FREDERICK, MD-The Baltimore Orioles have announced that Austin Hays will join the Frederick Keys on a rehab assignment starting on Monday. The Florida native has been on the injured list and has not appeared in a regular season game this year.
Hays, 23, was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk in March following a strong showing in Major League Spring Training, the outfielder slashed .351/.385/892 with a 1.277 OPS in Grapefruit League play. In 12 games, he hit five home runs, one triple, three doubles and drove in 13 runs to go with 10 runs scored.
Limited to 75 games due to a right ankle injury in 2018, Hays batted .235/.266/.410 with 12 home runs, 46 RBIs, two triples and 14 doubles to go with 40 runs scored.
A member of the Keys in 2017, Hays enjoyed an incredible season which saw him skyrocket from Frederick to Baltimore. In 64 games with the Keys, he slashed .328/.364/.592 with a .956 OPS. In CL action he slugged 16 home runs, 41 RBIs and 15 doubles in 64 games. For his efforts, he was named a Midseason Carolina League All-Star.
Overall, Hays finished the 2017 campaign with a .329/.365/.593 slash line and .958 OPS. In 128 games he hit 32 home runs, to go with 95 RBIs, five triples, 32 doubles and scored 81 runs. The Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year Award, Hays finished tied for second in the MiLB in home runs, sixth in hits and ninth in RBIs. He was also a finalist for the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award.
The former Jacksonville University standout was selected by the Orioles in the third round of the 2016 draft.
Frederick begins a four-game series with the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Monday night at Frawley Stadium. Right-hander Cody Sedlock (2-0, 1.95) starts for the Keys and will be opposed by Blue Rocks left-hander Daniel Tillo (3-2, 5.29). First pitch is at 6:35 p.m. and the broadcast can be heard on frederickkeys.com and the TuneIn app.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.