Following a horrendous start to the 2019 season, the Bowie Baysox have clawed their way back to an above .500 record, with many notable prospects of the Baltimore Orioles settling in.
The Bowie Baysox, the Double-A affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles, entered the 2019 season with high hopes and high expectations. The roster was filled with top prospects, seven who were among the Orioles list of top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline.
The season did not start exactly as hoped; through the first 30 games, the Baysox record stood at 7-23 (.233) on May 5th. The team really struggled at the plate. Since that day, the Baysox have played .672 baseball (41-20) to improve their record to 48-43, as of Sunday evening.
Most of the heavy lifting for the turnaround occurred during the month of June. During the month, the Baysox played to a 20-7 record which represented the best month of play ever in franchise history. The team played so well that they led the entire Eastern League in most statistical categories, both offensively and on the mound.
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Baysox hitters finished on top of the Eastern League leaderboards in batting average, runs scored, RBI, hits, total bases, doubles, on-base percentage, and OPS. Additionally, the Baysox struck out the fewest times of any of the teams in the Eastern League. The pitching staff led the league in WHIP and batting average against while allowing the fewest hits; the team’s June ERA was good for second best as well.
Since the start of June, the Baysox have gone 29-9 and have won 11 consecutive series. They are the hottest team in the Eastern League.
Pacing the offense in June were third baseman Jesmuel Valentin (.329/ .380/ .429, one home run, 13 RBI), shortstop Mason McCoy (.313/ .379/ .384, 4 RBI) and second baseman Rylan Bannon (.283/ .389/ .391, one home run, 8 RBI). In fact, McCoy performed so well that the Orioles recognized him as the organization’s MiLB Player of the Month.
Four pitchers, Dean Kremer, Zac Lowther, Alex Wells, and Bruce Zimmermann, led the way this past month with 21 combined starts and a combined record of 12-5. Wells, the Orioles MiLB Pitcher of the Month, pitched to a 3-0 record over five June starts with a 2.25 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. Lowther went 4-2 in 6 starts with a 3.66 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. Kremer and Zimmermann rounded out the quartet of success with their 3-2 and 2-1 records, respectively.
Fortunately, all of this prosperity will not go to waste as the Eastern League adopted the two-half season format this year. While the Baysox finished the first half 11.0 games out of first place in the Western Division, they are currently in first place, 2.5 games up on the Altoona Curve (Pittsburgh affiliate), with a 17-5 record.
Time will tell if the Baysox earn a spot in the Eastern League playoffs but one thing is certain, the team has scratched and clawed its way back to respectability.