Delmarva Shorebirds’ (Low-A) 1B/DH Ryan Ripken has picked up in 2018 where he left off in 2017. Joining the organization that is synonymous with his family name has certainly been good for him.
Ripken, a free agent at the time, joined the Baltimore Orioles organization in March of 2017. He had spent the previous three seasons (2014-2016) in the Washington Nationals organization. Ripken was assigned to the Aberdeen Ironbirds (Short-Season A) where in 51 games he slashed .287/ .323/ .378 with 24 RBI, 8 doubles and 3 homeruns.
The Orioles promoted Ripken to Delmarva of the South Atlantic League for the start of the 2018 season and he has not missed a beat. In 19 games this season he owns a slash line of .303/ .352/ .333 with 8 RBI and 2 doubles.
He has gotten a hit in 15 of the 19 games this season and has reached base safely in 16 games as well. Ripken currently has a 6-game hitting streak as he enters a series with the Greenville Drive (Boston).
Ripken, a left-handed hitter, is hitting left handed pitching (.292 batting average) just about as well as right handed pitching (.310 batting average). He has been able to extend innings by hitting .320 with two outs and is hitting .333 with runners in scoring position. All of this indicates that Ripken is locked in at the plate, a good sign for the Shorebirds.
While he is not among the team leaders in offensive categories, Ripken is second on the team in on-base percentage. He is simply a solid and steady part of the line-up.
Defensively, Ripken is just as steady. He has committed just one error at first base and owns a .988 fielding percentage.
The Shorebirds are 16-8 on the season and are in first place in the Sally League’s Northern Division by 2.0 games. Ripken is an integral part of that success and I see no reason, given his lineage that he will not be going forward.
I am going to keep an eye on both Ripken and the Shorebirds this year and would suggest Orioles fans do as well. Good things are happening on the Eastern Shore.
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