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Kyle Stowers Proves His Resiliency



The Orioles shut down 23-year-old outfielder Kyle Stowers after three games in the Arizona Fall League due to a lower back injury. However, the club described it as “minor” and said the move was precautionary.

Stowers probably earned a rest anyway.

The 2019 second-rounder out of Stanford played for three affiliates this season and popped an organization-leading 27 home runs while batting .278/.383/.514 in 124 games. The Orioles chose Stowers as their co-minor league player of the year with catcher Adley Rutschman.

Stowers went 2-for-10 with a double for the Mesa before the Orioles sent him home to provide a longer stretch of time off and a more normal timeline for his offseason program in preparation for spring training.

Stowers began the 2021 season at High-A Aberdeen, spent most of his time at Double-A Bowie and climbed to Triple-A Norfolk in September.

“Obviously, I have a high belief in myself as a player and what I’m capable of doing on the field,” Stowers said. “But you know, that being said, I wasn’t necessarily expecting anything in terms of moving up. It’s been fun to kind of experience different coaches, different levels, different players. And then having good friends at each level has been a lot of fun.

“There’s a special group of people in this organization, and everywhere you go, you’re able to fit right in, get comfortable, and it’s made an easier transition onto the field.”

Stowers said he made his biggest gains with his mindset and staying resilient.

"I think that my early stretch in Double-A, I got off to a slow start and just kind of didn’t get into bad habits of feeling bad for myself,” he said. “I kept that belief in myself that whether I start the game off with a hit or a strikeout, it didn’t change my confidence going into the next at-bat.

"Or if I had a bad game, it didn’t change my confidence going into the next. I had full belief that I was going to perform to the best of my ability each time I got the chance.”

BIRD SEED

— Outfielder Heston Kjerstad, the second overall pick in the 2020 draft out of Arkansas, worked out at instructional league camp in Sarasota, Fla. Kjerstad hasn’t appeared in any games since the draft following his diagnosis of myocarditis, but the Orioles are hoping he can fully participate in next year’s minor league spring training.

— Norfolk hitting coach Tim Gibbons was serving in the same capacity with the Solar Sox. Gibbons finished his second year in the Orioles' organization and could be an in-house candidate to replace hitting coach Don Long.

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2019 NCAA Baseball Tournament: Stanford Regional Preview

Previewing Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, Fresno State and Sacramento State, including draft prospects and tournament outlooks.

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