Ryan Lee Mountcastle
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 195 lb.
- High School Paul J. Hagerty High School
- Debut August 21, 2020
Infielder Ryan Mountcastle was taken by the Baltimore Orioles as the 36th overall pick of the 2015 amateur draft. He was selected between pitcher Kyle Funkhouser and ahead of outfielder Daz Cameron. The signing scout was Kelvin Colon.
Mountcastle posted a .296 batting average in 53 games between two levels in 2015, his first professional season. 2017 was his breakout campaign - that year, he hit .287/.312/.489 with 18 home runs and 62 RBI in 127 games between High-A and Double-A ball. He was named a Mid-Season All-Star, a Post-Season All-Star, a Baseball America High Class A All-Star, a MiLB.com Organization All-Star and an Arizona Fall League Rising Star. Going into 2018, he was ranked the #65 prospect in all of baseball by Baseball Prospectus. Baseball America ranked him #71 and MLB.com ranked him #98.
He received a number of honors during his minor league career. He was a MiLB.com Organization All-Star in 2015 and 2016 and was named to the United States team for the 2018 Futures Game.
He made his major league debut one month into the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, after spending the first few weeks at the Orioles' alternate training site. Once he made it to the big leagues, he was one of the O's better players, being named to the 2020 Topps All-Star Rookie Team after hitting .333 in 35 games, with 5 homers and 23 RBIs. His OPS+ was 138 as he showed himself to be one of the building blocks for the Orioles' future. His batting average fell in 2021 - it would have been difficult to maintain such a lofty level for a long stretch. He did show significantly more power than in his rookie season. On June 19th, he had the first three-homer game of his career, going 4-for-4 with 4 RBIs in a 10-7 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. In spite of his making the Topps All-Star Rookie team in 2020, he was still considered a rookie in 2021 and thus was named the American League Rookie of the Month for June, as a result of hitting .327 with 9 homers and 27 RBIs during the month, one in which the team threatened to set a new record for most consecutive road losses. He was the first Orioles player to be named for the monthly rookie award since Brian Matusz back in 2010. On September 16th, he hit his 29th homer, setting a new Orioles rookie record, passing Cal Ripken Jr. Interestingly, Ripken had been named twice to the Topps All-Star Rookie Team, in 1981 Topps All-Star Rookie Team when he played just a few games during a strike-shortened season, and in 1982 when he was the 1982 American League Rookie of the Year; Mountcastle was well on his way to match that as well, as he was emerging as the favorite to win the 2021 American League Rookie of the Year Award and his presence on the All-Rookie Team was almost a foregone conclusion.