Pitcher Trace Bright looks to make his mark at Bowie this season

Trace Bright Bowie Baysox

BOWIE, Md. - For Orioles minor league pitcher Trace Bright, his move from High-A Aberdeen to Double-A Bowie went well late last year. And again, in his first outing versus Reading over the weekend.

With that big curveball, Bright has swing and miss stuff and now the results are showing up to prove that.

Ranked as the O’s No. 16 prospect per MLBPipeline.com and No. 21 via Baseball America, Bright went 3-6 with a 3.97 ERA and 13.3 K rate last season pitching in 22 games with Aberdeen and four at Bowie where his ERA was 2.12 in 17 innings.

Then he pitched 3 2/3 scoreless innings on two hits in Bowie’s win Sunday with two walks and six strikeouts. The strikeouts may have elevated his pitch count and he was removed at 71 pitches.

But now, in five career Double-A outings, Bright has a 1.74 ERA over 20 2/3 innings with 10 walks and 26 strikeouts.

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Basallo progresses in throwing program and other notes from Bowie's media day


BOWIE, Md. – Catcher Samuel Basallo, ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the sport by Baseball America and No. 17 via MLB Pipeline, will begin the season in the designated hitter role for Double-A Bowie, as expected. But he should be playing in the field within the first 10 or so games of the year.

Basallo was only a DH with the Orioles in big league camp after suffering a stress fracture in his right elbow over the winter. He is not ready to catch in games yet. 

But during Bowie’s media day today at Prince George’s Stadium, he said his throwing program and progression to get back in games playing defense has gone just fine. 

“I’m progressing very well. There have not been any setbacks. My arm is getting stronger and I feel good,” he said with interpreting help from Bowie manager Roberto Mercado.

He said the program to build arm strength has gone well.

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MLB's Spring Breakout series is nice showcase for young talent


The Orioles' Spring Breakout game has come and gone. They lost the seven-inning contest 3-1 on Thursday night in Bradenton to the Pittsburgh Pirates' prospects.

Who expected the O’s pitching prospects to outshine the hitters? But the O’s batters in that game got just one hit in 20 at-bats. And that was a bunt hit by Enrique Bradfield Jr. He blazed his way down the first-base line, showing off his 80-grade speed. Luis Valdez also showed off his speed in stealing two bases, leading to Jud Fabian’s deep sac fly in the Baltimore second.

But Jackson Holliday, Coby Mayo, Samuel Basallo and Connor Norby went a combined 0-for-7.

The O’s chose to use just two pitchers, and lefty Cade Povich and right-hander Trace Bright each gave up one earned run. Each fanned four batters, and Bright in particular showed some swing-and-miss secondaries, including a big breaking curveball, to go with a lively fastball that he could elevate at 95 mph.

The game allowed the O’s to show off 15 of their top 30 prospects, seven from their top 10 and three from the top 100, including the No. 1 prospect in the game, Holliday.

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

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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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