A look at some O's minor league news and notes

A quick look at some news and notes from around the Orioles' minor leagues:

Since June 8, Triple-A Norfolk's LJ Hoes has hit safely in 31 of 38 games, batting an International League-best .373 with two home runs and 16 RBIs. Over that span, Hoes has registered more walks (25) than strikeouts (19), while posting a league-best .467 on-base percentage. For the season, the 23-year-old ranks among league leaders in OBP (third, .408), runs scored (fourth, 60), hits (fourth, 109) and batting average (seventh, .312).

Norfolk infielder Zelous Wheeler enters play tonight tied for fifth in the International League with 13 RBIs in July. Wheeler, who has nine of those 13 RBIs over his last six games, has hit safely in nine of his last 10, batting .350 (14-for-40) with two home runs and three doubles.

Double-A Bowie's Caleb Joseph picked up another hit yesterday to extend his hitting streak to eight games and is batting .364 with seven RBIs in that span. Overall Joseph has hit safely in 11 of 12 games batting .370 during that period with a league-best 14 RBIs. He ranks second among O's minor leaguers with 16 homers (Brandon Waring has 17) and first with 73 RBIs.

Two more 2013 O's draft picks made their pro debuts Monday, pitching a scoreless inning each for the Gulf Coast League O's, as 12th-round pick Jacob Bray and 22nd-round pick Jon Keller both took to the mound.

The short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds are looking for their first playoff berth in team history. At 17-15, Aberdeen is 1 1/2 out for first in its division and is one game out in the wild card race. Aberdeen's team ERA is 3.26, which leads all O's minor league clubs. Several 2013 draft picks have pitched well for Aberdeen and I'll have more on that soon.

Several pitchers are having strong months of July through the organization. Just a few of them are Tim Bascom, with a 0.96 ERA in five games for Double-A Bowie; Mike Wright, who is 2-0 with a 1.90 ERA in four starts for the Baysox; and Zech Zincola, with an 0.73 ERA in seven games at Bowie.

Lefty Ashur Tolliver is 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA in four games for Single-A Frederick. At Single-A Delmarva, Mychal Givens has a 1.86 ERA and nine strikeouts over 9 2/3 innings, Josh Hader has a 1.93 ERA in three starts and Matt Taylor has a 1.63 ERA over four July starts.

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