There are six 2015 Orioles draft picks currently on the short-season Single-A Aberdeen IronBirds roster as the team preps for its season opener on Friday night at Ripken Stadium.
But the IronBirds roster will be changing and evolving a lot early in the season. Yesterday, the Orioles announced the signings of 14 players from the draft and they have officially signed 17 picks overall with many more to follow and probably follow very soon.
The players signed yesterday included (with their draft round in parentheses): right-hander Ryan Meisinger (11), left-hander Robert Strader (12), left-hander Nick Vespi (18), left-hander Will Dennis (23), third baseman Kirvin Moesquit (24), right-hander Rocky McCord (26), right-hander Andrew Elliott (30), left-hander Will Shepley (31), right-hander Steven Klimek (33), right-hander Kory Groves (34), left-hander Xavier Borde (36), second baseman Jack Graham (38), utility man Frank Crinella (39) and right-hander Michael Costello (40).
On Tuesday the O’s announced the signings of infielder Ryan Mountcastle (1), right-hander Jay Flaa (6), and left-hander Reid Love (10).
We know some other picks have been signed since they are already working out with Aberdeen. That group includes outfielder Cedric Mullins of Campbell University, selected 403rd overall in the 13th round.
Mullins is the highest Camel to be picked in the major league draft since the Milwaukee Brewers took Nic Carter in the fourth round in 2002. A Snellville, Ga., native, Mullins hit a team-high .340 with 59 runs scored and 34 extra-base hits with 23 doubles, seven triples and four home runs. The second-team All-Big South pick also stole 23 bases. Yesterday, I asked Mullins about the challenges of going from college to pro baseball.
“Just keeping your body in shape,” he said. “It’s going to be a grind to get through the amount of games we have to play, especially coming out of college. It’s different, but there are guys to help us maintain our conditioning.”
Drew Turbin is the O’s 14th-round pick. He was a senior second baseman and leadoff hitter for Dallas Baptist, which advanced to the NCAA Regionals this year. Out of Hayden, Idaho, Turbin hit .347 and was 21st in the nation with a .480 OBP. He was a first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference pick and the made the all-defensive team as well.
Yesterday, as he looked around the ballpark, he said he still could not quite believe his pro career was about to begin.
“It still seems kind of surreal, like a dream. I had never been drafted before and to finally get your dream to come true is pretty awesome. It really hasn’t set in yet,” Turbin said.
The O’s 16th-round pick will also begin with Aberdeen. That is outfielder Mike Odenwaelder from Amherst College, who is listed at 6-foot-6 and 230 lbs. In three years at Amherst, he batted .372 with 16 homers and 86 RBIs over 436 at-bats.
Amherst has produced a few major league general managers, including the Orioles’ Dan Duquette, although that connection is not why Odenwaelder is an Oriole.
“I have met him (Duquette) a few times,” Odenwaelder said. “I have met actually all three GMs from Amherst. There is Ben Cherington (of Boston) and Neal Huntington (of Pittsburgh) also. They come back every year for our homecoming football game. I have talked to Dan before, but didn’t have much communication with him before the draft or anything.”
Aberdeen will host Hudson Valley on Friday night at 7:35 p.m. at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium on opening night.
Jean Cosme, a 19-year-old right-hander, is expected to get the start opening night. He was drafted in round 17 last year. Travis Seabrooke, the Orioles’ fifth-round pick in 2013, is set to start the second game, with Francisco Jimenez pitching the third game.
The current Aberdeen roster and the six players on the team from the 2015 draft have their round listed:
Pitchers: Daniel Ayers, Patrick Baker, Jean Cosme, Keegan Ghidotti, Kevin Grendell, Francisco Jimenez, Caleb Kellogg, Yi-Hsiang Lin, Elias Pinales, Luc Rennie, Tanner Scott, Travis Seabrooke.
Catchers: Brandon Coluccio, Alexander De La Cruz, Stuart Levy (27), Jerry McClanahan (19).
Infielders: Steve Laurino (25), Alexander Lee, Ronarsy Ledesman, Austin Pfeiffer, Guillermo Salas, Trevor Sprowl, Drew Turbin (14).
Outfielders: Randolph Gassaway, Tad Gold, Oswill Lartiguez, Cedric Mullins (13), Mike Odenwaelder (16), Ademar Rifaela, Yariel Vargas.
Here are the players currently on the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Orioles roster with the GCL season set to begin Monday and the two rosters for the O’s teams in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League, which has already started.
Pitchers: Zack Albin, Cristian Alvarado, Miguel Batista, Jacob Bray, Wendell Floranus, Alvin Herrera, Max Homick, Jonatan Isenia, Brandon Koch, Lazaro Leyva, John McLeod, Jan Novak, Ofelky Peralta, Jeong-Hyeon Yoon.
Catchers: Allan Bencid, Daniel Fajardo, Jack Graham, Ronald Soto.
Infielders: Ricardo Andujar, Carlos Diaz, Alejandro Juvier, Ryan Mountcastle, Ramon Ramirez.
Outfielders: Hernys Blanco, Daniel Franco, Gerrion Grim.
Pitchers: Yanuel Cuevas, Andy De La Cruz, Erick Encarnacion, Virgilio Encarnacion, Henry Feliz, Hector Guance, Juan Hernandez, Barry Jhonson, Tomas Leoncio, Jesus Liranzo, Yeizer Marrugo, Leybi Martinez, Cesar Medina, Rafael Moreno, Angelo Palumbo, Juan Valdez, Dember Vizcaino.
Catchers: Jean Carrillo, Richi Sanchez, Fabian Vizcaino.
Infielders: Rauel Acosta, Jean Estrella, Gonzalo Galastica, Alejandro Garcia, Robertico Medina, Irving Ortega, Miguel Pichardo.
Outfielders: Rochendrick Alexander, Nicanor Alvarado, Luis Chaves, Rachid Engelhardt, Jorge Gil, Victor Giron, Hansel Jimenez, Adony Tucen.
Pitchers: Jose Alcantara, Nichel Alcantara, Miguel Angel Bonilla, Jose Diaz, Brailyn Duran, Fernando Escarra, Edward Fabian, Miguel Garcia, Miguel Gonzalez, Julin Jimenez, Lu Franc-Cito LeFranc, Alirio Negrette, Johalis Pacheco, Jhon Peluffo, Miguel Polanco, Victor Ramirez, Ramon Rodriguez, Edwin Rojas, Victor Romero.
Catchers: Alfredo Gonzalez, Victor Grasso, Wagner Ramirez.
Infielders: Angel Adames, Carlos Baez, Pedro Flores, Luis Hernandez, Yeridolfo Lizardo, Antony Morillo, Aderlin Santa.
Outfielders: Richard Barcenas, Manuel De Los Santos, Johnny Dixon, Carlos Jean, Juan Montes, Ivan Mora, Leisxonyer Rivero, Carlos Rodriguez.