In what amounts to a full season since he was drafted last year, Austin Hays is hitting .335/.374/.593 with 32 homers and 102 RBIs in 143 games.
Needless to say, the Orioles are surely thrilled by the 22-year-old's progress.
Hays hit a two-run homer on a 3-for-3 night to lead Double-A Bowie to a 4-2 win over Portland on Friday at Prince George's Stadium. The game was called after five innings due to rain.
Video: Hays smashes a two-run homer for the Baysox
Baltimore's No. 2 prospect has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games with six multi-hit efforts. He's batting .418 with three home runs, 15 RBIs and seven runs in that span, bringing his slash line with the Baysox to .345/.380/.661 in 41 contests. A simplistic approach at the plate continues to pay dividends for MLB.com's No. 100 overall prospect.
"I just imagine the ball being in a certain place when it comes out of the pitcher's hand, and so far, I've been able to just swing at pitches that are in that zone," Hays told MiLB.com recently. "I haven't been expanding and swinging at too many balls out of the zone."
Gameday box score
After his nine-game hitting streak ended Thursday night, the Florida native started another one with an infield single to short in the first inning. With Ryan Flaherty on first and the Baysox trailing, 2-1, Hays came to bat in the third and blasted his 12th Double-A home run over the left-field fence to give Bowie the lead. He singled to center in the fourth for his 11th game with at least three hits this season.
Through 105 games with Class A Advanced Frederick and the Baysox, Hays is hitting .335/.370/.619 with 28 homers and 81 RBIs. His long ball total is the fifth-highest in the Minors and includes two grand slams in the last two weeks.
"It's been a lot of fun so far -- I love the pace of the game here," the outfielder told MiLB.com on June 29. "I love the fact that there's a clock at this level and guys have to work faster. It's on to the next pitch, whether you have a bad swing or take [a pitch], the flow is a lot faster. ... I'm kind of a quick-paced, upbeat person, just goes with the way I play the game. It took me time to get used to it -- as soon as an out is made you have to make your way to the plate and make sure you're focused, but I feel comfortable now."
Orioles No. 23 prospect Yefry Ramirez (12-3) went the distance, allowing two runs on six hits with six strikeouts. The right-hander, who was acquired from the Yankees organization on July 31, didn't walk a batter and improved to 2-0 with Bowie.
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Aderlin Rodriguez hit his 17th homer for the Baysox.
Jeremy Barfield, the Eastern League Player of the Month for July, cracked his 21st long ball in the first inning for Portland.