Flying under the radar in the minors

I decided to put together a list of some minor league players that are enjoying good seasons with mostly little fanfare. They are flying a bit under the radar right now. Some may be considered prospects, others may not, but all seem to be doing well on the field this summer.

Armando Gabino: The 26-year-old righty was claimed off waivers from Minnesota and is 4-0, 2.62 at Norfolk. His last four appearances have come as a starter. The league has hit just .218 off him and right-handed batters hit just .191 vs. him.

Joel Guzman: He is batting .265-15-45 at Bowie and is tied for the Eastern League lead in homers and tied for fourth in RBI. His OPS is .854. He plays 1B, 3B and RF and is blocked from Triple-A by Bell and Snyder. Could he ever make it to Baltimore? It seems unlikely, but this former Dodgers top prospect does have some Major League experience.

Tyler Henson: This 22-year-old, O's fifth-round pick out of high school in 2006 has slowly but surely made his way up the ladder and is now batting .292-5-32 at Bowie playing in left field. He is batting .420 in June.

Brandon Cooney: A 30th-round pick in 2007, Cooney has a solid fastball and stats to match. After going 2-0, 0.55 in Frederick, he moved to Bowie and is 0-0, 2.70 there. He gave up three earned runs in his first Baysox outing on May 19, but has not allowed an earned run over 9 1/3 since.

Pat Egan: A 36th-round pick out of Quinnipiac University in 2006, the right-hander had stops at Delmarva, Frederick and Bowie last year, pitching to a combined 1.94 ERA over 92 2/3. This year for Bowie, Egan is 6-1, 1.62. He has allowed 7 ER all year and four came in one May outing. Take away that game and his season ERA is 0.75.

Jacob Julius: A 33rd-round pick out of Arkansas in 2007, he hit just .228 at Delmarva last year. Now the the lefty swinger is batting .311-6-33 for the Keys. He has a .955 OPS vs. right-handed pitchers and is batting .375-3-16 in June.

Jose Diaz: He is listed at 6'4", 300 pounds and is 26 years old. But he is also 3-0, 1.33 and is nine for nine in saves at Frederick.

Brian Conley: A 17th-round pick out of Towson University in 2008, Conley is headed for the Sally League All-Star game and is batting .304-1-15 with an .838 OPS at Delmarva. Batting mostly third for the Shorebirds, he is hitting .316 with runners in scoring position.

Josh Dowdy: A 38th-round pick last summer out of Appalachian State, he is 0-1, 1.23 and is ten for ten in saves for Delmarva. Right-handed batters are hitting just .135 against him.

By the way, Norfolk activated Brad Bergesen today to make a start tonight and transferred pitcher Andy Mitchell to Aberdeen's roster. Bergesen gave up three runs and lasted 2 2/3 in that start tonight and was in jams in each of three innings he was in the game.

In case you missed it from earlier this week, I know I did, Kam Mickolio was placed on Norfolk's DL on Monday with a right shoulder strain. Mickolio was 2-2, 8.05 and has allowed 29 hits in 19 innings with the Tides. Alberto Castillo, after clearing waivers, returned to Norfolk to take Mickolio's roster spot.

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