With big time power and the ability to play a solid corner outfield, Kyle Stowers made a big leap in prospect status and comes in as the #7 prospect.
Pos: Right Field
Age (as of Jun 30th) : 23
2021 Level: A+/AA/AAA
Tools (current/future value)
Game Power: 50/70
Raw Power: 60/70
Most Likely Future Role: Starting Right Fielder
Ceiling: Starting Right Fielder, occasional All-Star
What we know: After putting up a mostly disappointing campaign after being drafted in 2019, no one in the system came back more different than this left-handed power hitting right fielder. After just putting up a .667 OPS in 228 PAs in the New York Penn League in 2019, the Orioles aggressively started him off in Aberdeen where he quickly became one of the teams best hitters putting up an impressive .388 wOBA and 139 wRC+ while putting up an even more impressive .221 ISO despite playing half his games in pitcher friendly Ripken Stadium. Reportedly has the best exit velocities (“by a lot”) in the minor league system and his 27.6% line drive rate at Aberdeen helped him get a promotion to Double-A.
Stowers really took off in Double-A where his .278 ISO was plussed up by his 17 home runs that he hit in 276 PAs while cutting his K rate to 30.4%. The Orioles though decide to challenge the 23-year old and send him to AAA where he held his own with a 113 wRC+ over 93 PAs.
While Stowers does have the top of the charts power numbers, he also brings a high K rate striking out 171 times in 530 PAs over all three levels. The interesting thing is that Stowers actually shows a good ability to make adjustments during games. He struggles to hit the high fastballs and like Kit Keller in A League of Their Own, he struggles to stay off them, but he actually has pretty good swing decisions overall and drew 73 walks for an impressive .383 OBP across the three levels. Stowers is the guy who can strike out his first two times in a game, then when pitcher tries to do the same thing the third time he turns the fastball around for a 450 foot home run. He once hit a home run with six seconds of hang time. In case you are wondering, that’s impressive.
While the K rate can be a concern, the fact that Stowers made his way to AAA in his first full minor league season while slashing .278/.383/.514/.897 with 27 home runs shows he has the ability to make adjustments and hit high level minor league pitching. He has plenty of bat speed and although he’s going to strike out, it won’t surprise if he actually cuts that rate down at the major league level as he gains experience. He also has no platoon difference actually hitting lefties at an impressive .292/.384/.567/.951 clip over 138 PAs.
Defensively Stowers doesn’t have the quickest first step and his routes can sometimes take the scenic route, but he runs well on the go and he catches everything he gets to. He’s got a solid average right fielders arm, and should end up a solid average defensive right fielder with more experience at the position.
What we don’t know: Stowers came on so fast and hit so well at each level, he really answered a lot of questions. Obviously the amount of miss has some observers concerned, but the game of baseball has changed and Stowers also takes his share of walks so its not like’s a total hacker at the plate. He does swing harder than anyone else and occasionally will actually fall down after a swing so there is still questions whether major league pitching, with it’s upper velocity and good offspeed combination, will give him trouble.
What we think: Stowers could very well be underrated on this prospect list. No one hits the ball harder more consistently in the minor league system and with his ability to lift the ball, his power potential, especially in the comfy confines of Camden Yards, could be enormous. If he learns to stay off the high fastball and continues his improvements at the plate with experience, Stowers has superstar potential. Let’s just say, if Heston Kjerstad would have put up these numbers, all of minor league baseball publications would have him as a top 100 prospect.
Stowers has a very real chance to play in Baltimore next year and could be the everyday right fielder by mid-season.