Baltimore Orioles RHP Prospect James Teague Retires
Baltimore Orioles RHP James Teague has retired from professional baseball in order to pursue a career in law.
In a move that was made with little to no fanfare and one that was probably missed by most fans, Baltimore Orioles RHP prospect James Teague has opted to retire from professional baseball. The move was made official on Monday, January 28th and is reflected on his MiLB page.
The retirement was confirmed to me by Teague’s father, prominent Arkansas attorney, Robert Teague. This marks the second retirement in the Orioles’ organization this month; I shared the news of Drew Dosch‘s earlier retirement here.
Teague was drafted by the Orioles in the 37th round of the 2016 MLB Draft out of the University of Arkansas. In a three year career with the Razorbacks, Teague made 49 appearances (12 starts) and pitched to a 10-8 record with two saves in 106.0 innings of work. He finished his collegiate career with a 4.58 ERA, 90 strikeouts, and 58 walks while allowing an opponent’s batting average of .266.
Teague finishes his Orioles’ career after four seasons in the organization. He owned a 6-5 record and converted 13 of his 19 save opportunities. In a span of 71.1 innings over 54 appearances, he pitched to a 4.16 ERA and 1.44 WHIP while striking out 80 and walking 38.
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Pitching at four stops (Rookie, A-Short, A-Low and A-High) on the road to Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Teague’s most recent effort (2018) came in Frederick where he made 13 appearances and pitched 16.1 innings. Posting a 1-3 record with two saves (three opportunities), Teague struggled to a 9.37 ERA and 2.14 WHIP while issuing 13 free-passes and striking out 15.
This is not the first time Teague has retired from the game. In May of last season, the Orioles wanted to assign Teague to the Aberdeen Ironbirds of the New York-Penn League and at that time, he retired rather than spend a third consecutive season in Aberdeen.
Teague returned to the Keys after about a month and made three appearances before being placed on the disabled list with a strained right forearm. Unable to fully recover from the strain, Teague’s 2018 season in Frederick ended on a sour note: a two-thirds of an inning appearance against the Salem Red Sox in which he allowed five earned runs and was tagged with the loss.
Long a personal favorite of mine, Teague has made the decision to follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue a law career. His retirement, while unexpected, is not surprising in light of the fact that he was unable to return from the right forearm strain.
While unable to reach the heights in professional baseball that he may have wanted to, I have no doubt that Teague will succeed in the next chapter of his life. I wish him well as he moves from the mound to the courtroom.