March 24, 2012; Sarasota, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles players stand outside the dugout during the national anthem before a spring training game against the Washington Nationals at Ed Smith Stadium.
Brenden Webb is a 6'3", left-handed outfielder that was drafted by the Orioles as a 19 year old in the 30th round of the 2009 amateur draft. Webb currently plays outfield for the Delmarva Shorebirds. The tiny Palomar Community College where Webb played his college ball has been the home of many the offspring of former major leaguers (Deron Johnson, Jr., Garry Templeton, Jr., Greg Bochy, two Nettles boys) and has also produced a couple major league executives Deron Johnson and Randy Johnson, but to date has not produced an impact major league player.
Webb was a highly rated high school player at Mt. Carmel High School in San Diego (alum include Billy Beane and Eric Chavez). Webb had committed to play at the University of Southern California before being drafted by the Orioles. Between his season at Palomar and signing with the Orioles, he played in the wooden bat North Woods League in the summer of 2009. In the NWL, he slashed .219/.362/.400 on the strength of 24 BB and 14 XBH in 105 AB. After signing for $250,000 with the Orioles, Webb finished the year at Rookie League Bluefield, where he continued to demonstrate patience (10 BB/54 PA), but had trouble finding his power stroke (.233 SLG). His 2010 and 2011 seasons were similarly characterized by his trademark patience and flashes of power, but Webb really seemed to blossom in the 2011 offseason with the Perth Heat of the Australian Winter League. Webb slashed .270/.421/.590 during his Australian jaunt, but given the similarly gaudy numbers posted by Mychal Givens, you would not be out of line for suggesting that ABL favors hitters. However, Webb was 4th in the league in walks and the only arguable prospect in the conversation for that category.
Webb has begun this season at Delmarva on a tear and it's hard to picture him staying much longer. While he's batting average has hovered in the low 240s, his wOBA currently sits at a sturdy .393, good for 8th in the Sally League while his .213 ISO put him at 10th and he leads the league in walk rate. This month he is only batting .200, but is getting on base about 52% of the time and slugging .514! Webb also brings some speed and defense to the table. He has stolen 11 bases in 14 tries and already has 8 outfield assists (he had 15 last season).
Concerns obviously linger about his low contact rate and propensity to strikeout (his 22.4% K rate this month is the lowest of his career), but these seem to be balanced out by his power and on base skills. At any rate, it seems like Brenden Webb needs more of a challenge and it's not like there are too many obstacles in his path.