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Orioles minor league recap 4/22: Holliday homers twice as Delmarva offense explodes

Also, DL Hall had a decent outing in Triple-A

Atlanta Braves v Baltimore Orioles minor leaguers
Jackson Holliday hit his first A-ball homer during Delmarva’s explosion on Friday night.
Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Triple-A: Norfolk Tides 3, Rochester (Nationals) 2

Norfolk did not score through five innings but rallied for runs in each of the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings to take the lead from the Red Wings and grab the victory. Daz Cameron, not a prospect, hit a home run in the eighth for the go-ahead run.

It was not a great night for most of the position player prospects here. The 1-4 slots in the order - Colton Cowser, Connor Norby, Kyle Stowers, and Jordan Westburg - were all hitless in the game. One line where Norby did not have a zero was errors. He committed two: One fielding, one throwing. Only Cowser safely reached base with one walk. He also had an RBI groundout. In the #6 spot in the lineup, Joey Ortiz delivered an RBI triple that tied the game up in the seventh.

The Tides faced an early hole after 10-year MLBer Matt Adams, banished to the minors because he hasn’t hit even okay since 2018, connected for a two-run home run off of Norfolk starting pitcher DL Hall. By the time all was said and done for his outing, Hall had pitched five innings with 85 pitches thrown. The O’s lefty prospect allowed five hits and two walks while striking out five batters. He’s got a 4.41 ERA and 1.47 WHIP through four starts.

40-man pitcher Noah Denoyer added a pair of scoreless innings of relief after Hall, allowing a hit and a walk. Denoyer has now thrown 12 innings across four games with a 1.50 ERA and 0.83 WHIP. I’d probably rather see him in Baltimore than Austin Voth.

Box score.

Double-A: Altoona (Pirates) 8, Bowie Baysox 1

This was a clunker for the O’s affiliate and particularly for one of their top pitching prospects. Cade Povich was touched up for five runs in a start where he took 86 pitches to get through four innings. Bad luck? Bad pitching? One never knows from a minor league box score, but five hits and two walks in four innings sure isn’t good. Seven strikeouts in the same time frame is better.

The Bowie offense had just five hits. That is always a tough recipe for a victory. Heston Kjerstad went 1-4 in the leadoff spot in the lineup. All of Coby Mayo, César Prieto, and John Rhodes were hitless.

Box score.

High-A: Jersey Shore (Phillies) 4, Aberdeen IronBirds 3

The IronBirds loaded the bases in the bottom of the eighth inning but could not get any runs across, so they lost to the BlueClaws despite holding the Jersey Shore team to just five hits. As mentioned above, a tough recipe for victory! The IronBirds gifted their opponents a couple of errors, though, which led to two unearned runs. That was a big part of the difference in the game.

Starting pitcher Trace Bright, the highest signed pitcher from the Orioles draft class last year, ran into some tough times for the first time this season. He was not able to finish the first inning in part thanks to that shoddy defense, but he didn’t help himself out very much since he walked three batters and also gave up a home run. Not much for Bright to do but pick up and try again next time.

Aberdeen’s lineup has the trio of college hitters that followed Jackson Holliday in the Orioles 2022 draft class. They didn’t fare much better than the Bowie hitting prospects. Max Wagner was 0-4, now sporting a .371 OPS this season, and Jud Fabian dropped an 0-5 to fall to a .537 OPS. Only outfielder Dylan Beavers made it on base, with a double and a walk. He’s OPSing .850.

Ryan Long, the honorary cousin of Camden Chat colleague Stacey, tossed 3.2 scoreless innings of relief to help keep the IronBirds in the game after the early struggle.

Box score.

Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 16, Fredericksburg Nationals 4

Delmarva blew this one open with a seven-run fifth inning on their way to double-digit runs in the game. That fifth inning included #1 overall pick from last year, Holliday, blasting a three-run home run, his first for a full-season minor league affiliate. For good measure, he homered again in the ninth inning to finish off a 3-6 night at the plate. Get this man to Aberdeen already! If he isn’t assigned there by Tuesday, I’ll be mildly cross.

Holliday wasn’t the only young Shorebird to have a good night. After the fifth inning, catching prospect Samuel Basallo, still just 18 years old, came in to replace a different hot-hitting catcher, Creed Willems. Basallo was in the game for long enough to get himself three at-bats, which was enough at-bats to pick up a single, a double, and drive in two runs. Basallo’s early OPS is also impressive at .933, though since he’s so young I won’t be stumping for the quick promotion for him.

Other Shorebirds in the multi-hit group: Anderson De Los Santos, Stiven Acevedo, Anthony Servideo, and Adam Crampton. Acevedo’s two doubles and a walk bring him to a .851 OPS so far this season. The 20-year-old outfielder was an Orioles international signing back in April 2019.

Box score.

Saturday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: vs. Rochester, 6:35. Starter: Drew Rom
  • Bowie: at Altoona, 4:00. Starter: Garrett Stallings
  • Aberdeen: vs. Jersey Shore, 7:05. Starter: Kyle Virbitsky
  • Delmarva: at Fredericksburg, 6:05. Starter: Wyatt Cheney