The Orioles’ have not had a lot of success during the course of the 2015 season, to say the least. But down in the Os’ farm system, Baltimore’s minor league teams have had major success. Four out of the five teams finished the 2015 season with winning records, with only the high single-A affiliate Frederick Keys finishing on the losing end. Out of the four teams with winning records, both double-A Bowie and triple-A Norfolk clinched division titles, and will be heading to the playoffs this week. The New York-Penn League affiliate Aberdeen Ironbirds also are looking for a playoff birth today, that game is set to start at 6:35.
Let’s take a quick look at both Norfolk’s and Bowie’s seasons in review, and see how they both might fair in the playoffs.
The Norfolk Tides were able to clinch the International League South Division title on Sunday, beating Durham (Rays) 8-4 to clinch the title. The Tides’ finished the 2015 regular season with a 78-66 record, which was the third best record in the International League. Tickets for the Tides first round match-up are available at NorfolkTides.com, and will also be available at Harbor Park on Tuesday at 10:00 EST.
The Tides’ players had a very successful campaign as well. First Baseman Christian Walker had a remarkable season, leading the team in runs (68), home runs (18), and RBI’s (74). Walker finished the year with a .257 batting average. Walker wasn’t the only Tide player to finish on the plus side. Left Fielder Henry Urrutia finished with a .291 batting average in the minors, as well as hitting a walk off home run in his first major league game with the Os’. RHP Mike Wright finished with a 9-1 record, and a 2.22 ERA. RH reliever Oliver Drake also finished the year with 23 saves.
The Bowie Baysox clinched the Eastern League Western Division last Thursday, beating Altoona 6-3. Bowie finished 2015 with a 79-63 record, second best in the Eastern League.Tickets for the Baysox’ first round series can be bought at Baysox.com. First pitch is set for 7:05 on Friday.
Bowie had a very successful 2015 campaign as well, with many breakout players stepping up in double-A play. Left Fielder Quincy Latimore was a stud at Bowie this season. Latimore led the team in batting average (.274), runs (74), home runs (20), and RBI’s (64). Needless to say, Latimore has been the glue to this Baysox team. First Baseman Trey Mancini had a decent year as well, finishing with a combined .341 average.
All Orioles’ fans should keep tabs on these two teams, as well as the Ironbirds, as we see how far in the postseason these teams can go.