The Orioles announced that they’ve promoted outfield prospect Austin Hays to the Majors and designated left-hander Jayson Aquino to clear space on the 40-man roster. Hays will be making his Major League debut the first time he enters a game for the O’s.
The 22-year-old Hays has ridden a monster season in the minors to the No. 97 slot on MLB.com’s list of the game’s top 100 prospects and to his first MLB promotion. The 2016 third-rounder opened the year in Class-A Advanced and slashed .328/.364/.592 with 16 homers through 280 plate appearances before being bumped to Double-A Bowie. Remarkably, Hays posted a near-identical .330/.367/.594 batting line with, again, 16 home runs in 283 PAs following that promotion.
Aquino, 24, has spent the past two seasons in the Orioles organization but has totaled just 15 2/3 frames in the Majors. He’s logged a disappointing 6.32 ERA in that time to go along with a 16-to-6 K/BB ratio. Aquino has posted more appealing numbers in Triple-A, though, working to a 4.24 ERA with 7.0 K/9 against 3.2 BB/9 in 114 2/3 innings out of the Norfolk rotation in 2017.