Orioles Minor League Rundown 9/2/13: Mike Wright strong as Norfolk falls short; Aberdeen IronBirds clinch playoffs

Congrats to the Ironbirds on making the Postseason!

The season drew to a close for most of the Orioles minor league affiliates, with Triple-A Norfolk losing 1-0 in 10 innings despite 6.2 scoreless from Mike Wright. The Aberdeen IronBirds clinched their first playoff birth with a win Monday.

Durham (Rays) 1, Norfolk 0. (10 innings)

The Tides needed either a win or a Rochester loss to ensure an International League wild card berth. They got neither. (RHP) Mike Wright was promoted from AA Bowie to make the start and he did not disappoint: 6.2 IP, 6H, 0BBs, 0R, 2Ks. This performance caps off just an exceptional season for the 23 year old 2011 3rd round pick. 27 starts, 150.1 IP, a 3.11 ERA, 136 Ks to 39 BBs, just 9 HRs allowed. Look for him to join the Orioles at some point in 2014.

Unfortunately for the Tides, the bats just weren't able to generate much in the way of offense in this game. (DH) Chris Dickerson put up a 2-4, w/ a 2B. And (2B) Jonathan Schoop got on base 2 times in 4 PAs, via a single and a walk. (RF) Henry Urrutia went 0-4, w/ 1K.

After the game it was announced that Schoop, Urrutia, and (RHP) Josh Stinson would join the O's immediately. Others will head to Sarasota to stay fresh and await a future call up.

Final Record: 77-67

Bowie 3, Erie (Tigers) 6 (Game 1. PPD on Sept 1.)

Longtime O's organization journeyman, (RHP) Tim Bascom made a spot start yesterday before the game was postponed by rain. He went just 2 innings and allowed 4 ER via 6 hits and 2 BBs. (RHP) Clay Schrader came on in relief and worked 2 innings of his own, allowing 2 ER via 4 hits and 1 walk, while K'ing 3. The 23 year old Schrader (drafted in the 10th round of the 2010 draft) remains a somewhat frustrating enigma. Over 56.0 innings pitched this season he struck out 62 and brought his walks way down: 35 this season vs. 51 in 58 IP last season.

However, his stuff became much more hittable at the AA level, as he allowed 50 hits in his 56 IP, with 6 of those hits clearing the fence, and sported a 4.34 ERA on the season. He'll have to make some adjustments, but the talent is still there for him to be a solid back-of-the-bullpen arm for the O's, possibly as soon as next season.

(RF) Dariel Alvarez continued to adjust to the more refined pitching of AA. He went 1-3 at the plate. In the field he continues to impress, though, as he gunned down a runner attempting to stretch a single into a double.

Bowie 3, Erie (Tigers) 6 (Game 2.)

Similar to Mike Wright, (RHP) Tyler Wilson concluded a solid season, though this game was not representative of his general efforts throughout the course of the year: 5IP, 9H (3HRs), 1BB, 6R (5ER), 2 WPs, and 6Ks. The 23 year old earned a mid-season promotion from Class A Frederick and, overall, continued to pitch just as effectively as at the lower level. 27 starts on the season, 151.2 IP of 4.09 ERA with 118 Ks to 47 BBs.

Wilson is a flyball pitcher, so he'll be homer prone (17 allowed), but with some seasoning at the AA level hopefully his K numbers will revert back closer to the 8-9 per 9 he was sporting in A-ball, while the walks will be suppressed. At worst, it looks like he has a solid shot to at some point make the majors as a bullpen arm.

On offense, (RF) Dariel Alvarez went 0-3, w/ 1 K. Over 34 PAs w/ Bowie he batted .194/ .219 / .291, w/ 1 HR and 9 Ks to 1 BB. He will go west and join the Arizona Fall League, where he will get to bat against typically AA level competition.

(1B/3B) Brandon Waring capped off his 5th full season in the O's organization with a 2-3 game, including his 25th HR, his 78th career one as a Baysock, furthering his already impressive Baysox club record. He probably has the best raw power of anyone in the O's minors, but that skill alone typically won't carry a player to the majors. And hence why Mr. Waring remains in O's minor league purgatory. Who knows if he will be back with the O's organization next season.

Similar to Brandon Waring is ( C / 1B) Caleb Joseph. He just finished his 4th season (3 full seasons) with the Baysox with 22 HRs, 97 RsBI, and a slash line of .299 / .346 / .494. His wRC+ of 129 and wOBA of .373 each ranked 5th in the Eastern League. The HRs, AVG, and SLG were each good for 3rd. The RsBI ranked 2nd. The OBP was good for 23rd. His name is all over the Baysox official record book now, holding the marks for Games, Hits, Runs, and RBI. Perhaps one day he will run for and be elected Mayor.

Final Record: 71-71

Potomac (Nats) 6, Frederick 7 (Game 1. PPD on Sept. 1)

j.q. covered the bulk of this game in yesterday's rundown. Not much additional occurred. ( C ) Michael Ohlman was lifted after a 1-2 game. He wins the Carolina League Batting title (.313). His wOBA (.422) and wRC+ (159) also topped the league. His .410 OBP ranked 3rd, and his .524 SLG set a new Frederick club record as well as lead the league.

Potomac (Nats) 5, Frederick 16 (Game 2)

Just like Mike Wright and Tyler Wilson, (LHP) Tim Berry concluded a nifty little season with a 6 inning performance. He allowed 7 hits and 3 ER while not walking any and K'ing 3. 27 starts on the season with 152.0 IP (see something similar in the workloads of the 3 pitchers mentioned thus far?). He put up a 3.85 ERA while striking out 119 and walking 40. He did allow 13 HRs though. But all of this was a marked improvement over his 2012 numbers. He should almost certainly start next season off in Bowie. Just another step for the 50th round draft pick.

The Nats pitchers decided to take the game off, as the Keys hitters pounded out 20 hits. Every starter save for (2B) Sammie Starr reached base at least twice. (RF) Trent Mummey went 1-3 and drew 4 BBs. (CF) Glynn Davis went 3-5, w/ 2 doubles and a GIDP (hard to do with him running), and threw out the spawn of Lenny Dykstra, Cutter, at Home to earn an OF Assist. Thus ends a frustrating season for each of them; Mummey's due to injury and Davis' just due to not good performance. Hopefully 2014 will be more bountiful for each of them.

Final Record: 61-78

Delmarva 5, Hickory (Rangers) 6

(RHP) Parker Bridwell, apple of my eye of late, went out not with a bang, but with a bit of a whimper. 4 IP, 5H (1HR), 2BBs, 1HBP, 3ER, 1WP, 3Ks. 142.2 innings over 26 starts. He sported a 4.73 ERA, but a FIP in the 3.5 range. His 144 Ks rank 2nd in the South Atlantic League, and are currently most in the entire O's organization (Chris Tillman has 141 at the moment). He will certainly ascend to Frederick for the 2014 season as a 22 year old.

(CF) Gregory Lorenzo spent a large chunk of the season batting around .200. Kind of amazing then that he can take an 0-5, w/ 3Ks in the final game and end up at .241 on the season. He was red hot for a spell during August. (SS) Adrian Marin also took an 0-fer, going 0-3. His final slash line: .265 / .311 / .356. There's something there in each of them, but it's gonna take a lot of further development to realize anything ultimately useful.

Final Record: 54-82

Lowell (Red Sox) 3, Aberdeen 7

The IronBirds clinched their Division, as well as their 1st Playoff berth with this victory. Get your playoff tickets! (LHP) Stephen Brault started and went 3 scoreless innings, allowing 2 hits, a walk, and 1 HBP while striking out 2. (RHP) Jimmy Yacobonis closed it out with 2 shutout innings, allowing 1 hit and 1 walk with 1 K.

(RF) Mike Yastrzemski went 2-4, w/ a double. (1B) Trey Mancini went 1-4, w/ a double. (CF) Josh Hart made his NYPL debut and went 0-2, w/ 1 walk and 2 Ks.

They have 2 games remaining in the regular season before their playoff experience commences on Friday.

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