3:33 pm

    “Losing is never easy, but when you have some talent coming up, it makes things a little easier. Baltimore is a great sports town, and they want a winner, and they’re excited for these guys that are down here performing. I’m looking forward to things changing.”
    Aren’t we all?

  16. John Crawmer

    June 20, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    I do like Pedro Sevorino but I just don’t understand how long the team can tolerate passed balls. It is every game. Home runs or not, I understand the rebuild will be ugly, we have a catcher destined for the majors. Pitchers pitch down all the time, we hope. Catching / blocking should be fundamental.

  17. Mtairyordge

    June 20, 2021 at 4:51 pm

    Stop push Rutschman in 2022. Team doesn’t need him to start the clock while Orioles lose 90+. Give him a year at Norfolk

    • Boog Robinson Robinson

      June 20, 2021 at 5:07 pm

      Mt. Airy … with all due respect …..

      Why? What can he possibly learn at Norfolk? How to play with the kids on the bottom half of the 40 man roster?

      And how about stop worrying about the clock and pay your players what they worth, when they’re worth it. You’re supposed to be a major league team, in a major league town. Act like it. That my friend, was once the Oriole Way.

    • CalsPals

      June 20, 2021 at 5:37 pm

      Guerrero Jr is a year younger & already been in the majors 3 yrs, he struggled some last yr, made changes & is currently, at 22 a potential triple crown winner, Adley would definitely benefit from a challenge this yr, in my opinion…go O’s…

    • Beachdogs

      June 20, 2021 at 6:03 pm

      I Would be happy to see one of the triple AAA catchers come up and see how they would do in the majors . That way we can cut ties with Severino and give Adley some time in Norfolk . could be a way to see who can be his backup

    • CalsPals

      June 20, 2021 at 7:01 pm

      I definitely could be wrong, but I thought Wynns was at AAA?…go O’s…

  18. Shamus

    June 20, 2021 at 5:15 pm

    Hey Rich, where do the Orioles stand in the number of double plays turned ?

    • dlgruber1

      June 20, 2021 at 5:28 pm

      More importantly, but I’m sure not something you can find in any stat, how many have they failed to turn?

    • Shamus

      June 20, 2021 at 5:35 pm

      So you notice it as well. Especially the 5-4-3 version

    • Icterus fan

      June 20, 2021 at 5:35 pm

      Not sure of exact number, but looks like we’re 29th out of 30 teams. I’ll let Rich correct my errors (no pun intended)…..

    • Rich Dubroff

      June 20, 2021 at 6:38 pm

      Shamus, Marty is correct. Entering Sunday, the Orioles were 29th with 39 double plays. Only the Dodgers with 37, turned fewer.

  19. Hallbe62

    June 20, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    That last paragraph says it all. Great (accurate) thoughts Buck.

  20. DcOsfan

    June 20, 2021 at 9:57 pm

    Rutschman has caught Baumann, Bradish, Hall, Rodriguez and Smith this season, and perhaps they’ll be together in 2022 at Camden Yards.
    From his mouth to Elias’ ears

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