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Orioles minor league recap 8/17: Top 2022 draft picks impress in debuts for Delmarva

Beavers, Wagner and Fabian were the stars in a 17-10 Delmarva win, while Aberdeen split a doubleheader and Bowie and Norfolk both lost.

New York Yankees v Washington Nationals
Jud Fabian seems to say “You see that bomb I hit last night, Hyder?”
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Triple-A: Durham Bulls (Rays) 8, Norfolk Tides 3

The Tides’ trident of offensive stars went silent Tuesday night in their loss to Durham. GUNNAR HENDERSON (Orioles #2 prospect, MLB Top 100 #4), Jordan Westburg (Orioles #5, MLB #87) and Kyle Stowers (Orioles #7) combined to go 1-12 with five strikeouts and the rest of the offense couldn’t pick up the slack and power a comeback over the Bulls. HENDERSON picked up the trios’ lone hit with a double to lead off the eighth inning.

Norfolk did get a strong showing from Yusniel Diaz (Orioles #25), as the outfielder went a 2-3 with a two-run single in the seventh inning. Diaz also initiated a double steal in the first inning that got the Tides on board, with the former top prospect swiping second while DJ Stewart stole home. The outfielder has had a strong start to August overall, hitting .289 with six runs scored, three extra-base hits and four RBIs.

While Diaz continued a strong last couple of weeks, starter Chris Vallimont extended his ride on the struggle bus in a rocky outing against the Bulls. After giving up five runs while only recording two outs in his last start, Vallimont was only slightly better against Durham. He did make it through four innings, but gave up nine hits and allowed six earned runs—the final two runs coming on a Josh Lowe home run in the fourth. The outing raised Vallimont’s August ERA to 10.24 over a total of 9.2 innings pitched.

Box Score

Double-A: Somerset Patriots (Yankees) 2, Bowie Baysox 1

The offense was silenced for the Baysox in their loss Tuesday night against Somerset. Colton Cowser! (Orioles #3, MLB #38), Cesar Prieto (Orioles #11), Hudson Haskin (Orioles #16) and Adam Hall (Orioles #27) were the only Baysox to register a hit as Bowie combined to strike out 12 times. Haskin provided the only Bowie run on a lead-off solo home run in the 4th, while Hall also registered an extra-base hit with a double in the second. The loss continued a trend for Bowie against Somerset, as it was the fourth time in seven meetings that the Patriots have held the Baysox to one run or less.

Despite taking the loss, starting pitcher Garrett Stallings continued a stretch of excellent pitching from the 25-year-old righty. Tuesday was the fourth time in his last seven starts that the former Angels fifth-round pick has thrown six innings while allowing two or fewer runs. After struggling to a 28.50 ERA in June, Stallings has rebounded in a big way, posting a 1.91 ERA over 42.1 innings in July and August. Stallings has also seen an uptick in strikeouts over that period, posting a 9.8 K/9 rate over the last two months.

Box Score

High-A: Game 1- Asheville Tourists (Astros) 11, Aberdeen IronBirds 4; Game 2- Ironbirds 2, Tourists 1

The IronBirds started their day against the Tourists playing a makeup game from a contest that was rained out on 7/30. Things started out well for Aberdeen, as two early walks set up Billy Cook to start the scoring with a two-run double in the first. Donta’ Williams then drove in Cook to cap off a three-run first inning. That was when the fun for Aberdeen ended.

After getting a solo home run in the second, Asheville brook things open with a four-run inning in the fourth—ending the evening for IronBirds starter Houston Roth. Things did not get better when reliever Thomas Girard entered in the fifth, as he only registered one out and allowed six Tourists trips around the bases. Nick Richmond would calm things down for Aberdeen, but the damage was done and the IronBirds trailed 11-4 at the end of five. Aberdeen then went down quietly in the sixth and seventh, failing to register a hit and only getting one base runner via a walk.

Aberdeen got much better pitching in game two, as starter Ignacio Feliz powered the IronBirds to a low-scoring victory. The 22-year-old righty out of the Dominican Republic turned one of his best starts of the season, pitching into the sixth inning for only the second time and matching a season-high with 10 strikeouts.

Heston Kjerstad (Orioles #9) had a quiet night across the two games. The powerful lefty did reach base twice in the first game, with a single and walk, and scored two runs. He was less productive in the nightcap, going 0-2 with a walk and two strikeouts before being removed for a pinch runner in the seventh.

Box Score 1, Box Score 2

Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 17, Salem Red Sox 10

Recent top draft picks Max Wagner, Dylan Beavers and Jud Fabian all made memorable debuts for Delmarva in their offensive explosion against the Red Sox. Beavers wasted no time making his impact felt, as he laced a two-run single into center in the first—collecting his first Shorebirds hit and RBIs. The No. 33 overall pick in the 2022 draft singled again in the sixth inning and then walked and scored in both the seventh and ninth. Beavers’ final line finished at 2-4 with four runs scored, three RBIs and two walks.

Wagner collected his first Shorebirds hit with a leadoff single in the sixth, later coming around to score on a Fabian RBI single. The former Clemson Tiger and 2022 second-round pick turned into a bit of a pin cushion throughout his debut, being hit by pitches three times. He was first hit with two outs in the second, drove in a run after being hit again with the bases loaded in the third and then completed the HBP Hat Trick when he was hit leading off the ninth. Overall, Wagner finished 1-3 with three runs scored, an RBI and the three HBPs.

Despite hitting the lowest of the three, Fabian had the most explosive and productive debut of any of them. The 2022 second-round pick out of the University of Florida collected his first Delmarva hit on a deep shot to left to lead off the third inning. Fabian collected another hit with a single in the sixth, before capping off his night with a ninth-inning double that drove in both Beavers and Wagner. The powerful right-handed outfielder posted an outstanding final line of 3-4 with four RBIs, two runs scored and finished a triple shy of the cycle.

Box Score

Wednesday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk Tides vs. Durham Bulls, 6:35 PM. Starting Pitcher: Bruce Zimmermann
  • Bowie Baysox vs. Somerset Patriots, 6:35 PM. Starting Pitcher: Chayce McDermott
  • Aberdeen IronBirds vs. Asheville Tourists, 7:05 PM. Starting Pitcher: Connor Gillispie
  • Delmarva Shorebirds @ Salem Red Sox, 7:05 PM. Starting Pitcher: TBD