Baltimore Orioles Spring Training Non-Roster Invitees: Outfielders
That brings us to the outfielders, and there are just two of them. DJ Stewart and Cedric Mullins. The Orioles are going to be playing a lot of their outfielders on the 40-man roster, so this isn’t a surprise.
Will Anthony Santander stick with the Orioles with his Rule 5 status? Will Austin Hays keep his spot on the team? What happens to Joey Rickard? Is a veteran like Craig Gentry brought in as a defensive replacement/speed type? Or, is Jarrod Dyson or another more established free agent brought in? Lots of questions, and with the free agent market out of whack, so few answers.
Mullins and Stewart both excelled at times in 2017.
Stewart’s minor league career was rocky to start, and some wanted to label the first round pick of 2015 a bust. He struggled with A Delmarva to start 2016 but was much better with high-A Frederick to finish 2016.
In 2017 for Bowie, he hit .278/.378/.481 with 21 home runs and 20 stolen bases. That’s good. It is needed speed and needed on-base percentage for the Orioles.
Baltimore Orioles Manager Buck Showalter has mentioned several times about Stewart and how he came along in 2017, so expect him to make lots of away trips to get more experience.
A fellow 2015 draft pick, Mullins showed that he has all the tools despite an injury derailing his 2017 season with AA Bowie.
Mullins hit .265/.319/.460 with 13 home runs and nine stolen bases. However, a hamstring injury was the cause of some of those issues. In 2016 with Single-A Delmarva, Mullins hit .273 with 30 stolen bases and 37 doubles. The kid has wheels.
Primarily a center fielder, Mullins will get to learn from Adam Jones, the player who he just might replace in 2019. Despite all the angst and frustration surrounding the Baltimore Orioles, Spring Training is less than two weeks away.
That is something we can all celebrate.