Baltimore Orioles: Bowie Baysox rotation could be one to watch in 2019
There are flaws in the Baltimore Orioles minor league system, but the Bowie Baysox rotation is shaping up to be dominant
It may be early in the Baltimore Orioles‘ off-season and it certainly is in regards to the team’s rebuild, but it’s never too early to look ahead and speculate. As I look ahead to the Bowie Baysox (AA) season, I see a rotation that has the makings of a dominant one.
If things fall the right way during Spring Training, the Bowie Baysox could start the 2019 season with a rotation that will be a “must-see” one. Three-fifths of that rotation could be a major part of the Orioles future.
I expect the Bowie Baysox rotation to be anchored by the trio of Dean Kremer, Zac Lowther and Dillon Tate.
Kremer and Tate, acquired in the Manny Machado trade and the Zach Britton trade respectively, both finished the 2018 season with the Baysox, while Lowther finished his season with the Frederick Keys (A-High).
Kremer, originally the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 14th round draft pick in 2016, made eight starts for the Bowie Baysox after the trade, and produced a 4-2 record with a 2.58 ERA over 45.1 innings. He struck out 53 Eastern League batters and in fact was recognized at season’s end as the Minor League strike-out leader with 178 total for the season.
Lowther, the Orioles’ Competitive Balance Round B pick in 2017, is on the fast track through the organization. He was promoted to Frederick after a dominant start in Delmarva (A-Low) in 2018.
More from Birds Watcher
- Baltimore Orioles Sign RP Mychal Givens
- Gunnar Henderson: Destroyer of Four-Seam Fastballs
- Which Current Baltimore Orioles Pitchers Have the Best Curveballs?
- Orioles News: Should the O’s Pursue Eovaldi? + More MLB News
- Should the Baltimore Orioles Consider Signing Nathan Eovaldi?
Pitching for two teams in 2018, Lowther finished with an 8-4 record over 23 games combined, that was accompanied by a 2.18 ERA and 151 strikeouts. His performance earned him recognition as the co-winner of the organization’s Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year Award (Keegan Akin was the other co-winner).
Tate was the Texas Rangers’ first round draft pick in 2015 and did struggle a bit after being traded to the Orioles. He finished with a 2-3 record and a 5.75 ERA for the Baysox but despite that, was added to the Orioles 40-man roster in November in order to protect him from Rule-5 draft exposure. He has an above-average fastball and slider but does need more development time as a starting pitcher.
This trio, especially with the strike out potential of both Kremer and Lowther, could dominate the Eastern League in 2019 and could arrive in Baltimore as soon as late-2020. Regardless, all three of them are prospects to watch.