Prospects from the Orioles are playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions along with players from the Nationals (including Bryce Harper), Rockies, Diamondbacks and Giants. Duck linked to the Orioles Insider article on it earlier this week, so click through to see the basics of the league if you need.
Representing the Orioles are Oliver Drake (RHP), Pat Egan (RHP), Kam Mickolio (RHP), Wynn Pelzer (RHP), Ryan Adams (2B), Greg Miclat (SS), and Xavier Avery (CF). Also on the team, but eligible to play only on Wednesdays and Saturdays as part of the taxi squad, are Caleb Joseph (C) and Tyler Townsend (1B).
The AFL started Tuesday with the Scorpions beating the Peoria Saguaros 4-3 on an RBI single in the eighth inning by Ryan Adams. He and Xavier Avery were in the lineup and that single was the only hit by either, although they did both draw a walk. Pat Egan pitched the sixth inning, giving up a run on two hits.
The Scorpions beat the Saguaros again yesterday, scoring nine runs with a lineup that included Tyler Townsend, Greg Miclat, and Ryan Adams. Adams had another good day, going 3-for-3 with a home run and four RBI. Miclat had two hits and a walk and Townsend a 2 RBI single. Newish Orioles pitcher Wynn Pelzer pitched one scoreless inning with a strike out.
The Scorpions will be playing six games per week, and we'll be linking to the results in Bird Droppings so that it'll be easy to keep up, but in the meantime click through to learn a little more about the players.
Oliver Drake - Drake was drafted in the 43rd round of the 2008 draft and spent the entire 2010 season with the Frederick Keys where he put up a K/9 of 7.0 and BB/9 of 2.6 in 24 games (21 starts). He didn't have a bad season at Frederick, but his FIP at Delmarva in 2009 was an impressive 3.26 and jumped to 4.58 in 2010. Going into the 2010 season, John Sickels rated Drake as a C prospect.
Pat Egan - Twenty-five year old Egan was drafted in the 36th round of the 2006 draft and he split 2010 season between Bowie and Norfolk and he was good in relief at both locations. He doesn't strike out many batters, just 4.8 per nine innings in Bowie and 4.1 per nine in Norfolk, but he also only walked sixteen batters in 83.2 innings.
Kam Mickolio - We all know about good old Kam. He has spent part of the 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons with the Orioles, throwing really hard and striking guys out, but also walking a billion (give or take). Kam spent much of the 2010 season on the disabled list and only appeared in thirty-four games in the minors this season, striking out 55 batters in just 40.1 innings, but still struggling with walks.
Wynn Pelzer - Pelzer came to the Orioles from the San Diego Padres in return for Miguel Tejada this past July. The twenty-four year old was drafted in the 9th round on the 2007 draft. Pelzer, who was a starter for AA San Antonio in the Padres system, pitched mainly in relief for the Bowie Baysox after the trade. Going into the 2010 season he was ranked as the 43rd best pitching prospect in baseball and 5th best prospect on the Padres by John Sickels.
Ryan Adams - Adams was drafted by the Orioles in the 2nd round of the 2006 draft and just had a very solid year with the Baysox, hitting .298/.365/.464 with 15 home runs and 43 doubles. Sickels ranked Adams the Orioles 13th best prospect going into the 2009 season with a grade of C+, but he fell off the list entirely for 2010 after a subpar season in Delmarva.
Greg Miclat - A 5th round draft pick in 2008, the twenty-two year old shortstop was profiled by James F on June 30th, titled "The Resurgance of Greg Miclat." In it, James determined that part of his 2010 bounce back has been due to luck, but that his increase in on base percentage is reason to be encouraged. Just about the time James profiled Miclat, however, he was promoted from Frederick to Bowie, and his numbers suffered as a result. His OBP of .403 with the Keys dropped to .317 with the Baysox.
Xavier Avery - A few weeks into the 2010 season, James F wrote a piece asking, "Is Xavier Avery on the verge of a breakout?" In that article, James pointed to positive early results as a sign that the toolsy CF might have a big year. James was partially right as Avery hit .280/.349/.389 with an encouraging 8.4% walk rate in 109 games with the Frederick Keys. He was then promoted to the Bowie Baysox where he struggled over his final 27 games, walking just seven times in 120 plate appearances and putting up a subpar .288 OBP (although his wOBA was a slightly more encouraging .319). Sickels rated Avery a C prospect and the 19th best in the Orioles system.
Caleb Joseph - Catcher Caleb Joseph followed up a very solid 2009 season with the Frederick Keys with what some might consider a disappointing year with the Bowie Baysox in 2010. Unfortunately he was the victim of some bad luck as his BABIP on the year was just .254. Despite the fact that his walk rate actually increased, his OBP dropped from .337 to .301. Overall Joseph hit just .235/.301/.368 on the year so good numbers in the AFL would be encouraging for the twenty-four year old.
Tyler Townsend - Rated a C prospect by John Sickels, Tyler Townsend was drafted in the third round of the 2009 draft and just finished his second season in the O's system. Unfortunately Townsend spent a lot of time on the DL with hamstring issues and only played in 52 games between Delmarva and Frederick. The good news is that when he did play, he put up pretty good numbers, hitting .325/.395/.563 with 6 home runs and 21 doubles in 220 plate appearances.