It is no secret that I am a fan of Bowie Baysox (Class-AA, Baltimore Orioles) outfielder Cedric Mullins. Anyone who has followed me here on my blog or on @BabyBirdland has seen that I am following Mullin’s progress through the Orioles’ Minor League system and have penned a few articles about him. He is a favorite of the @BabyBirdland editor, Josh Michael, as well and has many mentions in both the round-ups and spotlights on that site.
Mullin’s skill, ability, baseball IQ and work ethic are what one looks for in a player. Yes, most of it is hid God-given ability and personal drive but it was molded by a fine organization as well.
My research on Mullins revealed that he is a product of the Georgia Baseball and Softball Academy’s (Atlanta, Georgia) Triton Rays Travel Program. The mission of the program is to “help young men in their development and academic journey thru (sic) baseball”. They do that as evidenced by Mullins; he is not the only player the program has seen make it to professional baseball, however. Currently there are 5 GBSA Rays in the Minor Leagues and 3 more were drafted in the recently concluded 2017 MLB Draft.
I would like to shine a light on these young men. While they may not have the same skill set or ability as Mullins: each is his own man with skills and abilities unique to him individually. They all share a basic foundation shaped in the same program and as such, I feel, are players you can feel good about rooting for if you like what Mullins brings to the table.
Drafted in 2017 were: Malik Jones, 23rd round by Oakland, D.J. Neal, 26th round by Toronto and Brent Burgess, 38th round by New York (AL). To the best of my knowledge, only D.J. Neal has signed so far.
Currently in the Minor Leagues are:
- Akil Baddoo, RF: drafted in the 2016 Lottery Round (74th pick) by the Minnesota Twins. 2016 GCL (Gulf Coast League) Twins slash line .178/ .299/ .271 with 15 RBI and 2 HR
- Monte’ Reese, RHP: free agent signee with Atlanta Braves. 2016 GCL Braves line 0-0 record in 1.1 IP, 6.75 ERA and .186 BA against
- Jordan Scott, CF: drafted in 14th round of 2016 (428th pick) by the New York Yankees. 2016 GCL Yankees slash line .209/ .305/ .344 with 17 RBI and 5 HR
- Armond Upshaw, CF: drafted in the 11th round of 2016 draft (334th pick) by the Washington Nationals. 2016 GCL Nationals slash line .325/ .391/ .400 with 2 RBI.
- Jaquez Williams, 1B: drafted in the 18th round of 2016 draft by the San Diego Padres. 2016 GCL Padres slash line .169/ .245/ .303 with 12 RBI and 1 HR
All of these young men are awaiting assignments either to return to the Gulf Coast League or to move up to Short-Season Rookie Ball and that is why I only have their 2016 stats. I will update their assignments once rosters are posted.
It is worth following these young men based on their baseball pedigree alone. Baseball fans would be wise to be aware of these young men so that once they make their mark no one is wondering, “where’d they come from?”. Remember, you heard about them here first.
**UPDATE (6/21/2017)** Armond Upshaw was moved up and is currently on the roster of the Auburn Doubledays (Nationals) of the New York-Penn League (Class-A Short). See his stats HERE.
Akil Baddoo will play for the GCL Twins again in 2017. See his stats HERE.
Jordan Scott will play for the GCL Yankees again in 2017. See his stats HERE
DJ Neal will play for the GCL Blue Jays in 2017.
Jaquez Williams will play for the Arizona League Padres again in 2017. See his stats HERE.