ANAHEIM CA - AUGUST 29: I used to coach in the majors, and now I'm the manager for the iBirds. I should have been happier then. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
The Orioles short season teams get underway now, as the Aberdeen Ironbirds and the GCL Orioles take the field. I still miss the Bluefield Orioles, and I will be curious if Dan Duquette will advocate for an additional franchise or not.
If you recall last year, the iBirds were pretty terrible, so hopefully a new staff featuring old friends Gary Allenson and Alan Mills can have better results, although the point is to develop prospects not win ballgames. Anywho, some thoughts on the rosters:
Jaime Esquivel is a 20 year old right handed pitcher drafted in the 28th round of the 2010 draft out of a Texas high school. He fared pretty well in the GCL last year, with a 39/15 K/BB ratio in 47.1 IP and an ERA of 0.95 ERA. He did have a GB/FB ratio of 0.76. Our friends over at oriole-nation state that he has a 92 MPH FB with "good deception." Hopefully he can build on that success he had in the GCL.
Sebastian Vader is another 20 year old righty out of the 2010 draft (18th round) out of a California high school. In the GCL last year, he posted a K/BB of 44/16 in 47.2 IP with a 2.45 ERA and GB/FB ratio of 1.32.
Cameron Coffey was a 2009 bonus baby, but since signing for close to a million dollars, his track record has been mixed. He's been hurt, and the now 22 year old is still in short season A ball. Still though, a 6' 5" lefty with mid 90s stuff is something that piques interest. Last year, also in the GCL he showed some flashes, with a K/BB of 26/8 in 36.2 IP with an ERA of 2.21 and a GB/FB ratio of 0.85.
More below the jump!
Roderick Bernadina is the brother of the Nationals Roger Bernadina. Roderick is a 19 y/o right handed OF, and in the GCL last year he posted the following line: 239/341/413/754 with a K/BB of 26/22 in 184 at bats. I think that ratio combined with an iso of 174 give me reason to think the Orioles may have stumbled onto another international prospect. Baseball America did make this rather interesting statement: "Baltimore still isn't quite sure what it has in Bernadina, who's learning the nuances of outfield defense and baserunning."
Torsten Boss was the 8th rounder in this past draft. MLB dot com stated that he has 5 tool talent, though it is worth noting that he struggled in the Cape Cod league last year. So we will see how he adjusts at the pro level.
Some thoughts on the GCL:
19 year old Venezuelan righty Jhondaniel Medina has pitched well over the last two season in the DSL, posting a K/BB of 109/51 in 116 IP with a 2.72 ERA in that time. So that covers a decent chunk of innings, although it really is difficult to read a lot into it given the varying levels of skills and ages in the DSL.
This past March, the Orioles signed 19 y/o LHP Yi-Hsiang Lin out of Taiwan. According to the internet, he has an 89 MPH fastball; and here is the Taiwanese baseball link. Can anyone make a creative pun out of his last name?
This year's 3rd rounder, 18 year old Adrian Marin will debut in the GCL. He is apparently quick, smooth and athletic, but with limited power potential according to various scouting reports.
Last year's international bonus baby, Hector Veloz, has moved onto the GCL as well. He is still just 18, and last year posted the following line at the DSL: 225/344/322/666. Despite that ominous OPS, you have to like is on base skills. His K/BB last year was 62/37 in 227 at bats.
In January of this year, the Orioles signed 18 year old Guatemalan Andres Aguilar. He is a right handed OF, and a link is here, per Roch entry when the team signed him.
In some ways it feels like the GCL will be this fascinating baseball melting pot. We shall see if the Orioles can turn out some talent for duck and the Shorebirds next year.