We are all very aware that the pitching depth in the organization is rich. The Orioles have managed (through drafting and trades) to position themselves to possibly have a devastating rotation in the near future. The names are there: Matusz, Tillman, and Arrieta. We affectionately refer to them as 'The Big 3'. Sort of ESPN Celtics like, but whatever.
Another pitching prospect that many O's fans have certainly caught wind of is local boy Brandon Erbe. Selected in the 3rd round of the '05 draft, Erbe was a childhood Birds fan growing up in Owings Mills. Since being drafted, Brandon has definitely had his ups and downs. This makes it hard to remember that Erbe, now playing in his fifth professional season, is ONLY 21 years old!
Throughout his minor league career, Brandon's stat line has had a consistent feel: more losses than wins, a generally decent ERA, and a lot of K's. His development has been called slow by many, which could be fair I suppose. He features a low-mid 90's fastball, tight slider, another slower breaking pitch, a cutter of sorts, and is working on his change up. Control can be an issue, but not to the point that it destroys his starts.
2009 has yielded a strange start for Erbe. His record is a dismal 0-3, however this can be directly attributed to the face that Brandon Snyder is the only worthwhile hitter in the Bowie lineup. He has a sparkling 1.29 ERA, has held opponents to a .157 BA, and is tied with GQ Arrieta for the team lead with 16 K's.
Ladies and gentlemen, I feel confident in saying that Brandon Erbe has the stuff (both physically and mentally) to be an above average major leaguer. I have had the chance to meet Brandon a few times and the guy fully understands that nothing will come easy now that Baltimore is the place for future pitching stars. So here's to making the Big 3 into the Big 3.1, cheers all!