Under the radar minor leaguers

Earlier this week, I wrote about Ronnie Welty. The 22-year-old played right field for the Frederick Keys in 2010 and had a very good season, finishing among the Carolina League leaders in several categories. Yet, Welty is almost never mentioned as one of the O's better prospects. Ronnie-Welty_Keys-Wide.gif But he has made three post-season All-Star teams in three different leagues over three years. That is pretty impressive. I guess we could say he has flown "under the radar." Today, here are two questions for the readers of this blog. One, who are other players you feel are flying under that same radar. Players that have been on the O's farm for at least two years without getting much publicity or attention from fans or media. Two, as we move deeper into the offseason, what minor league stories or features would you like to see me write about? Keep in mind I may not be able to pursue everyone, but I'd sure like to to hear your suggestions. By the way, TX O's Fan wrote in to ask what MLB player Welty compares with. Since I have not seen him play that much, I went to someone who saw him play every game last year in Keys' broadcaster Adam Pohl. I also asked Adam to share some thoughts on Welty's play and here is what he wrote back: The only player I have seen Welty compared to is Hunter Pence but I don't really see it. I had Pence in my first year with Salem and he is awkward in his movements, has outstanding power and hits everything (in and out of the zone). Welty is more fluid, has good but not eye popping power and swings and misses quite a bit. The thing that people don't realize is that Welty is a very good defensive outfielder. He has good speed (efficient basestealer) and a good arm as well. He got better at hitting the breaking ball throughout the year. The knock on Welty is that he pouts if he has a bad first at-bat and that would carry on throughout the game. Our staff was on him about that. I think he really improved as the season continued which is a great sign. For the most part the feeling is he'll be in Bowie next year but because of the huge K amounts (which were a Keys single season all-time record) he could begin the year with the Keys. Wherever he will be he will be the starting RF - my guess is Bowie. The obvious key is that he minimizes the strikeouts. If he struck out 80 times in a year he'd hit 15-20 points higher and with good power, speed and an arm he would be a top 5-10 prospect in our system. Thanks to Adam for his comments and feel free to leave some of your thoughts on the two questions I posed earlier in this blog.

Starting vs. relieving
Hoey added to 40-man (updated)

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