Minor League Wrap Up: May 20, 2014
With the Orioles crushing the Pirates by a score of 9-2, we now take a look at some of the Orioles’ Minor League Affiliates: The Norfolk Tides (AAA), the Bowie Baysox (AA), the Frederick Keys (Advanced Single A), and the Delmarva Shorebirds (A).
The Tides lost to the Charlotte Knights by a score of 4-3. However, there were some bright spots despite the Knights’ come from behind victory. Orioles #11 prospect, Francisco Peguero, had two hits last night and scored off of a two-out single by Steve Lombardozzi in the fourth inning. Peguero’s two hits improved his batting average to .318.
Peguero performs at the plate exceptionally well when faced against a left-handed pitcher. This season, he is batting .400 with a .855 OPS against left-handers. Lucky for him, Charlotte’s starter was a lefty and Peguero was able to record a single against him in the top of the fourth inning.
Kevin Gausman had a rough night on the mound. Just six days after his 2014 debut with the O’s, Gausman threw 87 pitches in five complete innings of work. In that time, he gave up four earned runs off of six hits, walked one batter and struck out six other batters. Gausman pitched four shutout innings before the fifth came along. That was where Gausman saw some problems.
He gave up a lead-off double and then, after striking out two consecutive batters, gave up another double to cut the Tides’ lead to 4-1. A soft line drive to left field scored the Knights’ runner at second and after the Tides pitching coach gave Gausman a visit at the mound, the Knights’ batter rocketed a two-run home run to give Charlotte their first lead of the ball game which would also prove to be the decider.
The four earned runs pushed Gausman’s ERA up to 2.90, which is still impressive in my book. The loss, however, drops Gausman’s record to 0-2 on the year with the Orioles’ Triple-A Affiliate.
A player from Norfolk who has shown much talent is Lombardozzi. I have recently voiced my desire for him to be brought back up to the Major League roster with the Orioles. Despite being in a “cold streak” these past ten games, Lombardozzi is still batting .300 on the year.
Another player who hits well off of lefties, Lombardozzi is batting .474 when a left-hander is on the mound. The second baseman is a solid fielder who will rarely make an error in the field. Although he is not a power hitter, he sure does get on base a lot with a .373 on-base percentage as a part of the Norfolk Tides.
The loss lowers Norfolk’s record to a disappointing 16-28. Currently, Norfolk is in third place in the South Division of the International League.
The Baysox won in a high-scoring game against the Erie Seawolves by a score of 7-6. Another prospect high up on the Orioles list is Christian Walker. The #13 prospect has been swinging the bat well so far this season and last night was no exception. The 23-year-old went 2-4 on the night and batted in four of Bowie’s seven runs.
In the bottom of the third inning, Walker drove the ball to deep center field scoring teammates, Garabez Rosa and Niuman Romero, and giving the Baysox an early 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately, their lead would vanish in the top of the ninth inning when the Seawolves would rally for five runs giving Erie the 6-4 lead going into the bottom of the ninth. With a man on first and two outs, Walker stepped up to the plate and proceeded to hit a tying, two-run home run to left center field in order to send the game into extra innings.
After ending the threat of Erie scoring with a man on third by way of a strikeout, Bowie was up to bat. Wasting little time, they loaded the bases with just one out. David Freitas ensured that this game would not be extended any longer by hitting a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Ronald Burmudez from third.
A player from Bowie who has shown much talent is Walker. From reading the information above, you can tell he knows how to drive in runs. In the past ten games, he has done just that with 10 RBIs to his name.
From May 14th to May 17th, the first baseman went 2-4; 3-5; 1-3; and 2-4 respectively. Such an outstanding couple of days of batting earned him the EAS Player of the Week honors on May 19th. This is the second time Walker earned this award this season (April 21st being the first time).
With the win, the Baysox improved their record to 24-20 on the year and remain in second place in the Western Division of the Eastern Division.
Base hits for the Keys were hard to come by last night against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. Only manufacturing one hit in nine innings of play, the Keys lost by a score of 3-1.
The Keys’ one hit came in the seventh inning from left fielder, Michael Burgess. After a Frederick Keys walk, Burgess hit a soft fly ball that snuck into left field. This single not only avoided a no-hitter, but it also set up the Keys’ only run of the game.
After a sacrifice fly advanced the Keys base runner from second to third, a wild pitch with two outs allowed Tucker Nathans to sprint home for the Keys’ only run of the game.
Everyone for the Keys was struggling to hit, even Orioles #9 prospect Adrian Marin, who went 0-4 on the night lowering his batting average to .221 on the year.
A player from Frederick who has shown much talent is the man who recorded the Keys’ only hit of the game: Michael Burgess. In the past ten games he has been on a tear, batting .378 with 11 RBIs. He is another player who knows how to work the count and get on base with a .375 on base percentage in last ten games. He is also an RBI machine with 31 so far this season. Despite being in the Minors since 2007, this left fielder is still getting hits almost night after night.
The loss lowered the club’s record to 19-23 on the year and kept the Keys in last place in the Northern Division of the Carolina League.
The Shorebirds dropped their second game in three days, losing to the West Virginia Power by a score of 4-1. Despite only scoring one run, some notable Delmarva players produced hits tonight.
Orioles #4 prospect, Josh Hart hit a single in the first inning past the West Virginia first baseman. Also grandson of Red Sox great, Carl Yastrzemski, Mike Yastrzemski hit a line drive single to right field in the top of the second inning.
The number one reason why the Shorebirds lost this game is the same issue the Orioles were struggling with this past weekend: hitting with runners in scoring position. Despite recording six hits in the ball game, the Shorebirds were only 1-8 with runners in scoring position.
The one time the Shorebirds converted with runners in scoring position came in the first inning. After Hart singled and West Virginia walked consecutive batters, the bases were loaded for Austin Wynns. Wynns was able to single with the bases loaded, scoring Hart from third.
A player from Delmarva who has shown much talent is Drew Dosch. Dosch went 1-3 last night and in the last ten games he has batted .333 with two home runs and three RBIs. The former Youngstown State player is batting .312 for the year with Delmarva and also has an impressive .368 on-base percentage. For a guy who is in his first year in the Minor Leagues out of college, this player is showing no signs of decline and showing all the signs of a promising third baseman who can hit with consistency.
The loss lowers Delmarva’s record to 23-21 on the year. The Shorebirds are currently sitting in second place of the Northern Division of the South Atlantic League.