Baltimore Orioles: Bowie Baysox Feature Several Top Prospects

The 2019 minor league season is drawing near as affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles release their break camp rosters. The Bowie Baysox announced their break camp roster on Friday, featuring several top prospects.

Friday evening, in a sign that the 2019 MiLB season is closer to starting, the Bowie Baysox (Baltimore Orioles AA affiliate) announced the team’s break camp roster.  The 25-man roster will be made official later this week; it needs to be final prior to the game in Harrisburg (Washington Nationals) on Thursday, April 4th.

Whereas the Norfolk Tides (AAA) roster is full of Major League talent, the Baysox roster is full of top prospects.  Seven of the Baltimore Orioles’ Top-30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline, will take the field at Prince George’s Stadium in 2019.

The break camp roster contains 26 players: 14 pitchers, two catchers, five infielders, and five outfielders.  More than half (14) of the roster is returning to Bowie after playing all or a part of the 2018 season there.

The roster breaks down as follows:

CATCHERS Cael Brockmeyer and Martin Cervenka

INFIELDERS Rylan Bannon, Chris Clare, Anderson Feliz, Sean Miller and Preston Palmeiro

OUTFIELDERS Cole Billingsley, Yusniel Diaz, Ryan McKenna, T.J. Nichting and Ademar Rifaela

RIGHT-HANDED PITCHERS Cristian Alvarado, Tanner Chleborad, Jay Flaa, Hunter Harvey (2013 1st round draft pick), Tyler Herb, Marcos Molina, Zach Pop and Dillon Tate

LEFT-HANDED PITCHERS Tyler Erwin, Brian Gonzalez, Chris Lee, Zac Lowther, Zach Muckenhirn and Bruce Zimmermann

What excites me about the Baysox roster is exactly what should excite every fan of the Baltimore Orioles, and that is the pitching.  A rotation of Alvarado, Gonzalez, Harvey, Lowther, and Tate is worth watching.  That quintet combined for a 36-28 record in 2018 and Lowther was co-recipient of the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year award.

The bullpen will be anchored by Erwin, who led the entire organization in saves with 18 while pitching for the Frederick Keys (A-Adv.) in 2018.  Pop, acquired in the Manny Machado trade, will add strikeouts (8.9 K/9 innings) to the mix as well.

The offense will be led by Diaz and McKenna but I would advise against overlooking Clare, Nichting, Palmeiro, and Rifaela.

Regardless of your feeling about the current Orioles MLB roster and the handling of the top prospects as the rebuild under Mike Elias begins, the players in Bowie are the future of the organization and as such, deserve your full attention.

Bowie is set to be prospect nirvana.  I am sure that the autograph hunters will be happy with the prospects there: the area around the first base bullpen will be filled with autograph seekers for sure.

Eastern League opponents need to be wary of the Baysox, the team has the potential to be that good.