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 –





Bridwell – Over 140

With 13 games left in the 2013 season, Parker Bridwell leads all Orioles minor league pitchers with 131 strikeouts.  He will likely get 2-3 more starts with the Shorebirds which will leave him with a good chance of being between 140-150 K’s this season.

Who is the last Shorebirds pitcher to fan 140 batters in a single season?

The answer is Cole McCurry, who struck out 145 in 2009.

Creede Simpson’s Stretch

Creede Simpson ranks third in the South Atlantic League in batting average at .395.  He takes a six-game hit streak and a six-game RBI streak into the game on April 20.

He has 11 hits and 9 RBIs in the last six games. 

Simpson ranks fourth in the SAL in RBIs with 13. 

Simpson went 3-for-3 last night at Perdue Stadium. 

The interesting thing about Simpson is that he only played in three games during the first homestand.  He started playing everyday once Roderick Bernadina went down with an injury.

Simpson is the definition of taking full advantage of an opportunity. 

Prospect Book Arrives

I just got my 2013 Baseball America Prospect Handbook, a real jewel for any broadcaster or minor league baseball enthusiast.  It ranks the top 30 (plus a 31st) prospects in every organization.

I listed the top 15 prospects for the Orioles entering the season (again according to Baseball America).  Please note that ranking prospects is never an exact science and there will always be disagreement based on your baseball eye.

1. Dylan Bundy (2012 Shorebird)

2. Kevin Gausman

3. Jonathan Schoop (2011 Shorebird)

4. Nicky Delmonico (2012 Shorebird)

5. Eduardo Rodriguez (2012 Shorebird)

6. L.J. Hoes (2009 Shorebird)

7. Xavier Avery (2009 Shorebird)

8. Mike Wright (2011 Shorebird)

9. Branden Kline

10. Adrian Marin (2012 Shorebird)

11. Tim Berry (2011 + 2012 Shorebird)

12. Christian Walker

13. Henry Urrutia

14. Glynn Davis (2012 Shorebird)

15. Torsten Boss

Of the top 15 prospects, 10 have played for the Shorebirds within the last four years.  Of the top 30 prospects, 18 have played for the Shorebirds in the last four years.

The player that made the biggest jump from last year to this year as far as his ranking is concerned is Eduardo Rodriguez.  He was ranked 30th by Baseball America entering the 2012 season.  Now, he is ranked 5th and the 3rd best pitching prospect! Rodriguez went 5-7 with a 3.70 ERA for the Shorebirds last season.

I’m glad that Ty Kelly finally got some love from Baseball America.  He is the 30th best prospect in the system entering the season.  I get that Ty will turn 25 during the middle of the 2013 season, but his numbers are undeniable.  His career minor league numbers are strong – .283/.379/.378.  He has walked more times (247) than he has struck out (245) in four MiLB seasons.  He hit .308 in AA last year, .278 in 11 games in AAA.  Hope he gets a shot one day!

Interesting Pujols Story

I wanted to relay an interesting story about Luis Pujols that I gathered from my 30-45 minute conversation with the new Shorebirds manager before the Hot Stove Banquet on Saturday. 

Here is a little background so you understand.  From 2003-2006, he served as the first base coach of the San Francisco Giants. 

Now, during his time with the Giants, one thing he did on a daily basis was throw batting practice.  He always threw to group one (generally group one in batting practice is the top 4 hitters in the order).  Barry Bonds was always in that group.  Also in the group at times were guys like Marquis Grissom, Rich Aurilia, Edgardo Alfonzo and others.  Barry was always in the group because he batted 3rd. 

I contacted the Giants for pictures of Pujols before he was announced as manager and they sent me a great one of Pujols and Bonds (below).  Regardless of your opinion on Bonds, the point of the story is that the Shorebirds new manager has been around the game and will have a ton of neat stories like this one.  Image

Two of the Greats from 1996

BarrettVasquezRemember these two guys? Michael Barrett on the left and Javier Vazquez on the right from the 1996 inaugural Shorebirds top (Expos).  I was looking in the back and I found the photos of them.  I scanned them in and they look almost like digitals.

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!


A Preview of Next Year’s Outfield?

It seems like we could be getting a preview to what next year’s starting outfield might look like for Delmarva.  Last night (August 23), Lucas Herbst played left field, Gregory Lorenzo was in center and Roderick Bernadina was in right field.

All are relatively new to the team, so it is certainly in the realm of possibility to think that they will start 2013 with the Shorebirds.  With ten games to go, Bernadina has played in 22 games, Lorenzo has played in 11 and Herbst has played in four games.

All three have played well.  Bernadina is batting .333 (25-for-75) with a home run and nine RBIs, Lorenzo is hitting .372 (16-for-43) with two triples and an RBI while Herbst is 3-for-17 with a home run and four RBIs in four games.

Last night, the trio combined for four of the ten hits and two of the five RBIs. 

We’ll see how things shake out the rest of the year…

Hockey Night, Starr’s Night

The promotion last night (August 22) in Lakewood, New Jersey was Hockey Night.  Not exactly sure what they did for Hockey Night, but I know they played “O Canada”, the Canadian National Anthem, before our national anthem.

Shorebirds Canadian SS Sammie Starr (Toronto) coincidentally had a great game.  With the Shorebirds down 4-3 in the top of the eighth, Starr hit a two out home run to left field to tie the game. It was his fourth homer of the season and first since July 20.  The Shorebirds of course went onto win 6-4 in 10 innings.  In the tenth inning, Starr hit a sacrifice fly to center to put the Shorebirds up 6-4.

He also doubled earlier in the game.

Maybe we should play O Canada at the final three Shorebirds home games?

By the way, Starr takes a four game hit streak into game one against Hagerstown.

Some other notes…

  • Gregory Lorenzo has hit safely in eight straight games and nine of his ten played
  • Roderick Bernadina has hit safely in 16 of 21 games played
  • With the win last night, the Shorebirds secured their first series win in August
  • Eduardo Rodriguez lowered his ERA to 3.23 after last night, sixth best in the SAL
  • The Shorebirds are now 7-7 this season in extra innings games



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