Tag Archives: Delmarva Shorebirds

Recapping an Impressive First Half for RHP Michael Baumann (from @BabyBirdland)

Michael Baumann Shorebirds

The first half of the 2018 season has ended for both the Delmarva Shorebirds (A-Low) and the Frederick Keys (A-High) and the teams are currently enjoying a three-day break for their All-Star games.

Were it not for a May promotion, Keys’ RHP Michael Baumann would be in Greensboro representing the Shorebirds as a South Atlantic League All-Star.

Baumann, the Baltimore Orioles’ 2017 third-round draft pick, began the 2018 season in the Shorebirds’ rotation and was dominant from the start. He appeared in 7 games for the Shorebirds and produced a 5-0 record accompanied by a 1.42 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. In 38.0 innings of work Baumann struck out 47, walked 13 and allowed an opponent’s batting average of .180. Remarkably he did not allow a homerun to Sally League batters. Four of Baumann’s seven starts for the Shorebirds were quality starts including what turned out to be his final three starts for the team.

That performance earned Baumann a promotion to Frederick and probably cost him a shot at being named an All-Star.

Baumann put the Carolina League on notice immediately. His first start for the Keys was a 7.0 inning 1 run, 4 hit victory. The increased level of competition has not fazed him.

At the end of the first half of the season, Baumann’s Keys record sits at 4-0 over 6 starts, 2 of which were quality starts. He has pitched to a 2.34 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP in 34.2 innings of work with 22 strikeouts and 12 walks. Carolina League batters have only managed a .185 average against him.

At 6’4” tall and 225 lbs., Baumann is big and physical and relies on a mid-90 mph fastball to dominate batters. His four-pitch mix includes an above average slider as well as an average curveball and changeup.

Baumann’s pitch mix is producing a strikeout/9 innings ratio of 5.51 as well as a walk rate per 9 innings of 3.12. What stands out is his .206 BAbip (batting average on balls in play); hitters are just not very successful when they make contact with his pitches. The batters that do have success and get on base are stranded at a rate of 77.6%.

Overall, Baumann’s 2018 numbers are a 9-0 record in 13 starts (6 quality starts) with a 1.86 ERA and 0.96 WHIP over 72.2 innings. Both MLB Pipeline and Baby Birdland currently list him as the Orioles’ #13 prospect. That ranking will certainly go up should he continue his first half success.

Baumann is a prospect on the rise and I would not be surprised, especially with the current state of the Orioles that he finds himself in Bowie (AA) at season’s end.

Baumann looks like a gem among the Orioles’ pitching prospects and his future development is going to be fun to watch. He, along with a few others, may very well be the pitching help the Baltimore Orioles need.

** 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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Where The Orioles’ Minor League Affiliates Stand As Of 6/17/2018

The Road To Birdland

Every Sunday evening for the remainder of the season I will update where every Baltimore Orioles Minor League Affiliate is in their respective standings.

As of 6/17/2018:

ABERDEEN IRONBIRDS (1-2):  tied for 2nd place, 1.0 GB, in the New York-Penn League McNamara Division

DELMARVA SHOREBIRDS (35-32):  4th place, 5.0 GB, in the South Atlantic League North Division

FREDERICK KEYS (35-34):  2nd place, 3.0 GB, in the Carolina League North Division

BOWIE BAYSOX (29-37):  6th place, 8.5 GB, in the Eastern League Western Division

NORFOLK TIDES (36-30):  2nd place, 0.5 GB, in the International League South Division

Contemplating Which Role is Best for RHP Gray Fenter Moving Forward (from @BabyBirdland)

Gray Fenter

Aberdeen Ironbirds (A-Short) RHP Gray Fenter, now two years removed from Tommy John surgery, is injury-free and was demonstrating a return to the form that warranted his selection in the seventh round of the 2015 MLB Draft.

Fenter has pitched in multiple roles (starter, middle-relief and closer) so far during the 2018 season. The question to be answered is just exactly which role is he best suited for.

After beginning the year in Delmarva (A-Low), Fenter was assigned to the Ironbirds on Thursday (6/14). There is no doubt that the cumulative season stats factored into the decision to move Fenter down to Aberdeen.

In 14 appearances, including two official starts, for the Shorebirds Fenter owned a 3-3 record with a 6.75 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and .292 opponent’s batting average against. He struck out 31 and walked 13 in 26.2 innings of work. Additionally, he could not convert his two save opportunities.

Fenter started the year by piggy-backing D.L. Hall’s starts; he was in a program that the Baltimore Orioles have used in the past with Tanner Scott, Jesus Liranzo and Jason Garcia. Essentially, every time Hall started Fenter would “start” the game in the fourth inning. The goal was to keep him on a regular starter’s schedule-he just didn’t start the first inning. He was able to make two official starts when Zac Lowther experienced some tightness in his oblique muscle before moving into the Shorebirds’ bullpen.

With all this in mind, Fenter “started” 6 games and produced a 2-2 record in 15.1 innings pitched. He gave up 14 earned runs for an 8.22 ERA, walked 7 and struck out 17 while allowing a slash line of .344/ .413/ .453.

As a reliever, Fenter produced a 1-1 record and was 0-2 in save opportunities over 11.1 innings pitched. He surrendered 9 runs (6 earned) for a 4.76 ERA, walked 6 and struck out 14 while allowing a slash line of .214/ .327/ .310.

Fenter possesses a plus fastball and an above-average curveball. The one constant, as a starter or a reliever, is his ability to throw strikes. His strike percentage as a starter is 62% while as a reliever it is 64%.

It would seem that Fenter is better suited for a relief role especially in light of the fact that he has a 50% groundball rate in relief versus a 27% rate as a starter. Ground balls are a pitcher’s best friend, especially when pitching in Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

Fenter was showing improvement prior to being moved down and I hope to see him continue to show that improvement as he competes in the New York-Penn League. After all, success breeds confidence and a sense of increased confidence will only help a pitcher who is recovering from Tommy John surgery.

I do not think we have seen the last of Fenter in Delmarva. Pitching success in Aberdeen, whose season starts on Friday (6/15), could very well lead to a return to Delmarva; Frederick (A-High) may not be that far off either.

Fenter has a two-fold purpose as he pitches in Aberdeen: for one, show himself to be fully recovered from surgery and two, find the right role for himself. My money is on him finding success out of the bullpen.

** 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 **

SS Chris Clare Holding His Own with High-A Frederick Keys (from @BabyBirdland)

Chris Clare

Frederick Keys (A-High) SS Chris Clare has improved in 2018 by most every measurable over his 2017 “audition”; he is showing that he is both comfortable in and belongs in the Carolina League.

The Baltimore Orioles drafted Clare out of High Point University (North Carolina) in the 21st round of the 2016 MLB draft. Upon signing he was assigned to the Aberdeen Ironbirds (A-Short) as most collegiate players are. He began the 2017 season in Delmarva (A-Low) where he earned a spot on the South Atlantic League’s North Division All-Star team.

Clare was promoted to Frederick on July 20th and finished out the season with the Keys. His numbers with the Keys were more than respectable: .260/ .364/ .323 slash line with 19 runs scored, 9 RBI, 2 doubles, 2 homeruns, 19 walks, 26 strikeouts and 3 stolen bases in 4 attempts over 42 games (127 at-bats).

The 2018 season marked a return to Frederick for the 23 year-old middle infielder. Overall, his stats are showing improvement. As of June 11th Clare is slashing .233/ .383/ .331 with 27 runs scored, 19 RBI, 8 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homeruns, 37 walks, 33 strikeouts and 5 stolen bases in 6 attempts over 53 games (163 at-bats). Aside from his batting average, everything has improved and increased in almost the same sample size.

So far this season, Clare has produced 7 multi-hit games and 3 multi-RBI games. His longest hitting streak lasted 6 games in May (5/5-5/10). During that streak he hit .476/ .542/ .810 with 6 runs scored, 4 doubles, 1 homerun and 7 RBI.

I attribute Clare’s improvements to both the added experience facing Carolina League pitching and a better knowledge of the strike zone. This season he has lowered his strikeout % by 0.6% and has increased his walk % by 6% over his 2017 Keys’ rate. What is interesting is that he has increased his ground out to fly out ratio while increasing his extra-base hits. I would say that the balls he is driving he is driving well.

Defensively, Clare is certainly holding his own. He has handled 187 chances with 69 put outs, 109 assists and 9 errors for a .952 fielding percentage. He has helped turn 28 double plays as well.

Clare is hitting .220 with runners in scoring position as well as .289 with runners in scoring position and two outs. No hit with runners in scoring position was as noteworthy as Monday’s was. His walk-off single with one out in the 10th inning scored T.J. Nichting from second base for a 1-0 win over the Lynchburg Hill Cats. That RBI gave both Zach Muckenhirn his first victory of the year and the Keys their first walk-off victory in extra innings of the year.

The early indications are that 2018 is shaping up to be a solid and successful season for Clare. I like the way his numbers are trending and hope to see more of the same. A few more seasons like this and he may put his name in the Orioles’ future middle infield conversation.

The often maligned Orioles’ minor league system has a lot of good players who do not garner much publicity but who are worthy of fans’ time and interest; fans just have to know where to look. The Frederick Keys are a good place to look and Chris Clare is proof positive of that.

** 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 **

 

20-Year Old Catcher Jean Carrillo is a Player to Watch in Baltimore Orioles’ System (from @BabyBirdland)

Carrillo

Looking at the individual statistics for the Delmarva Shorebirds (A-Low) there is a name that is near the top in some of the major offensive categories. Chances are most fans of the Baltimore Orioles know little about that player.

The player in question is catcher, Jean Carrillo. At 20 years old (he will turn 21 on June 16th), Carrillo has been with the Orioles organization since November of 2013 when the team signed the then 16 year old native of Panama as a free agent.

The 2018 season marks Carrillo’s fifth with the organization and his first as a full-time member of a full season affiliate. Despite being used in a catching platoon with Ben Breazeale, Carrillo is making the most of his playing time.

Carrillo is currently slashing .314/ .351/ .419 with 21 RBI and 3 homeruns in 31 games for the Shorebirds. He has scored 7 runs while walking 5 times and striking out 24 times. He also comes through in the clutch as his .400 average with runners in scoring position and .500 average with runners in scoring position and two outs demonstrates. Despite only playing in half of the Shorebirds’ games, Carrillo has produced numbers that have him tied for 4th on the team in homeruns, 5th in RBI, 2nd in batting average, 3rd in on base %, 5th in slugging % and 4th in OPS (on base % + slugging %).

Prior to being removed from the game on June 8th and subsequently being placed on the 7-day DL for a left shoulder injury, Carrillo was riding a 5-game hitting streak. Additionally, he was in the midst of a 16 game period that saw him hit safely in 12 of those games with a slash line of .357/ .400/ .446 in 60 plate appearances. He scored 5 runs, had 13 RBI and 3 extra-base hits (including 1 homerun) as well as a BAbip of .452 during that stretch. Not too shabby for a part-time player.

Carrillo is currently hitting much better than his partner behind the plate, Ben Breazeale who is sporting a .210/ .319/ .311 slash line in 36 games (29 at catcher). Should Carrillo return from the DL quickly and continue to produce to his current level, he may very well see his playing time increase.

Lest you think he’s just a good bat, consider Carrillo’s defensive numbers: .989 fielding %, 13 runners thrown out stealing (33% of base stealers), 30 assists, 3 errors and 2 double plays turned.

Clearly, Carrillo is establishing himself among the many good catchers in the Baltimore organization. The hope would be that his recovery from the shoulder injury (his non-throwing shoulder) is quick and complication-free. If that occurs and he resumes his upward path, increased playing time is in his future and Carrillo will stay near the top in those offensive categories as well as make his name known to more Orioles fans.

I’m keeping my eyes on him and would suggest Orioles’ fans do the same; you’re about to hear Carrillo’s name mentioned more often.

** 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 **

 

 

Where The Orioles’ Affiliates Stand As Of 6/10/2018

The Road To Birdland

Every Sunday evening for the remainder of the season I will update where every Baltimore Orioles Minor League Affiliate is in their respective standings.

As of 6/10/2018:

DELMARVA SHOREBIRDS (32-28):  3rd place, 5.0 GB, in the South Atlantic League North Division

FREDERICK KEYS (26-33):  tied for 4th place, 5.5 GB, in the Carolina League North Division

BOWIE BAYSOX (28-31):  5th place, 6.0 GB, in the Eastern League Western Division

NORFOLK TIDES (32-27):  2nd place, 3.0 GB, in the International League South Division

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