Baltimore Orioles Minors Monday: Pitcher Dean Kremer
With the delayed start of the 2020 MLB season, Baltimore Orioles prospects are stuck working out at home, practicing social distancing.
For pitching prospects like Baltimore Orioles Dean Kremer, there are pros and cons to the delayed start. His arm gets to rest, but he also doesn’t get to see live games. The best way for any young pitcher to grow is to face live batters.
Kremer joined the Orioles in the Manny Machado trade in July 2018. At this moment, he’s considered the #9 prospect in the Orioles minors. In the Machado trade, he should be the first pitcher to debut in the MLB.
The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher was originally drafted by the Dodgers in 2016 after one season at UNLV. Prior to his time at UNLV, he pitched for San Joaquin Delta College, and was named a third-team All-American in his freshman season. His claim to fame is that he is the first Israeli-born player to be drafted into the MLB. Despite being born in Isreali, his hometown is in Stockton, CA.
It is clear that the Orioles front office is expecting him to join the Show, soon. He pitched in the Arizona Fall League in 2019, which is often a stepping stone to the MLB. In Arizona, he started in five games and had one relief appearance. In 19 innings, his ERA was 2.37 and his WHIP was an impressive 0.895.
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He also saw some time in Spring Training. He faced 23 batters and ended the short season with no ERA, but a WHIP of 1.500. In 2019, he pitched in Single-A+, Double-A, and Triple-A. He struggled at bit in Norfolk, with an ERA of 8.84 and a WHIP of 1.759. It is likely that he will pitch in Triple-A to start the 2020 season – if the minors start up this summer.
Standing at 6’3, he is slight at 180 pounds. For comparison, John Means is 6’3 and 230 pounds. Kremer’s frame could make him more susceptible to injuries, and his oblique injury in 2019 could be a sign of things to come.
If we get to watch Kremer in 2020, pay attention to his curveball. He can control the pitch for strikes and for swings and misses. His two-seam fastball reaches speeds between 92 and 96 MPH. Left-handed hitters struggle with his two-seamer, especially when he includes a few changeups in the mix. He’s also got a slider that he throws occasionally.
With four pitches under his belt, Kremer looks to be an asset who could become a fourth or fifth starter for the Birds. If he does, then he could be one reason the Orioles succeeded in the Machado trade.