Baltimore Orioles Prospect Update: Farm report for June 25

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Here's a roundup of the past week of Orioles minor-league action. As the big-league club struggles, eyes have turned to the talent below the surface entering the last week of June.

Baltimore Orioles Prospects: Norfolk Tides finally struggle

Norfolk Tides
Lost series with Lehigh IronPigs 1-5

Far from the Tides' best work on the season
. There was some roster shuffling to overcome, with Nick Maton surprisingly replacing Kyle Stowers on the big-league 26-man roster before Heston Kjerstad took the spot last evening after Maton was DFA'd. Still trying to make sense of the Stowers option, who was batting .286 for the Orioles-- on top of the fact that Maton never even made an appearance. But we'll see how it pans out.

Top prospects Connor Norby and Coby Mayo were each outstanding. Norby hit two home runs and drove in seven, while Mayo ripped .350 with a dinger of his own. With the rapidly growing need for pitching at the major league level, the two are surely being discussed in potential trade packages. If either were to be moved, given the organizational logjam at middle infield, my bet would be on Norby.

Shoutout to Anthony Servideo! All he's done is hit since being promoted to the Triple-A club, collecting a hit in all nine appearances for the Tides, including a long ball on Wednesday. Don't expect him at OPACY anytime soon, but he's been a fun player to watch throughout the minors.

This rehab stint hasn't been kind to Dean Kremer, who failed to escape the first on Saturday after allowing five earned on five hits and a walk. He's been a really solid member of the Baltimore rotation, and I know that minor league success/struggles don't always translate upward, but it's been discouraging, per the eye test.

Genuinely curious how close Julio Teheran could be to a potential call up. He only allowed one IronPig to score over six innings on Friday, his second consecutive quality start for Norfolk, and has had success on the major league level before -- albeit long ago. At present, it feels like a desperate move, but it could be a rock for Mike Elias to turn over at some point in the near future.

Pessimistically, I'd expect a Teheran promotion before Chayce McDermott gets the call. The man racks up strikeouts, as evidenced by his eight whiffs over 5.2 innings on Wednesday, but the 5.5 BB/9 is glaring. Don't expect him to be rushed up until that's cleaned up.

Bowie Baysox
Lost series with Altoona Curve 1-5

Just like Norfolk, the Baysox had a difficult go of things, dropping five of six to the Pirates' Double-A affiliate. The offense had a few solid nights, but no major individual production. No. 2 prospect Samuel Basallo was quiet overall, managing just five hits and four runs scored. Nothing to worry about, but surely a key factor in the team's poor week.

Jud Fabian's coming off a six-RBI week, doing so on just four hits-- and shockingly without help from the long ball. As pure as his power tool is, if an opposing club was hellbent on him being part of a trade package, it shouldn't bother the Orioles much to part ways with him. The .240 career average isn't exactly eye-catching, nor is an on-base percentage that's dropped in each of his pro seasons. Now could be a sell-high time, with plenty of needs to fill.

Like the aforementioned Anthony Servideo, Frederick Bencosme finds himself in the midst of a nine-game hitting streak after collecting hits in all six games against Altoona. The 21-year-old, weighing in at just 160 pounds, doesn't have a traditional build for the big leagues, but he's had really solid stretches at all levels in this minor league system. Doubt it happens here, but keep an eye on the kid long-term.

Pretty great week out of Cameron Weston on the mound, totaling 8.1 innings and 10 strikeouts in his two starts. He's rocking a 2.33 ERA across High-A and Double-A ball this year, striking out 11 per nine innings with a paltry .172 average against. He'll be a top-30 prospect for the club once the midseason rankings come out

Like Dean Kremer, 10th-ranked Seth Johnson also failed to escape the first inning in his one start of the week, walking four of the six batters he faced before getting the hook. He showed a ton of promise early on, but his K/9 numbers are down compared to his career numbers, while his walk numbers are way up. Could be another sell-high guy here.

Trace Bright dropped to 0-7 on the season in 13 starts. That first decision victory has to be coming sometime soon!

Aberdeen Ironbirds
Tied series with Wilmington Blue Rocks 3-3

A big welcome back to Reed Trimble! After a brief rehab stay in Delmarva, the 2021 third-round competitive balance pick is back with the Ironbirds. He's never surpassed the High-A level, but that could be in line to change here soon. Trimble's batting .286 through 17 games this season at Aberdeen, with an even more impressive .408 OBP. If he keeps that up, won't be long 'til Bowie comes calling.

Enrique Bradfield Jr. only went 4-for-19 at the dish, but sure made his mark on the basepaths, going 5-of-6 on the week, including a four-steal Wednesday. Last year's first-rounder is an absolutely electric baseball player -- everywhere but at the plate. Way too early to quit on him, but as of today, it seems like his ceiling might be Cedric Mullins with less power and a little more speed.

While Creed Willems gets all the love, and rightfully so, fellow catcher Adam Retzbach has been on a quiet heater. After an ice cold first two months of 2024, Retzbach's boasting .318/.444/.682 slashes in June, plus two home runs and 10 RBI. He brought in six on four hits against the Blue Rocks.

Luis de Leon's continued his smooth transition to the High-A level, striking out five and allowing just one earned over four frames on Wednesday. The 6'3" lefty is walking batters at career low rates, while rocking a 3.20 ERA over 50.2 innings -- and he's only 21 years old. Nice international find by Elias.

14th-rounder Michael Forret's forming into an interesting arm as well. He relieved de Leon, racking up eight K's in three scoreless innings. You wouldn't assume he played at a small school like Florida Manatee-Sarasota with how quickly he's adapted to pro ball.

Delmarva Shorebirds
Tied series with Fayetteville Woodpeckers 3-3

What's Aron Estrada got to do to get moved up to Aberdeen?! The 19-year-old went 9-for-26 with two long balls and six RBI on the series, boosting his average to .307 since the end of a cold April. He's got some wheels, too, swiping four bags in his six appearances. Would like to see him work more walks, though.

22nd-rated O's prospect Thomas Sosa also roughed up the Woodpeckers, collecting a hit in every game en route to a .370/1/6 line. Like Estrada, he's also only 19 years young, but Sosa is 6'3" and 160 pounds. And he hits the ball hard. If that frame fills out some, he could turn into a real power threat.

Brutal pitching on the week from Shorebirds' pitchers, with four guys allowing six or more earned runs. Carter Baumler was not one of them, however, working a scoreless frame in his first live action since May 12. Feels like the once-touted righty's clock is ticking, after an injury riddled four years so far in the minors. Hoping he can sustain his health and build up some momentum over the second half of the season.

Eccel Correa had another nice start for Delmarva on Saturday, tossing four shutout innings while surrendering two hits and two runs. Outside of a disastrous eight-run affair against the Carolina Mudcats, the 20-year-old Cuban has allowed more than one earned run only one other time in seven Single-A starts. He's quietly becoming the ace of the rotation down on the shore.

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