Some pre-game notes and thoughts from Frederick

Well, for one night I get to cover a first-place team. I have had a chance to talk with several Keys players today in addition to a long conversation with Keys manager Orlando Gomez and roving hitting coach Denny Walling who is here today.

Over the next few days I'll throw some quotes your way. But it sure seems like this Frederick team is playing to some rave reviews here. They are winning and seem to have a solid chemistry and work ethic.

I had yet another long interview with Billy Rowell, that's probably about ten for us since he signed with the O's. He has shortened his swing and is really hitting well right now. His outlook and attitude seem great and if there is ever a time for Billy to put up some numbers this is it.

I spent some time visiting with L.J. Hoes. This is one sharp 20-year-old young man. If you spend a few minutes with him, you will see a young guy who seems to love the game and is a very smart player always looking to learn more.

I'm trying not to gush too much, but that is one very impressive young guy. He and Xavier Avery are two 20-year-olds to keep an eye on.

One other note from Frederick. Pitcher Oliver Drake, who has not pitched since April 13, should return soon. He has thrown a simulated game recently and has another one coming later this week.

If all goes well he should be activated before too long.

I'll post some in-game reports from tonight's game here in Frederick and have some of the interviews from tonight coming over the next few days.

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