After solid year at Frederick, Sean Gleason is now pitching in the AFL

There are probably a couple of ways fans can look at Orioles minor league pitcher Sean Gleason. Because he turned 26 in August, some will write him off as a prospect.

But he is also a guy that impressed a lot of people this past season and is someone that could push for time at Triple-A or even Baltimore at some point next season.

A right-hander, Gleason was drafted in round 20 in 2007 out of St. Mary’s College in California. He was a starter from 2007-2009. In 2008 at Single-A Delmarva, he went 12-2 and his 2.63 ERA was third in the league.

He moved to the ‘pen in 2010 and this season, he went 1-3 with a 4.53 ERA at Single-A Frederick and his 32 saves ranked second in the Carolina League. Over 47 2/3 innings, Gleason gave up just 38 hits with 19 walks and 58 strikeouts.

After the All-Star game at Frederick, he had a 2.84 ERA over 19 innings with just two walks, 19 strikeouts and a .171 batting average against.

“I think the bullpen is a good fit for me, especially the back end,” Gleason said. “I am attacking hitters. I try to have a bulldog attitude. If you get beat, tip your cap and you have to have a short memory.

“The bullpen is a different mentality for me. I love closing. There is some pressure at times, but you want to shut it down and shake hands when it’s over.”

Late in the year, he was moved up to Triple-A and posted a 4.22 ERA in nine games at Norfolk with six scoreless outings.

“I went up there and tried to give my best each outing. I was pleased about being moved up. Kind of took it one day at a time and soaked it all in,” said Gleason, who returned to Frederick for the playoffs.

“I felt like it was a chance to show my stuff with stronger lineups and some guys that have been in the big leagues. I felt like I fared well, it felt good.”

Gleason provided this scouting report on himself: “I’ve been anywhere from 93 to 96 (mph with fastball velocity). Two seam and slider. Change and curveball on occasion. My pitches have been consistent this year.”

There were reports that last year Gleason even topped out a few times at 98 mph. Gleason’s 32 saves led all O’s farmhands this year and maybe put him on the map a little bit.

“I would say yes (it did). But there are some people out there that like me and and some may not. At the end of the day, there is one person to look at and that’s yourself. Being consistent and saving games, it’s gone well. No complaints,” Gleason said.

“I’d love to compete for a Triple-A spot (next season). I loved it there and feel like I can pitch there. Just a matter of having a good spring and we’ll see where the organization puts me.”

For the next few weeks, Gleason will get to show his stuff on a pretty big stage when he pitches for the Mesa Solar Sox in the Arizona Fall League.

“I was honored to get selected. Very pleased to go. I want to represent the Orioles and nothing better than to do that. I’ll meet some new guys and maybe challenge for another ring,” he said.

There are some scouts that might refer to Gleason as a fringe prospect. He’s not on many of those top prospects lists, but he’s considered a guy that has a chance to make the majors and that alone separates him from many other minor leaguers. The ability to throw mid-90s doesn’t hurt his cause.

This winter, the Orioles need to put him on the 40-man roster or he can be taken by another club in December’s Rule 5 draft.

“I don’t really think about that. But you want to put it in the organization’s mind that maybe you are someone worth protecting. It should be an exciting offseason,” Gleason said.

From the minors: It was not a good sign for the Orioles’ farm system when the club was shut out in Baseball America’s list of the top 20 prospects in the Double-A Eastern League. Not one member of the Bowie Baysox made the list.

Meanwhile, three Yankees and Red Sox and four Blue Jays prospects were among the top 20 in the Eastern League and two Tampa Bay players made the top 20 list of Double-A Southern League prospects.

AFL note: I reported earlier that Joe Mahoney would miss the beginning of games for Mesa in the Arizona Fall League due to an oblique injury. The latest update now is that Mahoney could be in the Mesa lineup as soon as this weekend or maybe by Monday.

Note from Steve: Keep in mind that you can post any O’s or minors-related questions or comments on these blogs at any time. Some readers may think, for instance, that they should only comment about Sean Gleason on this specific blog. While questions and comments about Gleason are certainly welcome here, remember you can post any O’s comments or questions on this or any other blog I write throughout the offseason. Keep ‘em coming.

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