Tyler Townsend was the Orioles’ 3rd round selection in the 2009 MLB Draft. He hit .426 with 24 home runs in his record setting senior season at FIU, and, when healthy, his college numbers have translated to the pros.
Townsend has struggled with hamstring injuries over the past few seasons, which has caused him to miss over 100 games. When on the field, Townsend has been productive. His .835 career minor league OPS is impressive, but he has yet to play more than 75 games in a full season as a pro.
He played in just 68 games in 2012, but 10 of them came on rehab with the GCL Orioles. In 21 games for the Baysox, Townsend hit six home runs and posted a .858 OPS.
Townsend has a smooth stroke with slight loft, although his swing does get loopy at times and needs to be shortened up. An aggressive hitter, Townsend isn’t afraid to go after a pitch he likes, but is also very patient.
Townsend’s defense is underrated. He’s athletic and has good reactions, but his arm is just average. He could move to the outfield if needed, although he does have below average speed.
It’s clear Townsend can hit when he’s on the field, but we still need to see him do so over an extended period of time. Injuries are really holding him back right now, and a healthy 2013 would give the Orioles a much better idea of what they have in Townsend. He has the potential to become a slightly above-average first baseman at the major league level.
Townsend should open 2013 as Bowie’s starting 1B, but, due to his past injuries, will likely see time at DH.