Buck Showalter mentioned the Single-A Frederick Keys in his postgame comments last night and he spent some time today talking about the new Carolina League champions, who wrapped up their series with Kinston winning 11-3 last night.
Showalter had praise for the talented 19-year-old, middle infield duo of shortstop Manny Machado and second baseman Jonathan Schoop.
"I was thinking today about Machado and Schoop, They have probably played close to 150 games counting the playoffs," Showalter said. "It's the first time they have gone through that (a full season) from basically March to the middle of September. I talked to a few minor league managers and sometimes the guys are, not necessarily running out of steam, but running out of that mental alertness.
"A couple of guys were talking about how both those kids seemed to take it to another level when the playoffs started. They really kicked in the competitive juices and that's great to hear. Wasn't Machado MVP of the series?"
He was named Mills Cup finals MVP. Machado went 11-for-32 in Frederick's nine playoff games with a homer and nine RBIs. He finished second among all players in the Carolina League playoffs in batting average, at .344 and first in RBIs.
Schoop hit .314, which was sixth best, going 11-for-35 with a homer and four RBIs. Miguel Abreu hit .323 for Frederick.
Keys pitchers Scott Copeland and Jake Pettit were the only two pitchers to win two postseason games and Sean Gleason recorded three playoff saves.
Frederick scored just 18 runs in its first seven playoff games and then scored 18 in winning Games 3 and 4 against Kinston. Frederick's team ERA was 2.92 in the playoffs.
This was Frederick's fourth Carolina League championship and they are the first O's minor league club to win a championship since the Keys last did it, in 2007.