Here are a few notes from the final day of the regular season, which was Monday for most of minor league baseball. Short-season, Single-A Aberdeen still has two games left in the regular season after clinching its first playoff berth last night.
It was a disappointing end for the Triple-A Norfolk Tides when they were shutout Monday afternoon, to miss out on their first playoff berth since 2005.
Still, some credit should go to the staff and players there, led by manager Ron Johnson, who is the first manager to lead Norfolk to back-to-back winning seasons since Steve Swisher skippered the Tidewater Tides to winning records in both 1990 and 1991. Johnson, who is in his 20th season as a minor league manager, ranks sixth among active minor league managers with 1,412 victories.
Double-A Bowie lost a twin bill on the season’s final day to finish at 71-71 but Bowie has had seven straight seasons with .500 or better records and has not had a losing year since 2006.
Bowie’s Caleb Joseph came up a point and one hit short of hitting .300 and three RBIs shy of 100. Still Joseph had a huge year batting .299 with 22 homers, 97 RBIs and a .840 OPS. He has to be considered a strong candidate for O’s minor league Player of the Year.
Joseph finished first in the Eastern League in total bases, second in RBIs and slugging and fourth in average, doubles and homers.
Bowie pitcher Mike Wright, who started for Norfolk Monday, finished tied with Harrisburg’s Nate Karns for the Eastern League ERA title at 3.26.
Single-A Frederick finished its season by scoring their most runs in their last game, a 16-5 win Monday over Potomac.
Frederick’s Michael Ohlman did not play in the season finale and he finished with the Carolina League’s batting title, hitting .313 and winning by one point. The last Key to win the league batting crown was Robbie Widlansky in 2009.
Ohlman also finished third in the league with a .410 on-base percentage and first in slugging at .524, which is also a Frederick single-season record.
Even though the Keys finished with a losing record Frederick drew a season attendance of 324,311 - the highest in the Carolina League and the highest for the club since 1994. This season’s figure is the fourth highest in 25 seasons of Keys baseball. Frederick has some great baseball fans.
Single-A Delmarva had a tough year record-wise, going 30-37 in the first half and 24-45 to finish in last place in its division in the second half of the South Atlantic League season.
The final records for the O’s full-season affiliates:
* Norfolk 77-67
* Bowie 71-71
* Frederick 61-78
* Delmarva 54-82
Bowie’s Eduardo Rodriguez has been named Eastern League pitcher of the week for the week ending on Monday. Rodriguez is the second Baysox pitcher to win the award this season after Eddie Gamboa received the honor for the week enduing June 30. Rodriguez finished the season with a pair of terrific starts for the Baysox, going 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA over 14.0 innings. He allowed seven hits while striking out 11 batters and walking just one. He went 3-0 with a 0.36 ERA in his final four starts.
Aberdeen outfielder Conor Bierfeldt has been named the New York-Penn League’s offensive player of the week for August 26-Sept. 2. Bierfeldt helped the IronBirds go 5-3 during the stretch, batting 11-32 (.344) with four homers and nine RBIs. He had multiple hits four times and multiple RBIs three times.