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Down on the Farm

Elias Just Cleaning Up Dan & Buck’s Mess

buck showalter standing by fence talking to dan duquette
It’s been REAL spicy out in these Orioles Twitter streets the last few days.  The John Means no-hitter honeymoon is officially over. It’s easy to see why.  The team is fresh off of a fourteen game losing streak with a myriad of poor at-bats, defensive miscues, and bullpen breakdowns.  Our major league product has been uncompetitive for five seasons.  Certain players who showed promise during the COVID-shortened 2020 season have regressed.  There’s a lot of Orioles games that have been objectively tough watches, and any frustration is justified.  When things […]

Let the Kids Play!

Keegan Akin throws a pitch
The Orioles just completed one of the worst months in franchise history and are currently in the race for the first pick to get Elijah Green in next year’s draft. We will see if that sustains (hey, they’ve won two series to start June!) as this season goes on.  For me, this season was always going to be about development, and we are seeing a lot of great things happen in the minors so far.  On the MLB side of things, the development has been inconsistent at best.  The young pitchers […]

Patience Required in Birdland

empty baseball field with sun rising
The more I hear about Oriole fans jumping ship the less I understand about what exactly it is that they expected in 2021. A roster with less professional experience than the abbreviated 2020 group seems like it would lose at a higher rate, and the team is quite obviously committed to a complete rebuild. If these fans flipped on an Aberdeen Ironbirds game they’d be pleasantly surprised. The talent acquired since Mike Elias took over has the farm system ranks in the top handful of clubs overall. They should be […]

Grayson Rodriguez Headed to Bowie

Grayson Rodriguez
As the major league sqaud continues to be an embarrassment, losing ten straight and 17 of 19 since John Means‘ no-hitter back on May 5, Birdland is forced to look to the minors for some optimism. Fortunately, for the first time in a very, very long time, there is plenty of that to go around down on the farm. The AA Bowie Baysox are 15-5. The high-A Aberdeen Ironbirds are 14-7. The low-A Delmarva Shorebirds are 15-6. The O’s have the fifth-ranked farm system in baseball, per MLB.com, and are […]

Early Returns are In – This is Fun!

The minor league teams are off and running in Birdland and it’s clear that the changes implemented with the arrival of Mike Elias, Sig Mejdal and a cast of new scouts, instructors and trainers is working out quite well. Pre-quarantine, both Bowie and Delmarva won half of their respective leagues and the rookie league team in the Gulf Coast League took that title to show things may be looking better a bit sooner than expected. Still, it’s gotten better. The way the farm teams are playing here in 2021 through […]

Keegan Akin Progressing Through O’s System

Keegan Akin pitches.
Norfolk, VA- Growing up in Michigan, Orioles pitching prospect, Keegan Akin, played football and wrestled along with playing baseball. His junior year of high school, he put all other sports aside and started focusing solely on baseball. His goal was to play college baseball. As Akin put it, “My goal was always to go play college ball. My junior year of high school I started talking to some schools and that was when I quit playing football and basically just stuck with baseball.” The left-handed hurler stuck with baseball and […]

How About the Prospects in Bowie?

Yusniel Diaz rounds the bases.
Yesterday, in an attempt to try to divert our eyes from the trainwreck taking place at Oriole Park at Camden Yards every night, we looked at a few of the prospects in Norfolk. I introduced that piece by talking about how the Orioles can’t hit any home runs, and can’t keep the ball in the Yard, and thus get drubbed at home all the time. Well, last night, the Birds bashed four home runs and didn’t allow a single one in a 9-1 bashing of the Chicago White Sox. So…you’re […]

Are the Prospects Doing Any Better at Least?

We knew this would happen eventually, though we probably hoped it wouldn’t be quite so early on in the season – the big league club is downright impossible to watch, at least without constantly grimacing. The Birds are now 1-10 at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and they’ve had to use a position player on the mound (Hanser Alberto, Chris Davis, and Jesus Sucre) three times in eleven home contests. They can’t hit the ball out of the park (they’re 21st in MLB in dingers), and the pitchers can’t keep […]

O’s Promote Cedric Mullins, DFA Danny Valencia

Cedric Mullins in the batter's box.
The move that many Orioles fans have been pining for for at least a month here in this lost season was finally made a reality today, as the Orioles announced that they have promoted Cedric Mullins from AAA Norfolk. Mullins, the Birds’ 13th-round pick in 2015,  burst onto the O’s prospect scene in 2016 in Delmarva, hitting .273/.321/.464 with 37 doubles, 10 triples, 30 stolen bases, and 14 home runs in 124 games. He followed that up with a .265/.319/.460 line in Bowie last year. He hit 19 doubles, a […]

Prospect Profile: Rogers Making Great First Impression

Josh Rogers of the Norfolk Tides pitches.
A few days after the Zach Britton deal, I wrote that Cody Carroll would likely be the first of the three players acquired to reach the big leagues – even though Dillon Tate was widely viewed as the better overall prospect. I didn’t mention the third pitcher the Orioles received, 24-year-old Josh Rogers. Rogers doesn’t have a blazing fastball or wipeout breaking ball like Carroll and Tate, nor is he ranked on the Orioles’ Top 30 Prospects list. Despite this, the left-hander has pitched extremely well in his first three […]

Taking Stock of the Orioles’ Revamped Farm System

Ryan Mountcastle swings.
We have seen a lot of change over the last month in what looks to be a shift in the Orioles’ mindset moving forward. If you believe Dan Duquette’s words, this shift focuses an emphasis on international scouting and international free agents, developing analytical and scouting resources, and spending on technology. These were the main bullet points he provided following the Manny Machado trade, and he’s echoed them over the past 48 hours or so. This should certainly give Orioles fans hope that…they’re finally becoming a competent organization? All jokes […]

Tides Walk it Off Three Times in 24 Hours

The Norfolk Tides logo.
After a six-game winning streak on the road propelled the Tides into the lead in the IL wildcard race, the club kept rolling with three wild walk-off victories in four games (and two days) in their first series of the homestand. Tides starters John Means, Lucas Long, and Sean Gilmartin combined for 13.1 innings of one-run ball in the three wins, while newly-acquired reliever Cody Carroll hit 99 mph and earned the win in his first outing with the Orioles organization. Poor weather conditions across the Hampton Roads area forced […]

Prospect Profile: Cody Carroll Could be in Baltimore Soon

Cody Carroll pitches.
Though Dillon Tate is viewed as the main prize of the prospect haul the Orioles received for Zach Britton, right-handed reliever Cody Carroll may be the closest of the group to taking the mound at Camden Yards. Carroll, the Yankees’ 22nd-round selection in the 2015 draft out of Southern Mississippi, has spent the previous two seasons pitching exclusively out of the bullpen after serving as both a starter and reliever during his first full season in 2016. Standing at 6’5”, the 25-year-old logged a 2.38 ERA along with 55 strikeouts […]

Mullins Stays Hot, but Tides Drop Three of Four

Cedric Mullins gets ready in the OF.
The Norfolk Tides (47-44, 2nd place in the IL South through Sunday) stumbled to three losses in four games against the Gwinnett Stripers during the team’s first series since the AAA All-Star break. Center fielder Cedric Mullins, the No. 5 prospect in Baltimore’s minor league system, collected six hits in the series while extending his hitting streak to 15 games. Starting pitcher Asher Wojciechowski was another bright spot, tossing eight innings of one-run ball during Friday’s game.   Gwinnett 4, Norfolk 1 Gwinnett shortstop Luis Marte went 3-for-4 at the […]

Taking Stock of the Farm System (Pre-Trades Edition)

Ryan Mountcastle prepares to field.
This Orioles franchise is a pivotal point, with a lame duck GM and an uncertain future. They don’t spend internationally, so they bank on nailing the draft each and every year. That’s not the best practice in my opinion – or anyone’s opinion for that matter. In fact, Jim Palmer seems to agree. 🤷🏻‍♂️ 2018 MLB International Signings Tracker https://t.co/3aIUdJTa3U — Jim Palmer (@Jim22Palmer) July 3, 2018 I’m here today to talk the O’s farm system as it sits now, before the trades that will – hopefully – be made […]

Bullpen Arms Lead Tides to Four-Game Sweep of Stripers

A trio of pitchers who normally pitch out of the Tides bullpen combined for 12 strong innings during a four-game series against the Gwinnett Stripers, helping Norfolk kick off what could be the most important homestand of the year by sweeping all four games. Pedro Alvarez had five RBIs in three games, including a walk-off two run double in the tenth inning of the series finale. TIDES SEASON TO DATE The Tides (40-35, 2nd in the IL South through Wednesday) returned home on Monday after stumbling their way through a […]

Tides Recap: Cedric Mullins, Doubles Machine

Cedric Mullins in the batter's box.
Despite four doubles from center fielder Cedric Mullins, the Tides dropped two of three games to the Gwinnett Stripers to open a seven-game homestand. The Tides welcome the Charlotte Knights to Harbor Park on Thursday for a four-game weekend series.   TIDES SEASON TO DATE The Tides (33-29, 2nd place in the IL South through Wednesday) finished a six-game road trip prior to this homestand with a record of 3-3. Third baseman Renato Nunez hit .346 with three doubles over those six games, while catcher Caleb Joseph has hit .370 […]

The Rundown: Does Anybody Want the Fifth Starter Spot?

Nestor Cortes Jr. throws a pitch from the mound.
Opening Day is ten days away and the Orioles still have a few questions that need to be answered before the first pitch against the Minnesota Twins. Who Wins The 5th Starter Spot? Nestor Cortes Jr. and Miguel Castro will both take the mound on Tuesday night and whoever pitches the best will have the slight edge in winning the final spot in the rotation. We can never count out Mike Wright as it appears the organization really wants him to be the guy. It’s extremely frustrating that none of […]

Down O’n the Farm: Checking in on O’s MiLB Pitchers

Jimmy Yacabonis of the Orioles pitches.
Now that we’ve looked at the potential future of the Orioles lineup, let’s take a look at some of the guys that could be toeing the rubber at Camden Yards in the near future. We’ll kick it off with a look at a few future starters.   Starters Cody Sedlock– (1st round, 2016) Currently ranked as the Orioles’ second-best prospect and top pitching prospect, the sky is the limit for Sedlock. The promising 21-year-old out of Illinois has gone through a learning curve with the Frederick Keys so far during […]

Down O’n the Farm: Checking in on O’s MiLB Bats

Chance Sisco swings in the batter's box.
Sure, we’ve all grown to love this Orioles squad. But we also know that baseball is a business, elite-status players are harder to keep around now more than ever, and that a trade can happen at any second. With that being said, let’s take a look at some of the prospects in the Orioles minor league ranks position-by-position, and see who could be playing in Camden Yards sooner rather than later.   Catcher Chance Sisco– (2nd round, 2013) Currently ranked as the Orioles’ #1 prospect, the highly-touted 22-year-old has made […]