Baltimore Orioles: What the O’s got in the Konner Wade Hot Stove deal
Earlier in this Hot Stove week, the Baltimore Orioles signed Konner Wade from the Colorado Rockies.
To acquire this right-handed pitcher, the Baltimore Orioles had to give up $500,000 of International Bonus Pool money.
This seems to be the Orioles modus operandi as they continue to acquire minor league talent in exchange for the ability to sign players from Latin American and Asian countries.
Who is Konner Wade and what are the Orioles getting from this 25-year-old pitcher?
Not much bonus pool money remaining
Hopefully, he’ll provide something valuable, since the O’s only have $500,000 of bonus pool money remaining, according to an article on ESPN.com. This puts them out of the running for Shohei Otani or most other talented international players. The Orioles had $5.75 million of bonus pool money.
Wade was drafted twice. First, by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 35th round in 2010 and secondly, by the Colorado Rockies in the 7th round of the 2013 draft. Instead of joining the Diamondbacks in 2010, he chose to attend the University of Arizona instead. A little bit of trivia: Joey Rickard also attended Arizona and the pair played together.
A little history on Wade
Since joining the Rockies, Wade had pitched in all minor-league levels except Triple-A. Each year, he has moved up the ladder and in 2017, he spent the entire season with Double-A Hartford Yard Goats. There, he started in 15 games, but pitched in 33 total. His ERA was 4.28. Since the team is located in Hartford, Connecticut, his ERA cannot be attributed to pitching in the altitude that adds to so many Colorado pitchers’ stats.
Even though Wade pitched in Double-A, he did not give up many home runs. He faced 456 batters and only gave up 15 home runs. This could be a real bonus for the Orioles, who need pitchers who do not give up long balls.
He also had satisfying strikeout numbers; he K’d 79 batters. In fact, his strikeout percentage (13.9%) was the best he’s ever had in his five seasons in the minors. His walk rate in 2017 was also the lowest he’s ever had at 4.6%. This is another pitching stat that the Orioles have to be seriously considering for 2018 and beyond.
Wade appears to be a ground-ball pitcher as over 50% of his batted balls end up as grounders. Batters facing him will hit fly balls more than line drives, by a rate of 2-1. This was not always the case when he began in the minors.
Next: Orioles Spring Training caps and schedule released
Wade may not show up in Baltimore in 2018. Without time spent in Triple-A, he may not have the seasoning that Major League teams like to see. But, at 25, he shouldn’t spend too much time working on his pitches. The Orioles may have found a pitcher they can live with for a while. But, of course, with all minor league pitchers, only time will tell.