October 2013

Trivia Question

How many former Shorebirds players have a MLB World Series ring?

  1. Orlando Cabrera, who played for the Shorebirds in 1996, won a world series title with the Boston Red Sox back in 2004.  He actually started that season with the Expos before being part of a monster 4-team deal that shipped him to the Sox.  Nomar Garciaparra was part of the deal – he was dealt to the Chicago Cubs. 
  2. Jayson Werth, who played for the Shorebirds in 1997, won a WS ring with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008.  Werth had eight hits and a HR in the World Series that season. 

Are we missing anyone?

Stats Don’t Mean Much

We love to pour over statistics and pass judgement on players based on the numbers.  It’s natural because it’s an easy way to qualitatively measure a players ability against his peers. 

However, the more and more I think, the more and more I’m convinced that numbers at this level (SAL), don’t really tell a great story.  There are just to many examples of guys that had average to poor numbers with the Shorebirds that have gone on to do well at the higher levels including the major leagues. 

My favorite example is Pedro Florimon.  Yes, I’m talking about the starting shortstop for the Minnesota Twins (the MAJOR league club!).  In 2007, he batted .197 in 111 games for the Shorebirds.  In 2008, he hit .223 in 81 games for the Shorebirds.  Don’t be so quick to judge.

I was recently talking to Steve Melewski from MASN and he brought up the case of Chris Tillman, yes the ace of the Orioles pitching staff.  In 2007, he pitched for High Desert (California League).  He had a 5.26 ERA in 20 starts.  Don’t be so quick to judge.

How about more recent examples.  Let’s take Tim Berry, who pitched for the Shorebirds in 2011 and 2012.  In 2011, he posted a 5.21 ERA and in 2012 he had a 5.02 ERA.  This year, he lowered his ERA to 3.85 for the Keys and is now pitching in the Arizona Fall League.  Don’t be so take to judge.

Even a kid like Jacob Pettit – a 42nd rounder that had a 4.42 ERA in 2011 for the Shorebirds.  This year, he made five appearances (four starts) in Triple-A.

Now, of course there are plenty of examples of guys that had great statistics at the lower levels and were destined.  Like, Chris Davis (or “Crush”).  In six minor league seasons, he batted .318.

My point is this – just because a guy doesn’t hit .300 or doesn’t have a 3.00 ERA don’t be so quick to rule him out. 

Hunter Harvey Starts Here?

It seems like every off-season, there is one blue chip prospect that fans cross their fingers for.  This year, it is pitching prospect Hunter Harvey, who the Orioles selected in the first round (22nd overall) in the 2013 First Year Player Draft.

Here is the quick low down on Harvey…

Between the GCL and Aberdeen in 2013, he went 0-1 with a stellar 1.78 ERA in eight starts.  In 25.1 innings, he allowed 21 hits and five earned runs.  The 18-year old struck out 33 and walked only six batters.

So, he is obviously advanced for his age. 

Now, does he start with the Shorebirds in 2014?

The precedent that has been set over the last number of years leads you to believe the answer is yes.  Think about all the high school first rounders the Orioles have drafted and where they started the following year after they were drafted.

Matt Hobgood – 1st round 2009, started with Shorebirds in 2010

Manny Machado – 1st round 2010, started with the Shorebirds in 2011

Dylan Bundy – 1st round 2011, started with the Shorebirds in 2012

Of course we know that the precedent is drastically different for college first round draft picks.  Take for example Matt Wieters (2007), Brian Matusz (2008) and Kevin Gausman (2012).  All were drafted in the first round by the Orioles out of college and all three skipped this level. 

I know many Shorebirds/Orioles fans don’t want me to do this, but even go back to 2006 when Billy Rowell was the Orioles first round pick.  In 2007, he started with the Shorebirds.

How about 2005? Yep, Brandon Snyder was the Orioles first rounder and he started with the Shorebirds in 2006.  He didn’t have great success (.194) and was moved to Aberdeen once the NYPL began in June. 

So, the conclusion is that there is a good chance Hunter Harvey starts with the Shorebirds in 2014.

Planeta – College Basketball Player

He was a fan favorite for good reason when he played for the Delmarva Shorebirds during parts of three season – 2010, 2011, 2012.  Not only was he a hard-nosed player, but he was exceptional to fans before and after games.  You’d be hard pressed to find a more personable and approachable athlete.  Of course, I’m writing about Mikey Planeta. 

I was recently communicating with Mikey back-and-forth over text messages, so I thought I’d give you an update.

He played in 12 games with the Frederick Keys this past season, before he was released by the Orioles.


Planeta is a freshman guard at Point Loma Nazarene University, a Division II program in Bakersfield, California.  He will wear #11 for PLNU.

We’ll keep tabs on Mikey as he transitions from baseball to basketball.

Best Mikey!

Here is the roster – http://www.plnusealions.com/roster.aspx?path=mbball