BOWIE, Md. - OF Austin Hays , C Austin Wynns and Baysox hitting coach Butch Davis are among the recipients of 2017 Orioles Player Development and Scouting Awards that will be honored at Camden Yards on Saturday, September 23 prior to the club's game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Hays was named the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year, Wynns was selected as the recipient of the Elrod Hendricks Community Service Award and Davis has been chosen as the winner of the Cal Ripken Sr. Player Development Award. Other award recipients include Delmarva LHP Alex Wells who was previously announced as the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year and Kirk Fredriksson who received the Jim Russo Scout of the Year Award.
A third round selection of the Orioles in 2016, Hays combined to hit .330 with 32 home runs and 95 RBI in 128 games between High-A Frederick and Bowie. The 32 round-trippers were tied for the second most in all of Minor League Baseball, he also ranked second in XBH (69), sixth in hits (172) and ninth in RBI (95). In 64 games with the Baysox, Hays hit .330 with 16 homers and 54 RBI including a go-ahead grand slam in game two of a doubleheader vs. Akron on July 30. The 22-year-old was named to Baseball America's Double-A All-Star Team and was also a finalist for the BA Minor League Player of the Year Award. Hays had his contract selected by the Orioles on September 5 and has hit .259 with a home run and 5 RBI in 11 games with the team. The Daytona Beach, Fla., native hit his first major league home run off of New York Yankees LHP Chasen Shreve on September 16.
Wynns served as an instructor at multiple baseball camps throughout the season, helping to teach kids the fundamentals of the game of baseball. At an event that the Baysox held in conjunction with WNAV in August, Wynns was one of the primary speakers and fans were given a chance to interact with players at Buffalo Wild Wings. When he was not in the lineup, the young backstop voluntarily served as the catcher for first pitches on a regular basis. In 105 games with Bowie, Wynns hit .281 with 10 home runs and 46 RBI and gunned down 38.2% of would be base stealers.
In his fourth stint as the Baysox hitting coach, Davis helped guide the club to an Eastern League leading .283 team batting average, which tied the best mark in franchise history. Utility man Garabez Rosa led the league in batting average (.310) and RBI (91) en route to winning Eastern League MVP, while OF DJ Stewart became the first Baysox ever to notch 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in the same season. 2017 marked the 21st season that Davis has spent as a coach in the Orioles organization.
This marks the sixth straight season that a Baysox player has received the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year Award following OF L.J. Hoes (2012), OF Henry Urrutia (2013), INF Christian Walker (2014), INF/OF Trey Mancini (2015) and C Chance Sisco (2016). Wynns is the third Baysox to win the Elrod Hendricks Community Service Award following OF Glynn Davis (2015) and INF Drew Dosch (2016).
The Bowie Baysox season is presented by Money One Federal Credit Union. The 2017 Baysox season has ended, but the team will return in 2018 to celebrate its 26th Season. The team's 2018 home opener will be Thursday, April 5 against the Harrisburg Senators at 6:35 p.m. To keep up with Baysox news during the offseason, visit www.baysox.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.