The best approach a Minor League prospect can take is to work on his game, continue to improve, and put up numbers. Prospects get noticed by success and consistency.
Brad Bergesen of the Bowie Baysox is doing exactly that, and he is pitching his way toward the Major Leagues.
After beginning the season with Frederick, Bergesen was promoted to Bowie in April. The 22-year-old right hander has put together a breakthrough season for the Baysox, setting the Bowie franchise record for most wins in a season with 14.
“This game is all about opportunity,” Bergesen said. “I was fortunate enough early this season to get the chance to come up here, and I’ve just been trying to make the most of it.”
Bergesen was drafted by the Orioles in the 4th round in 2004 and was brought along slowly, spending his first two seasons with short season clubs. He has a tremendous understanding of being a Minor League prospect.
“It’s like a pyramid--it’s just better and better at each level,” Bergesen said. “I’ve been at every level in the Orioles’ system, and this jump to Double A has been a big one. The hitters are better and more patient.”
In his last start on August 2, Bergesen was the winning pitcher at Altoona. His 14th victory broke the Baysox single season record for wins. Rick Forney and Jimmy Haynes each won 13 for Bowie in 1993, and current Orioles reliever Jim Johnson won 13 games for the Baysox in 2006.
On the season Bergesen is 14-3 with a 2.70 ERA for Bowie. He is a combined 15-4 between Frederick and Bowie, and he has walked only 26 batters in 140.2 innings this season. Numbers like that get noticed.
Bergesen is a sinker-slider pitcher who would rather get a groundout than a strikeout.
“I just try to go about my business, get my work in and give my best effort for my team,” he said. “I try to load up the innings and the strike zone.”
And that approach has Bergesen on track towards the big leagues.