Baltimore Orioles: Brenan Hanifee Rebounds Well For Frederick Keys
By Nick Stevens
After a tough start to the 2019 season, Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Brenan Hanifee put in a solid outing on Tuesday night for the Frederick Keys.
At just 20 years of age, Baltimore Orioles pitching prospect Brenan Hanifee finds himself as the 11th-ranked prospect in the organization and pitching in the Carolina League for the Advanced-A Frederick Keys.
His first two starts were a bit rocky (8 H, 8 ER, 8 BB, 4 K) as Hanifee adjusted to a new season and a new level of professional baseball, but he settled in nicely on Tuesday evening, taking on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans (Chicago Cubs affiliate) in a road start.
The 6’5″ righty worked a clean first inning, sitting down the final two outs of the frame via the strikeout, including a swinging strikeout of Carlos Sepulveda. Hanifee would allow one walk in the second inning (wiped away by Jean Carrillo‘s accurate gun behind the plate), but took a no-hitter into the fourth inning.
Armed with a 4-0 lead in the bottom of the fourth. Hanifee issued a walk and two singles before inducing a double play on a weak chopper up the middle. His defense tried to end the threat earlier on another weak chopper up the middle, but the ball took a little too long to get to shortstop Yeltsin Gudino, recently acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays.
Hanifee ended his night with a 12-pitch fifth inning, working two swinging strikeouts and earning his first win of 2019.
Without video coverage of his first two starts, it’s hard to compare his Tuesday night outing to his previous two, however, the former fourth-round pick of the Baltimore Orioles looked confident and locked in throughout his outing, even when he worked himself into trouble.
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The command wasn’t crisp all night, but the movement he can generate on pitches is eye-opening. If you didn’t click on the previous link to see what I’m referring to, check it out here and watch for yourself. Of the two hits he allowed, one was a jam shot fisted into right field as he limited hard contact throughout the night. When he’s on his game, Hanifee can avoid the barrel of a bat with the best of them and he showed a bit of that against Pelican hitters.
There wasn’t a radar gun on the broadcast and the duo announcing the game mentioned just one velocity reading (a 91 mph fastball later in the outing), however, the movement was ridiculous all night long.
One thing Hanifee has not had trouble replicating in the Carolina League is groundball outs. He produced five in each of his first two starts and six last night. He’s posted groundball rates of 58% and 54.5% in his first two seasons and is just above 47% through his first three starts with the Keys.
The Baltimore Orioles High-A affiliate wrap up their series in Myrtle Beach tonight before heading back home for a four-game set against the Salem Red Sox.