Rylan Bannon Begins To Heat Up
Rylan Bannon knew he had to make up significant ground during the season, with a prolonged slump and oblique injury threatening to ruin any chance of a callup to the majors.
The wisest approach was to just get back to being himself. And hitting lots of home runs while doing it.
Bannon, primarily a third baseman at Triple-A Norfolk, belted 10 homers in a span of 10 games beginning Aug. 11.
“It’s no secret that I’ve been going through some struggles the past month or so,” said Bannon, acquired from the Dodgers in the July 2018 Manny Machado trade. “To see some hard work paying off, trusting the process of going through all those struggles and learning from it, it’s been awesome.”
Hitting coach Tim Gibbons has worked on the mental and mechanical sides of the 5-foot-8, 180-pound Bannon’s game to unlock his power.
“He comes in with the same attitude and effort every single day,” Gibbons said. “You would not know by his demeanor and his cage work ethic and everything he does hitting-wise that he’s having that type of season with those numbers."
The 25-year-old Bannon can’t recall another stretch where the home runs came in large bunches. He had a three-homer day with High-A Rancho Cucamonga in 2018, but nothing like this.
Bannon missed a month with an oblique injury sustained while making a tag at third base on May 27 and had not been able to lift his average above .200, but he slashed .356/.431/1.044 in a 12-game stretch through Aug. 27. He got hot at an opportune time.
“There’s definitely a possibility of him coming up,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s on the 40-man (roster) and he’s swinging the bat better as of late, which is good to see. I hope Rylan can keep hitting.
"I love seeing guys being able to dominate before they come here and graduate before they get here."
— Outfielder Heston Kjerstad, the second overall pick in 2020 out of Arkansas, resumed workouts in Sarasota, Fla., after being shut down again with inflammation in his heart. Kjerstad was diagnosed with myocarditis last summer and hasn’t appeared in a game, but the Orioles are hopeful that he’ll be ready to go for spring training.
— High-A Aberdeen outfielder Hudson Haskin, a 2020 second-rounder out of Tulane, fractured his thumb in August and is out for the rest of the season. Haskin hit a combined .276/.381/.406 with 19 doubles, three triples, five home runs, 42 RBIs and 22 stolen bases in 29 attempts in 83 games between Aberdeen and Low-A Delmarva.