This Bowie Baysox reliever is excelling, yet flying a bit under the radar

BOWIE, Md. – You won’t find his name on those top 30 prospect lists. He doesn’t throw a blazing fastball. He played college ball at the Div. 1 level and was not a high draft pick. 

But what Bowie bullpen right-hander Dylan Heid does have is very impressive stats and a very unique pitch he throws on rare occasions, a pitch not seen much anymore in pro baseball.

The O’s selected Heid (pronounced Hyde-like the O’s skipper) in Round 11 out of Pitt-Johnston of the 2021 draft. There he was a starter with big stats then too. As a senior in 2021, he went 7-2 with a 1.37 ERA. Over 59 1/3 he walked 15 and fanned 105 and had a seven-inning no-hitter on his resume.

This season with Double-A Bowie, Heid, 26, is 4-2 with a 1.11 ERA in 25 games. He pitched three hitless, scoreless innings earlier this week versus Richmond and added 1 1/3 scoreless in Bowie's extra-innings loss last night. For the year over 40 2/3 innings, he has allowed just 22 hits with 14 walks to 40 strikeouts, along with a 0.89 WHIP and .157 average against. Lefty batters are hitting .154 off him and right-handers are at .169.

Over his past 14 games, Heid has allowed two earned runs in 25 2/3 innings for an ERA of 0.70 in this span.

“He’s pitched extremely well,” said Bowie manager Roberto Mercado. “The strikeout numbers are incredible. There was one little adjustment he made on two-strike counts. He was leaving some pitches over the plate and (pitching coach) Austin Meine has done a tremendous job with our staff, including Heid and they made some adjustments.

“Heid’s a character, an interesting guy and we all love him in the clubhouse. He has performed at a high level and done really well for us.”

His pitches include a fastball from 92 to 95 mph, a changeup, a slider, a splitter and his monkeyball.

Wait, monkeyball?

“It’s a knuckleball. A pretty firm knuckleball,” Mercado said. “He doesn’t throw it often but it definitely shocks the other team when it pops up at times.

“He threw it couple of times last year and has incorporated it a bit this year. I wouldn’t say it’s the best pitch in his arsenal, that is a well-commanded heater, and you know, being able to throw a right-on-right changeup is also a nice pitch for him.”

So Heid throws some basic pitches and is throwing them well right now, but the monkeyball can show up too. He probably used that pitch about three times during his three-inning outing Tuesday.

Pitching mostly last year at High-A Aberdeen with a few games at Bowie, Heid went 5-2 with a 2.58 ERA. So he’s had two solid years as a multi-inning reliever. He will be a Rule 5 eligible pitcher in December of 2024.

The O’s saw him pitch in college and also in the MLB Draft league for Trenton before the 2021 draft. Over three seasons on the Baltimore farm, he has a 12.21 K rate and .551 OPS against.

About last night: Flush it game for the Orioles. They were crushed 19-8 at Oakland on a day they trailed 10-0 in the second inning and 14-1 in the fourth.

The first four O's starting pitchers this road trip allowed four earned runs over a combined 23 1/3 innings and then lefty Cade Povich gave up eight in one inning plus.

It's the most runs the O's allowed all year (the previous most was 14 at Houston) and their most allowed since a 22-7 loss to Toronto on Sept. 12, 2021.

The Orioles (56-33) had a game chopped off their AL East lead, which is now two games over the New York Yankees. 

In their three wins this road trip they have allowed zero, one and two runs. In the two losses, they allowed seven and 19 runs. 

Farm promotion: The Orioles are promoting 22-year-old right-hander Trey Gibson from Low-A Delmarva to High-A Aberdeen, per a source.

He pitched four scoreless for the Shorebirds last night. With Delmarva, Gibson was 1-5 with a 3.40 ERA over 55 2/3 innings allowing 41 hits with 24 walks and 81 strikeouts. He has a 1.17 WHIP and has averaged 13.10 strikeouts per nine innings.







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