Baby Birds Weekly Recap (Aug 23-29)
It was a busy week for Orioles prospects that was filled with exciting promotions and standout individual performances, so let’s recap!
AAA: Norfolk Tides (3-3 at Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp)
MVP: RHP Mike Baumann (5.0 IP, 2 H, BB, 4 K)
With all of Orioles Twitter clamoring for Gunnar Henderson’s promotion and insiders explaining the decision to held up the current best Oriole prospect, the third baseman had a quiet performance (4-20, but three hits against a lefty pitcher). On the other side, Jordan Westburg smashed two dingers in Florida in a week highlighted by under-the-radar prospects such as Cadyn Greiner (1.615 OPS).
On the pitching side, the most recent waiver claim made his debut in organization: RHP Phoenix Saunders (one walk in relief). Chris Vallimont (6.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 4 K in two games) and Drew Rom (5.0 IP, 4 H, ER, 2 BB, 4 K) were solid.
Veteran to watch: C Jacob Nottingham (8-18, 2 HR, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 5 R, 2 SB, 1.454 OPS)
Remember this name? He’s one the Orioles should consider calling up when rosters expand in September.
Next series: vs. Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs
Orioles: Grayson Rodriguez Set to Make His Return
The Orioles prized pitching prospect will make his first rehab start three months after an untimely injury.
AA: Bowie Baysox (4-2 vs Altoona Curve)
MVP: OF Colton Cowser (10-23, HR, 2 2B, 6 RBI, 7 R, 1.152 OPS)
A great farewell for Cowser, the 5th overall pick in 2021 MLB draft who was promoted to Norfolk alongside SS Joey Ortiz (8-25, 4 2B). With Ortiz, Norfolk now have 8 infielders in their roster. For the Baysox, Connor Norby was the best 2B from last week.
From the pitching staff, Justin Armbruester was the highlight. In his lone apperance, he punched out 8 in 5.2 innings (allowed one earned run via HR). Brennan Hanifee continue his comeback (5.0 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 4 K). Cade Povich struck out seven in his five innings of work, but allowed five runs.
The Week That Was in the land of Orioles Prospects
Their next matchup will be crucial for playoff aspirations. Both teams are 33-18 in the second half with three series to play.
Next series: at Erie Seawolves
High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds (4-2 vs/at Wilmington Blue Rocks)
MVP: IF Darell Hernaiz (8-22, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, 9 R, 4 SB, .945 OPS)
Another goodbye. Darell Hernaiz is going to Bowie replace Ortiz. Hernaiz is yet another fast riser this year, like Cowser and Jud Fabian (more on Delmarva recap). Like our friends from BSL On The Verge say, he’s truly underrated. Aberdeen says welcome to another hidden gem: IF Frederick Bencosme. The other headlines from the offense: TT Bowens (perfect in his lone game, 3-3 with a double and 3 RBI) and Isaac Bellony (6-16). With the newcomer, the IronBirds bats are ready for High-A playoffs.
On the mound, it was solid efforts all around from pitching side: nine pitchers didn’t allow earned runs and only five of them had a plus-3 ERA. They are ready, too.
Unranked to watch: 1B Maxwell Costes (Maryland pride)
The University of Maryland product debuted last week for Aberdeen and the 2022 undrafted finished 3-8 with a .875 OPS.
Next series: vs Hickory Crawdads
Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds (4-2 vs Lynchburg Hillcats)
MVP: OF Jud Fabian (8-23, 2 HR, 2 3B, 2B, 5 RBI, 8 R, 1.249 OPS)
One of the many prospects to receive a promotion this week, Fabian was sent to Aberdeen after two outstanding weeks in Low-A in a series with some walkoffs by Reed Trimble and Creed Willems. Overall, the offense was on fire, leading by Carter Young with 9 hits, Trimble with 8 RBI and Dylan Beavers with 3 doubles and more walks (6) than stirkeouts (3). And I don’t forget: Jackson Holliday, the #1 overall pick from last draft, debut for Delmarva with a double in his first game.
The best from pitching staff was Conor Grady, with 9 K’s in two games (3.72 ERA). Reese Sharp and Trace Bright, picks from last draft, didn’t allow a run.
Next series: at Fredericksburg Nationals