CHICAGO - The Orioles selected him in the sixth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of a high school in Knoxville, Tenn. They liked his bat a lot and signed Nicky Delmonico then to an overslot bonus of $1.525 million. But at the trade deadline in 2013, in a search for immediate relief help, he was traded to Milwaukee for veteran right-hander Francisco Rodriguez. He was the Orioles No. 4 ranked prospect at the time.
Now Delmonico makes the Chicago White Sox clubhouse home. He signed with Chicago as a free agent before the 2015 season and made his major league debut last year with the team.
He was recalled from Triple-A on Aug. 1 to make his MLB debut and started hitting well right away. He reached base safely in a franchise-record 13 consecutive games to begin his career batting .396 (19-for-48) with two doubles, three home runs, eight RBIs and a 1.088 OPS during the streak. He hit his first big league homer Aug. 3 off Boston’s Rick Porcello.
Delmonico, batting .224/.333/.302 in 37 games for Chicago this season, would like to be playing against the Orioles this week. But he’s on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured third metacarpal on his right hand. The left fielder figures to be sidelined for another four to six weeks.
But in the White Sox clubhouse on Monday, Delmonico said he still has fond memories of playing in the Orioles organization for Single-A Delmarva and Single-A Frederick in 2012 and 2013. He was a mid-season All-Star for the Shorebirds.
“It feels like forever ago,” Delmonico said. “But it was an awesome time I had in that organization. I still stay in touch with a lot of people there. This series for me, it’s a huge bummer - I wish I could play against them. The Orioles being the first organization that I was with.”
“I played with Dylan Bundy, Zach Davies and Michael Ohlman - they were my roommates too. It will be cool to see guys like Manny (Machado) and Dylan and (Kevin) Gausman - all those guys.”
Delmonico was a corner infielder with the Orioles. He has been playing left field for the White Sox this season, but he fondly remembers two people that coached him and worked with him extensively with Baltimore.
“Bobby Dickerson and Mike Bordick,” he quickly answered about which coaches helped him the most. “Those guys were the first two that I worked with. It will be cool to see Bobby and catch up with him. He helped me learn about the mentality of the game and playing hard every day. He and Mike helped me so much. I learned a lot from both of them.”
An original Oriole, Delmonico feels he has now found a home on the south side of Chicago.
“I feel awesome right now besides the injury to my hand. I feel like I’m in a great place and like I’ve become part of a family here with the White Sox. They’ve really welcomed me in here,” he said.