Mason McCoy didn’t get drafted after his junior season at Iowa in 2016, a jolt of disappointment that he absorbed without complaint. He didn’t get much attention after the Orioles selected him in the sixth round of the 2017 draft, either, but that’s no longer the case.
The Orioles promoted McCoy from high Class A Frederick to Double-A Bowie on May 6, and the next level hasn’t tripped him up. The 6-foot, 175-pound infielder is hitting .379/.455/.569 with as many walks (8) as strikeouts (8) through his first 14 games in the Eastern League, and he’s also added six extra-base hits in 58 at-bats.
Before his callup to Bowie, McCoy slashed .379/.416/.509 in 116 at-bats with Frederick. He received most of his playing time at shortstop, which is a position currently shared by highly touted 2018 draft picks Cadyn Grenier (supplemental first round) and Adam Hall (secound round) at low Class A Delmarva. All three players are capable of shifting to second base, however, and that’s a good problem to have that the Orioles can figure out later, if needed.
“He’s pretty good at shortstop,” said Bowie manager Buck Britton when asked about McCoy. “He’s got good hands, he’s got good action. I don’t even know what round he was drafted in, to be honest with you. But coming from Iowa, I know it’s a Division I program, but I don’t think it’s as highly touted as other programs, but he’s done a nice job of really working hard and putting himself on the map. That’s for sure.”
McCoy made his professional debut in 2017 with short-season Aberdeen and hit .301/.382/.409 in 53 games. His 10 triples with Delmarva the following year tied for the South Atlantic League lead, but his slash line dropped to .266/.331/.369 as he adjusted to full-season ball for the first time.
Britton managed McCoy at Delmarva and now writes his name into Bowie’s lineups on a daily basis. He’s seen the progression.
“I think the biggest thing with Mason is the consistency that he’s finding,” said Britton, the older brother of reliever Zack Britton. “He’s really good at hitting the ball to right field, and I think in today’s age and all the shifting in the game and stuff that people are doing, that’s one thing that defenses don’t seem to take into account. He’s really good at hitting the ball to right field.”
— Outfielder Austin Hays began his injury rehab assignment at high Class A Frederick as he works his way up to Triple-A Norfolk. Hays sprained his left thumb late in spring training while trying to steal second base in minor league camp.
— The Orioles promoted righthander Blaine Knight to Frederick after he made five starts with low Class A Delmarva and allowed only two runs and 11 hits in 26.2 innings. A third-round pick out of Arkansas in 2018, Knight walked only four batters and struck out 33 while limiting South Atlantic League opponents to a .125 average before his promotion.