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Orioles Minor League Rundown: 9-1-14

The minor league season comes to an end for all of the affiliates.

Bert Hindman

Norfolk 1 Durham (Rays) 5

Weird stat line for Tyler Wilson as he struck out 6 while allowing just 5 hits and no walks over 6 IP, but somehow allowed 5 ER. 2 of the runs came via a 3rd inning HR. It was a solid season for the 24 year old as he tossed 166.2 IP over 28 starts with a 3.67 ERA and 157 Ks between Bowie and Norfolk. Each of those represent career bests for him. He will almost certainly make his way to the majors at some point next season.

The offense popped 11 hits, but were only able to score via a David Freitas HR. Christian Walker went 2 for 4 with a double to cap off a season that could earn him the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year award. He hit .288 / .357 / .489 with 26 HRs between Bowie and Norfolk.

Altoona (Pirates) 6 Bowie 5

Zach Davies finished his minor league season with another strong effort: 6 IP, 6 H, 0 BBs, 3 R (2 ER), 7 Ks. He missed most of May but still managed to make 20 starts, tossing 110 innings of 3.35 ERA, with just 32 walks to 109 Ks. Oh, and he did all of that as a 21 year old in the Eastern League where the average age 24.6. He may just find himself a recipient of the Jim Palmer Minor League Pitcher of the Year award. He will make his way to the Arizona Fall League in order to get some innings on his arm.

Like Christian Walker, Mike Yastrzemski finished his season with a 2 for 4 day, notching a triple, an RBI, and 2 runs scored. His final season line stands at .288 / .346 / .490 with 34 doubles, 16 triples, and 14 HRs, while also chipping in 15 Outfield Assists. He will also certainly be in the running for the Brooks Robinson Award.

Potomac (Nats) 6 Frederick 1

Steven Brault was limited to just 3.1 IP thanks to an hour and forty-five minute rain delay. In those 3.1 innings though he allowed just 1 hit while K'ing 2 and inducing 5 ground outs to 0 fly outs. Spiffy. Jimmy Yacabonis and Lex Rutledge each allowed 3 ER over a combined 4.2 innings. Jason Esposito probably wishes the season would continue as he finished with a 2 for 4 day. From July 1 on he hit .327 / .353 / .505. He will look to further prove himself in the Arizona Fall League.

Hickory (Rangers) 3 Delmarva 5

Janser Severino allowed 1 ER (3 runs total) over 6 IP. He allowed 5 hits, issued 2 walks, and K'd 3. Chance Sisco sat the final day of the season and earned South Atlantic League batting average title with a .340 AVG. Josh Hart went 2 for 4 with a double.

Hudson Valley (TB) 6 Aberdeen 10

Fun game in a sweltering Ripken Stadium today that I attended. The O's first selection (3rd Round) in the 2014 draft, Brian Gonzalez, got the start. My impressions: Gonzalez is a beefy kid for an 18 year old, with a thick midsection, particularly his hips. He'll have to stay on top of his conditioning, but has a nice frame on which to add plenty of muscle. A late growth spurt adding another 2 inches of height wouldn't hurt either. He has an easy left-handed delivery from a 3/4 arm slot. His fastball sat in the 86-89 range, but he threw a couple in the mid-80's when he needed to get them over the plate. The FB doesn't have much natural movement and can be quite straight. The control was solid overall but came in went at times. He commanded the ball all around the zone, but did leave a few up in the zone. He showed a change up and curve, each of which sat in the 73-75 range. There were a couple of very quality offerings of each, with the change showing strong arm action and late drop, and the curve flashing some late, tight dip. Overall, he did not flash anything that could be called 'plus-plus', but everything he threw was solid-average. He should form a formidable southpaw duo with Stephen Tarpley in Delmarva to start next season.

As for the game, Gonzalez allowed a single, walk, and RBI single to open the game before getting a swinging K and a 4-6-3 DP to escape the inning. He rebounded nicely with a 1-2-3 2nd inning, getting 2 more Ks. The 3rd opened with a single followed by a swinging bunt single. But Gonzalez again escaped with a fly out and another GIDP which he started by taking a comebacker off the hip. Another 1-2-3 inning with 2 Ks in the 4th. In the 5th he issued a lead off walk followed by 2 singles before he was lifted. One of the inherited runners he left would be allowed to score, giving him a final line of 4+ IP, 6 H, 2 BBs, 3 ER, 5 Ks.

Steve Clevenger got his hacks in today before returning to Baltimore tomorrow. 2 for 4 with a double and a HR, he just missed a second HR. Ball really doesn't carry well to RF there. Austin Anderson also smoked a ball to RCF that looked and sounded off the bat like a certain HR but died at the warning track. Randolph Gassaway impressed with a boom-stick 3 run HR to LF. He also smoked two other balls that were unfortunately outs hit directly at fielders. Jay Gonzalez went 3 for 4 with all three hits going the other way into LF. Defensively, Hector Veloz at 3B is a trip. Just plop him down over at 1B and hope for the best. Jonah Heim is another in a line of tall O's catchers. He cuts a lean figure and frames the ball nicely, giving the ump a clean view of every pitch.