Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 7, Memphis Redbirds (Cardinals) 4
Have you forgotten all about Rylan Bannon? You can be forgiven if you have, because the Orioles infield prospect entered Friday’s action with just a .584 OPS at Triple-A this year. Bannon, the #20 prospect in the system from MLB Pipeline’s preseason ranking, has been trying to burst back onto the radar after a rough patch. He blasted two home runs and walked twice in this game. Bannon now has five homers in three games. It’s going to take a lot more than that to get back to a good place, but good for him.
The Tides needed the offense after their starting pitcher Ofelky Peralta did a Jorge López impression, pitching four shutout innings before giving up four runs in the fifth. Peralta still ended up as the winning pitcher thanks to a three-run Tides rally that gave them a 5-4 lead after five. Peralta walked three and struck out six in his five innings - he’s walked ten in 15.2 innings, plus two hit batters, in three games since being promoted here. Thomas Eshelman and Isaac Mattson each pitched two scoreless innings to finish off the win.
Baseball’s #1 prospect, Adley Rutschman, had two hits in this game and drew a walk as well. That’s eight hits through four games since his promotion. It’ll be fun when he’s in Baltimore. Norfolk’s leading hitter for the game, though, was outfielder Robert Neustrom, who added another three hits to his tally. Neustrom, 24, is batting .247/.344/.494 in 23 games since earning a promotion from Bowie. I’m paying attention.
Double-A: Bowie Baysox postponed by rain, doubleheader today
High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 5, Asheville Tourists (Astros) 4 - 10 innings
It took the appearance of the Manfred Man to settle this one, as Aberdeen scored four runs in the fourth inning but eventually allowed a tying run in the eighth. 2020 second round pick Hudson Haskin delivered a walkoff single with two outs in the inning, making sure the game, which had a long delay before it began, was over by midnight. Haskin was the only Aberdeen batter to have a multi-hit game.
Starting pitcher Ryan Watson hit double digits in strikeouts despite only pitching four innings. He had thrown 65 pitches, so maybe he could have gone on longer. Watson, a 23-year-old undrafted free agent from last year, was making his first High-A start and fifth appearance overall. It’s going to take more outings like this for the ERA (4.80) to come down - he only gave up a run on Friday - but 24 strikeouts in 15 innings is impressive.
Gunnar Henderson had one double in five at-bats as the leadoff hitter. He’s sitting with a .680 OPS after 43 High-A games. At 20, Henderson is among the youngest players in the league. Aberdeen has now won seven straight.
Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 7, Lynchburg Hillcats (Cleveland) 1
The Delmarva roster has been short on prospects for a while and that probably won’t change before season’s end unless some of the 2021 draftees, like top pick Colton Cowser, are assigned here. Those remaining had a nice game that ended quite late; a fourth-inning rain delay didn’t end until after 10:30 Eastern. They’re young, they can handle it.
Three Shorebirds pitchers - Griffin McLarty, Houston Roth, and Jake Zebron - pitched three innings apiece. McLarty’s start was cut short by the rain delay. Roth was the only one of these three to allow a run, and he only gave up the one while picking up three strikeouts. At the plate, outfielder Mason Janvrin led the way with three hits, including his ninth homer of the season, and fellow outfielder Cristopher Cespedes drove in three runs. The Shorebirds were 4-13 with RISP. The Orioles could use a little of that at the MLB level lately.
Complete box scores from Friday’s full season affiliate games can be found here. The FCL Orioles teams played one another; their game was suspended and will be completed today. Dominican Summer League box scores are here (Orioles 1) and here (Orioles 2).
Saturday’s Scheduled Games
- Norfolk: vs. Memphis, 7:05. Starter: Konner Wade
- Bowie: vs. Richmond, 5:05. Doubleheader starters: Cody Sedlock, TBD
- Aberdeen: vs. Asheville, 6:05. Starter: Brandon Young
- Delmarva: at Lynchburg, 6:30. Starter: TBD