Delmarva honored, plus a look at a pitcher eligible in the Rule 5

Earlier this week, the Orioles' Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds affiliate was named the Minor League Team of the Year by Milb.com. Delmarva went 90-48 and earns this honor for the first time in its 24-year club history. The Shorebirds topped the previous team high for wins by seven (83 in 1996) and became the first South Atlantic League team to win 90 or more since the ... read more

Checking in on some top minor league arms with Chris Holt

Today we continue a look at Orioles minor league pitching in 2019 through the eyes of director of pitching Chris Holt. We've published a couple of entries recently with Holt, and in this one, he'll take a closer at four of the club's top pitching prospects. DL HALL Hall was the Orioles No. 1 pick, taken No. 21 overall out of a Georgia high school ... read more

Chris Holt's take on a few minor league pitchers

In this entry recently, I interviewed Orioles director of pitching Chris Holt. He was promoted to that position on Oct. 11 after serving as director of minor league pitching for the 2019 season. We addressed several topics earlier with Holt, and today we get his take on a few minor league hurlers. In 2019, four of the O's top six farm teams led their respective ... read more

Using technology to help hitters on the O's farm

He was new to the Orioles organization in 2019 and was one of the first minor league coaching hires by the new front office after Mike Elias was hired as executive vice president and general manager last November. Tom Eller was already close by geographically. Eller had spent the previous 12 seasons as the head coach at Harford Community College in Churchville. In his tenure ... read more

Talking about the importance of winning on the farm

Several days ago, I posted this entry, gleaned from my interview with new Orioles director of player development Matt Blood. The 34-year-old comes to the Orioles from the Texas Rangers. He's also worked for USA Baseball and was a scout with the St. Louis Cardinals, working in the same front office where the Orioles' Mike Elias and Sig Mejdal once toiled. We covered a lot ... read more

A look at the pitching on the farm this year with Chris Holt

The Orioles had a pretty solid year on the farm in 2019. Orioles' affiliates finished with a .517 win percentage, to rank 10th among all 30 Major League Baseball organizations. They sent two teams to the playoffs, three really, but the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League postseason was cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian. Baseball America rated the Orioles ninth in organizational rankings. But it was on ... read more

Q&A with Matt Blood, O's new director of player development

As the Orioles look to build what executive vice president and general manager Mike Elias has called an "elite talent pipeline," the minor leagues and player development obviously will be critical. On Sept. 16, the Orioles and Elias hired Matt Blood, 34, as their new director of player development. Last November, the Texas Rangers hired him as the club's director of player development. He moved ... read more

A look at pitchers that could be part of next wave of rebuild

As the Orioles look to put together a starting rotation for 2020, one question will be how soon will some of their homegrown prospects get their chance at the starting five. When will some of the up and coming pitching prospects - homegrown or not - get their shot? Based on how executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias and his staff ran the minors and ... read more

The Orioles will feature five coaches at each affiliate in 2020

The Orioles affiliates from the Rookie-level team through the Triple-A International League squad will each have five coaches, counting the manager, during the 2020 season. Each club last year had a manager, pitching coach, hitting coach and one field/development coach. New Orioles director of player development Matt Blood, hired by the organization Sept. 16, said that will change next season. As previously reported on MASNsports.com ... read more

More on Orioles' minor league hires

The Orioles remain in the process of interviewing candidates to fill the vacant positions on their major league coaching staff and piecing together the minor league side. The team has to replace first base coach/outfield instructor Arnie Beyeler, assistant hitting coach Howie Clark and bullpen coach John Wasdin. Everyone else has been invited back for the 2020 season. There doesn't appear to be anything imminent ... read more

Are big changes on the horizon throughout minor league baseball?

The look of affiliated Minor League Baseball could be in for major changes beginning in 2021. Baseball America's J.J. Cooper reported Friday that 42 teams could be eliminated, reducing the number of minor league clubs to 120 starting in 2021. This is a proposal from Major League Baseball in current negotiations with Minor League Baseball (MiLB) as part of a remodeled agreement from the one ... read more

Carroll relieved to be pitching again after lost 2019 season

Cody Carroll notched his third spring training save on March 16, was told the following day that he'd been optioned to minor league camp and seemed to fall off the map. He must have landed on his back. An entire summer was spent getting Carroll back on his feet. Carroll didn't throw a single pitch with Triple-A Norfolk, undergoing disc surgery and rehabbing before making ... read more

His prospect status took a hit, but a door is still ajar for Yusniel Diaz

It was a year when Orioles minor league outfielder Yusniel Diaz dealt with some injuries and saw his prospect rankings take a hit. But he ended the year hitting well and there is optimism that the key player acquired in the July 2018 Manny Machado deal could still become a key future player for the Orioles. The 23-year-old Cuban-born Diaz was signed by the Los ... read more

Where the O's were ranked in minor league top 20 lists

Baseball America has been rolling out its league top 20 prospects lists for each minor league level, and they have completed the four full-season leagues where the Orioles have affiliates. In the Triple-A International League, first baseman/left fielder Ryan Mountcastle of the Norfolk Tides was rated as the No. 7 prospect with pitcher Keegan Akin No. 20. In the Double-A Eastern League, Bowie outfielder Yusniel ... read more

Mountcastle, Baumann, Rodriguez among Orioles award winners

Ryan Mountcastle didn't squeeze onto the Orioles' expanded roster this month. However, he's going to be at Camden Yards this weekend. His name won't be in the lineup, but it's etched with the past recipients of the Brooks Robinson Minor League Player of the Year Award. Mountcastle has been chosen as the organization's top position player and will be honored in an on-field ceremony before ... read more

Two O's are Baseball America classification All-Stars

Two Orioles minor league pitchers were named classification All-Stars by Baseball America. The publication names All-Star teams for each classification - Triple-A, Double-A and so on down the line. That involves three leagues in each classification in most cases and Baseball America selected six pitchers - five starters and one reliever for each team. Double-A Bowie lefty Zac Lowther was named a Double-A classification All-Star. ... read more

Double-A Bowie's season ends in Game 4 loss in Eastern League final

BOWIE, Md. - When the long grind of a professional baseball season ends it can be abrupt and jarring. There can be sadness that it ended and about how it ended. The Double-A Bowie Baysox players, staff and fans, no doubt, felt some of that last night. On a cool night at Prince George's Stadium, some of the magic we saw from the Baysox during ... read more

Trenton beats Bowie to win the Eastern League championship

BOWIE, Md. - Held to three hits and one run last night, the Double-A Bowie Baysox were no-hit through five innings tonight. When they finally got something going, it was not enough and too late. The Trenton Thunder beat Bowie 5-2 tonight to win the Eastern League Championship Series three games to one. Trenton wins its fourth Eastern League championship and first since 2013. Bowie, ... read more

Bowie notes: Cedric Mullins' bat heating up in playoffs

BOWIE, Md. - He began the season as the center fielder for the Orioles and is ending it in center with Double-A Bowie. But with the season about to end on the farm, 24-year-old outfielder Cedric Mullins is finally getting his bat going and maybe that's the first step to turning around what has been for him a rough 2019 season. Mullins hit just .094 ... read more

Lefty Alex Wells threw a gem, but Bowie lost in Game 3

BOWIE, Md. - The box score says that Double-A Bowie lefty Alex Wells was the losing pitcher in Game 3 of the Eastern League Championship Series last night. Trenton beat Bowie 2-1 at Prince George's Stadium to take move to within a win of the Eastern League title. But Wells' performance on the field said something very different. He was in command and control and ... read more