Bowie Baysox face Akron RunnerDucks in Double-A Northeast Championship Series

There is playoff baseball in Maryland! Although it may not be the actual Baltimore Orioles, rather their Double-A affiliate Bowie Baysox, it’s still playoff baseball!

The Baby Birds in Bowie have put together one hell of a season, highlighted by many amazing young prospects. In the first round of this two-round playoff bracket, the Baysox take on the Akron RunnerDucks, an affiliate of the Cleveland Indians.

For this series, the lineup will consist of many young players who have lit up our radars this season. Although many have since graduated to Triple-A Norfolk, this team is still loaded with talent!

Here’s a look at Tuesday’s game one starting lineup for Bowie:

  1. Jordan Westburg SS
  2. Patrick Dorian 3B
  3. Zach Watson CF
  4. Andrew Dashcbach 1B
  5. Johnny Rizer RF
  6. Toby Welk LF
  7. Gunnar Henderson DH
  8. Cody Robert’s C
  9. Cadyn Grenier 2B

Gray Fenter will be on the mound in game one for the Baysox, followed by the top pitching prospect in all of baseball, Grayson Rodriguez, in game two to finish up the home stand.

This starting lineup and pitching staff includes three of the Orioles’ top-10 prospects, another starting pitcher in the top-30 and two more position players on the roster also in the top-30. Overall, this Baysox roster for the playoffs features six top-30 prospects. And that’s without two more that are out due to injury.

Of those six top-30 prospects on this Baysox roster, two are also top-100 MLB prospects as well. It would be three if D.L. Hall wasn’t hurt.

Many pieces of this Baysox lineup have been red hot entering the postseason. Zach Watson has captured our attentions by having a 20/20 season, with 21 long balls and 24 stolen bases. And he’s not even in our top-30!

Jordan Westburg is another top prospect who has played to his potential this season. He finished the year with a .285 average and 79 RBI. Impressively, the 2020 draft pick finished his first professional season with a .868 OPS.

Two of the most exciting top prospects that will aid the Baysox greatly are Gunnar Henderson and Grayson Rodriguez.

Henderson begins this series as the DH, and he will bring his power along with him. Since he has only played 15 games with Bowie so far since his promotion, we haven’t seen much of him at the Double-A level. However, we can be sure his big bat will play a huge role in this series.

On a grand stage, there is no doubt Grayson Rodriguez will shine like he has since the day he was drafted. The 22-year-old comes into the postseason with a 2.36 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP in 103 IP. He also has 161 strikeouts in those 103 innings. Throughout this season, the Akron RubberDucks have hit a mere .200 with a .683 OPS against Rodriguez.

This playoffs series will be a dogfight between the talent-loaded Baysox and RubberDucks! This best of three series begins on Tuesday night at 6:35 p.m. from Prince George’s Stadium, so go out and cheer on our Baysox!

Don’t know how to watch these games? Don’t worry! MILB.TV is offering the entirety of the 2021 minor league playoffs for free! All you have to do is sign up and enjoy your Bowie Baysox on their quest for a championship!

Will the Baysox move on? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Facebook and Twitter and our podcast “The Walk-Off” on YouTube and Spotify! And, make sure to use the hashtag #baltimorebattery when sharing our content to show your Birdland swag!

Like Justin’s content? Follow him on Twitter, @orioles4life96! (Pssst… he’ll be at the game tonight!)

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