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Prospect season in review: Tim Berry

How did the former 50th round pick perform in the Orioles farm system this season?

Tim Berry in action for the Bowie Baysox.
Tim Berry in action for the Bowie Baysox.
Bill Vaughn/Bowie Baysox

For one day in early June of this year, Tim Berry was a Baltimore Oriole. It's ok if you missed it; Berry didn't make a pitching appearance. But for a 50th round draft pick, to even get promoted for a day is pretty special.

It's a little disingenuous to lump Berry in with other players drafted so late, as he had earlier round talent but dropped because he needed to have Tommy John surgery, a fact known before the draft.

Drafted in 2009, it's just in the last two seasons that Berry has really started to blossom. He spent the 2014 season pitching for the double-A Bowie Baysox, and in 23 starts pitched to an ERA of 3.51. He's not a high strikeout pitcher, but he gets his share with just over seven per nine innings pitched. He struggles with walks at times, though his control has gotten better over the years.

One thing that Berry needs to improve if he wants to stick as a starting pitcher is his ability to retire right-handed batters. He was very good against lefties this season, holding them to an almost absurd hitting line of .212/.243/.263. Righties, on the other hand, hit .263/.345/.439. Berry allowed 12 homers, all to righties.

On August 18th, Berry was shut down for the rest of the season due to shoulder tendonitis.  When the move to put him on the DL was made, it was anticipated that he'd miss just one start, but he ended up not coming back. It's still not considered to be serious, but could be something to keep an eye on in the future.

While not highly touted when compared to prospects across baseball, Berry is top ten in the O's system and, after the trade of Eduardo Rodriguez, definitely the most promising lefty in the system. He sits in low 90s with his fastball and has a curveball that Orioles Nation ranks as above average.

After a successful campaign in A-ball in 2013 and in double-A in 2014, it stands to reason that Berry will get his chance with triple-A Norfolk to start the 2015 season. Most scouting reports indicate that Berry's ceiling is a number four starter, but given his platoon splits, he could end up in the bullpen as a lefty specialist.