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Huge Moments Highlight O’s Win in Sarasota

photo: Eric Garfield
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Some recent international signings are paying off for the Orioles and on Tuesday they contributed to a team win marked by several significant firsts. RHP Miguel Padilla has an arsenal based around a curveball that has significant dual-plane movement. In 2021 he wasn’t fooling people or fighting out of adversity, registering a 6.51 ERA and a .300 avg against. Tuesday was Padilla’s best appearance as a pro and his first time going 6 full innings, helped by a pair of seven-pitch innings.

The trademark breaker was set up perfectly all day and he fooled Braves hitters to the tune of seven punchouts. In his last 11 innings the 20-year-old Venezuelan has allowed only nine baserunners, one earned run and racked up 13 strikeouts,  showing development in maturity and stuff.

His catcher on Tuesday was 2021 signee ($1.3 million) Samuel Basallo who brought in a .341 June average. Basallo is 17 years old and built like a defensive end, yet features pop times that rival much more compact catchers. After beating LHP Adam Shoemaker for an RBI at 0-2 with 2 outs in the 1st, the next AB was one he’ll remember forever. Batting in the 6th off RHP Jason Creasy, the lefty Basallo drove one opposite field for career home run number one. The small crowd featured Sam’s mom, sister and little brother here from the Dominican Republic cheering him on proudly.

Another catching prospect with offensive skills is Carlos Rodriguez, playing at first on Tuesday. Carlos also went over the fence in left for his first career home run in the 8th inning. The 3-run shot brought his OPS up to .891, and he could be a bat to watch as he rises too.

There were contributors all over the lineup on Tuesday that included a pair of hitters sent down from A-level Delmarva. Third baseman Moises Ramirez & OF Stiven Acevedo hit the ball hard every time up forcing the defense to make tough plays. Acevedo got some justice with a home run of his own and Ramirez laced a single layer coming around to score.

Infield prospect and 2021 signee ($1.2 million) Maikol Hernandez played well at shortstop where the Braves lineup gave him reps on each type of play. Hard grounders to both sides, pop ups and a few plays guarding the bag tested the 18-year-old’s defensive skills. Shoemaker left an off-speed pitch up in the first and Hernandez sent it down the right field line for a bloop single. He then showed off some acceleration and a quick slide beating the throw from C Antonio Barranca.

Second baseman Angel Tejada showed a hot glove around the bag, backed up the pitcher on an error that could have been much worse and served a base hit into center late in the game. He’s an example of a young player not afraid to contribute wherever possible. OF Luis Gonzalez’ throw to nail Anderson De Los Santos (ATL) at 3rd base was a huge defensive play that ended a potential rally. Gonzalez and Kevin Guerrero have yet to find offensive consistency, but can be trusted to make both the regular and the difficult plays patrolling the outfield corners.

There’s plenty of juicy storylines down in the Florida Complex League along with very exciting players. I hope to give you a glance at some of them this season & hope you enjoy it.

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