As the schedule would have it, the only one of the top five Orioles affiliates that was scheduled to play a game on Monday was the Frederick Keys, who hosted the rehab unit that's been playing games at Bowie: Ryan Flaherty and Anthony Santander.
Rather than just make this a one game post, here's a quick overview of how the season's been going for all of the other farm teams.
Triple-A Norfolk Tides
Season record: 56-65
Best prospect - Chance Sisco
Sisco, 22, is at the Triple-A level for the first time and has batted .282/.343/.395 in 86 games. He probably won't ever have much power, but has good enough contact and on-base skills to make it work. Sisco has only thrown out 18 out of 87 baserunners this season, which is hopefully something he can assume.
There are a whole lot of guys on the 40-man roster who have appeared for both Norfolk and Baltimore this season. I think we've all thought about them quite enough.
Double-A Bowie Baysox
Season record: 62-57 (tied for Eastern League Eastern Division lead)
Best prospect - Austin Hays
Twelve home runs in 44 games since being promoted from Frederick, a .350/.383/.650 batting line, and all in all enough to wonder how soon we're going to see him in Baltimore. He's just blasting everything right now.
Rule 5 pick Anthony Santander just completed a 15 game rehab stint where he batted a Beckhamian .380/.458/.780. Yes, that's a .780 slugging percentage. Or how about Cedric Mullins, a .905 OPS over 55 games, including 11 home runs? Or how about 2015 first rounder D.J. Stewart, batting .264/.358/.452 over 106 games, with 17 home runs? Quite a mix for the outfield future. We'll have to see how all of these guys do at the next level.
On the pitching side, Tanner Scott has struck out 74 batters in 59 innings. Wow! Though he's also walked 40.
High-A Frederick Keys
Season record: 56-62
Best prospect - ?
This would have been either Ryan Mountcastle or Hays, but they got promoted. Mountcastle had an .885 OPS through 88 games. Don't look up how he's doing in Bowie so far.
Truthfully, it's been a rough go for most everybody else, including pitchers Cody Sedlock and Keegan Akin, who were exciting at the start of the season because the O's skipped them over Delmarva. Sedlock missed time with a forearm injury that is hopefully behind him (but one must always worry) and Akin has had an up-and-down season that's currently sitting at a 4.14 ERA.
Remember not to completely judge a guy's minor league ERA. You never really know if his fielders are continually letting him down or what. Akin has struck out 111 batters in 100 innings, which doesn't suck, though he's also walked 46.
They beat the Wilmington Blue Rocks, a Royals affiliate, by a 9-3 score. Yay! Rehabbers Flaherty and Santander showed up for this game since Bowie was off. Santander was 2-5. Two Keys had three hits: Shane Hoelscher and Armando Araiza, and let's not forget about the big man, Jomar Reyes, who went 2-5 with a double.
Starting pitcher Reid Love gave up three unearned runs in six innings of work. He held Wilmington to just four hits and two walks in six innings.
Low-A Delmarva Shorebirds
Season record: 51-66
Best prospect - Alex Wells
Did you know that Wells started five games in July and didn't allow a single run in that whole month? He hasn't walked a batter since June 25 and has only walked 10 all season in 125 innings. Wow! The Australian lefty is just 20 - oh, and he struck out a respectable 102 batters as well. The South Atlantic League is a long way from MLB, but dang, those are impressive numbers, as is his 2.45 ERA.
There aren't really any others. It's one reason why the franchise's farm system looks the way it does.
Short Season Aberdeen IronBirds
Season record: 30-23
Best prospect - Brenan Hanifee
The 2016 fourth round pick comes from an Orioles fan family and now he's working his way up towards Birdland. He's started nine games, struck out 35 in 50.2 innings and held NY-Penn League batters to a 2.49 ERA up until now.
Some freshly-drafted players out of the college ranks have impressed so far: Ben Breazeale (.963 OPS), Mason McCoy (.881 OPS), Trevor Craport (.882 OPS). Also, lefty Zac Lowther has done well, with 41 strikeouts in 33.1 innings.
The IronBirds have seven NYPL All-Stars. The game will be played tonight.
Tuesday's Scheduled Games
- Norfolk: vs. Lehigh Valley, 7:05. Starter: TBD
- Bowie: at Reading, 7:05. Starter: David Hess
- Frederick: at Wilmington, 1:05. Starter: Ofelky Peralta
- Delmarva: at Greensboro, 7:00. Starter: Jhon Peluffo
- Aberdeen: OFF - All-Star Game.