A look at some batters off to strong starts at Double-A Bowie (O's win wild one)


Earlier this week when I was in Bowie, Md., to cover Kyle Bradish's first injury rehab start, I spent some time with Double-A Bowie manager Roberto Mercado to discuss his team's solid start to the new season.

It has been some weekend in Bowie with the Baysox winning Friday 5-4 over Altoona on a walk-off on John Rhodes' single in the 10th. Last night, Jud Fabian's grand slam in the last of the ninth was a walk-off winner 6-2. It was Fabian's second homer of the season and he's now batting .310 with a .944 OPS.

Bowie drew 7,159 fans on Friday and 7,988 on Saturday to Prince George's Stadium. 

Between the 2022 and 2023 seasons, the Baysox's increase in average home attendance was among the best in all of the minors and they are off to a good start at the turnstile this year.

Bowie is now 8-6 and through Friday's games had a plus-12 run differential ranked third-best in the 12-team league thus far. Bowie led the league with 77 runs scored and also with an .817 OPS. Bowie's team ERA of 4.34 was eighth-best in the Eastern League.

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Quick Q&A with Silas Ardoin

Silas Ardoin photo day

SARASOTA, Fla. – The name rang a bell. In all of its mispronounced Louisiana glory.

The Orioles selected catcher Silas Ardoin in the fourth round of the 2022 draft out of the University of Texas. The mind immediately shifted to Danny Ardoin, the father who played in 165 games in the majors, including five with the Orioles in 2006.

Same position, too.

Silas is in his first major league camp after batting .238/.366/.361 in 385 plate appearances between High-A Aberdeen and Double-A Bowie.

“I wouldn’t say that I was expecting it,” he said, “but I’m just excited for the opportunity to be here.”

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Opposing scout on Orioles: "The window’s wide open"

Joey Ortiz

While picking the brain of a scout from outside the organization about the Orioles’ farm system, which players stood out to him, which ones graded highly, I noticed how he paused the minor league analysis and headed straight to Baltimore.

“Of course, your big league club is loaded. It’s loaded,” he said.

“I mean, you guys are impressive.”

And then, within seconds, the focus and curiosity rewind.

“I just wish I was a fly on the wall,” he said, “to know what they were going to do.”

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Minor league notes on Ortiz, Cowser, Hall, Holliday and more


It has finally happened. The Double-A Bowie Baysox are rolling. It happened later than we thought but the Baysox are making up for lost time now.

After going 27-42 in the first-half Eastern League race, Bowie has surged into first place in its division in the second half, going 20-8 heading into Thursday’s game. The Baysox have a few scorching hot hitters and a bullpen that has posted a 2.48 ERA in the second half after posting a 4.78 ERA earlier.

Among the hottest hitters is shortstop Joey Ortiz, the club’s fourth-round pick in 2019 from New Mexico State. The Orioles' first three selections in that draft were Adley Rutschman, Gunnar Henderson and Kyle Stowers, and they took Ortiz as their fifth pick.

He got off to a very slow start this season after undergoing season-ending left shoulder surgery last June. He ended this June batting .206 with a .596 OPS. Then he got on fire for the Baysox in July and produced a batting line of .404/.438/.674 with an OPS of 1.112.

“He had an elite shoulder injury that is difficult to come back from, and I think he has finally found his strength and his groove,” said Matt Blood, the Orioles' director of player development. “And he’s been making little adjustments all along the way. This is the player we saw last year before he got hurt. Probably a combination of getting fully healthy and strong as well as making adjustments to the league and the pitching he’s seen this year. Joey and that Bowie team are playing fantastic.”

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O's select Oklahoma State pitcher as draft resumes with round three (updated)

camden yards

The Orioles began the second day of the draft and selected Oklahoma State pitcher Nolan McLean. He becomes the highest pitcher selected by the club under Mike Elias. The previous highest had been in the fifth rounds in 2020 with Carter Baumler and 2021 with Carlos Tavera.

McLean, who also was a position player as an infielder for Oklahoma State, went 2-1 with a 4.97 ERA and five saves out of the bullpen. In 25 1/3 innings he allowed 20 hits with 13 walks, 39 strikeouts and a .206 batting average against. In 64 games as a hitter he batted .285/.397/.595 with 16 doubles, 19 homers and 47 RBIs. 

He is a right-handed hitter and thrower and was a draft-eligible sophomore. MLB.com rated him No. 115 in this draft class.

The Orioles are making selections today through round 10, and they have eight picks over the eight rounds through the 10th. The slot amount for the third-rounder at No. 81 is $793,600 of a total O’s draft pool of $16.924 million. The slot amount for their No. 1 pick is $8,842,200, and it is $2,313,900 for their second selection, No. 33 overall.

In Round 4: The O’s drafted University of Texas catcher Silas Ardoin, a redshirt sophomore. In 69 games for the Longhorns he batted .271/.391/.513 with 20 doubles, a triple, 12 homers and 50 RBIs. He walked 39 times and fanned 54.

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