Baltimore Orioles prospect Daniel Fajardo has had a big hand in guiding the Delmarva pitching staff in his second stint in Low-A.
Earlier this year there were a few surprises among the announced assignments in the Baltimore Orioles Minor League system.
One in particular, was both confusing and disappointing. That was the assignment of catcher Daniel Fajardo to the Delmarva Shorebirds (A-Low).
Fajardo spent the 2018 season in Frederick (A-Adv.), so a move “down” to Delmarva was a bit surprising. I believed that he was a candidate to move to Bowie in 2019; however, the Baltimore Orioles had other plans.
The move did make some sense in that the organization had a glut of catchers especially with the additions of Pedro Severino and Jesus Sucre to the Major League club. Fajardo, while not happy with the move, has made the best of his time in Delmarva and as the numbers prove he has become a valuable asset.
The 24-year-old catcher has provided veteran leadership and guidance to a young pitching staff that is led by two 19-year-olds: Drew Rom and Grayson Rodriguez. The Shorebirds are 38-11 entering play on Monday and Fajardo has been a big part of that success.
In the 26 games that Fajardo has started behind the plate, the team has produced a 23-3 record.
Overall, the Shorebirds team ERA stands at 3.04, but with Fajardo catching the staff ERA is 1.92. He has thrown out 40% of would-be base stealers (12/30) as well. Additionally, he has caught six of the team’s seven shutouts in 2019.
Defensively, Fajardo’s fielding percentage sits at 1.000 with no errors and 28 defensive assists; he has three passed balls, however. The bottom line is that Fajardo is bringing out the best in the Shorebirds pitching staff.
In addition, the Low-A starter has also been dependable with the bat. His slash line sits at .274/ .299/ .283 with 11 RBI on the season. A little more power would be helpful in light of his lone extra-base hit (a double) this year but when all is said and done his contributions towards calling and receiving a game is far more valuable than what he produces at the plate.
The goal, especially at this level of the Minor Leagues, is development and a catcher with experience who can impart that experience to a pitching staff is a valuable commodity. There is no doubt that the Delmarva pitching staff is happy to have Fajardo to lean on and learn from.
As we approach the Minor League All-Star break and the traditional time when MiLB promotions are made, it will be interesting to see what becomes of the Delmarva pitching staff and Fajardo.