FREDERICK, MD -The Baltimore Orioles announced that former Keys outfielder, Austin Hays , has been named the organization's Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year. He becomes the second Frederick player in the last three years to win the honor, joining Trey Mancini who claimed the award in 2016 while splitting time between Frederick and Double-A Bowie.
Hays, 22, hit .329./.365/.593 in 128 games between Frederick and Bowie to go with 32 home runs, 95 RBIs, five triples, 32 doubles and five stolen bases to go with 172 hits. The Floridian led the Minor Leagues in total bases (310). He finished tied for second in the MiLB in home runs, sixth in hits and ninth in RBIs. A finalist for the Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year award, MLBPipeline.com also recognized him as one of three outfield prospects on their Prospect Team of the Year.
Opening the season in Frederick, Hays batted .364/.592/.956 with 16 home runs, 41 RBIs and 15 doubles in 64 games. At the time he was called up to Double-A Bowie on June 22, he led the Carolina League in hits (86) and ranked in the top three in batting average, home runs and slugging. Named a midseason Carolina League All-Star, Hays was also selected as the organization's Minor League Player of the Month for June.
Added to the Orioles roster in September, Hays became the first player to suit up for the Keys and the Orioles in the same season since Dylan Bundy accomplished the feat in 2012. Making his MLB debut on September 7, Hays is hitting .259/.286/.444 in 11 contests with a home run, two doubles and five RBIs. The former Jacksonville University standout was selected by the Orioles in the third round of the 2016 draft.
Delmarva Shorebirds pitcher, Alex Wells , was named the organization's Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year and former Keys catcher, Austin Wynns , received the Elrod Hendricks Minor League Community Service Award. All award winners will be honored in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, September 23 before the game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Preparations are already underway for the 2018 Frederick Keys baseball season. A schedule will be announced at a later date. To stay on top of all offseason Keys news, fans can visit frederickkeys.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.