• Mar

    Minor League Camp Starts Smoothly

    The Orioles finally broke my blog curse yesterday. Good to get that out of the way before the season starts.


    Minor League Camp starting off smooth

    The Orioles minor leaguers played their first spring games of the year today in Sarasota. I’m sure Doc Shorebird will have a more detailed report but after talking with Director of Minor League Operations David Stockstill, things went very well. Radhames Liz showed off an improved breaking ball and good velocity even though his command was just “ok”. He reportedly did not allow a base runner in two innings of work.


    The battle between first basemen CJ Smith and Ryan Finan for playing time with Delmarva this year has been a stalemate so far, with both hitting ball well today and throughout camp. Mark Fleisher is still the front-runner for the regular first baseman job with the Shorebirds though.


    Early Camp Surprise
    Kyle Dahlberg
    ’s name was the first name brought up by Stockstill when asked for any early surprises. The 22-year old catcher who was the Orioles 13th round selection in last year’s draft struggled with the bat in his pro debut hitting just .175 with a 62-15 strikeout to walk ratio in 149 at bats. However, this spring, Dahlberg has been hitting the ball with much more authority and has been the biggest surprise so far in camp. That’s good news because Dahlberg is a defensive wiz, so anything he can contribute with his bat will certainly raise his prospect status.


    Snyder and Erbe continue to impress
    After Dahlberg, the first two guys Stockstill mentioned were the early performances of 18-year old pitcher Brandon Erbe and 19-year old catcher Brandon Snyder. Erbe has been doing nothing but impressing baseball people in and out of the organization. He’s looked very good during camp so far. If he stays healthy, the Orioles may have something very special in Erbe. As for Snyder, although he has been in the cage doing a few things from both sides of the plate (as reported by our Dr. Shorebird), he’s a right-handed hitter according to Stockstill, and there are no plans to make him a switch-hitter. Snyder has been crushing the ball this spring.


    Miguel Abreu hit just .226 last year for Bluefield, but he’s shown so much this spring that he may have moved himself into the Delmarva competition. Abreu is a 21-year old, 2005 28th round draft pick from East Central University.


    Tripper hurting
    Bowie third baseman Tripper Johnson played the second half of last year with a bit of a groin injury. He also struggled a bit with it during the Arizona Fall League. After hoping rest would heal the injury, the returning discomfort when he resumed his baseball routine this January indicated surgery was needed. Johnson is now about four weeks post surgery and still limited in what he can do although he has shown good improvement of late. It’s too early to say whether or not Johnson will be able to start the season on time or not.


    Blogs for all Teams
    This blog has actually gotten some good responses (although not on our own message board, but I digress) from folks including the site ArmchairGm.com who are trying to make a list of all the pertinent blogs that cover Major League baseball Teams. You should check out the site at http://armchairgm.com/mwiki/index.php?title=MLB_Teams.


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Tony Pente

Tony has owned and operated Orioles Hangout since 1996 and is well known for his knowledge of the Baltimore Orioles organization from top to bottom. He's a frequent guest on Baltimore-area sports radio stations and can be heard regularly on the 105.7 FM The Fan. His knowledge and contacts within the Orioles minor league system and the major league baseball scouting industry is unparalleled in the Baltimore media and is known as an expert on the Orioles prospects.