Tag Archives: @BabyBirdland

INF Corban Joseph off to Torrid Start at the Plate for Bowie Baysox (from @BabyBirdland)

Josephs

Bowie Baysox second baseman Corban Joseph is off to a career best start to the 2018 season. The 29 year old is, in fact, proving to be a hitting machine.

Joseph, the younger brother of Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph, is back with the Baysox after spending a year in the Washington Nationals organization. He previously spent part of the 2015 season in Bowie and split the 2016 season between Bowie and Norfolk.

Through last night’s game Joseph is producing a slash line of .365/ .403/ .524. He has 23 hits, 7 doubles and 1 homerun to go along with 9 RBI. Joseph has hit safely in 12 of the 16 games he has played and owns a 5-game hitting streak as well as 5 multi-hit games. That streak saw him hit .545/ .565/ .864 with 4 doubles, 1 homerun and 5 RBI.

Joseph’s start to the season has him leading the Baysox in several offensive categories. He leads the team in hits, doubles, batting average, slugging percentage and OPS (on base percentage + slugging percentage). His RBI total, total bases and on base percentage are each good enough for second on the team as well.

Remarkably, Joseph leads the entire Eastern League in hits and doubles, is third in batting average and is tied for fourth in total bases.

Joseph certainly is getting the bat on the ball; he has just 4 walks and 2 strikeouts over his 68 plate appearances. He does not waste an at bat.

Joseph is almost 5 years older than the average player at Double-A and as such is not only providing leadership at the plate but also leadership and guidance to the rest of the team. He is one of three elder statesmen on the Baysox roster (Audry Perez and D’Arby Myers are the others). Joseph has played in 11 seasons during his minor league career and therefore brings a wealth of experience to the Baysox clubhouse.

Joseph is a solid addition to the Baysox roster and, like his brother, is the type of player fans can feel good rooting for. His offense is a pleasant bonus; lets hope Joseph continues to hit at a solid rate the rest of the season.

 

** To read more from Josh Michael (founder/editor Baby Birdland), Nick Stevens and myself about all levels of the Baltimore Orioles minor leagues please visit Baby Birdland **

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Delmarva Shorebirds Continue to Impress Early in 2018 (from @BabyBirdland)

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The Delmarva Shorebirds (Class-A Low) sit atop the South Atlantic League’s Northern Division with an 11-4 record entering Saturday night’s games. They hold a 1.5 game lead over the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Miami).

They started the year by winning their first seven games, a franchise record. Since that torrid start, the team has gone 4-4.

A run like this requires the efforts of many on the team. The Shorebirds have had some significant efforts and I would like to take a look at some of those.

Let’s start by seeing where the team ranks in the Sally League. The pitching staff’s collective ERA of 2.65 leads the league and their WHIP of 1.16 is good enough for fourth.

Individually, Cameron Bishop (1-1, 3 games, 1.89 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 17 K) leads the league in innings pitched with 19.0. Michael Baumann (2-0, 3 games, 1.69 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 24 K) is tied for first in strikeouts.

As good as the pitching has been, the bats have been that much better. The team is second in runs scored (83), second in hits (138), sixth in doubles (26), second in RBI (71), tied for second in total bases (200) and fourth in OPS (.734).

Former University of North Carolina, Charlotte roommates Zach Jarrett and T.J. Nichting are dominating the early leaderboard.

Jarrett (.340/.415/.723, 3 2B, 5 HR, 10 RBI, 12 Runs) is tenth in OBP, second in slugging %, second in OPS and tied for third in runs scored. Nichting (.346/.386/.500, 6 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 8 RBI, 9 runs scored) is seventh in batting average and first in doubles.

Additionally, Trevor Craport (.261/.294/.370, 3 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 11 RBI, 11 runs scored) is tied for seventh in the league in RBI.

Possessing what many consider the best rotation (Baumann, Bishop, Matthias Dietz, Brenan Hanifee, Zac Lowther, DL Hall/Gray Fenter) in the Baltimore Orioles organization, the Shorebirds are worth the trip to Arthur W. Purdue Stadium to see in person.

It looks like and is shaping up as an exciting season in Salisbury; Orioles fans should #FlyTogether and watch it unfold.

 

** To read more from Josh Michael (founder/editor Baby Birdland), Nick Stevens and myself about all levels of the Baltimore Orioles minor leagues please visit Baby Birdland **

2017 First Round Pick, LHP DL Hall Off to Solid Start in 2018 (from @BabyBirdland)

DL HALL

Fans of the Baltimore Orioles are finally getting a good look at LHP prospect DL Hall. That look should provide hope for the future.

Hall was selected in the first round of the 2017 draft (21st overall) as an 18-year-old prep hurler out of Valdosta High School in Georgia. Assigned to the Gulf Coast League (Class-Rookie) after signing with the Orioles, he saw relatively limited action in 2017. In 10.1 innings over 5 games he pitched to a 6.97 ERA while walking 10, striking out 12 and hitting one: his WHIP of 1.94 was accompanied by .263 opponent’s batting average against.

Hall calls Delmarva of the South Atlantic League (Class-A Low) home right now in 2018. The Shorebirds’ relative close proximity to the Baltimore area allows fans to see much more of him than they did in 2017.

Through 2 games, Hall has no record but has pitched 5.0 innings to a 1.80 ERA. Of the 2 runs he has given up, only one was earned. Hall has surrendered 4 hits while walking 5 and striking out 4. Sally League batters are hitting him at a .250 clip, however.

Hall faced the minimum through 3 innings in his 2018 debut. He was aided by 2 double plays and finished with a line of 3.0 innings pitched, 0 runs, 1 hit, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. His latest start this past Tuesday was not quite as stellar. Fighting the cold (40 degree temperature at game time) and snow flurries in Hagerstown, he lasted just 2.0 innings and 3 additional batters. Hall finished the night with 2 runs (1 earned) and 3 hits surrendered with 4 walks and 2 strikeouts. He was unable to find the plate for most of the second inning and left after two consecutive walks in the third. I am of the opinion that the cold affected Hall as he ended the first inning with back-to-back strikeouts but threw 11 balls out of 16 pitches in the second inning. Likewise, 8 of 11 pitches into the third inning were balls; the cold just caused Hall to lose the feel for the baseball.

At 19 years old, Hall has a fastball the sits in the mid 90’s and can hit 95 mph when needed; his curveball is considered a plus pitch as well. If his debut is any indication, fans can expect positive things from him in 2018. He should meet, if not exceed, expectations the rest of the season.

There was an excitement in the air on the two occasions when Hall pitched. I anticipate that excitement continuing throughout the rest of the season. The Orioles may very well have found a gem with this draft pick; time will tell.   I am certain, however, that if Orioles fans see Hall pitch when they visit the Eastern Shore they will come away impressed and optimistic for the future. This young man is the real deal; mark my words.

 

** To read more from Josh Michael (founder/editor Baby Birdland), Nick Stevens and myself about all levels of the Baltimore Orioles minor leagues please visit Baby Birdland **

 

After Slow Start, Austin Hays is Hot at the Plate for Bowie Baysox (from @BabyBirdland)

Austin Hays

The numbers may not show it yet, but Baltimore Orioles’ outfield prospect Austin Hays has been a consistent hitter for the Bowie Baysox in 2018.

Hays, the Orioles 2016 third round draft pick, has a slash line of .263/ .317/ .421 as he enters play Monday for the Baysox. He has 2 homeruns and 4 RBI to go along with 4 walks and 11 strikeouts on the young season. Hays is currently riding a three-game multi-hit streak and has gotten at least one hit in 7 of the Baysox’s 9 games. Over his last 4 games played, Hays has seen his batting average rise 120 points; he hit .412 in those 4 games.

Considered the Orioles’ top prospect by MLB Pipeline, Baby Birdland and others, Hays was the first member of the 2016 draft class to break into the Major Leagues when he was called up early last September.

It was the overall package of skills Hays possesses that fueled his rocket-like rise through the Orioles system. His bat led that skill set and it is that bat that will get him back to Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The 22 year-old energized the fan base last September and entered Spring Training with a decent shot to make the club as a right fielder in 2018. A shoulder injury hindered Hays during the spring and led to his assignment back to the minor league camp. In my opinion, it was a convenient reason to send him down in favor of Craig Gentry and Colby Rasmus and avoid a possibly difficult decision; Gentry and Rasmus are known favorites of Orioles manager, Buck Showalter.

For the record, Hays managed to play in 15 games during the spring in which he slashed .243/ .295/ .297 with 2 doubles and 4 RBI; he walked just twice while striking out 12 times.

Hays is aggressive at the plate and it is that aggression that will either make or break him. His high strike out numbers show that pitchers are exploiting that aggressiveness and will continue to do so unless he learns to control it. I am sure we will see improvements as the season wears on.

Orioles’ fans have neither heard the last nor seen the last of Hays. As his recent numbers show, Hays is and will be a solid bat in the Baysox lineup; continued batting prowess will lead to a promotion.

Youth will be served Orioles’ fans and Hays will play a major part; his bat is just too good. He will return to Oriole Park permanently, you can bank on it. It’s just a matter of when.

 

** To read more from Josh Michael (founder/editor Baby Birdland), Nick Stevens and myself about all levels of the Baltimore Orioles minor leagues please visit Baby Birdland **

 

 

 

 

Plenty of Early Season Surprises Thus Far in 2018 for Baltimore Orioles Affiliates (from @BabyBirdland)

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As of Friday’s games, all four of the Baltimore Orioles Minor League affiliates have finally played at least a week’s worth of games. Each of them (Norfolk, Bowie, Frederick and Delmarva) have winning records on the young season. At 8-1, Delmarva leads the way after their 7-0 start.

I want to take a look at what could be called unexpected or even surprising performances for each of the affiliates so far.

First up is Delmarva Shorebirds 1B Seamus Curran. The Orioles drafted Curran in the 8th round of the 2015 draft out of Agawam High School in Massachusetts. This season marks the first full season of his minor league career.

Curran, off to a fast start for the Shorebirds, owns a .360/ .429/ .520 slash line with a double, homerun and 7 RBI. He is enjoying a three-game hitting streak while currently hitting more than 100 points better than his career average (.251).

Frederick Keys catcher Daniel Fajardo is slashing .375/ .412/ .375 with 7 RBI so far this year. Fajardo has been with the Orioles organization since 2012 after signing as an international free agent in 2011 and has had two previous cups of coffee with the Keys. After not having played more than 72 games in a season up to this point, he may be ready to settle down; injuries plagued him early in his career.

Well-traveled catcher Martin Cervenka looks like he is comfortable in his new home with the Bowie Baysox. Cervenka, a native of the Czech Republic, is with his third organization in eight seasons and is slashing .360/ .360/ .480 with 3 doubles and 3 RBI in 7 games. He is currently getting the majority of playing time over long-time Orioles’ prospect Audry Perez and is making the most of that opportunity.

Finally, after five seasons in Bowie, 2B Garabez Rosa is making the most of his start with the Norfolk Tides. He is slashing .250/ .250/ .344 with a homerun and 3 RBI. With 6 hits in his last three games Rosa may be starting to heat up for the Tides.

In no way am I implying that these players will hit like this for the duration of the 2018 season; I just wanted to highlight some who have performed well so far and who are not necessarily household names to most fans. I included Rosa because it’s good to see this long-time prospect get to the Triple-A level after 12 years in the organization.

The Orioles’ affiliates are off to a good start and you can count on Baby Birdland to chronicle all of it all season long.

 

** To read more from Josh Michael (founder/editor Baby Birdland), Nick Stevens and myself about all levels of the Baltimore Orioles minor leagues please visit Baby Birdland **

RHP Michael Baumann Has Been Pretty Dominant Thus Far in 2018 for Delmarva Shorebirds (from @BabyBirdland)

Michael Baumann

Delmarva Shorebirds’ RHP Michael Baumann has made his presence known in the South Atlantic League in a big way. Baumann, the Baltimore Orioles’ 2017 third round draft pick out of Jacksonville University, is proving to be unfazed by his first full year of professional baseball.

Through Thursday night’s action, the Shorebirds are in first place in the Sally League with a record of 7-1; Baumann has played a huge role in the team’s success.

Tasked with starting on Opening Night and leading the rotation for the Shorebirds, Baumann is 2-0 on the young campaign. He has made two starts and in 11.0 innings of work he owns a 0.82 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP to go along with 19 strikeouts and 3 walks. Sally League hitters have managed only 7 hits off of Baumann, none of which resulted in extra bases, while hitting a paltry .189 off of him on the season.

Baumann has been the model of consistency in his two starts. Yes, it is a small sample size, but it is impressive nonetheless:

Game 1: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K

Game 2: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 9 K

Utilizing a fastball that is rated 60 on the 20-80 scale, Baumann is able to hit 97 mph on the speed gun while generally sitting in the 92-94 mph range. He throws an above-average slider, which when paired with his curveball or change-up, allows him to miss bats as his early stats demonstrate.

Baumann’s 2017 season at Aberdeen (Class-A Short) provided a glimpse into what could be expected from the 22 year-old hurler. In 10 games (9 starts) for the Ironbirds he pitched to a 4-2 record over 41.1 innings with a 1.31 ERA and 1.06 WHIP. Baumann fanned 41 batters and walked 19 while allowing 25 hits and a .168 batting average against.

It was that 2017 season that helped Baumann earn his spot as the Orioles’ 15th rated prospect on MLB Pipeline’s list and the #13 spot on Baby Birdland’s pre-season top 15 list. You can read why we had him rated so high HERE

At the time that our list was compiled I do not believe anyone foresaw a start such as the one Baumann has had so far in 2018. Using the general rule that a promotion follows a player showing dominance and mastery of his current level I anticipate Baumann moving to Frederick (Class-A High) at the Sally League All-Star break should he continue on his current pace.

I acknowledge that a 142 game season is the great equalizer for young players but am certain that Baumann is up to the task. The early signs are that he is a solid addition to the organization and that he will bolster the pitching staff for years to come.

Enjoy watching this pitcher Orioles fans, he possibly could be on the fast track to Baltimore.

** To read more from Josh Michael (founder/editor Baby Birdland), Nick Stevens and myself about all levels of the Baltimore Orioles minor leagues please visit Baby Birdland **

 

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