Several young pitchers are off to good starts at minor league camp

SARASOTA, Fla. - We are still very early into the minor league exhibition games - they just started one week ago - but a few of the Orioles' top pitching prospects are putting up good numbers so far.

The club's 2013 first-round draft pick, 19-year-old right-hander Hunter Harvey made his second start for the Single-A Delmarva squad yesterday. Over three shutout innings, he gave up three hits, with no walks and seven strikeouts. In his first outing he went two innings, allowing one run with three strikeouts. So that's 10 strikeouts over five spring innings for Harvey.

Harvey went 0-1 with a 1.78 ERA, over eight starts between the Gulf Coast League and short-season Single-A Aberdeen last summer after the draft. If you count five no-hit innings Harvey pitched in a New York-Penn League playoff game on Sept. 7 for Aberdeen, he gave up 21 hits, with six walks, and 40 strikeouts over 30 1/3 innings.

After pitching some dominant outings last year, Harvey knows it will get tougher this season as he plays for a full season team for the first time and will face better hitters than he did a season ago.

"I love having a challenge. That is what drives me really, trying to beat people every time I get on the mound," Harvey said.

Right-hander Mike Wright, the O's No. 8 overall prospect according to Baseball America, has now pitched twice. The earlier issue with right elbow tendinitis seems to be no problem now.

On Tuesday, pitching for the Double-A team when big league pitchers were pitching for the Triple-A team, Wright went three scoreless innings, on one hit, with no walks and three strikeouts. He put up two shutout innings in his first start last Thursday.

Right-hander Zach Davies has had two good outings for the Double-A squad. He went two scoreless innings his first time out and yesterday pitched three scoreless innings, on two hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. Davies, ranked as the O's No. 11 prospect by Baseball America, has fanned eight over five innings so far.

Also yesterday Branden Kline, the club's second round pick in 2012, went three scoreless innings, with three strikeouts for Single-A Frederick and 2013. 22nd round pick Jon Keller went two innings for Frederick allowing one hit and one run with no walks and two strikeouts.

In his most recent outing on Monday, O's No. 3 prospect Eduardo Rodriguez pitched three innings for Double-A, giving up three hits and one run with one walk and six strikeouts.

It's pretty easy to see several young O's pitchers are putting up impressive pitching lines at this point in camp.

Here are some hitting and other minor league notes from Tuesday's games:

* Triple-A Norfolk won 3-1. After the big league pitchers threw, Luis Vizcaino pitched a scoreless 10th inning with two strikeouts. Cord Phelps was 2-for-3, with a homer and three RBIs.

* Double-A Bowie won 5-0. Kyeong Kang went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Michael Ohlman was 1-for-2 with a double. Dariel Alvarez was 3-for-4 with a double.

* Single-A Frederick lost 5-1.

* Single-A Delmarva won 3-2. Drew Dosch went 1-for-3, Mike Yastrzemski went 2-for-2 with two singles.


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