The Baltimore Orioles today announced that Jordan Westburg has earned the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year Award, while Ryan Watson has earned the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award. Westburg becomes the ninth Tide to win Brooks Robinson Award since 2007, joining L.J. Hoes
The Baltimore Orioles today announced that Jordan Westburg has earned the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year Award, while Ryan Watson has earned the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award. Westburg becomes the ninth Tide to win Brooks Robinson Award since 2007, joining L.J. Hoes (2012), Henry Urrutia (2013), Christian Walker (2014), Chance Sisco (2016), Cedric Mullins (2018), 2019 International League MVP Ryan Mountcastle, Adley Rutschman (2021) and Kyle Stowers (2021). Watson becomes the fifth Tides pitcher to win the Jim Palmer Award, joining Zack Britton (2010), Mike Wright, Jr. (2013), Tyler Wilson (2014) and Oliver Drake (2015).
JORDAN WESTBURG, 23, is currently ranked No. 77 prospect in all of baseball according to MLB Pipeline, while ranking as the No. 5 prospect in the Orioles farm system. He began the year with Double-A Bowie before earning a promotion to Triple-A Norfolk on June 7 along with Gunnar Henderson. In 91 games with the Tides, Westburg slashed .273/.361/.508 (99-for-362) with 25 doubles, three triples, 18 home runs, 64 runs scored, 74 RBI, and 44 walks. Combining his efforts with Bowie, he played 138 games, slashing .265/.355/.496 (144-for-544), launching 27 home runs and 106 RBI. He led the farm system in RBI, doubles (39), and extra-base hits (96), while also ranking in hits (2nd), home runs (2nd), runs (3rd, 96), walks (4th, 70), and ranked among full season prospects in slugging (4th), OPS (5th, .851), average (8th) and on-base percentage (9th). Among all Minor League hitters, he ranked in games played (T-4 th with Colton Cowser), extra-base hits (T-5 th) and doubles (T-6 th). Westburg finished with the team lead in runs (64), hits (99) and plate appearances (413). By reaching 405 plate appearances, he qualified as an International League leader in OPS (6th, .869) and slugging (7th, .508). From June 8 through the end of the season, he led the International League in doubles and RBI while also ranking in runs (2nd), extra-base hits (2nd, 46), hits (4th), home runs (T-4th) and slugging (9th). Westburg recorded two five-hit games with the Tides (June 24 at Lehigh Valley, September 16 vs. Charlotte) and a two home run game on August 23 at Jacksonville. Westburg was selected by the Orioles in the Competitive Balance Round A (No. 30 overall) of the 2020 MLB Draft out of Mississippi State.
RYAN WATSON, 24, pitched in 27 games (18 starts) games between Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Norfolk. He began the season with Bowie and was promoted to Norfolk on August 16. In total, he went 7-5 with a save and a 3.44 ERA (16 ER, 107.1 IP) with a 1.10 WHIP and an opponent’s average of .223 (89-for-399). Watson retired the first 28 batters he saw at the start of the season, and 13.0 scoreless innings to start his Double-A career. After allowing five earned runs in his first three games in Triple-A, Ryan Watson finished with four relief appearances without allowing an earned run (6.1 IP). In his seven games at Triple-A, he allowed a .174 opponent’s average (8-for-46). In four of the seven games with Norfolk, he went at least 2.0 innings. Watson was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 39th round of the 2016 MLB Draft but did not sign. He went on to play four years at Auburn University prior to signing as an undrafted free agent with the Orioles in 2020.
Along with the announcement of Westburg and Watson winning their respective awards, the Orioles today announced Aberdeen Manager Roberto Mercado was named the winner of the Cal Ripken, Sr. Player Development Award, named for the late Orioles coach and manager who is widely regarded as the architect of “The Oriole Way.” Area scout Scott Walter will receive the Jim Russo Scout of the Year Award, named in honor of the man who spent 33 years in various scouting capacities with the Orioles beginning with their move from St. Louis in 1954. The award winners will be honored in an on-field ceremony prior the game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday, October 4.
Fans can now purchase 2023 season tickets by reaching 757-622-2222. 2023 individual game tickets will go on sale at a future date. Be sure to visit norfolktides.com and follow the Tides on social media for 2023 season updates.