Some of the more interesting or even encouraging stories out of the system this year began in Salisbury on the hallowed grounds of Arthur W. Perdue Stadium. If the season can be called a success, it was in validating some aspects of Joe Jordan's previous drafts. Similar to their daddy, the Shorebirds finished dead last in the Sally League, a distinction they shared with the Charleston RiverDogs (yes, that lack of spacing is by their own design).
Those Who Moved On: The early part of the season was dominated by some recent draftees that really excelled at Delmarva. In order of OPS, there was Kipp Schutz (997), Jonathan Schoop (890), Trent Mummey (886) and Manny Machado (859). A lot has been written about many of these guys, so I want to focus on Trent Mummey for a second. At the outset of the season, Mummey was viewed suspiciously being a Jordan tools guy with a name out of a Hammer Studios picture. Coming off an unspectacular short season debut in 2010, the 22 year old out of Auburn walked 10 times, stole 10 bases and had 6 extra base hits before getting pushed up to Frederick and getting injured. Godspeed and good health, sir!
Clayton Schrader: The 21 year old fireballer simply dominated the Sally League. Schrader struck out 38 batters in 22 innings, good for a 15.5 K/9 which paired nicely with a 1.09 WHIP, thank you very much.
Jason Gurka: Another one of my pets from 2011, Gurka displayed Koji-esque control walking 2 and striking out 33 in 25 innings.
Randy Henry: Nice 20 game run in Salisbury where Henry showed some swing and miss stuff in combination with a 57% GB rate. He walked only 6 batters in nearly 38 innings.
Ashur Tolliver: Well, there should be a hell of a bullpen in Frederick in 2012. Tolliver was one of Jordan's classic injury gambits and last year was the first in which it seemed like things are starting to pan out for the 23 year old lefty from Arkansas. Tolliver walked 16 and struck out 41 in nearly 40 innings. His ERA was 2.27, WHIP was 1.28 and FIP was 3.66.
Mychal Givens: While still fairly young at 21, 2011 was viewed as an important year for Givens considering that he was a late sign and was hurt for much of 2010. Delmarva was supposed to be a detour on Givens' road to the show, but he stumbled mightily. It's hard to spin a .195/.260/.229. How low can you go? How about a 50% steal rate or a .954 fielding percentage at 2B. I dunno, guys.
Tim Berry: Looks like he's got some figuring to do. The 2009 draftee didn't have the easist go of things in his first full season. He walked 61 and struck out 96 in 116 innings, but had a 5.17 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 4.86 FIP.
Garabez Rosa: The flavor of the month in a pre-Manny, post-Pedro Florimon world seems to have issues getting on base. He's only 21, though...as far as we know.
Luis Noel and Jarrett Martin: Try again next year.
Mike Flacco: The .370 OBP looks nice, but a 24 year old should be going bananas in the Sally League.
David Baker: The 20 year old may have a lot of space for growth and his numbers look good superficially, but are low .200 BABIPs sustainable? Probably not. He also doesn't miss many bats and his GB rate is in the 30s.
Riley Hornback: The 21 year old catching prospect was moved around the diamond in 2011. He caught 3 of 8 would be basestealers and walked 26 times in 195 PAs.
Tyler Kelly: 67 walks against 63 strikeouts in 534 PAs, 17 extra base hits over that same stretch, no errors. The Orioles Army of Tylers rolls on. Kelly wil turn 24 in 2012.