Tag Archives: Frederick Keys

Where The Orioles’ Affiliates Stand As Of Sunday, 5/20/2018

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 5/20/2018:

DELMARVA SHOREBIRDS (26-15):  2nd place, 1.0 GB, in the South Atlantic League North Division

FREDERICK KEYS (18-24):  4th place, 5.5 GB, in the Carolina League North Division

BOWIE BAYSOX (19-23):  4th place, 4.5 GB, in the Eastern League Western Division

NORFOLK TIDES (22-18):  2nd place, 4.0 GB, in the International League South Division


Struggling Prospect, 3B Jomar Reyes Facing Pivotal Season in 2018 (from @BabyBirdland)


Once considered a top organizational prospect, Frederick Keys’ (Class-A High) third baseman Jomar Reyes needs to produce in 2018. He is facing a crowded field of third base candidates as well doubts about his ability to move up the system.

As of Thursday’s games, Reyes is slashing .243/ .262/ .313 with 35 hits and 23 RBI in 35 games. He has 1 homerun among his 8 extra-base hits and is simply not driving the ball as his 2.6 ground ball to fly ball ratio illustrates. Reyes has struck out 26 times on the season and has only walked 5 times; the early numbers for him are average at best.

The 2018 season is the third that Reyes has spent in Frederick and he simply must improve his numbers if he expects to move up to Bowie (Class-AA). Reyes’ first year in Frederick, 2016, saw him slash .228/ .271/ .336 with 51 RBI. Last year Reyes had an injury-shortened season in which he slashed .302/ .333/ .434 with 21 RBI in just 50 games. It was last year’s injury that has possibly raised questions about Reyes’ ability to move up; he broke his hand after he punched a wall (after a game that he got 2 hits and 2 RBI).

Reyes has several other third basemen ahead of him in the system: Drew Dosch and Renato Nuñez in Norfolk (Class-AAA) and Ryan Mountcastle, Anderson Feliz and the suspended Steve Wilkerson at Bowie. Additionally, he has Trevor Craport in Delmarva (Class-A Low) nipping at his heels from below. It is now a numbers game, Reyes needs to improve this year in order to stand out among this group of corner infielders.

Despite being listed as the Baltimore Orioles’ #19 prospect by MLB Pipeline, Reyes has fallen off of Baby Birdland’s Top 15 list. No one has ever doubted the potential that Reyes possesses. The frustration comes with the lack of him fulfilling that potential.

The 2018 season is Reyes’ fifth in the organization and he may be running out of time to develop into the player the Orioles expected when they signed him out of the Dominican Republic in 2014. He does have youth on his side however, as he is just 21 years old.

Reyes has the raw power as well as an above-average arm. He needs to simply put those attributes on display. This season could prove to be a pivotal one for his career; time will tell. I for one, hope to see him do it.






Five Prospects to Watch, A Chat With Director of Player Development Brian Graham (from @BabyBirdland)

Brian Graham Pic

The sole purpose and mission of Baby Birdland is to provide the readers a “one-stop shop for all Orioles’ minor league news, notes and analysis”. We strive for that every day as we cover the big names such as Austin Hays, Ryan Mountcastle and Hunter Harvey as well as the lesser known names like Jose Lizarraga, Max Knutson and Brandon Bonilla and everyone in between.

We write about the players and try to let the readers know who deserves a look and who is worth the time to follow. That may not be enough for some; a more authoritative voice may be needed. Keeping that in mind, I reached out to Mr. Brian Graham, Director of Player Development for the Baltimore Orioles and asked him to give me the names of five minor league players that fans should keep an eye on this season. Mr. Graham was gracious enough to give me five names as well as his thoughts on them.

Here are the five he thinks fans should keep an eye on and are, as he says “a little bit lesser known but definitely good prospects”.

Keegan Akin, LHP, Bowie Baysox (AA)

Akin currently owns a 4-4 record with a 3.22 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and .224 batting-average-against in 8 games (44.2 innings). He has struck out 46 and walked 17. Akin leads the Baysox in both wins and starts.

Mr. Graham says of Akin, “fastball, slider, change, 91-95 (mph range), commands the fastball, pitches inside well, good competitor, good slider for strikes that looks like a tight curve ball at times, solid average change for strikes in all counts…true starter but could pitch in any role”.

Michael Baumann, RHP, Frederick Keys (A-High)

Baumann, who was just promoted to Frederick, pitched to a 5-0 record for the Delmarva Shorebirds (A-Low) with a 1.42 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and .180 batting-average-against in 7 games (38.0 innings). He struck out 47 while walking 13 and was the Shorebirds’ leader in wins, starts and ERA among the starters.

Mr. Graham’s comments: “big RH starter, first full season, started the year in Delmarva, promoted to Frederick…plus fastball, 91-95 (mph range), good downhill angle, curve ball, slider and change, four good pitches for strikes, great make-up, tough kid”.

Luis Gonzalez, LHP, Bowie Baysox (AA)

Gonzalez, a member of Bowie’s bullpen, has no record on the season but has converted all four of his save opportunities. He owns a 2.00 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP in 18.0 innings over 12 appearances. Gonzalez has struck out 24 while walking just 4.

Of Gonzalez, Mr. Graham says: “LH relief pitcher in Bowie, fastball, slider change, three pitches for strikes, 91-96 (mph range), challenges hitters, good stuff, interesting pitcher”.

Brenan Hanifee, RHP, Delmarva Shorebirds (A-Low)

Hanifee has started for the Shorebirds and owns a 4-1 record with a 2.56 ERA, 1.01 WHIP and .223 batting-average-against. He leads the team in innings pitched (38.2) and has struck out 27 batters while walking 8.

Mr. Graham’s comments: “RH starter in Delmarva, sinker, slider, change, great feel to pitch, plus sinker, throws strikes with all three pitches, really good strike thrower, plus ground ball ratio, three pitches for strikes”.

T.J. Nichting, CF, Frederick Keys (A-High)

Nichting, who was promoted to Frederick on May 15th, had a .326/ .359/ .431/ .790 slash line with 20 RBI and 12 extra-base hits. Since his promotion he has appeared in two games for the Keys and is 2 for 8 in those games.

Mr. Graham had this to say: “switch hitting outfielder, good defender, can play all three outfield positions, runs well, can steal a base…high energy, tough out, aggressive approach, good swing both sides of the plate, good baseball player”.

There you have it fans, five Orioles’ prospects to keep an eye on and Mr. Graham’s candid analysis of them. Please keep in mind that this list is not in any way his favorites nor the organization’s favorites, it is simply five players he says are worth watching.

The Baltimore Orioles organization is full of players who are worth watching and following and you can count on Baby Birdland to report on all of them all year long.

I would like to thank Mr. Graham for taking time out of his busy schedule to provide this list and analysis for myself and the readers of Baby Birdland.


LHP Tyler Erwin Quietly Dominating Out of High-A Frederick Keys’ Bullpen (from @BabyBirdland)

Tyler Erwin 3

photo courtesy of Shelli Erwin

Class A-High Frederick Keys’ LHP Tyler Erwin is quietly putting together a dominant season out of the bullpen in 2018.

Erwin was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 23rd round of the 2016 MLB Draft (691 overall) out of New Mexico State University. As with most college draft picks, he was assigned to the Aberdeen Ironbirds (Class A-Short) where he appeared in 13 games, all out of the bullpen. He finished the 2016 season with a 2-1 record, a 3.22 ERA, a 1.39 WHIP and failed to convert his one and only save opportunity.

The 2017 season found Erwin in Delmarva (Class A-Low) where he appeared in 26 games for the Shorebirds, again, all out of the bullpen. He pitched 47.0 innings to a 2-2 record with a 2.68 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Additionally, he did convert his only save opportunity.

The improvement Erwin made from 2016 to 2017 in no way could have predicted what he has done so far in 2018. Pitching in the Carolina League, he has a 0-1 record (as of 5/11), has gone 2 for 4 in save opportunities and has a 0.47 ERA in 19.1 innings over 11 appearances; Erwin has allowed just 1 earned run and 2 overall. His WHIP is 0.78 as he has allowed just 7 hits while walking 8. Erwin has struck out 25 batters and has limited them to a .113 batting average against. I find it simply amazing that a season’s performance like this is not being talked about more.

Maybe it’s the fact that he’s not a closer, maybe it’s the fact that he was a low draft pick, or maybe it’s the fact that he is 8.2 innings shy of being among the league leaders but regardless of the reason, it flabbergasts me that there is not more buzz surrounding a pitcher like Erwin. He is shutting down the opposition when he pitches and I am sure he is the type of pitcher every team needs. I have no doubt that Frederick appreciates his performance.

Erwin has faced the minimum number of batters in 4 of his 11 appearances and in fact, pitched a clean inning in his last appearance. He has not allowed a run in his last nine appearances and struck out a season high 6 batters against the Lynchburg Hillcats (Cleveland) on May 7th , a game in which he earned his second save of the year.

Erwin is currently averaging just fewer than 4 batters faced per inning pitched, has a strike out per nine innings pitched rate of 11.6 and is getting 3.13 strikeouts per walk given up. To top it off, he’s equally stingy to left-handed batters as he is to right-handed ones: their batting averages against him are .125 and .105 respectively.

With numbers like this there is no reason that Erwin shouldn’t be talked about more. Orioles’ fans do yourself a favor and watch this 23-year-old southpaw; his performance deserves your attention. While Erwin may be the best-kept secret in the organization right now, I assure you he will not be for long.

Update:  After writing this, Erwin appeared in Saturday’s (5/12) game against the Potomac Nationals and gave up 2 hits and 1 earned run while striking out 2 in 0.2 innings: his ERA rose to 0.90 after that appearance.

Update II:  Fellow Baby Birdland contributing writer Nick Stevens provided this video post of Erwin pitching on his Twitter feed.  VIDEO

** 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 They Stand As Of Sunday, 5/13/2018

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 5/13/2018:

DELMARVA SHOREBIRDS (24-12):  Tied for 1st in the South Atlantic League North Division

FREDERICK KEYS (15-22):  Last place (5th), 7.0 GB, in the Carolina League North Division

BOWIE BAYSOX (17-18):  4th place, 3.5 GB, in the Eastern League Western Division

NORFOLK TIDES (19-15):  2nd place, 1.5 GB, in the International League South Division

Cedric Mullins Has A Day At The Plate: The “Just One Fan’s” Prospect Report for 4/25/2018

Mullins Stance

Hello Orioles fans, here is my prospect report for Wednesday, April 25th, 2018.


The Shorebirds shutout Kannapolis 3-0 behind Cameron Bishop’s quality start.

The Keys drop a double-header to the Salem Red Sox 0-6 and 2-7.

The Baysox beat Richmond 3-2; Keegan Akin with the scoreless quality start.

The Tides split a double-header with Lehigh Valley 8-9 and 5-0.


BACKGROUND:  Last season I began the Prospect Report in an effort to highlight the daily performances of several Baltimore Orioles’ minor league players.  They were all players that have caught my eye and that I am interested in; I thought I would use this platform to help other Orioles fans get to know them as well as follow their progress.  I am continuing that work this season and have added a few new names to the list; two players from last year’s report are now with other organizations.  In addition, I asked readers to suggest who they would be interested in following daily and based on those suggestions, I added a reader’s section below.  I hope you enjoy this effort and that you will provide feedback on it; I am open to any suggestions on how to make it better as well as any criticism of it.  Let’s engage in a dialogue about the players; they are the future of the Orioles.


This season, I am highlighting five Baltimore Orioles minor league prospects; these players are personal favorites of mine.  The players are C Ben Breazeale (NR per MLB Pipeline), OF Cedric Mullins (#7), RHP Yefry Ramirez (#19), 3B Jomar Reyes (#21) and RHP James Teague (NR).

In an article for Baby Birdland, I explained the reasons why I am watching one of them (Reyes); one (Breazeale) was my first face-to-face interview for Baby Birdland.  I also had the opportunity to conduct a face-to-face interview with another (Mullins) early this season.   Each day here you will find a summary of their game performance.

Thanks for reading!


Ben Breazeale (Delmarva Shorebirds, 13-7): WON 3-0 vs Kannapolis INTIMIDATORS

 GAME Did Not Play


5 Runs

7 H

3 2B  5 RBI 5 BB

11 K

Cedric Mullins (Bowie Baysox, 11-7): WON 3-2 vs Richmond FLYING SQUIRRELS

 GAME 2-3 1 Run 1 RBI 1 BB 1 K 1 2B

1 HR



12 Runs

20 H

6 2B

1 3B

4 HR

13 RBI

4 BB

12 K

1 SB

Yefry Ramirez (Norfolk Tides, 10-7): LOST Gm. 1 8-9 and WON Gm. 2 5-0 vs Lehigh Valley IRONPIGS

 GAME 3.1 IP 8 H 5 R (ER) 1 BB 3 K WP
 SEASON 4 G (1-1)

5.60 ERA

1.42 WHIP

17.2 IP 17 H 11 R (ER) 17 K

8 BB


1 WP

.243 BAA

Jomar Reyes (Frederick Keys, 7-13): LOST Gm. 1 0-6 and LOST Gm. 2 2-7 @ Salem RED SOX

 GAME Game 1 0-3

Game 2 0-3

2 K

1 K



6 Runs

15 H

 1 2B 7 RBI 4 BB

13 K

James Teague (Frederick Keys, 7-13): LOST Gm. 1 0-6 and LOST Gm. 2 2-7 @ Salem RED SOX

 GAME Did Not Pitch
 SEASON 5 G  (0-1, 1-2S)

11.57 ERA

2.14 WHIP

7.0 IP 10 H 9 R (ER) 5 BB

8 K

.345 BAA



Cole Billingsley, OF (Frederick Keys, 7-13): LOST Gm. 1 0-6 and LOST Gm. 2 2-7 @ Salem RED SOX

 GAME Game 1 0-2

Game 2 1-3

2 K

2 K

0 SB

1 SB



10 Runs

20 H

4 2B 1 HR


9 BB

16 K

4 SB

Tyler Erwin, LHP (Frederick Keys, 7-13):  LOST Gm. 1 0-6 and LOST Gm. 2 2-7 @ Salem RED SOX

 GAME Did Not Pitch
 SEASON 6 G (0-1, 1-2S)

0.82 ERA

0.73 WHIP

11.0 IP 4 H 2 R (1 ER) 4 BB

11 K

.118 BAA

Randolph Gassaway (#30), OF (Frederick Keys, 7-13): LOST Gm. 1 0-6 and LOST Gm. 2 2-7 @ Salem RED SOX

 GAME Game 1 0-1

Game 2 0-3

2 BB

0 BB

0 K

1 K



9 Runs

21 H

8 2B 10 RBI 8 BB

19 K

Adam Hall (#20), INF (Extended Spring Training)



Come back every day to keep up with how my five prospects and the reader’s four prospects are performing; for more news, notes, and analysis on the entire Baltimore Orioles Minor League system, including a daily roundup of all the affiliates’ games, go to BabyBirdland and read the work of its’ hard working staff.

Don’t forget to follow both @BabyBirdland and @CoachNick_14 on Twitter.

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