September 2012

Nominating Michael Ohlman

I’ve known Michael for a few years now and its hard not to root for him.  I’m writing this post to nominate Michael Ohlman for the Orioles Moe Drabowsky Comeback Player of the Year award.  The honor is handed out annually to an Orioles minor league player that has comeback from trying circumstances and has exceeded expectations.  Remember Kieron Pope – he won the award in 2010 after the horrific right femur injury. 

Michael’s off season was tumultuous to say the very least.  The suspension, the car accident, it has all been well documented so let’s hit the fast forward button. 

After playing in eight tune up games for the GCL Orioles, Ohlman was quickly called up to the Shorebirds in early July.  In 51 games (50 starts), he batted .304 with 16 doubles, two home runs and 28 RBIs.  Ohlman reached base in 47 of his 50 starts and led the team with a .411 on-base percentage.  Ohlman finished with 14 multi-hit games with the Shorebirds. 

Since he was called up to the Shorebirds, here are his rankings amongst ALL “A” ball players (South Atlantic League and Midwest League). 

  • 4th in walks with 33
  • 13th in on-base percentage (.411)
  • T-15th in doubles (16)

Another really impressive aspect of his year is the walks vs. strikeouts.  He’ll finish with 33 walks and 27 strikeouts, the only Shorebirds player with more walks than strikeouts.  He is one of only three players in the entire SAL with more walks than strikeouts (at least 100 at-bats).  Brent Keys (Greensboro, 34 BB:30 K) and Nolan Fantana (Lexington, 61 BB, 43 K) are the other two.

The final thing to consider is the advancement Ohlman has made from prior seasons.  In 2010, he batted .174 in 34 games for the Shorebirds.  He struck out double the amount of times that he walked (34K:16 BB).  In 2011, Ohlman batted .224 in 105 games for the Shorebirds (96K:48 BB).

Maybe it’s because I’ve known Michael for three years so I have a natural bias, but over my 4 years in the SAL, I don’t know if I’ve seen a player take a bigger leap from one year to the next.

Congrats to Michael on a very strong year!