The Baltimore Orioles 2020 Amature Draft is best known for current injured OF and second overall pick, Heston Kjerstad. The hype surrounding the young ball player, who has yet to play one single inning of professional baseball due to a viral infection, has left people wondering if he was a draft bust. That is still yet to be determined.
On top of that, the Orioles also have another question pondering many fans: who is going to help secure third base going forward, especially after the glaring hole presented this year?
While the O’s No. 5 prospect Gunnar Henderson seems to be the one most fans like to talk about, another player could be ready in a few years as well. That player is current 2020 fourth round pick, Coby Mayo.
Mayo is a 6’5″ 215 lb player, who might be known more for the high school he graduated from, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, than his star brightness. But even coming from a school most recently remembered for the Parkland High shooting, it was better known before for sending 3x All-Star Anthony Rizzo, Jesús Luzardo, and Matt Fox to the majors.
Who is Coby Mayo though? He originally was committed to the University of Florida before the Orioles made him a fourth round selection at the age of 18. Due to a lost minor league season from COVID-19, Mayo was never given the chance to play in the short season’s Florida Complex League.
Unfortunately this past April, while playing an intrasquad game, he injured his knee and has been rehabbing and getting ready to start his professional career.
“I’ve been hitting, throwing, taking ground balls, stretching. I’m in the weight room.”Coby Mayo on what he’s been up to in recent months.
Mayo seems anxious to get back out on the diamond to show fans and the Orioles organization why he was rewarded a $1.775 million signing bonus and that the Birds were right to convince him to forgo college and join their system.
Possessing raw power and a high ceiling, Mayo is still a few years away from being able to prove the front office right, but it hasn’t stopped his enthusiasm either.
“I’m extremely excited to get back on the field and play a season. Instructs and spring training games are just games against some pitching, but once I start a season and get back into everyday playing, I think it’s going to be a blast. I’m going to have a lot of fun.”Coby Mayo on returning to his professional career.
There are currently no third baseman in the Orioles top-10 prospects. Mayo’s reaction time and footwork are something that need work. Though ranked as the Orioles 17th best prospect by FanGraphs, it is possible he moves positions, even to the outfield. He shows good power, with a better than average contact rate, and his defense is better than most expect.
Of course, at 19, he doesn’t project to move up the pipeline to the majors until at least 2024, barring an unexpected explosion of talent hiding inside Mayo. Then again, it’s a matter of patience. After all, rushing prospects leaves holes in their game, and a better judgement is to come back in three years and see how Mayo has improved.
Until then, we can be like most fans and push for more sooner. In time, we all will get what we want, but Mayo might be the biggest victor in the end.
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