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Orioles minor league recap 4/8: Affiliates are a combined 10-1 after Friday sweep

Jackson Holliday had four hits, Coby Mayo and Samuel Basallo each homered

Atlanta Braves v Baltimore Orioles minor leaguers
I know. Jackson Holliday looks young. He wrecks Low-A.
Photo by Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images

Triple-A Norfolk - Postponed by rain

Double-A: Bowie Baysox 5, Hartford (Rockies) 3

Bowie only picked up six hits but still managed to score five runs off of them on the way to improving to 2-0 on their very young season. César Prieto was the unquestioned star for the Baysox on the night, picking up three hits and three RBI as well as drawing a walk. Good way to start off your season!

Heston Kjerstad was held hitless in three at-bats after homering the day before, but he showed some plate discipline by drawing a pair of walks - now with three in two games. Coby Mayo hit a ninth inning home run to provide an insurance run that helped the bottom half of the inning be a bit less stressful. Mayo’s home run got out of there in a hurry:

25-year-old Connor Gillispie opened the game with three scoreless innings for Bowie. Fellow 2019 draftee Houston Roth allowed two runs over four innings of bulk relief.

High-A: Aberdeen IronBirds 4, Wilmington (Walgreens) 2

Aberdeen’s home opener, like the Orioles, was pushed back to Friday due to the forecast of rain. They came back the next day and pulled off a victory over the Blue Rocks by virtue of their pitchers holding Wilmington batters to 0-10 with runners in scoring position. IronBirds batters were able to capitalize on enough chances to get a win. Rehabbing soon-to-be Oriole James McCann had two singles in the game and scored one of Aberdeen’s runs.

Among the prospects, each of Jud Fabian, Dylan Beavers, and Frederick Bencosme had 1-4 nights at the plate. Beavers was thrown out once attempting to steal. Third baseman Max Wagner, another 2022 draftee like Beavers and Fabian, picked up an RBI with a sacrifice fly, though he was hitless in his season debut.

The starting pitcher for Aberdeen was Jean Pinto, repeating this level after pitching in 24 games last season. The 22-year-old from the Jose Iglesias trade opened his season with a 4.1 inning outing in which he threw 69 pitches, allowing a run on five hits and two walks. Pinto, who’s maintained good strikeout rates in his pro career, added six strikeouts to that total. Older relievers Keagan Gillies and Nick Richmond combined for three scoreless innings to wrap up the season-opening victory.

Low-A: Delmarva Shorebirds 15, Salem Red Sox 8 (10 innings)

For everyone who’s taken it for granted that 2022 #1 overall pick Jackson Holliday won’t be spending too long at the Low-A level this season, the second game of Delmarva’s season brought some good news. Holliday went 4-5 including a double and four runs batted in, and also took a walk. Holliday drove in two in the tenth inning to start what turned into an eight-run extra inning pile-on. In his small sample size last year he appeared to be already advanced beyond this level. I wonder how long it will take for Mike Elias to decide that’s the case in 2023.

Catcher Samuel Basallo, serving as first baseman in this game, took advantage of the game going into extra innings to break up what had been an 0-for with a two-run home run. He’d drawn a walk earlier. That’s two dingers in two games for the 18-year-old in his first full season league. He’s one of the many prospects I’m excited to see play out this season.

The actual catcher on Friday night was Creed Willems, the O’s eighth round pick in 2021, who struggled with the Shorebirds last year. Still just 19, Willems is back with Delmarva and he had a double and homer, as well as two walks, in Delmarva’s win.

This was a game that the Shorebirds led by five runs headed into the bottom of the eighth inning. An unfortunate reliever gave up six runs in 2.2 innings. This feature tries not to dwell upon non-prospects who negatively impact low-level games and will not do so in this case.

Seven foot tall Jared Beck was the Shorebirds starting pitcher. He allowed one hit, but walked three batters, in four innings. Beck also struck out three. Did I mention that he’s seven feet tall? The Orioles drafted Beck in the 13th round last year. He was born in Iowa, which will make a particular Camden Chat commenter happy if Beck finds success.

Complete box scores from Friday’s games can be found here.


Saturday’s Scheduled Games

  • Norfolk: vs. Gwinnett, 6:35. Starter: Spenser Watkins
  • Bowie: at Hartford, 1:10. Starter: Cade Povich
  • Aberdeen: vs. Wilmington (doubleheader), 5:05. Starters: Jake Lyons, Trace Bright
  • Delmarva: at Salem, 6:05. Starter: Juan de los Santos