JUNE 17: As expected, Santander and Akin have been reinstated from the restricted list before this evening’s game against the Rays. Stowers and Garcia have been returned to the minor leagues and are off the 40-man roster.
JUNE 13: The Orioles announced they’ve selected outfielder Kyle Stowers and right-hander Rico Garcia onto the major league roster as designated COVID-19 “substitutes.” In corresponding moves, they’ve placed outfielder Anthony Santander and lefty Keegan Akin on the restricted list. That’s the standard practice for players who haven’t been vaccinated against COVID-19 on teams headed for a series in Toronto. The Canadian government prohibits unvaccinated athletes from crossing the border, so Santander and Akin will miss the next four games.
Stowers is the more notable of the two call-ups, as he’s now in line to make his major league debut. A supplemental second-round pick out of Stanford back in 2019, the left-handed hitter has been one of the organization’s most interesting prospects since that point. Stowers appeared among the top 30 farmhands in a quality Baltimore system each season from 2020-22, according to Baseball America, with the outlet recently placing him as the O’s #9 minor league talent.
Primarily a corner outfielder, Stowers’ calling card is his bat speed and power potential. BA graded his raw power as plus-plus (a 70 on the 20-80 scouting scale), and he popped 27 home runs and 23 doubles across three minor league levels last season. Stowers drew plenty of walks as well but struck out in more than 30% of his plate appearances at each stop, and both Baseball America and Keith Law of the Athletic raised questions about how often he swings through pitches inside the strike zone.
To Stowers’ credit, he’s cut back on his strikeout rate thus far in the 2022 campaign. Through 209 plate appearances at Triple-A Norfolk, he’s hitting .253/.356/.545 with 12 homers and a more manageable 25.4% strikeout percentage. That’s still a few points north of the league average, but it’s unquestionably an improvement relative to last season and hasn’t come at the cost of any of Stowers’ extra-base impact.
Garcia, meanwhile, is headed to the majors for the first time in two years. The Honolulu native suited up with the Rockies and Giants between 2019-20, tossing 16 innings of 7.31 ERA ball between the division rivals. Garcia missed all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery, and he was limited to a minor league deal this past winter. He has a 1.93 ERA across 18 2/3 innings between three levels, striking out an excellent 37.2% of opponents along the way.
That Baltimore specified both Stowers and Garcia are COVID replacements is notable, as they’ll each be occupying a temporary spot on the 40-man roster. Both players can be taken off the roster and returned to Norfolk when Santander and Akin are eligible to return on Friday, and that seems the likeliest course of action.
Stowers, in particular, figures to land a permanent roster spot in the relatively near future, though. He’ll need to be added to the 40-man at the start of next offseason to keep him from being taken in the Rule 5 draft, and Baltimore could bring him up for an extended look against big league arms before too long given his strong high minors showing.
In other O’s news, the club announced that infielder Chris Owings has passed through release waivers unclaimed. He’s now a free agent. Baltimore designated Owings for assignment last week after a .107/.254/.143 start to the season.
Yea boy. Pumped for Stowers.
Stowers is incredibly interesting as a prospect. Wondering if he’s up for good.
Could’ve used a bat like Santander against the Jays. Hits them well. Guess he’s got no shot at playing lol
And just no shot
Stowers has to be put on the 40 man after this season, so may as well let him play and see what he’s made of. A lot of pop in that bat. A decent defender too at all 3 OF spots.
The big question is will the hit tool play and can he make enough contact often enough to put that pop to use.
His swing looks like Cody Bellinger’s.
Don’t know if it’ll work. He’s definitely interesting. Floor is really low but if it comes together……
Just like Wieters 2.0…
He wasn’t a first round pick and has never Been higher than the #9 prospect in the org, that’s a terrible comparison
I thought this was possibly a dig at Adley just bc the post was orioles related……
Pretty sure anyway.
Oh it was.
Catching Jesus 2.0 is not very good.
All this after 70ABs? There’s a huge adjustment for young guys to make facing MLB pitching. That adjustment may take 200+ ABs. Catchers face an additional adjustment because not only are they making offensive alterations, they are also learning how to handle major league pitching staffs and pitching game plans that are more elaborate than they’ve ever seen. It’s going to take time.
Ain’t no one talking about Adley on this thread- you see a random article about a team and just comment about someone not even mentioned? Who hurt you??
Your comment was stupid. Players are not comparable.
Stowers has an ever developing sense of “the zone”. I.E. his strike zone. He’s been punishing balls in his zone and taking more walks than ever. He’s an MLB .250 BA guy, but he will get 30+ HRs and have a .350+ OBP. I like it and am willing to trade Santander for more pitching this July in order to make Stowers a permanent fixture in the O’s OF.
Sure. I don’t know that Santander will bring back a huge haul but there’s definitely OF’s in the pipeline. & with Mullins and hays established—it’s a risk we could take.
Mancini will have to be replaced at DH also. So there could be enough abs to go around even if we kept Santander.
C Yards Jeff
Santander. Quietly, I think, he’s been in “the show” with the Birds since 2017. And less than a year older than Hays. Is he just as much a part of the future as Hays?
So Stowers is up…I take it that means between now and this offseason the Orioles are probably looking to unload Mancini (which I thought before) but also Santander who is arbitration eligible for next year. Read: Stowers is cheaper.
For those on Rutschman…I am as pessimistic (realistic) about the Orioles as the next guy but have to give Rutschman at least 40-50 games of MLB experience to see his bat trend upward. Not every player has a Machado or Eddie Murray start. Even Ripken was way below .200 when first called up in 1981. If he’s 70, 80, 90 games in and still going 0 for 4 with 3K’s every other game hitting below .200 then we have an issue.
Might be reading into it a lil too much.
Santander can’t play in Toronto because he’s not vaxxed. Stowers is the best OF in our minor league pipeline. All this means is Stowers> McKenna or Dj Stewart.
Mancini is probably gone. No attempt at an extension after 6 years is probably all the writing that needs to be on the wall.
Stowers looked overmatched at this level. Needs work. Good Lookin ball player. Tools. But was easy out. Three strikes three pitches often. Adley looks like he’s coming along. Some nice swings lately. Deep drives. Feel better now that first one went over the fence.
Hyde is horrible. Do oriole fans agree? That move other night pitching to Vlad w first base open. Worse than Larussa thing. Lol sure Hyde comes from maddon school of managing. What a horrible manager.
Not only that , how demoralizing to come back and tie , then manager screws up
Good point about Hyde. He’s another one where the expected winning percentage is above the actual, so the team is underachieving. This has been going on since Day 1. Who else produced the same? Phil Regan and Dave Trembley. Who managed overachieving teams (more wins than expected per stats)? Davey Johnson, Earl Weaver, Buck Showalter. A manager can’t be the team, but it can certainly keep a talented team out of the playoffs (Phil Regan, 1995).
Weaver at his best wouldn’t have this team much over .500 but it would be nice to have leadership limit the number of losses just to those the players cause.
The Owes will never fix their pitchers until they exorcise the ghost of Leo Mazzone