Ryan Mountcastle didn’t bother to hide his excitement on social media after he was promoted to the Orioles Aug. 21 and helped them take the final two games of their series against the Boston Red Sox Aug. 22-23.
Forgive Mountcastle for his exuberance. He’s been knocking on the door to get the majors since last season and is going to savor every minute of it.
“8/21/20 Words can’t describe what this day meant to me,” he wrote on Instagram Aug. 24. “Thank you to all my family and friends who have supported me on this journey. This has truly been a dream come true!!”
He earned his first hit as a big leaguer in a 5-4, 10-inning victory against the Red Sox Aug. 22 and then hit a pair of doubles the following day in another 5-4 win. Mountcastle has reached base six times in 12 plate appearances, slashing .333/.500/1.056.
Although it’s still a small sample size, Mountcastle has shown some staying power with the Orioles.
“I’m going to play him a lot,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We’re going to give him a lot of work in left field. Possibly play some first base also, but give him a lot of at-bats for the next 30-plus games. I know he’s excited to be here and looking forward to watching him play.”
Fans have been clamoring for Mountcastle’s promotion since last season when he was named the Orioles’ Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year and the International League MVP at Triple-A Norfolk. In 127 games with the Tides, he slashed .312/.344/.527 (162-for-520) with 35 doubles, one triple, 25 home runs, 81 runs and 83 RBIs.
However, the Orioles remained patient with Mountcastle and wanted him to work on becoming a better defender in left field. Mountcastle’s time arrived after Chris Davis was placed on the injured list with left knee patellar tendinitis. The veteran has struggled most of the season, slashing .122/.173/.184 with three doubles, three walks and 16 strikeouts in 52 plate appearances.
“It means so much. I’ve had so many people in my life helping me to get to this point,” Mountcastle said after his promotion. “My parents, my friends, my family, my coaches. There are so many people who have helped me get to this point. Just thinking of all them and all the sacrifices they’ve made to help me get here. It means a lot.”
The key for Mountcastle is to not think too much or get overwhelmed by his surroundings. He already feels more comfortable defensively and at the plate with all of the work he has done this season at the club’s alternate site in Bowie.
“I’m just going to go out there and play my game and not try to do too much,” Mountcastle said. “That’s all you can do. I’m not going to be trying to hit the ball 800 feet. I’m just going to try to stay within my approach and keep doing what I’ve been doing.”
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